Is Google ready to become a mobile phone carrier?

by Jeff Causey on
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Google Wifi

New reports out today suggest Google is starting to make moves to become a mobile phone service carrier in locations where it has deployed Google Fiber service. Supposedly Google has been in contact with Verizon to discuss the possibility of becoming a mobile virtual network operator riding on the back of Verizon’s network. Some sources have pointed out that Verizon and Google are not exactly on the same page when it comes to issues like net neutrality, so a partnership of this magnitude may be questionable. It should be noted though that Google actively develops for the iOS platform, so the company clearly will not let some philosophical disagreements stand in the way of good business.

Would you be interested in using Google as your carrier for wireless service?

source: The Information
via: Engadget

Samsung to merge divisions in hopes of improving smartphone cameras

by Jeff Causey on
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A report out of Korea indicates Samsung has merged their Digital Imaging Business Division with their Wireless Division. The Digital Imaging Business Division is responsible for cameras produced by the company, while the Wireless Business Division is essentially their smartphone division. According to a statement released by Samsung, the company “will transplant the brand, sales networks, software competency and manufacturing competitiveness of the Wireless Business Division into the Camera Business Division, and integrate the technical know-how of the two business divisions into competency for differentiating our smartphones.” The reorganization was effective on December 11th.

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Official Samsung wireless charging kit released for Galaxy S 4

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Samsung has made wireless charging possible on the Galaxy S 4 with their new wireless charging cover and pad. The cover costs 39.99 but is QI-standard compatible, so if you already have a charging pad working on this standard, you should be good to go to use the new charging cover. If you don’t have a pad, Samsung’s version goes for 49.99. It’s a bit pricey but if you’re into this kind of technology, this might just be the product for you.

Sources: Samsung Charging Cover and Samsung Charging Pad

Verizon posts record breaking number of subscribers and LTE growth with a $4.23 billion loss in Q4

by Jared Peters on
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Yep, you read that right. Despite having a record breaking 2.1 million subscribers for Big Red in Q4 2012, totaling over 98 million customers, Verizon posted a $4.23 billion loss. Now, losing a few billion dollars is never a good thing, of course, but Verizon is a postpaid wireless carrier, so most of their profit comes over the two-year contracts customers sign to purchase their heavily subsidized phones, so this is certainly not the end of the world for them. And the best part of this report is that we get a peek at smartphone trends. » Read the rest

Pioneer AV receivers get update to support HTC Connect wireless music streaming

by Colton Kaiser on
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If you’re rocking one of Pioneer’s recent audio video receivers, you’ll be excited to know that the company has just released a firmware update that allows owners to take advantage of HTC’s Connect technology. This means users can now use their HTC One X, One X+, One VX or Droid DNA smartphones to wireless stream music directly to their receivers via DLNA. The news comes just a few months following the initial introduction of Pioneer’s HTC Connect-compatible SMA wireless speakers.

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Duracell Powermat Hopes To Bring Wireless Charging To All Smartphones Via WiCC

by Josh O'Donnell on
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With their new Wireless Charging Card (WiCC) technology, Duracell’s Powermat division is hoping to bring wireless charging to the masses. The WiCC hopes to bring the integration of Powermat technology to all smartphones, via a connector that is built into the phone itself. This of course requires participation from the major smartphone retailers, since the technology would have to be implemented at the production level. Given that Duracell promises that this implementation will only cost pennies at most, I wouldn’t be hard pressed to believe that phone manufacturers will at least give it a shot in one or two phones before considering it standard on all their future models.

Powermat currently offers wireless charging through the Powermat charging bed coupled with a proprietary case designed to communicate with the base. The new WiCC hopes to remove the mandatory use of the Powermat case and enable users to use a case of their own choosing, or none at all. The thin wafer-like charging card can be purchased at any time by the user, enabling the power of choice. Although Duracell isn’t placing the WiCC as immediate priority for release and we won’t see it any time this year, it’s most definitely something that we hope to hear more from here at TalkAndroid. Keep tuned to TalkAndroid for more news and updates from Mobile World Conference 2012. Full press release after the break.

source: engadget

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LightSquared Requesting the FCC Require Stricter GPS Device Standards

by Josh O'Donnell on
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LightSquared, the company which has spent billions of dollars developing a whole-sale only wireless broadband network, filed a document with the FCC regarding stricter standards of GPS devices. LightSquared believes that signals that are used as part of GPS bands are the culprit of interference on the spectrum that they’ve chose to use for their services. Originally, that spectrum was supposed to be a satellite-only type of deal, but the FCC cleared it for terrestrial use back in 2005. The FCC also granted the company a waiver so LightSquared could run a terrestrial-only network.

