Verizon 4G LTE Outage

Verizons’ new 4G LTE network is down, and it seems their 3G network is unavailable at the moment. The network services are down across the country and as of now there is no official word on why the 4G and 3G services are down.

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AT&T-Mobile

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.

PlayBook Launch

I hope anyone who got their new Blackberry Playbook yesterday 4/19/2011 is happy and satisfied with the first step by RIM in the tablet market. I for one had a terrible time first trying to just get my hands on the Playbook then just getting it to work properly. I pre-ordered my Playbook from Best Buy on 4/9/2011 which they stated that meant it would arrive on 4/19/2011 launch date. After getting home with my anxiety building and expectations so high to see my Playbook at my front door waiting to be unboxed, I was severely disappointed not to have it waiting for me.

I first called Best Buy Customer Service and spoke with a woman for about 20 minutes and she told me all types of things just giving me false hope. She even said it might still come tonight and that she saw that it was ready to go on the truck and delivered. The more I thought about it the more it bothered me that I pre-ordered my Playbook and I didn’t have it, what really would be the point of pre-oredering something like this if I’m not even going to get it at launch and if I was just to go to the store I could easily pick one up and not to mention the fact that I had to pay almost $50.00 for shipping.

I ended up calling and talking to another woman customer representative and she was a lot more helpful this time at least. She was straight up and honest with me and said that there was really not even an actual tangible item/device with my name on it. She said they sold so many of them and they have just been running out of stock, but I asked “why would that effect someone like me that pre-ordered one, should it be effected by them selling quickly?” Either way my wife and I both complained quiet a bit about this and eventually got the main managers phone number and a case number to give him.

Now after all that I still didn’t have my Playbook and the only thing left to do was go buy one. So I drove to the closet Best Buy and picked up a 16GB for over $500.00, so that’s a total of over $1000.00 I have spent to get this Playbook. After taking it home and opening it, I couldn’t put it down, the display was beautiful and gestures were flawless also the Blackberry Bridge worked perfectly between my Playbook and Torch. Now the only issue is I am taking this device back to exchange it because it won’t take a charge. It is a problem with the device and the input for the charger, so it could be worse but at least I have got to use it briefly and I know how to setup everything including the Bridge. But this experience could have and should have been a lot nicer, and maybe next time it will be.

Near Field Communication

So today I was talking with a man who has family throughout the world. He has four grandchildren in Hong Kong and 3 more in England. He was a very interesting person who was very excite to talk to me about the technology that is used in different parts of the world for everyday life. One thing in particular that I wanted to talked to him about is the use of an Oracle in Hong Kong, which is basically the use of NFC (Near Field Communication) something that smart phone makers are trying to implement in upcoming devices.

Near field communication, or NFC, is a set of short-range wireless technologies, typically requiring a distance of 4 cm or less. NFC operates at 13.56 MHz and at rates ranging from 106 kbit/s to 848 kbit/s. NFC always involves an initiator and a target; the initiator actively generates an RF field that can power a passive target. This enables NFC targets to take very simple form factors such as tags, stickers, key fobs, or cards that do not require batteries. NFC peer-to-peer communication is also possible, where both devices are powered.

He was saying that when he visits Hong Kong, which he is there a few months of the year, that he buys a device called an Oracle. According to him he purchases it from almost any convenient store for $50.00, $100.00 or whatever you really want to put on the card. Then you stick it in your wallet and from there you can use it basically anywhere you need to make a purchase like the transit or even a McDonalds, and when you use the card you see how much money you have left on the card. You don’t even need to take it out of your wallet and just wave it in front of the scanners and it picks up the card immediately. I thought this sounds like a great way to make payments and it would make purchases a lot more easy and fast in many situations, and it would be great to have these capabilities on our cell phones sooner rather than later.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry: Mark’s Torch 9800

Some 2011 BlackBerry phones (Photos)

Here is a couple of pictures of some of the upcoming BlackBerry phones we should see in 2011. With the exception of the Curve 8980 that is pictured, I have heard no official word on that phone. But the 2011 line up of Blackberry phones is really looking great right now.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry: Mark’s Torch 9800

Tablet Specs Comparison Chart

This chart shows a comparison of some tablets that are on the market or that are going to be on the market soon, most notably for me is the Blackberry Playbook. It releases in six days and it is the first real multi-tasking, enterprise ready tablet. It will really do so off what RIM can do outside of the smartphone arena in my opinion.

Chart via Crackberry

Tablet Specs

Tablet Specs

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry: Mark’s Torch 9800

Blackberry OS 6.1

Today the Blackberry Touch (or Monaco) was seen in some hands-on photos. It is great looking device and it is running the not yet released Blackberry OS 6.1. There was also the leaked OS 6.1.0.44 and with that there are a few BB 6.1 applications that can be downloaded now:

•BlackBerry App World v2.1.3.2
•BlackBerry Radio v1.0.0.34
•BlackBerry Podcasts v1.5.0.18
•BlackBerry News v1.1.0.12
•Facebook for BlackBerry v1.9.1.8 
•Visual Voice Mail v3.0.0.122

The known specs for the Blackberry Touch:

Dimensions: Sleek, thin profile – 11.5mm thick (120 x 62 x 11.5 mm)
Processor:
Monza / GSM: TBA…
Monaco / CDMA: Qualcomm 1.2GHz Processor
Radio:
Monza / GSM: TBA…
Monaco / CDMA: Dual band CDMA, EV-DO Rev A, RX Diversity ; Quad band EDGE / Single Band UMTS
Display: 3.7″ – 800×480 resolution, 15:9 aspect ration, 253 DPI
Camera: 5 MP – Flash – Image Stabilization – HD Video Recording (720p)
Navigation: Capacitive touch + BlackBerry navigation keys + optical navigation module. One convenience key
Memory: 4GB storage + 768MB RAM + up to 32GB MicroSD
WiFi/GPS: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n + GPS + Bluetooth 2.1 EDR + Mobile HotSpot
Connectivity: Micro USB – Bluetooth – NFC
Sensors: Magnetometer – Accelerometer – Proximity
Software: Enhanced BlackBerry SW v.6.1, BlackBerry Evolution 6, Open GL ES 2.0, APIs for magnetometer and augmented reality apps

Via Crackberry and BGR

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry: Mark’s Torch 9800