07/06/2013 - BlackBerry Q5 stops by the FCC with AT&T-friendly 3G
When we were introduced to BlackBerry's Q5, a lower-end QWERTY handset running BB10 OS, we were told it was aimed at emerging markets and heard of no plans to bring it to the US. While that still could be the case, a device with the identifier RFS121LW and an appearance matching that of the Q5 has been given the all-clear by the FCC. Now, this might be just a roaming application (when devices not sold in the US get approved for use there), but it's important to note that the 3G radio inside this phone is compatible with AT&T's network (850 / 1900MHz). We can't guarantee the image above isn't a generic outline BlackBerry's used to show the position of the label, nor can we totally certain you'll ever be able to purchase a Q5 from the US carrier. Well, at least not until the Q10 launch buzz dies down, anyway.
It was just a month ago that North Korea started allowing mobile internet access to visitors (while still restricting it from citizens), but now a tour group says that program has ended. First reported by North Korea Tech, a post on the Koryo Group site indicates that tourists can still purchase SIM cards for international calling, but internet access is not available, a return to its policy from January. A recent blog post from the 22nd goes into more detail, explaining that 3G Koryolink access for foreigners "has been restricted to long term visitors/residents of Pyongyang only." With no word from the government on the policy change you'll have to insert your own reasoning, although we'll imagine Eric Schmidt is not pleased.
[Image credit: Jean Lee, Instagram]
Sure, the Galaxy S 4 made its grand entrance at Radio City Music Hall today, but now it's had a low-key meet-and-greet with the FCC for government approval. The version offered up to Uncle Sam carries a 850 / 1900 GSM radio, 3G connectivity through 850 / 1900 WCDMA frequencies and support for LTE Band 5. Since AT&T's main LTE squeeze is Band 17, what we're seeing here is an international version of Samsung's flagship that can roam portions of Ma Bell's and Magenta's network when it sets foot in the US. Folks waiting for a GS4 outfitted for an American carrier will have to wait 'till at least the end of April, but we'll keep our eyes peeled for such a device visiting the FCC.
Not long after we got our hands on the Galaxy Note 8.0 at Mobile World Congress, the 3G global version has finally made its way through the FCC for certification. We already saw the WiFi model come through in January, but this one has those all-important 800/1900 MHz 3G bands that'll have you web browsing with your stylus while you're out and about; as long as you have an activated SIM anyway. As a reminder, the Note 8.0 sports a 1.6GHz Exynos 4 Quad processor, WiFi a/b/g/n radios, 2GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, GLONASS, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and a 4,600mAh battery. This is certainly not the one that'll be offered by stateside carriers however, as we'll get an LTE variant instead. Still, if you want an eight-inch tablet that also doubles as a phone, its FCC approval takes that dream one step closer to reality. In the meantime, feel free to hit up the documents at the source to suss out the information yourself.
07/03/2013 - Samsung loses UK lawsuit against Apple over 3G data
Samsung hasn't been catching many breaks in its court battles with Apple as of late, and that trend isn't quite over yet. A UK court just tossed out claims that Apple violates three Samsung patents relating to 3G data transmission, tentatively leaving the American firm free to sell iPhones and other cellular devices in the country -- as long as other lawsuits don't get in the way. Samsung hasn't determined whether or not it will appeal, but a second try isn't as surefire as it might be elsewhere, not when the Galaxy maker has a less-than-stellar record in winning cases where 3G is involved. We'd just like the whole mess to be over.
This week, tourists (and at least one reporter) visiting North Korea began accessing the web directly from their smartphones, through the country's Koryolink 3G network. Associated Press journalist Jean H. Lee has been tweeting from Pyongyang since Monday, though she didn't get around to detailing the service until yesterday. Her tweet, "Hello world from comms center in #Pyongyang," is believed to be the first to come through the new wireless data service, which can be activated for the princely sum of €75 (about $100). From there, data rates range from €150 for 2GB to €400 for 10 gigs, according to a DailyNK report. (Those tariffs should come as no surprise to DPRK visitors, who often shell out thousands for week-long tours that include meager accommodations and constant monitoring.)
The Koryolink network, which was built in cooperation with Egypt's Orascom Telecom, marks a radical shift in policy for North Korea, which also recently began to allow tourists to enter the country with their own cellphones -- previously, visitors were required to hand over the devices upon landing in Pyongyang. With the exception of approved users (certain government officials, we presume), North Korean residents remain offline, however. For those authorized, access may be pricey, but considering that connectivity can provide peace of mind to travelers and their families at home, a data-enabled SIM seems a worthwhile acquisition for anyone visiting one of 3G's famous final frontiers.
