Items tagged with wireless

The term "family plan" has been thrown around the wireless industry at will for years on end, and largely, the meaning hasn't changed a ton even as the mobile realm has evolved. Sprint's trying to shake up the very definition of the phrase, introducing a new "Framily Plan" at the news flowing from CES hits fever pitch. The Framily Plan (yes, it's really called that) enables consumers to decide "who they consider family." Your yoga teacher. Your favorite barista. Your fantasy football team. Parents on your son’s soccer team. Your BFF since high school. Your cube mate. All of those folks can now be "family" so far as your wireless plan goes. It's a brilliant way to encourage Sprint users... Read more...
Technology development company MagnaCom thinks it has a new wireless approach that could revolutionize wireless communication. That's the bottom-line takeaway from the company's presentation (in-person demonstrations will be given at CES in January). With a sheaf of freshly minted patents and an impressive pitch, MagnaCom is claiming that its use of WAve Modulation (WAM) instead of the current QAM (Quadrature Modulation) will provide the bandwidth next-generation content networks desperately need. WAM vs. QAM To understand what MagnaCom is claiming, we need to first talk about the current system. All existing cellular technology is based on QAM. In QAM, data streams are amplitude modulated --... Read more...
It's a wireless world we live in these days, and unless you reside in an isolated area far removed from civilization and devoid of electronic gadgets, you can't walk from the bedroom to the bathroom without bonking into a barrage of wireless signals. Should we be concerned? So far so good -- we haven't mutated as a species to carry around a third arm or anything of that nature, though there are something interesting things to observe in this Wi-Fi society we've built up. One of them is recent research by a group of 9th grade female students from Denmark who discovered that the wireless radiation from routers prevents nearby plants from growing, Natural News reports. The five students decided... Read more...
Intel may be looking to rid itself of certain technologies related to its ill-fated OnCue television efforts, but that's not stopping it from writing checks in the other direction. The company has just inked an agreement to "acquire certain assets of the wireless infrastructure division of Mindspeed Technologies." It'll be acquiring the companies IP and talent, and while details remain scarce, Intel has stated that the new team members will help to "transform wireless access within mobile network infrastructure." Here's a bit from Intel on how Mindspeed will be assisting the mothership: "Intel-based platforms today deliver three of four key processing workloads: application processing, control... Read more...
Thanks to a generous $2 million donation from financier Glenn Fuhrman, nearly 80,000 residents living in 95 city blocks in Harlem will have access to a new outdoor public Wi-Fi network at no cost to them. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the initiative today, saying that the Wi-Fi network will be the largest continuous free outdoor public wireless network in the nation. "Our new Harlem wireless network brings critical connectivity to residents and visitors, giving them 24/7 access to everything from education materials for kids, to information about Harlem’s rich history and attractions, to everyday needs like paying bills, checking library hours – or even just keeping tabs on... Read more...
AT&T today signed a deal with Rogers Communications to launch LTE roaming in Canada. In doing so, Ma Bell gets the distinction of being the first U.S. carrier to offer international LTE roaming (i.e., bragging rights). For customers, however, it amounts to more than just bragging rights, as AT&T subscribers visiting Canada can continue to use their existing LTE device to navigate the web, download apps, upload photos to social networking sites, and everything else that consumes data, and without the worry of racking up insane roaming charges. "Our agreement with Rogers affirms our commitment to deliver superior international coverage to our customers," said Bill Hague, executive vice... Read more...
This past summer, Google unveiled one of its coolest (and craziest) projects to date. Called "Project Loon", Google hopes that in time, balloons might help bring the Internet to parts of the world where it's just not common, or affordable. These balloons would soar in the sky at twice the altitude of commercial aircraft, and trek around the globe on a continual basis while beaming the Internet down to users. Overall, the technology behind Project Loon is undeniably cool, and if it helps to get the Internet - a rather important resource today - to those without easy access to it, it's hard to see that as a bad thing. One combatant of the tech though is Bill Gates, who believes third-world countries... Read more...
