4G LTE is the new kid on the mobile spectrum, which is looking to make your mobile life faster. But which US carrier has the fastest and most LTE coverage?
Verizon Wireless has been a pioneer in the penetration of LTE. The company has been aggressive at building new cell towers and expanding its coverage.
Big Red has put together new coverage maps which shows their LTE network coverage compared to AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. To put the results bluntly, all I see is red!
AT&T provides the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with records of Americans’ phone calls dating back to 1987 as part of a surveillance program that goes beyond the scope of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) call collection, the New York Times reported Sunday.
Besides covering a longer time span, the program is unlike the NSA’s data collection because it “includes information on the locations of callers,” the report said.
“For at least six years, law enforcement officials working on a counternarcotics program have had routine access, using subpoenas, to an enormous AT&T database that contains the records of decades of Americans’ phone calls—parallel to but covering a far longer time than the National Security Agency’s hotly disputed collection of phone call logs,” the Times wrote. “The government pays AT&T to place its employees in drug-fighting units around the country. Those employees sit alongside Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local detectives and supply them with the phone data from as far back as 1987.”
Read More by following the source link below.
Source: Ars Technica
AT&T Inc. is scoring a win over rival Verizon Wireless as it takes over the contract to supply wireless connections to cars with General Motors’ OnStar service.
Verizon Wireless and its predecessor companies have supplied the network for OnStar since the service launched in the 1990s, but AT&T will take over with the 2015 model year, AT&T and GM said Monday.
The news comes as cellphone companies are jostling to connect non-phone devices to their networks. Now that nearly everyone has a phone, the phone companies have to look elsewhere for growth. Dallas-based AT&T has been particularly aggressive in this area, garnering, for instance, the contract to connect Amazon Kindle e-readers.
AT&T will connect OnStar cars to its new “4G LTE” network, which can supply much higher data speeds than current OnStar connections. That means GM could deliver car software updates wirelessly, instead of making owners take their cars to the shop. It could also enable video streaming for passengers, in-vehicle Wi-Fi “hotspots” and give GM a better view of what’s going on inside a car, and whether it needs maintenance. Owners might even be able to call up views from their car’s cameras, remotely.
“They’re basically smartphones on wheels,” said Glenn Lurie, head of AT&T’s “emerging devices” division.
Verizon has an LTE network that delivers speeds similar to AT&T’s, with wider coverage. Lurie said that by the time AT&T takes over the contract, its LTE network will cover 300 million Americans, or 96 percent of the population. It also has older, slower networks as a backup.
Verizon Wireless said it was looking forward to continuing to provide service to current OnStar customers.
AT&T and GM made the announcement just before the opening of Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest wireless trade show, in Barcelona. The companies didn’t reveal financial terms. The 6 million current OnStar users pay $19 per month or $199 per year, plus per-minute calling fees. Turn-by-turn GPS navigation costs extra, too.
British automotive research firm SBD believes that 100 million cars worldwide will have built-in wireless capabilities by 2015
Hewlett-Packard is working with T-Mobile USA to offer 200 MB of free HSPA+ data per month for two years to anyone who buys an HP notebook. More specifically the 11-inch Pavilion dm1 which HP is currently selling online for $400.
HP said that starting Oct. 26, anyone who buys the 11-inch Pavilion dm1 will get 200 MB of free data per month for 2 years. And customers do not need to sign a contract with T-Mobile for the data service. As well as the customers will get a free 25 GB account with Box, a cloud storage company.
This is similar to what Verizon Wireless did in 2010 by offering a free 100 MB per month for two years to those purchasing a notebook running Google’s Chrome OS.
HP’s offer is also similar in some respects to the one Amazon is making for its new Kindle Fire HD with LTE. For $50 per year, Amazon is offering users 250 MB of data per month from AT&T Mobility.
The FCC has granted permission to T-Mobile USA to test the concept of sharing spectrum between federal and commercial users in the 1755-1780 MHz band. This is part of a government effort to use spectrum sharing technology to help meet mobile broadband demand.
