The deployment of new wireless standards is usually painfully slow. If Verizon is to be believed however, the rollout of the carrier’s LTE network could be lightning-fast by comparison. Verizon CTO Tony Melone said recently that the company had no intention of “teasing” customers with tiny LTE coverage areas, and promised the rollout “will be as close to all-at-once as possible.”
LTE is a 4G standard that will replace Verizon’s current CDMA/EV-DO network. LTE will be able to use a significant part of the existing infrastructure, meaning faster deployment. Verizon hasn’t given any specific dates, but says that there will be 25 to 30 markets covered with LTE in 2010 alone. They expect their entire network to be switched over to LTE within two to three years.
Malone indicated that Verizon had already certified 55 devices for use on their LTE network, but many are not consumer level. When complete, the new network will support various types of smartphones, and other devices that require data connections, like e-readers.
When did dating get so complicated? In the 'old' days, it was boy meets girl, boy meets girl's father, girl's father wields shotgun while interrogating boy, boy returns girl by agreed upon curfew. Simple, right?
Not anymore, but if you own an iPhone, you can weed out potentially bad dates before ever bringing them home to meet the 'rents. A new app called DateCheck runs a background check on a would-be Romeo to see if he's been hiding a criminal past, including sexual assaults, drug arrests, or drunken driving.
Players be warned - the app also exposes financial data, such as how big your house is, the home's price, and how much real estate tax is paid, TGDaily reports.
Apple iPhone users are chomping at the bit for AT&T's roll out of MMS support on the trendy smart phone, and that has AT&T awfully nervous. Early testing hasn't been without its hiccups, with AT&T seeing a bit of unsettling test outage earlier this week, and according to those working on beefing up the telco's MMSC infrastructure, traffic on AT&T's wireless network will be about 40 percent higher all day this Friday when it officially launches MMS support. Ruh roh shaggy.
"Starting at 10AM Eastern (on the 25th), AT&T will send out a mass text to a group of iPhone users telling them that MMS now works on their phone," says one source familiar with AT&T's MMS plans. "They will keep doing groups of phones on the hour throughout the day."
The actual launch might be a little later in the day, particularly if AT&T holds true to its official statement of "targeting early afternoon Eastern time." It's also reported that the telco has requested their MMS aggregator partners keep them in the loop with hourly updates on any message delays or related problems.
Microsoft had announced last week that Sprint, AT&T and Verizon have all committed themselves to the October 6 launch of Windows Mobile 6.5, now Digitimes’ trusted unnamed sources – the finest in Taiwan - have revealed that Microsoft has secured the backing of many other telecom carriers around the world, including NTT DoCoMO, T-Mobile, Orange, Softbank Mobile, SKT, Telstra and Telus.
Intel showed off a new version of Moblin today for use in Atom-based mobile phones. Moblin is Intel’s compact Linux distro for netbooks. This tweaked version of the OS, Moblin 2.1, is said to have heavy social networking integration (and what doesn’t these days?), widgets, and a panel based interface. Intel claims to have heavily modified the user interface specifically for mobile phones.
The demo today was done on a MID and an Acer netbook. Those in attendance were not allowed to actually try the OS, but visual impressions were good. There are currently no Atom based phones available, and no specific devices were discussed.
A smartphone powered by an Atom chip would likely be considerably faster than today’s handsets. There is no information on when one of these phones might actually ship. So you’ll have to wait with bated breath.
More details about the mysterious Microsoft “Pink” project continue to leak out (including a possible drawing). The current consensus is that Pink will be a Microsoft branded mobile phone. However, Microsoft would most likely outsource the actual construction of the handset. It will probably have some sort of integration with Zune services, like the excellent Zune Pass subscription based music service.
The Windows Mobile 7 OS will likely serve as the underlying architecture for Pink. Several sites have indicated that Microsoft may start talking about Pink at CES in January. Though, the gadgets themselves probably won’t make an appearance until later in 2010. These rumors about a Microsoft phone have been swirling ever since the software giant acquired Danger in 2008.
Rumors also abound about a possible Microsoft tablet. Microsoft has mentioned that they intended to make a smaller version of the Surface, and this could be it. The initiative may be codenamed “Oahu”, or at least was at some point. However, it’s likely that Microsoft is waiting for Apple to tip its tablet hand. Is any of this a smart move for Microsoft?
Times are tough all around, and one way to cut costs is to dump your landline and use your swank smartphone exclusively, if you haven't already. For some, however, this isn't an option because of dead zones scattered throughout the home. For $20 per month, AT&T says not to worry.
The telco has started offering the 3G MicroCell, a wireless network extender the company claims acts like a mini cellular tower in your home. With it, users can expect enhanced coverage for both voice and data for up to 5,000 square feet, with support for up to four users at any given time. And should you leave your home while still on the phone, AT&T promises seamless call hand-over as you move out of the 3G MicroCell network.
Sounds groovy, but is $20/month for unlimited use asking too much? Engadget seems to think so, who points out that both Sprint and T-Mobile offer similar options for half as much, while Verizon doesn't charge a dime once you pony up for its $250 network extender.
Hit the jump and tell us what you think of AT&T's MicroCell pricing.
A major defect in Research in Motion's (RIM's) new BlackBerry Tour could turn into a financial SNAFU for the smartphone maker, cautions Gerard Hallaren, director of research at TownHall Investment Research.
According to Hallaren, RIM is "having a big trackball problem," one which puts BlackBerry Tour owners in the unenviable position of having to frequently apply a blast of compressed air to avoid letting the trackball get all gunked up. We suppose it could be worse, as anyone who is 'old' enough to remember using mechanical mice can attest, but Tour owners are understandably displeased.
The research firm says that return rates on the Tour at Sprint are approaching 50 percent, while Verizon is also "experiencing serious problems." And according to Hallaren, Sprint has determined that a needed increase in quality control could add 2 to 3 percent to production costs, which would be offset by a lower return rate.
With this announcement, MetroPCS has stolen a march on Verizon, as the latter plans to offer such a LTE handset only in 2011, although it too plans to launch its LTE service in 2010.
“As the Internet goes ‘mobile’ we are excited to be at the forefront of this wireless evolution with the building out of our 4G broadband data services. We anticipate to begin offering our 4G LTE services and a dual-mode LTE/CDMA smartphone in our major metropolitan markets in late 2010,” said Roger D. Linquist, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of MetroPCS.
Representing sibling rivalry at its best, the new Palm Pixi retains much of the same functionality as its bigger brother (Palm Pre) in a smaller form factor and lighter design, the latter of which is partially attributable to not having to slide out a keyboard.
Built around the Qualcomm MSM7627 chipset, the Pixi boasts two ARM cores -- 1.6GHz applications processor with floating point unit and L2 cache, and a 400MHz modem processor -- integrated into a single chip, support for both CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A and UMTS HSDPA 7.2Mbps/USUPA 5.76Mbps, a 320MHz application DSP for multimedia supporting full 30fps WVGA encode/decode, 200MHz hardware-accelerated 3D graphics core with support for Open GL 2.0, a high-res camera, integrated GPS, and more.
In other words, it's a worthy successor to the bigger and somewhat more powerful Pre. Gizmodo, who has logged in some hands-on time with the Pixi, notes that "there wasn't a huge difference in speed between the two devices," though you'll have to make do without WiFi and 80 less pixels on the smaller display.