AT&T said it raked in $32.2 billion in consolidated revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 2013, up 2 percent versus the same time period a year ago. Ma Bell also posted $26 billion in operating expenses, $6.2 billion in operating income, and net income of $3.8 billion compared to $3.6 billion in the year-earlier quarter. The wireless outfit added nearly 1 million mobile subscribers in the third quarter, which accounted for $17.5 billion in revenue, up 5.1 percent year-over year. Wireless service revenue increased 3.7 percent, which attributed $15.5 billion to the pot. In addition, wireless data revenues jumped 17.6 percent from the previous year to $5.5 billion. AT&T said it continued... Read more...
Despite having risen to popularity only a few years ago, it's become increasingly clear that electric vehicles are the future. Versus gas-powered vehicles, electric ones are safer on the environment (this is oft-debated, however), are generally cleaner, and are also less-expensive to refuel. Who wouldn't love to rid the need to hit-up a gas station? That latter point does lead us to one downside of electric vehicles: The need to find charging stations. The risk of running out of power while on-the-road and being nowhere near a charge station is real, and it requires close attention to your power use and also advanced planning. The risk is greatly minimized with gas-powered... Read more...
Amid poor sales, Motorola Solutions is said to be looking for a buyer for its wireless LAN business. The firm is finding it tough to compete with the likes of Cisco Systems, Aruba Networks, and HP, and is even having a tough time going toe-to-toe with smaller competitors like Ubiquit Networks. Given Motorola's struggles, the company is just looking to move on at this point. Motorola has been much more successful serving the U.S. government and other enterprise customers with communication services. That's where Motorola would like to focus its time and energy, as well as the public safety division, rather than continuing to spin its wheels in the wireless LAN business. "It's a tough market. It's... Read more...
When you think of wireless service plans, you generally think of floating dollar signs. A solid mobile plan that includes a modicum of voice minutes, texts, and data is expensive no matter how you slice it, and some in the market are pushing hard to disrupt that model. FreedomPop, which has been around for a year and has offered freemium wireless data service, is launching a free--completely free--mobile service plan. As in, free. If the service is available in your area, you can get 500 MBs of data, 500 text messages, and 200 anytime voice minutes free every month with no contract. If you need more than that, you can have unlimited voice and texting for $10.99 per month. HTC Evo Design 4G “FreedomPop’s... Read more...
I think it's safe to say that a generally agreed-upon thing in tech is that cords suck. You might have way too many of them to deal with, or you might be tired of plugging one in the wrong way all the time (I'm looking at you, USB). It's for these reasons that wireless power is an interesting topic, and while there have been some solutions released and other more advanced ones talked about, there hasn't been a solid design win up to this point that people have gone nuts over. Ossia, with its upcoming Cota, is looking to change that. Until just this week, Ossia was a total unknown, having preferred to keep out of the limelight no doubt to keep its product as competitive as possible. Using the... Read more...
Quite some time ago, rumors flared that Apple may have been testing the waters of providing its own wireless network for iPhone use. Obviously, it managed to cut deals with a number of existing mobile operators instead, but it appears that Amazon may be thinking differently. A new Bloomberg report suggests that Amazon has "tested a new wireless network that would allow customers to connect its devices to the Internet." Reportedly, the network was tested in Apple's own backyard (Cupertino, California), with Globalstar satellites used in testing. Amazon has branched out in many ways of late, and this may be its first ecosystem play in getting even more individuals connected to its services. If... Read more...
In a lot of ways, it already feels like we're living in a future approved by The Jetsons. For one thing, there's no Wi-Fi on airplanes, which is technologically mind-blowing. Moreover, we have vehicles that run on batteries alone, and we're able to charge our mobile phones sans wires. But now, we're one step closer to truly intergalactic bragging rights. Audi has just announced its intentions to bring LTE to the car, setting a new standard in keeping drivers and riders connected even while kicking the pavement. Starting this month, the Audi S3 Sportback will ship as the first in the automaker's line to have LTE as an available option. To use LTE, a suitable SIM card with a data flat rate simply... Read more...
Investors who own stock in Verizon should feel tickled green today, the color of cash, which Big Red finds itself swimming in. The wireless carrier reported second quarter financial results, revealing it collected $29.8 billion in total operating revenues, representing a 4.3 increase compared with the same quarter a year ago. Wireless performance played a big role in Verizon's Q2 performance. Big Red added 941,000 contract subscribers, up 6 percent year-over-year, and now boasts 100.1 million total retail connections. The influx of wireless customers is due, in part, to Verizon's widespread 4G LTE network, which is now available to 301 million people in 500 markets across the U.S. "Verizon’s... Read more...