25/02/2013 - Nielsen compares mobile consumers across the globe, details the differences in how we connect
Right in-time with MWC, Nielsen's latest report provides some insight into how folks in different regions are using their mobile devices. On the whole, many of the findings aren't exactly shockers. Among many highlights, owners of smartphones and feature phones don't use their respective devices for the same tasks, while developed areas are more likely to have upwards of 4G connectivity with higher smartphone adoption rates. As you'd might imagine, people in regions with under-developed infrastructure tend to gravitate toward the likes of simpler, less costly feature phones. Diving deeper with some specifics, Nielsen points out that US-based users of smartphones gravitate toward map and video apps, contrasting that those in China are hungrier for info about weather and news. If you'd like to confirm any more of your suspicions about how mobile devices are being used across the globe, you'll find all the details your noggin desires at the source link below.
Filed under: Mobile
In just a few days, visitors to North Korea will be able to surf the web from 3G-enabled devices. According to the Associated Press, customers of telecom company Koryolink living in Pyongyang received word that the firm will launch a 3G internet service exclusively for foreigners no later than March 1st. While citizens of North Korea have access to things including MMS, video calls, and a subscription to the state-run newspaper over 3G, a connection to the global internet will remain exclusive to a small, approved slice of the population using broadband. Foreigners will be able to purchase a monthly service plan for use with a USB modem or their very own SIM card. It's hard to say if Eric Schmidt's trip nudged the country and the service provider to change their tune, but in any case we're hoping Señor Schmidt will consider visiting Cuba as well.
[Image credit: (stephan), Flickr]
Source: Associated Press (ABC News)
British regulator Ofcom gave EE special license to reuse 1,800MHz spectrum for its fledgling LTE network; to put it mildly, that rubbed other carriers the wrong way. The agency may be more open to a level playing field, as it's proposing letting everyone follow a similar route, and then some. Following calls from H3G (Three), Telefonica (O2) and Vodafone, Ofcom has offered to let all UK providers repurpose both their 1,800MHz airwaves as well as the 900MHz and 2,100MHz bands. We won't have too long to wait before a decision: Ofcom will decide on the proposal in the second quarter, which might come just in time for carriers to supplement whatever bandwidth they get from 4G auctions. Especially when hardware already exists that could use the frequencies for faster speeds, success could see the trickle of UK LTE become more of a torrent.
Via: The Next Web
Source: Ofcom (PDF)
31/01/2013 - Apple Launches iOS 6.1: Short List of Improvements
Femtocells are rarely subtle devices, including Vodafone's earlier Sure Signal models. That's what makes a newly revamped version of the Sure Signal so noteworthy -- it's very nearly unintrusive. The new edition plugs directly into a wall outlet and doesn't occupy more space than a night light, letting it dish out 3G in low-reception areas without becoming a conspicuous part of the landscape. It's also a better pick for offices, or just crowded homes, now that it can handle as many as eight 3G connections at the same time. UK locals who face the unenviable dual problems of cellular dead zones and tight spaces can solve both at once by spending £100 ($161) today.
Potential 4G adopters in the
Voiamo has just taken the veil off of Globalgig, a new roaming service that'll let road warriors consume up to 5GB through a monthly contract and the purchase of a $119 MiFi dongle. So far, it will only be available if you're roaming in the US, UK and Australia through the company's Sprint, O2 and Optus partners, respectively. However, the company has promised it'll expand to "key Asian, European Union markets, and other large global travel hubs" in the next 12 months, bringing 1GB of data for $25, 3GB for $39 and 5GB for $49 per month. Contracts will run month-to-month, and you'll be able to cancel anytime with 48 hours notice, according to Voiamo. Sounds like just the thing for globetrotting bloggers, especially with a certain electronics spectacle coming up in the New Year. Check the PR after the break for more info.
AT&T's decision to let only its customers on shared and new data plans pick up FaceTime over cellular may have riled some, but at least it's been able to roll-out the functionality earlier than the two-month window suggested in early November. MacRumors' forums are abuzz with word that their iOS devices (mostly on the East Coast) are now able to make FaceTime calls without WiFi. Perhaps more importantly, according to these early reports, you might not have to wield an LTE iDevice to use it, with several non-4G devices running iOS 6 able to stream faces elsewhere. If you're still getting the pop-up of misery (seen above), forum users suggesting switching your phone off and on again.
Via: iOS VLog
Dish has edged one step closer to its distant goal of having a 4G LTE network to call its own, receiving approval for its AWS-4 (40MHz) wireless spectrum standards by the 3GPP group. Dish used the announcement to air a few issues, including sending a plea to the FCC to get a move on and officially green light the frequency for use. The would-be wireless provider also sounded off on Sprint, which is asking the FCC to crop some of Dish's spectrum and add it to the H Block, making it a more attractive acquisition when auctioned off. If the FCC were to grant Spint's request, Dish wouldn't just lose airwaves, but the slow approval process would start anew with altered specifications. Unfortunately for the satellite TV outfit, Spint is far from the only potential competitor trying to delay Dish's network -- in fact, none seem particularly willing to welcome the new guy without some serious hazing.
