FCC loosens labeling restrictions for iPhones and other devices

By Cody Lee on Jul 13, 2014

This is kind of interesting. The FCC’s Office of Engineering & Technology issued new labeling guidance on Friday, saying that manufacturers can do away with the awful FCC ID etchings found on the backs of iPhones and other devices with integral screens.

Until now, the FCC has asked that any equipment requiring FCC certification sport a nameplate or etched label listing its FCC ID and other info. But with devices getting smaller and more complex, it wanted to update the requirement for the digital age…  Read More

 

T-Mobile starts rolling out VoLTE in select markets, starting with Seattle

By Christian Zibreg on May 22, 2014

Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile USA, the nation’s fourth largest wireless carrier, on Thursday announced it’s started gradual deployment of Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) technology, starting with Seattle.

The move comes just as rival AT&T last Friday brought both VoLTE and HD Voice technologies to select markets and as Verizon Wireless pledged to roll out VoLTE later this year.

That major U.S. telcos are racing to have VoLTE ready at this particular moment in time may have something to do with Apple’s expected launch of the iPhone 6 this Fall, alongside iOS 8 which is said to support making voice calls over high-speed LTE networks out of the box… Read More

 

AT&T planning in-flight 4G connectivity for late-2015

By Jake Smith on Apr 28, 2014

AT&T has announced on Monday plans to launch in-flight 4G connectivity as early as late-2015, a technology it touts could be more reliable than in-flight Wi-Fi already made available on some flights in the US.

To deliver the new service, AT&T plans to build an air-to-ground network in the US, based on global 4G LTE standards, to “provide fast speeds and efficient utilization” of spectrum already owned by AT&T.  Read More

 

T-Mobile’s Operation Tablet Freedom: 4G LTE iPads at Wi-Fi prices, free data through 2014

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 10, 2014

It is no secret that T-Mobile CEO John Legere is not one to mince words or back down from competition. Thus far, he’s delivered. The Deutsche Telekom-owned carrier, the fourth largest in the United States, has taken aim at rivals once again by unleashing the latest three-phase initiative that solves another customer pain point.

The new Uncarrier moves started yesterday with the announcement of a new Simple Starter Plan that includes unlimited talk and text with 500MB of 4G LTE data with no overage fees, for just $40 per month.

Thursday, T-Mobile made another huge announcement. For a limited time only, the carrier is offering 4G LTE tablets at Wi-Fi-only prices, with its interest-free financing that requires no downpayment and spreads the retail price of the device across 24 monthly installments.

Knowing Apple’s cellular-capable iPads cost $130 more versus their comparable Wi-Fi-only models, that’s a not-to-be-missed $130 savings right off the bat. Also, if you add a tablet to your voice plan, T-Mobile will treat you to up to sixteen gigabytes of free high-speed 4G LTE data through the end of the year… Read More

 

iPhone 5s owners guzzling up 20 percent more data than iPhone 5 users

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 23, 2014

A new research report from JDSU has revealed that owners of the iPhone 5s are gobbling up 20 percent more data compared to people who own an iPhone 5. This means that for every five megabytes (or gigabytes) of cellular data consumed by an iPhone 5 owner, an additional megabyte (or gigabyte) gets guzzled up by an iPhone 5s owner.

In fact, looking at the list of top ten devices that downloaded most data in 2013, Apple’s iOS gadgets took six slots. I’m guessing Tim Cook is smiling as we speak for this survey is another sign of Apple’s devices getting far more actual use compared to Android-driven handsets, Android’s lead in terms of sheer volume notwithstanding… Read More

 

CTIA launches Know My App web tool detailing mobile app data usage

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 27, 2013

The App Store hosts a myriad of utilities to measure your favorite app’s cellular data usage after downloading, ranging from DataMan Next to Apple’s own per-app measurements in Settings > Cellular. However, no tool existed to estimate an app’s data usage before downloading it.

That’s where a new solution called Know My App comes handy.

A website launched by CTIA on Thursday, an industry trade group that represents the international wireless telecommunications industry, Know My App features a growing list of popular mobile applications with their respective data usage broken down in several useful categories.

This lets folks on metered cellular plans educate themselves on how much data their favorite app is using when it’s downloaded, at initialization, during active run time and during background time. The website also includes information about how smartphone and tablet owners can conserve data… Read More

 

Three switches on its UK 4G LTE network, expands roaming to US

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 4, 2013

Three, one of UK’s top wireless companies, yesterday began turning on its new fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network in select locations. The carrier claims to run the UK’s fastest-growing 3G network which covers more than 97 percent of the country’s population.