Perhaps the second time will be the charm for AT&T. The carrier, which failed in its attempt to scoop up T-Mobile a couple of years ago, still needs access to additional spectrum in order to truly compete with Verizon Wireless in terms of network coverage. It's pretty hard to get spectrum these days, but a surefire way is to acquire a rival operator that owns a chunk of their own. Now, the nation's fifth largest carrier is in AT&T's sights, as the company announced this week that it had agreed to buy Leap Wireless for a staggering $1.19 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T will acquire all of Leap's stock and wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail... Read more...
Well, it's pretty easy to tell which U.S. carriers are doing well, and which aren't. Verizon and AT&T recently extended the length of time required for its customers to get a subsidy on a new phone, while T-Mobile and Sprint are both making some pretty consumer-friendly moves. Clearly, those first two are raking in the cash. Sprint, however, has been slipping for years. The carrier has trumpeted its unlimited data option for some time now, but that's seemingly not enough. This week, it's introducing a wild new unlimited guaranteed plan for those who are ready to tie the knot with an operator. The Sprint Unlimited Guarantee guarantees customers unlimited talk (calls to any wireline or mobile... Read more...
How many steps did you take yesterday? How much sleep did you get last night, and was it good, helpful sleep? And what’s your heart rate? Pick up Withing’s latest gadget, and the answer to all of those questions will be in your pocket – and on your smartphone or tablet. The Pulse arrived today to round out Withing’s collection of health-centered wireless devices. The Pulse joins a growing number of activity trackers. The Fitbit has been tracking steps and sleep for years, and the BodyMedia Fit, Motorola MotoActv and Nike+ FuelBand have been around for some time, too. Withings needs to differentiate the Pulse with better features and more convenient data syncing. Wireless... Read more...
If you have ever wanted to see through walls, but couldn't afford the expensive equipment to do so, then some MIT researchers deserve your attention. They've devised a system called "Wi-Vi", which is designed similarly to sonar where a signal is blasted out and bounced back. An image is then created based on what it hits, and if it happens to be a moving object, then that will become visible on the display immediately. At the moment, the technology is in its infancy, and so not surprisingly, the resolution of the data is small... very small. You'll clearly be able to see movement in another room, but as for distinguishing whether or not it's a male, female, or perhaps even a big dog, might be... Read more...
Verizon Wireless is reportedly looking to expand its wireless service north of the border into Canada. Should VZW go through with it, Canadian mobile phone subscribers would then have access to four major wireless carriers to choose from, as Big Red would be competing against Telus Corp, BCE Inc's Bell Unit, and Rogers Communications. According to The Globe and Mail, Canada's government is very interested in having a fourth major wireless player. Working towards that goal, the government officials reportedly relaxed foreign ownership restrictions last year in an attempt to beef up competition in the wireless sector, in part because smaller companies like Wind Mobile and Moblicity haven't been... Read more...
Rural broadband is becoming a serious issue, and it's not just the government taking notice. Private for-profit companies are as well, with Dish Network and nTelos being the latest two. Following last month's announcement of their intent to co-develop a fixed wireless broadband service, Dish and nTelos have now deployed broadband service in rural Virginia using wireless spectrum in the 2.5 GHz range. Broadband service speeds at the initial test sites are ranging from 20 Mbps to more than 50 Mbps. As part of the demonstration, nTelos and DISH have activated two wireless tower test sites in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Waynesboro and Afton, Va. Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent have provided equipment... Read more...
While the issue of divvying up spectrum isn't exactly fun to talk about around the water-cooler, it's an important one inside of the telecommunications industry. And, of course, that extends back to Washington. President Obama today issued a Presidential Memorandum that urges federal agencies to make better use of available spectrum. Obama's administration has stated on numerous occasions that it's a big fan of rural broadband, and it wants to get wireless Internet access to as many Americans as possible, and fast. The memorandum establishes a set of measures that Federal agencies, in collaboration with industry and other stakeholders, will now take to more aggressively enhance spectrum efficiency... Read more...
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