Starting later this year, AT&T will begin upgrading its 3G network to High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology, the company announced this week.
"AT&T's network infrastructure gives us a tremendous advantage in that we're able to deliver upgrades in mobile broadband speed and performance with out existing technology platform," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "With the array of smartphones, laptops, and emerging devices taking advantage of AT&T's 3G network today, e know that customers are excited to experience higher mobile broadband speeds, and we are deploying the right technologies at the right times to help them get the most from that experience."
Once the upgrade is complete, AT&T says its network could theoretically peak at 7.2Mbps, however its quick to clarify that real-world downstream and upstream speeds will be less than the theoretical ceiling, dependent upon location, device, network traffic, and other factors.
Built by Huawei Technologies, T-Mobile is gearing up to release the "webConnect USB Laptop Stick," a USB-based modem for notebooks to tap into the company's new 3G network. The stick will come with 8GB of internal storage and include a micro SD slot.
According to Jeremy Korst, T-Mobile's director of broadband products and services, the webConnect will provide download speeds of 600Kb/s and peak at over 1Mb/s.
"For the majority of customers, use cases around web browsing, social media, MySpace, checking email - all those typical things we see our customers doing more and more while on the go, the speeds we're providing now are more than sufficient to provide that customer experience," Korst said.
Nifty as the device is, price could end up being an deterrent. The webConnect carries an MSRP of $250, which can be partially offset with a service contract. A two-year contract drops the price down to $50, or $100 with a one-year contract.
A nifty new device by Option promises to turn 3G signals into a WiFi hotspot, while also serving as a central hub for connecting networked devices like an external hard drive via USB. Option says its device also supports printer sharing for anyone with access to the network.
"Option placed significant emphasis on product design during the development of the GlobeSurfer III: the device will not look out of place among the many stylish consumer electronic devices commonly found in the modern home," Option states in a pres release. "With its completely wireless configuration the GlobeSurfer III can be wall-mounted or sit on a desktop or shelf. This allows the router to be placed anywhere in the home, office or workshop to ensure optimum coverage and performance."
The new GlobeSurfer III uses the Qualcomm 7225 chipset and, according to Option, delivers HSUPA upload speeds of up to 5.76Mbps and download speeds up to 7.2Mbps.
Currently all netbook manufacturers are pounding the market with a barrage of netbooks. The intervening lull between successive netbook models is constantly shrinking, leaving consumers spoilt for choice and a tad overwhelmed.
HP is about to launch a new netbook, the Mini-note 2140, in February but a report about its successor has already emerged. Its successor, the Mini-note 2150, will have at least one additional feature in form of a built-in 3G modem, according to Digitimes. The 2150 is rumored to be scheduled for a June launch. Nothing else is currently known about the 2150.
The 10.1-inch Mini-note 2140 will be launched in February with prices beginning at $500.
Palm is trying its best to revive its glory days of yore. To this end, the company is planning to launch the multitouch Palm Pre smartphone. It offered the first glimpse of the Palm Pre at the Consumer Electronics Show. The smartphone features an entirely new operating system called Web OS. It has a 3.1-inch, 480 by 320 pixel display that conceals a keyboard.
The Web OS has been designed to literally keep a low profile while a user is at work. For instance, new alerts don’t impede any ongoing activity. Furthermore, there is a separate gesture area below the screen for you to navigate between applications
It lists all your contact, including email and Facebook contacts, in a single list and, more importantly, ensures that there is no redundancy in the list – a person’s name is listed along with all his available contact details.
The phone offers all the generic connectivity features, including 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth. It has in-built GPS as well. The phone will debut during the first half of 2009 on the Sprint Network. The exact release date and its price are still unknown.
What happens when you pit the 3G networks run by AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon against each other in a coast-to-coast battle royal? That's exactly what Gizmodo purported to find out as it put the three companies' networks to the test in a variety of locations. Using 3G USB dongles, Gizmodo FedExed its testing package from one staff member to another in eight different cities across the U.S. map, each of which tested the networks in three to five areas, including a suburban spot.
As might be expected, the testing results were mixed. When looking at download speeds, Gizmodo's roundup showed AT&T coming in a distant last place in Boston, but topping the charts in Raleigh and Austin. On average, Sprint put on the best showing, particularly in New York.
When switching gears to upload performance, Sprint pulled a 180 and lagged behind both Verizon and AT&T on average, while AT&T "kicked ass here, winning six cities and barely losing to Sprint in the other two."
According to Gizmodo, AT&T would be the best choice for sending big files or running a mobile torrent service. The site also breaks down its results into fairly detailed summaries by location.
There are always some companies that invest their faith in new technologies as soon as they appear, while others adopt a more circumspect approach and wait for results. HP has adopted a very watchful approach as far as the question of embracing WiMax is concerned. As you might have previously read, dearest MPC readers, the world’s leading PC manufacturer hasn’t introduced any notebooks that support WiMax.
The company has once again reiterated that it currently has no plans to integrate WiMax into its notebooks. It is unwilling to commit to WiMax due to the “limited scope of commercially available networks and uncertainties around interoperability, roaming, and quality of service.” It expressed full faith in 3G and WWAN services, which it believes are more mature than WiMax.
Dell CEO Michael said Wednesday at the Citigroup Technology Conference that notebooks will eventually become subsidized by wireless telecom carriers, who will no doubt sell the devices with 3G service and capabilities in an effort to profit from the growing mobile market.
The prediction merely came off as an indication of the company’s strategy to stay afloat among the sea of competition infiltrating the notebook market, especially considering that the company has had less than expected profit margins. With the rising popularity of 3G, Dell expects that telecom carriers will take over the laptop market in order to sell the services and prepare for the eventual initiation of 4G. Notebooks will ultimately become netbooks.
At the conference, Citigroup said that netbooks will account for about a third of global notebook sales. Dell agreed, saying that “(Netbooks are) a market expansion,” according to ZDNet. Dell will no doubt follow this strategy as it attempts to reinitiate itself into the notebook market.
Asus' Eee PC is quickly becoming the iPod of the ultraportable market, and if the latest rumor turns out to be true, it will even have an assortment of accessories to go along with the low power notebook. According to German site Eee PC News, Asus will soon add an attractive looking external hard drive that connects via USB. But that's not all. The site also shows photos of an external optical drive and a 3G connection card called the T500, which also looks to fit into a USB port.
If true, add the peripherals to the growing list of Eee branded products. And if not, props to a damn convincing Photoshop job.