In addition to Three’s first LTE sightings in the UK, the company is also extending its Feel At Home roaming service to the United States, starting today. The U.S. joins other countries where Feel At Home has been available, including Austria, Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden.

The service allows Three’s UK-based Feel At Home customers to use their voice minutes, text messages and cellular data for no charge while traveling outside the UK and roaming the aforementioned countries… Read More

 

Cellular Retina iPad mini hitting regional U.S. carriers, starting with Bluegrass Cellular

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 22, 2013

The United States wireless carrier Bluegrass Cellular started selling the iPad Air on November 1, along with many other regional U.S. wireless companies.

And as cellular models of the iPad mini with Retina display have recently begun trickling into Apple’s U.S. retail stores, the Kentucky-based carrier has started selling nearly every Retina mini model.

Moreover, Bluegrass is offering the device via both its web store and directly to customers who shop in one of its retail stores. Customers can buy the device either on or off-contract, with monthly installments making it easier on the wallet. The full breakdown is right below… Read More

 

FCC to discuss lifting cellphone ban on in-flight voice calls and cellular data

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2013

After the United States Federal Aviation Administration appeased travelers by permitting airlines to finally expand the use of smartphones, tablets and other personal electronics devices during nearly all phases of flight, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now mulling letting passengers make in-flight voice calls and use cellular data when above 10,000 feet.

Current regulation mandates passengers to put their devices in Airplane mode, which shuts down all radios, thereby reducing any possible interference with the avionics.

However, only specially equipped planes will support making in-flight phone calls and accessing cellular data, should the proposal pass the FCC’s December meeting… Read More

 

LTE-enabled Retina iPad minis start arriving to Apple Stores

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2013

Yesterday, credible analysts cautioned fans to brace themselves for tight supply of the iPad mini with Retina display throughout the entire holiday quarter, as evidenced by Apple making Wi-Fi models available for in-store pickup only and based on supply chain chatter. Part of the stagerred roll-out, LTE-capable devices have now started slowly but surely trickling into Apple’s retail stores in the United States.

As you could imagine, quantities are limited so not all outlets carry cellular minis yet… Read More

 

You can now download App Store apps up to 100MB each over cellular

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 18, 2013

Following the advent of iOS 7 earlier today, Apple appears to be busy making small but useful changes to its App Store. First up, the company’s added a new ‘Designed for iOS 7′ App Store section, basically a curated selection of third-party apps which are designed with the iOS 7 user interface and technologies in mind.

That’s not all.

It’s now come to light they’ve as well bumped the existing 50MB per-app ceiling, doubling it to a hundred megabytes. That means users are now free to download any app over their cellular network that’s up to hundred megabytes in size. As per usual, attempting to download an app over the limit prompts you to connect to a Wi-Fi network… Read More

 

Verizon asks Obama to prevent upcoming iPhone sales ban

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2013

In April, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ordered an import ban on the iPhone 3G/3GS/4 after determining Apple had violated Samsung’s 3G cellular technology patent. Apple was hoping the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) would overturn ITC’s decision on the basis that Samsung was asserting a standards-essential patent.

Needles to say, Apple asked ITC to stay an order while the court considered the appeal, arguing the sales ban would “sweep away an entire segment of Apple’s product offerings.” And in an interesting twist earlier this week, the nation’s top carrier Verizon Wireless pressured President Obama to intervene in the Apple v. Samsung case and veto the impending ban… Read More

 

Samsung unveils 5G mmWave tech for ‘tens of gigabits per second’ wireless downloads

By Ed Sutherland on May 13, 2013

When you just can’t wait a minute to download that huge video, Samsung comes to the rescue. Sort of. Eventually. Reports Monday indicate Apple’s rival has found the key to delivering gigabit download speeds through a new fifth-generation cellular radio technology, dubbed 5G mmWave. It’s unclear whether the new tech can gain acceptance to eventually overtake 4G networks still rolling out.

For the iPhone maker, however, Samsung breaking today’s wireless speed barrier may mean more court wrangling as the two companies seek any advantage in the lucrative smartphone market… Read More

 

Refurbs: 3G iPad 2 now $180 cheaper, cellular iPad 3 discounted by $170

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 23, 2013

Apple started offering refurbished iPad 4 and iPad mini back in March, bringing the used 16GB iPad mini down to $299, representing a modest $30 saving. Refurbished products are always good buys as these little-used devices are good as new: Apple tests them for defects, throws in a brand new battery and outer shell and backs them with its standard one-year AppleCare warranty.

