The prepaid market has gotten quite competitive over the past couple of years with prices dropping and carriers adding new services to their prepaid offerings. AT&T’s popular GoPhone service is not immune to the competition and have added a couple of new plans to keep up with the ever-changing market, this time for your home phone and internet needs. With the purchase of a Wireless Home Phone & Internet device (they’re calling it the “Home Base”) and a home phone, GoPhone customers can enjoy unlimited nationwide calling and either 5GB or 10GB of data per month for $60 or $80 respectively.
Ever been in one of those locations where your data service has disappeared, but you notice someone on another network chugging away? It would be nice if they could create a mobile hotspot that you could jump on to use instead of resorting to roaming or just doing without service. Later on you could return the favor to someone else. The Viral Spaces research group at MIT is hoping to address these types of situations with the creation of a new community-based P2P Wi-Fi tethering market running on an app they have dubbed Airmobs.
Sprint has made it official that they will be switching to capped 4G data for their Mobile Hotspot and Mobile Broadband plans. Beginning on your next bill from Sprint, you will no longer have unlimited 4G. As you can see in the chart above, Sprint is showing you how this will all shake down and the charges you will incur by going over your limit. I’m sure this doesn’t come as a shocker to anyone as the unlimited goodness is sure to come to a close for everyone soon enough. The question now is not a matter of if, but rather when will smartphones get the same treatment? I have no doubts Sprint can’t hold on to unlimited data for their smartphones forever, but I hope to be proven wrong. What do you think?
We just received a few interested press releases directly from Verizon, announcing two new Android devices, plus another fun toy in the form of a 4G mobile hotspot. Verizon has announced an LTE Galaxy Tab, as well as an unnamed LTE Android smartphone. The Galaxy Tab will be the familiar 7-inch, 1024×600 tablet running the Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS. Unlike the Galaxy Tabs we’ve seen so far, though, this one will have a beefed-up 1.2GHz Cortex A8 CPU. It’s got the typical 5 megapixel camera in the back, with a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat. Their unnamed LTE smartphone will have a 1GHz CPU, run Android 2.2, and sport a 4.3-inch display with an HTML5-enabled browser. It will have an impressive 8 megapixel camera in back, with the standard 1.3 in front for video chat. It will also feature a built-in Swype virtual keyboard, and be one of Verizon’s first few LTE-enabled smartphones. They will also be launching an LTE mobile hotspot, so you can power your wifi-only devices with Verizon’s LTE network as well. As has been the case with most CES announcements, pricing and availability has not been announced yet. Find all three press releases at the corresponding source links. [via Samsung: LTE Galaxy Tab, Smartphone, Mobile Hotspot]
Are you itching for a Galaxy Tab, but don’t want to go with one of the big carriers? Well, if US Cellular provides coverage in your area, you now have another option for nabbing what could turn out to be one of the biggest items this holiday season.
The carrier has announced that they will begin selling the Galaxy Tab for $399 (or $599 outright) with a new 2-year contract, beginning on November 19. Customers will then have two data plans to choose from: 200MB for $14.99 a month (ouch), or $54.99 for 5GB (ouch again). The later of the two does include mobile hotspot, but I really think a plan somewhere in the middle would have been a good option here.
With tablets being a relatively new thing for wireless providers, there’s bound to a few hiccups in terms of data plans. I firmly believe that as tablets become more common, the data plans will become far more reasonable.
Sprint has announced that they will be releasing the Android 2.2 powered LG Optimus S beginning November 7 for $49.99 with a new two-year contract.
The phone will be initially available in a Charcoal color, with a Purple model being released on November 21. In addition to Android 2.2, the Optimus S will feature the following:
• Sleek and slim design
• 3.2-inch capacitive touch-screen
• Virtual QWERTY keyboard
• Mobile Hotspot capability supporting up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 3G experience simultaneously
• 3.2MP camera with 2x digital zoom
• microSD card slot (supporting up to 32GB)
• Android Market™ – choose from more than 100,000 apps to personalize your phone
• Visual Voicemail
Continue reading below for the full press release.