Now, due to Sprint delivering an ultimatum, LightSquared is pressed for time in achieving a resolution for all these interference issues. Losing a long-term multi-billion dollar deal like the one struck with Sprint could be potentially catastrophic for LightSquared, especially when you couple it with LightSquared’s largest investor, Harbinger Capital Partners, who last year reported a whopping 46.6 percent value loss. Although the potential of LightSquared can be valued quite high in my opinion, it seems that if it can’t strike a deal with the FCC, we might be seeing a little more sinking than swimming.

Source: CNET

AT&T Beefs up Indianapolis Wireless Coverage in Preparation for Super Bowl XLVI

by Stacy Bruce on
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The year’s biggest sports event takes place today and apparently Verizon isn’t the only carrier willing to beef up wireless coverage to keep the fans happy. AT&T has also rolled out a bunch of new equipment and decided to let the public know just exactly how they planned to implement the upgrade.

According to the video below, AT&T pulled out all the stops for this year’s Super Bowl to assure that fans get good cell signal anywhere in the near vicinity of  the Lucas Oil Stadium. From CoW’s (Cell tower on Wheels), to increased coverage in/around hotels, it seems that AT&T wants you to be able to call and brag to your friends from almost anywhere you go during your visit to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis this year. Not only will traveling fans get to reap the upgrade benefits, AT&T plans on leaving the equipment behind for all of Indianapolis to enjoy. I wish the Super Bowl would come to my home town!

Jump past the break to see AT&T’s explanation video and official press release. » Read the rest

Hands-On With Edifier’s Bluetooth Spinnaker Speakers, Works With Smartphones and Tablets While Adding Some Style (Video)

by Joe Sirianni on
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While perusing the CES show floor we happened to come across Edifier’s booth, the company who is well known for manufacturing high-end speakers and other audio products.  And this go-around they’ve brought their A-Game as far as the wireless speaker dept goes.  So what makes Edifier stand out from the rest?  Well, the company definitely offers some unique and interesting designs.  While there were many designs available which offered great functionality and a fantastic look, one set of speakers particularly caught my eye.  The Edifier Spinnaker Speakers standing at 15-inches tall and touting front-facing tweeter and mid-range speakers along with downward-facing sub woofers located at the bottom.

The speakers allow you to pair any Bluetooth enabled device such as a tablet or smartphone seamlessly and with ease.  There’s also a wireless remote control included which offers a ton of functionality and interaction.  It can be used to play, pause, regulate the volume and skip tracks. These bad boys are clear, loud and take the shape of a horn believe it or not.  A bit unorthodox we know, but damn if they don’t look cool next to my Galaxy S II.  You can purchase this particular model in both Black or Burgundy.  Check out the demo below of the hands-on touting the crystal clear sound of OneRepublic’s “Good Life” and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.  In addition to the Spinnaker model, we snagged some screen shots of some other oddly but cool designed pairs of speakers as well.  So be sure to hit the break to give them a one-over.   » Read the rest

AT&T Backs Out of T-Mobile USA Bid

by Justin Routhier on
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AT&T has agreed with Deutsche Telekom AG to end a bid to buy T-Mobile USA after a nine month pursuit. The conclusion comes on the heels of actions taken by the Justice Department and the FCC in recent months which were aimed at combating the bid effort to ensure consumer choice and controlled prices in the market.

Following the announcement, Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO promised, “AT&T will continue to be aggressive in leading the mobile Internet revolution… Over the past four years we have invested more in our networks than any other U.S. company.”

Stephenson also elaborated on future investments and the feasibility for their continued success:

“To meet the needs of our customers, we will continue to invest… However, adding capacity to meet these needs will require policymakers to do two things. First, in the near term, they should allow the free markets to work so that additional spectrum is available to meet the immediate needs of the U.S. wireless industry, including expeditiously approving our acquisition of unused Qualcomm spectrum currently pending before the FCC. Second, policymakers should enact legislation to meet our nation’s longer-term spectrum needs.”

[via att]