T-Mobile recently shared some good news with the public indicating the company is headed in a better direction— albeit at a slower rate than competitors. According to its Q4 results, while the nation’s fourth-largest wireless carrier saw a slight decrease in postpaid subscribers, it saw a significant uptick in prepaid subscribers with the addition of 166,000 total customers. Adjusting for the postpaid subscribers, T-Mobile saw the the net customer additions come to something around 61,000 total.
While the customer additions are exciting, T-Mobile really used the Q4 results to tout its ever-growing LTE plan. As part of its gradual evolution to the next generation of 4G, T-Mobile formally announced its LTE network “been completed” in Las Vegas and Kansas City, so those of you living in those markets can already enjoy some fast LTE speeds. More importantly— T-Mo will actually accelerate its LTE plan and insists that 100 million customers will be covered by the middle of the year, while more than 200 will see LTE by the end of the year. Oh and don’t think that T-Mo has forgotten its faux-g base either as completed extensive HSPA+ upgrades in the Orlando, Ann Arbor and Richmond markets, bringing the total number of customers covered by 1900MHz HSPA+ to something in the neighborhood of 142 million.
All we need now are just a couple of LTE-ready devices T-Mo, but as the old adage says: better late than never T-Mo.
Intel is trying their hardest to break into the smartphone market lately, though not the American market. Next up for the chip maker is the Acer Liquid C1 that’s planning to be launched in Thailand first, then launch in other nearby markets, hopefully within three months according to a certain senior Intel executive. The C1 runs on Intel’s Lexington platform with an Atom Z240 CPU and boasts a 4.3 inch screen, 2,000 mAh battery, and Android 4.0. Not ground breaking, but coming it at about $335, it’s expected. It does also feature HSPA+ connectivity, which was a smart move on Intel and Acer’s part. The C1 marks the ninth phone in nine months powered by one of Intel’s processors.
Since that area is a new, growing smartphone market, it makes sense that Intel would want to start trying to sway early adopters to their phones, and it’s beneficial for partners like Acer to jump on board. We won’t see any immediate results from this, but it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how Intel-powered phones pan out across the globe, and whether or not they can shake up the already competitive Android playing field.
Well what do we have here folks? A special offer has just appeared on the Play Store highlighting a $100 bill credit from Ma Bell when purchasing an HSPA+ version of the Nexus 7 tablet. As with most special deals— this one initially aims to save AT&T customers an extra dollar or two when signing up for a 2-year contract. Of course customers will quickly realize that they will likely pay far more money in the long run because they are not only paying full price for the 32GB version of the tablet (currently priced at $299), but they will also be stuck paying for a monthly data plan starting at $15 bucks— which really adds up in the long run.
Of course users can always splurge for a WiFi-only option or get the HSPA+ model and look for alternative monthly data options by going the prepaid route, but hey— it’s always nice to have the option of going down the carrier route, right?
It’s no surprise that EE is a pioneer in not only bringing 4G LTE devices to the UK, but bringing 4G LTE coverage to various markets and areas as well. Today the wireless carrier has announced it is flipping on the 4G LTE switch to the following markets in the UK: Bradford, Chelmsford, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Leicester, Luton, Newport, Reading, Rotherham, St Albans, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Watford, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. That means those of you living in one of those cities will finally be able to enjoy the true 4G speeds from today. In addition, EE has also announced a major enhancement to its existing 3G HSPA+ by upgrading its 3G pipeline to a dual-channel HSPA+… also known as DC-HSPA+ for short. The DC-HSPA+ upgrade should be ready by the end of this year and should be available to approximately 40% of all EE, Orange & T-Mobile customers with a compatible handset.
Now if we can only do something about those steer 4G LTE prices, customers will really be in business. Full details can be found in the presser once you hit the break.
Sure we’ve seen some other chipmakers working on a few budget processors for the masses recently, but other manufacturers seem to have their sights set on the ever-growing budget market as well. And so following its earlier onslaught of mobile processors, Broadcom recently announced its BCM21664T chip, which is a specialized SoC featuring a 1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, a VideoCore GPU which can support 720P video recording and full 1080P video playback. The chipset is also optimized for
faux-g HSPA+ technology and should be able to haul in downstream speeds of up to 21.1Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 5.8Mbps. Oh and best of all— Broadcom’s new SoC is specially optimized for Jelly Bean— specifically the newest Jelly Bean version. Very exciting news indeed.
So now that the chipset has been announced, we’re sure that many of you are eagerly awaiting the development of new budget-level devices featuring Jelly Bean running the show. Hopefully we don’t need to wait too long to see the first devices start to trickle down.
Hit the break the see Broadcom’s full presser.
T-Mobile announced today that 10 more metro areas throughout the U.S. now have HSPA+ coverage. Customers on T-Mobile’s network in these areas with appropriate handsets can take advantage of T-Mobile’s Challenger initiative to eventually roll out service on the 1900MHz HSPA+ band nationwide. T-Mobile is also encouraging AT&T customers with unlocked phones to transfer their service to experience the benefits of T-Mobile’s network. Read more
Google announced the Nexus 4 today which allows Android users to buy a phone outside of the influence of the major carriers. It turns out that freedom comes at a price: LTE. Google wants to retain control of the software without running into the sort of issues it faced last year with Verizon and Google Wallet. Google could not have released an LTE phone without working with one of the carriers.
Verizon has the largest LTE network but, like Sprint, requires compatibility with their CDMA 3G network. AT&T has said it will allow unlocked devices to access its LTE network, but can’t guarantee everything will work nor can they promise to provide technical support for such devices. Another factor besides access is cost. The cost of building an unlocked LTE phone may have pushed the price beyond the $299 Nexus 4 debut price.
We unfortunately don’t have the privilege of seeing the new Nexus devices in person, but that hasn’t stopped Google from announcing its newest additions to the Nexus family. Google went ahead and announced one of the worst kept secrets and announced the 3G HSPA+ Nexus 7 32GB model. The device will come bearing HSPA+ bands, so those of you on AT&T or T-Mobile’s network here in the States or on various GSM networks abroad should be able to fully utilize and enjoy the tablet— albeit on slower data speeds and all. It’s going to be released to the masses on November 13th for a meager $299— so the wait shouldn’t be too bad for those of you who’ve been looking forward to this version of the device.
As we patiently wait for October 29th to arrive, we are expecting to see at least one addition to the Nexus family, the LG Nexus. After countless leaks for the past month and much speculation, we think we may finally have a somewhat concrete idea of what the upcoming device giving the true “Google Experience” will offer. The device will as always, introduce new technology— while making existing technology a little bit better. Read on past the break to have a brief breakdown of what is known and what we can expect in this new superphone.
In the spirit of tearing down its other devices before they’re released, Sony has gone ahead and teased us with a full teardown of its upcoming Xperia T smartphone. This now gives us a simplified view of the innards of the smartphone, which doesn’t highlight anything too unfamiliar or shocking. As you can see, there is an unobstructed view of where many of the parts are placed and positioned. The device will feature HSPA+, giving the clear indication that it will likely operate on T-Mobile or (hopefully) AT&T networks, as we have been hinted before.
So now that we have an idea of how the phone’s inside looks, all that’s left now is the actual release date of the smartphone. Hopefully Sony will give us a concrete date soon because you know, many of us are waiting for that smartphone to land in our hands and all. Be sure to jump past the break to check out a couple of additional images highlighting the teardown.