After realizing some people were kinda hoping for deeper discounts, Apple just instituted an additional $50 price cut on the second and third-generation cellular iPad refurbs. For example, the entry-level cellular iPad 2 with sixteen gigabytes of storage originally cost $399 refurbished, but customers can now pick it up for $349 for an additional $50 discount, or a nice $180 saving over its usual $529 asking price… Read More

 

Sprint, Verizon and AT&T announce major LTE expansion

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 19, 2013

Sprint and AT&T, respectively the nation’s third and second-largest wireless carriers, announced availability of their fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) radio technology in new markets. Sprint confirmed its customers in 21 new markets can take advantage of high-speed cellular downloads, including Los Angeles, Contra Costa County, California, Charlotte, North Carolina, Norfolk, Virginia, and Memphis, Tennessee. AT&T on its part announced it has turned on LTE in Florence, Massachusetts, Cushing, Oklahoma and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Verizon flipped the switch on LTE in two new markets… Read More

 

What you need to know about Apple’s tweaked A1428 iPhone 5

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2013

Earlier today, the nation’s fourth-largest wireless carrier T-Mobile USA annuounced it will start officially selling Apple’s iPhone on April 12. And in dropping annual contracts in favor of monthly installments, the telco unveiled the new Simple Choice Plan and LTE coverage in seven major U.S. cities.

Additional details trickled in post-announcement and one particular tidbit has immediately captured our attention: Apple has actually troubled to re-tool the AT&T iPhone 5 for the Deutsche Telekom-owned carrier.

The re-jigged hardware now supports T-Mobile’s Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) bandwidths, but the change in turn has affected existing AT&T customers who plan on switching to T-Mobile. Full details are right after the break… Read More

 

T-Mobile unveils new contract-free plans ahead of iPhone launch

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2013

T-Mobile is holding a press conference tomorrow to discuss a new way of doing business, which means getting rid of long-term contracts in favor of unsubsidized model that promises more affordable monthly installments in exchange for paying for the full price of your device upfront. As expected, the company has launched new off-contract plans as part of the “Uncarrier” initiative.

These new tiers start at $50 a month for half a gigabyte data and top out at $120 a month 12.5GB of cellular data. Go past the fold for the full breakdown… Read More

 

Thuraya’s new sleeve transforms your iPhone into a satellite phone

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 20, 2013

The United Arab Emirates-headquartered Thuraya has been in the mobile satellite services business literally as long as I can recall seeing their ads on MTV as a teenager. Thuraya operates in 140+ countries across Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia, covering two-thirds of the globe. Last summer, the company also started providing roaming services in the United States through its partnership with T-Mobile USA.

Because Thuraya has been selling pricey satellite phones and access to its global communications network for ages, their very first iPhone accessory launch is totally unexpected, but welcomed. The aptly named SatSleeve enables global satellite coverage for your iPhone by tapping an accompanying app to talk to the sleeve and route your text messages and phone calls through Thuraya’s network of satellites. Wait, there’s more to this special case than meets the eye… Read More

 

AT&T launches 30/40/50GB shared data tiers

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2013

The U.S. wireless carrier AT&T this morning introduced its data-hungry subscribers to some powerful new tiers.

Going beyond AT&T’s existing options topping out at twenty gigs, the new options are now available to add thirty, forty or fifty gigabytes of cellular data to your shared plan of choice. Beware, however – these come at high prices.

The $30GB a month tier will set you back an unsettling $300 a month, with the 40GB and 50GB tiers commanding an alarming $400 a month and a whopping $500 a month, respectively. These prices include unlimited calling and texting. Should you need only data, AT&T will happily sell you data-only tiers for your tablet and laptop, with the top 50GB plan running $335 a month… Read More

 

AT&T’s LTE is the fastest, Verizon rules coverage

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 13, 2013

Aren’t you sick and tired of top U.S. carriers advertising their 4G LTE service as the nation’s fastest and most reliable? This mostly false advertising has been ticking me off for quite some time, especially how T-Mobile promotes its 3G HSPA+ network as 4G. Time for a reality check.

Research firm Rootmetrics yesterday published the results of its survey of U.S. carriers and their fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks. Surprisingly or not, AT&T’s LTE came on top as the fastest, but rival Verizon grabbed the title of the nation’s best LTE coverage. More tidbits right after the break.. Read More

 
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