Dish's AWS-4 wireless spectrum standards approved by 3GPP originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 15 Nov 2012 12:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Sure, you can already buy Virgin Mobile's Broadband2Go on a monthly basis, but what about when you want that data on a daily basis? For instance, what if you're Johnny Lee Miller in the hit '90s film Hackers? Exactly. Good thing, then, that Virgin Mobile is now offering a 24-hour daily plan for its Broadband2Go service, charging just $5 per day. Unfortunately, if you're only able to find 3G service, that broadband is limited to just 200MB of data -- those who can find 4G get unlimited data access (and much faster access to boot). Currently, Virgin's Broadband2Go is only offered via a proprietary ($70) USB stick or a proprietary ($120) mifi device, so don't think you're getting off too cheaply. It is, however, available right now.
Filed under: Mobile
Mobile data gets even more piecemeal with 24-hour offerings from Virgin Mobile originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 05 Nov 2012 18:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
26/10/2012 - Samsung Galaxy S III mini radios get probed by FCC
The Samsung Galaxy S III mini (aka the GT-i8190) may have a Napolean complex, carrying as it does the name of its bigger sibling while endowed with a garden-variety 4-inch, 800 x 480 screen and other downmarket specs. But that didn't stop the inevitable FCC rendezvous, where its array of 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, GPS, GLONASS, FM, Bluetooth 4.0 (LE) and NFC radios were waved through (and lack of 4G confirmed). That means the new runt of the Galaxy litter should be free to travel to Europe soon for €439 retail -- but there's still no word on when smaller form-factor lovers stateside will be able to grab it.
Samsung Galaxy S III mini radios get probed by FCC originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 26 Oct 2012 16:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | FCC | Email this | Comments
25/10/2012 - Sprint rolls out new 4G tablet data plans November 11th, likely just in time for new(er) iPad, iPad mini
As a carrier trailing Verizon and AT&T in terms of subscribers and now 4G coverage, Sprint has made it a habit to undercut the other two on value. While its upcoming tablet-specific data plans won't necessarily be cheaper, they do promise up to 20 percent more data for the same price and still do not require a contract. Sure to come in handy now that it's offering the fourth generation iPad and iPad mini on its network, they are 300MB/$14.99, 3GB/$34.99, 6GB/$49.99, or 12GB for $79.99. There are also $10 and $15 offers for customers that also have Sprint smartphones that offer 100MB and 1GB of data, respectively, and activation fees for all 3G/4G tablets are being waived for a limited time. As you'll recall, Verizon and AT&T's offerings include 2GB/$30, 5GB/$50 and on Verizon, 10GB/$80 packages. Even if you're not an apple fan these plans apply for all 4G capable slates, with Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 specifically mentioned. Check the press release after the break or a post on its Sprint Community blog for more info.
Sprint rolls out new 4G tablet data plans November 11th, likely just in time for new(er) iPad, iPad mini originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 24 Oct 2012 21:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Sprint Community | Email this | Comments
T-Mobile silently killed off its $10 per month 200MB data plans, a leaked document reveals. A company spokesperson verified the news with Fierce Wireless. This decision is most likely due to the growing demand for mobile data as smartphone applications continue to evolve. Grandfathered customers will not be affected by this new policy, but will need to pay full price for a device and sign up for a "Value" plan when upgrading in order to maintain their existing service plan. T-Mobile now requires its smartphone customers to have a minimum data plan of 2GB or higher, which starts at $20 per month. While this change may make sense for most smartphone users, existing customers who are light on data and heavy on savings might have a different perspective when it's time to buy a new phone. Check out an extreme closeup of T-Mobile's document after the break.
T-Mobile drops 200MB smartphone data plan, 2GB now the new standard originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 19 Oct 2012 16:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Phone Scoop, Fierce Wireless | TmoNews | Email this | Comments
AT&T is close to securing a major victory in its battle against the spectrum crunch. While it's not quite a done deal, FCC chairman Genachowski has submitted a proposed order to FCC commissioners that would authorize AT&T's deployment of its LTE service within a 20MHz portion of the 2.3GHz (WCS) band. The deal is unique in that the spectrum is currently reserved for satellite radio, and the reallocation would mark the first of its kind within the WCS band. As you may recall, AT&T previously conceded to a 5MHz dead zone on both ends of Sirius XM's operating frequency in order to mitigate interference concerns, and it seems the move was sufficient to gain the chairman's support.
