Google’s Project Loon pops up during Astro Teller presentation

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During the Disrupt NY event today, hosted by TechCrunch, Google’s Astro Teller talked a little bit about Project Loon and how it has morphed since we first heard about it. Project Loon is a Google X project to deploy a fleet of balloons that would circle around the globe providing a platform to provide Internet access to underserved areas. In his presentation today, Teller touched on changes in how Google will access wireless spectrum from existing providers as opposed to securing their own.
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T-Mobile to purchase unused Verizon network spectrum to improve LTE coverage

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T-Mobile’s UnCarrier approach to the cell phone carrier market has pretty bold and successful so far, but when you’re looking at the big picture, T-Mobile’s network still just isn’t on par with what Verizon and AT&T offer, especially in terms of coverage. Looks like 2014 might be the year that changes, though, as T-Mobile is going to pay Verizon over $2 billion for some low-end A-Block spectrum to improve their LTE network. This was some of the spectrum used when Verizon rolled out their LTE network.

This extra spectrum should greatly help T-Mobile’s network, including improving coverage and quality in several markets. T-Mobile anticipates that this block of spectrum should cover about 158 million people in several top markets around the country, which is a pretty significant improvement.

The biggest reason I’ve kept from using T-Mobile is the poor coverage in my area compared to other networks, but if they can keep up this network expansion that may not be a problem for much longer. Have any of you already made the switch to T-Mobile, or have you been waiting for some big move like this?

source: Business Wire

AT&T completes $1.9 billion dollar deal to purchase spectrum from Verizon

att_lte (1)It took about 8 months, but AT&T has finally finalized the deal to purchase $1.9 billion of spectrum from Verizon. Verizon gets to unload some of their 700MHz spectrum to AT&T, and AT&T gets to improve its LTE service for its 42 million customers across the country. The states affected are California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

Source: Reuters

Clear Talk Acquires 700 Mhz Spectrum From Verizon

 

In an effort to consolidate its massive network just slightly, Verizon recently sold 10 lower 700 MHz B-block licenses to wireless service provider Clear Talk. I’m sure many of you are wondering what the significance of this recent deal is, right? It’s simple really: Verizon wanted to sell its lower 700 MHz spectrum licenses to rationalize its spectrum holdings and enable more spectrum to reach the marketplace where it can be used for the benefit of customers. In other words— Verizon feels that more of its spectrum can indirectly reach a wider range of customers through a sale to another operator, which is significant because the spectrum covers additional areas in Texas, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.

If you happen to be a Clear Talk subscriber or customer, it’s looking more and more like you have a lot to look forward to— especially if you’re itching to jump on one of those awesome 4G LTE devices.

source: Verizon Wireless News Center

LG Spectrum Ice Cream Sandwich will start rolling out tomorrow

Starting tomorrow owners of the LG Spectrum will be able to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich and I think the only thing that can come to mind for these owners is FINALLY. From the original leak of the update back in May to finding out Saturday that Verizon has finally approved the update, Spectrum owners have been patiently waiting for the Ice Cream Sandwich experience. Well starting tomorrow the wait will be over and owners can rejoice in the improvement that is Ice Cream Sandwich. It may sting to know that they are getting this update well after Jelly Bean has been released and with the anticipation of Android 4.2 growing, but better late than never right?

 Source: Verizon

LG Spectrum’s ICS update finally approved by Verizon; Should arrive in a couple of days

It took quite a bit of time, but I suppose it’s better late than never right? It looks like Verizon’s LG Spectrum ICS update has finally been approved by Big Red and should hit devices shortly. The build is VS920ZV7 and should start hitting devices in a matter of a couple days. You can also check out the source link for Verizon’s page the details the update and shows off the new features that you’ll be receiving!

source: Verizon

UK 4G ready for widespread rollout after agreement between regulators, providers

Several UK mobile network providers, the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom, and other government officials have announced a deal that will accelerate the rollout of 4G LTE services throughout the UK. The settlement means carriers like O2 and Vodafone will likely be able to start deploying their 4G LTE networks in early 2013, about six months earlier than originally thought.

UK carrier EE was previously granted permission to use some of their existing 1800 MHz spectrum for 4G LTE network purposes and they were expected to start that rollout this fall. However, other UK carriers like O2 and Vodafone had been threatening to launch legal action claiming the permission to use the spectrum for 4G services was improper and that EE was being given an unfair advantage. Ofcom has now agreed to accelerate the approval process for 4G LTE services for other carriers after a planned January action of old analog television spectrum occurs in January 2013.

With the agreement, EE is anticipated to announce the imminent launch of their 4G LTE network. They have indicated they have plans to deploy the service to 16 UK cities before the end of the year and to 98% of the UK by 2014. Other carriers will be behind with their deployments which should now occur sometime in early 2013, but with the agreement the head start that EE gets will not be as great.

The settlement means the UK will be able to start to catch back up to other countries that already have 4G LTE services well established. As Ed Richards, Ofcom’s chief executive notes, consumers are the big winners as they will not have to wait for “a considerable period for the next generation of mobile broadband services.”

source: BBC

Verizon Cable Spectrum Purchase Approved By FCC

Verizon’s $3.9 billion deal to acquire AWS spectrum licenses has now been approved by the FCC. Along with this approval also comes a few other interesting deals, including a spectrum swap with Leap Wireless and a transfer of some of the AWS holdings to T-Mobile. All Big Red needs to do is the following:

  • Verizon must complete the transfer of spectrum to T-Mobile within 45 days after the cable company deal has closed.
  • Within three years, they have to provide service to at least 30% of the areas covered by the new spectrum, and 70% within seven years.
  • Roaming agreements must remain in effect for five years in the newly-acquired spectrum coverage areas.

T-Mobile voiced their opposition about the Verizon/AWS deal early on, but with the later agreement with Verizon, both companies are getting some of what they want.

source: fcc

LG Spectrum’s Ice Cream Sandwich Update Ready To Go, Awaiting Verizon’s Approval

A little less than two months ago we reported of an Ice Cream Sandwich build that leaked for the Verizon LG Spectrum. Now it seems as if the official ICS update is just around the corner. According to an LG rep over at LG’s support forum, ICS for the Spectrum is very close:

Keep an eye on our “Company Updates” which shows up on the home page 

It’s getting very close…can’t wait to get the official word to post it! I think we’re just waiting on Verizon to set a FOTA schedule. :)

Needless to say, the wait shouldn’t be that much longer my friends. Any LG Spectrum owners still out there?

source: LG Support

T-Mobile And Verizon Ink Deal To Swap Spectrum

You’ve got to hand it to T-Mobile and Verizon— each wireless carrier is positioning itself to have the best wireless technology possible for its customers. Both carriers signed a landmark AWS spectrum purchase and exchange agreement. For T-Mobile specifically, the deal would allow it to acquire additional spectrum, while simultaneously realigning its current spectrum holdings. The deal would cover 15 markets and allow T-Mo to grab spectrum which covers over 60 million people. If or when the deal is approved by the FCC, this technology will allow T-Mo to use the spectrum for it’s existing 4G HSPA+ network as well as its upcoming LTE-Advanced network, which of course is due next year. Don’t think Verizon is left cut and dry from this deal too as it too gets what it’s ultimately looking for. For Big Red, it’ll stand to gain spectrum from T-Mo which covers 22 million people and “cash consideration” from this deal.

While this deal is indeed exciting, it could possibly face numerous challenges or obstacles which could prevent it from going through. The biggest issue is well, the FCC has to ok the deal first and you can bet the FCC certainly hasn’t forgotten about a certain deal T-Mobile was recently part of. The second is some of the spectrum is owned by SpectrumCo, Cox and Leap— and those individual deals must be approved first before T-Mo’s part can go through. Still, you can’t not be excited at the prospect of T-Mobile’s seemingly inevitable growth. After all, it is seeing the “modernization of 37,000 cell sites, launching 4G HSPA+ services in the 1900 MHz band and deployment of LTE in 2013″.

Hit the break to see the full presser from T-Mobile.
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