The tests are aimed at measuring the impact spectrum sharing will have on commercial carriers looking to deploy LTE, which is basically every carrier in the US. Verizon, AT&T and now Sprint has started to deploy their LTE network with T-Mobile scheduled on building out their LTE network in 2013.
In a statement, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that by granting the authorization, the commission “hopes to facilitate commercial mobile broadband services in that band, which would significantly benefit millions of U.S. wireless consumers and help drive the mobile innovation economy.”
“As we move forward, we will continue to collaborate closely with key government agencies, including NTIA and the Department of Defense, as well as private sector partners, to gain greater spectrum efficiency and unlock the many potential benefits of government-commercial spectrum sharing,” Genachowski said.
The CTIA has specially cited the 1755-1780 MHz band as a spectrum band that could be cleared and paired with other AWS spectrum.
So there are so many factors that will be considered during AT&Ts’ acquisition of T-Mobile USA, an acquisition that would make AT&T the largest service provider in the country followed by Verizon who now leads the country as the largest service provider. There are many reasons I can see why AT&T would want to buy out T-Mobile, but the main reason is basically they want to improve their network performance.
A large reason for AT&T wanting to improve their network performance is because of the iPhone which up until February 2011 was exclusive to AT&T, now Verizon also carries the iPhone.
A smartphone generates 24 times the mobile data traffic of a conventional wireless phone, and the explosively popular iPad and similar tablet devices can generate traffic comparable to or even greater than a smartphone. AT&T’s mobile data volumes surged by a staggering 8,000% from 2007 to 2010, and as a result, AT&T faces network capacity constraints more severe than those of any other wireless provider.
AT&T has basically filled the capacity of their network, and it would be too hard for them to attempt to expand there network. So acquiring another carrier is clearly a much easier choice for them and it makes since why they would choose T-Mobile because they are not only a very large US company but they also run on the GSM network unlike Verizon or Sprint that run on the CDMA network. In my opinion this means if the FCC approves of this acquisition it will be a much smoother transition combining the two carriers.
If all goes as planned and AT&T takes over T-Mobile customers will have increased data speeds, fewer dropped calls, and an expansion of mobile technology with growing coverage throughout the country. At the same time some think that this will cause a duopoly of US carriers being Verizon and AT&T. This could stifle innovation in the mobile technology market as well though and if this were to become a duopoly per say, it would crush smaller service providers and negatively effect everyone as a consumer.
Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry: Mark’s Torch 9800
Below is an email sent from AT&T to customers that have been Tethering their devices but are not subscribe to the Tethering Plan from AT&T:
Dear [Name of Account Holder],
We’ve noticed your service plan may need updating.
Many AT&T customers use their smartphones as a broadband connection for other devices, like laptops, netbooks or other smartphones– a practice commonly known as tethering. Tethering can be an efficient way for our customers to enjoy the benefits of AT&T’s mobile broadband network and use more than one device to stay in touch with important people and information. To take advantage of this feature, we require that in addition to a data plan, you also have a tethering plan.
Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.
If you would like to continue tethering, please log into your account online at http://www.wireless.att.com, or call us at 1-888-860-6789 Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. CST or Saturday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. CST, by March 27, 2011 to sign up for DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering. Here are details on the plan:
DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering
$45 per month (this gives you 4GB in total, combining both your smartphone data plan for $25 and the tethering feature, $20)
$10 per each additional GB thereafter, added automatically as needed
Mobile Hotspot capabilities are included for compatible Smartphones
If we don’t hear from you, we’ll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB after March 27, 2011. The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan.
If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.
It’s easy to track your usage throughout the month so there are no bill surprises. For example, we send you free text messages when you reach 65, 90, and 100 percent of your plan’s threshold. If you would like to monitor your account more closely, go to http://www.att.com/dataplans to learn about other ways to track your data usage.
As a reminder, our smartphone data plans also include unlimited usage of Wi-Fi at no additional charge. AT&T smartphone customers can use Wi-Fi at home or on-the-go at any one of our more than 23,000 U.S. hotspots already included in your data plan.
Thank you for bringing your account up to date. We appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve your mobile broadband needs.