Also looming on the FCC's to-do list is the decision of whether to approve AT&T's purchase NextWave and its unused WCS spectrum. If it's any indication, however, Chairman Genachowski seems bullish on the reallocation and has suggested that the agency may authorize another 30MHz of the WCS band for mobile broadband use. AT&T has previously said that it could feasibly deploy LTE over the 2.3GHz spectrum within the next three years. One group fighting the deal is the Competitive Carrier Association, which posits that AT&T's purchase of such a significant chunk of spectrum on the secondary market is anti-competitive in nature. It'll no doubt be interesting to see if the argument gains any traction with the FCC. In the meantime, you can view remarks from the agency's spokesperson after the break.
FCC chairman green-lights AT&T's use of WCS spectrum for LTE with proposed order originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 27 Sep 2012 07:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | FCC, GigaOM | Email this | Comments
18/09/2012 - iPhoneTrip SIM rental review: the best way to keep your smartphone connected while abroad
In the seemingly unending quest to remain connected while traveling abroad, we recently decided to try yet another option when departing the US for a lengthy amount of time: iPhoneTrip. In a way, it sounds like the perfect solution. A single rental SIM, mailed to your address anywhere in the world, that you don't even have to return when you're done. There are claims of supporting "200+ countries," and if you don't have a smartphone or mobile hotspot at the ready, the company will rent you one of those, too. Of course, we've long since learned to take grandiose claims with an adequate amount of salt. Care to see how iPhoneTrip's rental SIM service stacks up against similar alternatives from Tep Wireless and XCom Global? Read on.
iPhoneTrip SIM rental review: the best way to keep your smartphone connected while abroad originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 18 Sep 2012 11:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | iPhoneTrip | Email this | Comments
If you'll recall, AT&T was quick to inform users after WWDC that it would not be supporting FaceTime over Cellular on all of its data plans (you'll need a Mobile Share plan for it to work) when it launches as part of iOS6 on the 19th. Now Verizon has responded, confirming in its iPhone 5 press release that the feature is welcome on any data plan allowance. Of course, your usual data restrictions will still apply so we wouldn't leave those 720p backside illuminated cameras streaming for too long. If you're the type to set your watch by iPhone launches, the press release also mentions Friday at 3AM ET is the time when they'll be available for preorder on the website, check the rest of the details after the break.
Filed under: Mobile
Verizon Wireless confirms FaceTime over cellular on all data plans originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 12 Sep 2012 23:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Despite having launched elsewhere in the world already, Sony's 3G PlayStation Vita is heading north to Canada with help from Rogers Communications this October. Beyond the usual features of the Vita, the 3G model offers access to various social networks while on-the-go, as well as a handful of games that support asynchronous multiplayer via 3G. Mostly, though, it just offers a $50 bump to the usual Vita price of $250 (at least in the US). In Canada, however, the 3G version is getting bundled with Gravity Rush and Unit 13, and the whole shebang is launching on October 2 for $299.99. It's unclear how much the unit will cost as a standalone (or if it's even being offered that way), but we've asked Sony Canada for more info. 3G plans with Rogers run $15 and $30 for 30-day packages bundling 250MB or 5GB data streams, respectively.
3G Vita headed to Canada via Rogers on Oct. 2, Canadian gamers remain non-plussed originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 11 Sep 2012 14:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Newsire | Email this | Comments
05/09/2012 - Editorial: Android cameras -- could Samsung's Galaxy gamble save the point-and-shoot industry?
WiFi in a camera. No matter the practicality or the cost of adding wireless functionality, it's become a must for high-end point-and-shoots, and if they don't pack it now, they soon will. But access hasn't become as prolific as protocol prophets once preached -- we're at the mercy of pay gates, passwords and bandwidth limitations, even today. Our smartphones, on the other hand, are always connected. There's no need to fuss with hexadecimals or other cryptic keys -- assuming we haven't crossed an international border, getting online is as convenient as taking a breath. As the world's most prolific smartphone maker, Samsung is very much invested in cellular. Sure, there were gasps from the crowd at last week's Unpacked, but built-in 4G makes perfect sense, and while WiFi and a Micro SIM may make the Galaxy Camera an instant winner, it's Android that completes the package, as the glue that cements this latest category's promise. Samsung may be the pioneer, but should other manufacturers be scrambling to shift roadmaps, ready to embrace this new digital direction? Tap past the break for our take.
Editorial: Android cameras -- could Samsung's Galaxy gamble save the point-and-shoot industry? originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 05 Sep 2012 08:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 is now available at the Carphone Warehouse for the stylus-toting multi-tasker in your life. The independent UK retailer is selling the 16GB, WiFi version for £400, while the edition equipped with a 3G modem retails for £500. While the latter can make calls, you won't be holding the tablet to your ear to make 'em. Instead, the company thoughtfully included a Bluetooth-enabled S-Pen with a microphone and speaker, making you look a bit more like Maxwell Smart than Dom Joly.
Filed under: Tablet PCs
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 arrives at the Carphone Warehouse originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 20 Aug 2012 07:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments