United States carrier AT&T said yesterday that some of its customers in select areas can now make Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) calls to users on other carrier networks. Cross-network VoLTE calls are currently supported for just one unnamed carrier, but AT&T will eventually implement support for multiple carriers.
Unlike traditional calls that use a carrier’s voice network (which is separate from a 3G/4G data network), VoLTE calls use a 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network, resulting in crisp sound quality and optimized bandwidth use.
Sprint on Wednesday announced that it has flipped on the switch for its LTE Plus network in 77 major markets. The next-generation network is now available in several big cities across the United States, including Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Orlando and Boston.
In a press release, Sprint CTO Dr. John Saw explains the benefits of LTE Plus over standard LTE, such as stronger and more reliable service, and of course faster speeds. Saw says the new technology is capable of peak speeds in excess of 100Mbps on compatible devices.
According to a report this weekend from VentureBeat, chip giant Intel has assembled a team of 1,000 engineers who are working hard on adapting its LTE modem for an ‘iPhone 7.’
The move potentially indicates a major loss for Qualcomm, which supplied LTE modems for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus and previous iPhones. Intel’s lauded 7360 LTE modem chip is being reworked for an iPhone, the story asserts.
Moreover, VentureBeat claims that Apple could, for the first time ever, embed the modem chip into its in-house designed A-series system-on-a-chip, resulting in an even tighter component integration.
Apple is shipping four different models of iPhone for its yearly refresh. The iPhone 6s sports two models—A1633 and A1688, while the iPhone 6s Plus feature models A1634 and A1687.
Although both iPhones in the 6s and 6s Plus lines are virtually the same, the model numbers differentiate the cellular LTE band capabilities of each phone. Thus, by familiarizing yourself with each model number, you can learn what networks each phone will support.
Why is this important? Say you wanted to order a new iPhone 6s in rose gold. As you might have heard, rose gold is proving to be very popular, and is selling out quicker than some of the other iPhone color options. Rose gold 64GB iPhones designated for T-Mobile and Verizon are now on backorder for 2-3 weeks.
But some rose gold models remain available—for example, some Sprint-designated rose gold models are still shipping on 9/25. By using our knowledge of iPhone model numbers, we might still be able to obtain a rose gold iPhone 6s to use with a provider like T-Mobile or Verizon by purchasing the Sprint model…
T-Mobile announced today that it will throttle LTE data and speeds for users on unlimited plans who illegally use more data than they bought by concealing their tethering.
A small percentage of T-Mobile customers on unlimited 4G LTE plans have been discovered to be gaming the system in order to make their tethering look like smartphone usage.
T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans offer a set amount of mobile hotspot data (up to seven gigabytes) and include tethering at no extra charge. Making tethering look like smartphone usage allows data-hungry customers to use significantly more 4G LTE tethering than their plan includes, with some people consuming up to two terabytes a month.
Their activities have a “disproportionately negative impact” on other users as these rule-breakers “can compromise the network experience for other T-Mobile customers.” The carrier will now clamp down on those people by starting to throttle their data speeds, especially if the carrier determines that they’re misusing their data to access peer-to-peer file sharing networks.
U.S. wireless carrier AT&T announced this morning a few notable changes coming to its shared-data plans beginning tomorrow. For starters, customers on existing Mobile Share Value Plans with fifteen and twenty gigabytes of cellular data will now pay less for their high-speed 4G LTE data: the 15GB plan will drop from $130 to $100 per month while the 20GB tier will go from $150 down to $140 per month.
T-Mobile’s Un-Carrier Amped initiative continues unabated with Tuesday’s announcement of a brand new plan which offers families of four a cool ten gigabytes of high-speed 4G LTE data each, in exchange for an average monthly fee of $30 per person.
The way it works is this: two lines get ten gigabytes of data per line for a total of $100 per month ($50 per line), with a third line getting the same 10GB allowance in exchange for $20 per month and a fourth line being offered at no additional charge.
If you do the math quickly in your head, that’s a total of $120 per month for four lines, each with 10GB data allowance.
Deutsche-Telekom owned T-Mobile on Thursday announced another Un-Carrier move in the form of a brand new service, called ‘Mobile Without Borders’ and available starting July 15 in select Canadian and Mexican markets.
T-Mobile’s U.S. business and individual customers with Simple Choice postpaid and prepaid plans will be able send and receive unlimited phone calls, text messages and use 4G LTE data, to and from Mexico and Canada, at no additional cost.
Apple’s next iPhone should double LTE download speeds from a theoretical maximum of 150Mbps on the present-generation iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus up to 300Mbps on the next-generation ‘iPhone 6s’ and ‘iPhone 6s Plus,’ according to a purported logic board leaked by 9to5Mac.
A photo of the alleged ‘iPhone 6s’ logic board shows a chip identified as the MDM9635M module from Qualcomm, part of its ‘Gobi’ modem platform.
AT&T is pulling back on its throttling efforts against unlimited LTE customers, reports ArsTechnica. The site noticed that the carrier recently changed its policy to say that it will only throttle users with unlimited LTE data plans who have both exceeded 5GB in a billing cycle and are in an area experiencing network congestion.
Previously, AT&T’s policy said that unlimited LTE users could experience slower data speeds after reaching 5GB, with no mention of location. The change comes after customers complained the carrier’s throttling—some reported speeds as slow as 0.5Mbps—was part of its strategy to sway them away from their unlimited plans.
The US International Trade Commission plans to investigate Apple, following two patent complaints from Ericsson, reports PC World.
It regards Apple’s use of an LTE patent for which it had a licensing agreement with Ericsson, up until earlier this year. When the agreement expired, Apple complained that Ericsson asked for too much money for the patent during re-negotiations and sued Ericsson. Ericsson counter-sued saying Apple infringed on the patents and that it had given the Cupertino-based company a fair price.