European flight change follows device rule changes by FAA, EASA
Passengers on flights in Europe may be able to use their smartphone's data connection in the future, after the European Commission has revealed new rules allowing the use of 3G and 4G LTE connections in flights. The new rules come shortly after both the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) allowed the use of electronic devices set in flight mode at takeoff and landing for travel in the US and Europe respectively.
Carrier's change to data plans entangles Apple through 3G iPad
Although it had no say in how AT&T managed its "unlimited" 3G data plans, Apple and the US carrier are both responsible for harm inflicted on consumers who bought 3G iPads on AT&T's network expected to be able to use an unlimited data plan. The proposed settlement, which must still be approved by a judge, comes as a result of customers who spent an extra $130 on the 3G-capable iPad in the expectation that they could use AT&T's unlimited data plan with it. AT&T later revoked the option after promising it would retain it for iPad 3G customers.
Samsung withdrew injunction requests but not damages actions
A German court has accepted Samsung's plea and scheduled a retrial of a case against Apple for allegedly infringing a 3G standards-essential patent (SEP) after the Korean electronics maker presented a new theory to the court that allowed it to sue Apple for damages. Samsung had been forced to withdraw all European lawsuits involving SEPs that asked for injunctions due to a ruling from the European Commission that such a practice was illegal and anti-competitive, however it is still free to sue for damages from potential infringers.
Follows recent introduction of Nexus 10 to Play store
Google has started to sell the 3G-enabled version of the Nexus 7 in Japan, alongside the existing Wi-Fi models. The Wi-Fi + 3G Android tablet, with 32GB of storage and support for W-CDMA and HSPA+, has gone on sale a few days after it's 10-inch counterpart, the Nexus 10, reached the same regional Google Play store.
Existing 3G-service customers to access 4G LTE when rolled out
British carrier Three is planning to offer 4G service without requiring any changes to existing contracts, including those with an unlimited data allowance. Customers will be able to access the 4G signal on current 3G contracts without needing to pay a premium or lose any of their existing data allowance, so long as they are using smartphones capable of connecting to it, and are in an area covered by the signal.
Shrunk 3G femtocell takes less room, passes power through
UK carrier Vodafone has released a second version of its Sure Signal box. The refreshed 3G-broadcasting femtocell compacts the internals from the router-sized original into a pass-through plug design, which not only takes up as much space as a plug-in air freshener, but also allows the power socket to be completely usable by other devices.
New Google Chromebook also available with two years free 3G
The second-generation Google Chromebook made by Samsung is also available in a 3G model. The standard 11-inch model available through Google Play is Wi-Fi only and sells for $249. The 3G version is being sold directly by Samsung as well as through Amazonwith the 3G module adding $80 to the asking price at $330.
Asus rumored prepping a 3G variant of the Google Nexus 7
Google’s Nexus 7 manufacturing partner Asus is said to be prepping a 3G variant of the currently Wi-Fi-only device. The report comes courtesy of MoDaCo, which claims to have received the information from a “very well placed insider.” The launch is expected in “around six weeks,” with hardware remaining essentially unchanged barring the addition of the 3G radio – a GPS module is already included in the current model.
Carrier continues to try for 120 city LTE target
Sprint has expanded its 4G LTE service into four more markets and boosted its 3G efforts in three. Users in Baltimore, Md., Gainesville, Ga,. Manhattan/Junction City, Kan., and Sedalia, Mo. will be able to take advantage of the high-speed service from this week onwards, as Sprint moves towards its goal of putting LTE into 120 cities by the end of the year.
SEC filing shows self-created deadline to end 2G service
AT&T will be shutting down its 2G bands by the start of 2017, according to a mention in a recent SEC filing picked up by the Wall Street Journal. The carrier gave New Year's Day, 2017 as a deadline to discontinue its 2G service to customers, which allows nearly four and a half years for the carrier to transition its 2G customer base to 3G and "4G" devices.
System to help towards enabling Internet of Things concept
Intel has made a new system-on-chip that puts 3G power amplifiers into radio frequency circuits. The SMARTi UE2p, an improvement on its previous attempt at the platform, is smaller and more power efficient than before, while also being less complex for developers to use. Intel hopes the new SoC would bring down the cost of 3G handsets and support machine-to-machine communication to help enable the "Internet of Things."
Samsung case against Apple in Australia set to collapse
Australian Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett has labeled the case brought before the court by Samsung against Apple over 3G patents as "ridiculous," reports Bloomberg. Samsung is countersuing Apple in Australia in response to Apple's assertions that Samsung has copied its hardware and software designs and implementations. According to Bennett, if the case was between any other two companies it would be immediately ordered to mediation.
Patents expected to be used for mobile technology
Intel has agreed to buy 1,700 mobile patents from InterDigital. The $375 million cash deal sees patents for Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE technologies head to the processor giant, which is expected to expand its push into the mobile market. The patent sale comes six months after InterDigital decided against selling itself entirely, preferring to continue its patent licensing business.
Sprint found to be worst 3G performer in all cities measured
A study suggests that AT&T has the fastest 3G network but lacks consistency in connection speed, reports CNN Money. Data from the CarrierCompare app (free, App Store) found the connection offered by Verizon, although half the speed of AT&T, to be far more consistent throughout the day. Sprint appeared to be the slowest of the three carriers, however it had the most consistency in the tests.
IPWireless patents reach Intellectual Ventures and Nvidia
Nvidia and Intellectual Ventures have acquired a sizable patent portfolio from IPWireless. The list of pending and granted patents, totaling approximately 500, consists of wireless communications technologies including essential concepts in 3G, 4G, LTE, and LTE-Advanced. The purchase price of the patents bundle were not disclosed.
Mobility Fund to be available as a reverse auction
The Federal Communications Commission has detailed the bidding process for its $300 million 'Mobility Fund' that aims to hasten 3G and 4G deployment in rural areas throughout the US. The funds will be allocated through a reverse auction, requiring companies to submit bids that indicate the amount of cash needed to deploy 3G and 4G networks within the Commission's guidelines.
Update for Sprint Galaxy Nexus through Wi-Fi soon
Galaxy Nexus owners on Sprint will receive an update
fixing the missing 3G support on the handset. Subscribers have been reporting network connection issues on the carrier's public forum for the last week.
FCC puts up $300 for Phase 1 of Mobility Fund
The FCC has scheduled a reverse auction to help facilitate a build out program to expand 3G services to rural regions. The agency has compiled a $300 million Mobility Fund for Phase 1 of the project as it aims to give US citizens ‘universal broadband and advanced mobile coverage by the end of the decade.’ The money has been made available as part of the Connect America Fund.
Shares 3G data with Macs, PCs
An app that allows unlimited tethering from an iPhone or 3G iPad to a Mac or PC has appeared in the App Store, called iTether and costing $15. The app requires that users download a free matching Mac or Windows application from the developers' website after installing the iOS app, but once this is done users simply connect the iPhone or iPad to the Mac or Windows machine via a USB dock connector cable to share the connection.
Carrier CEO voices opinion on future of tablets
A Sprint executive suggests tablet makers need to outfit their devices with phone features before the 3G/4G models can gain a foothold in the market. The company's director of business product marketing, Jeff Adelmann, argues that users should be able to choose between answering a voice call on their smartphone or tablet.
Works with 3G or Wi-Fi, requires Line2 account
Popular VOIP and telephony app Line2 has released a Line2 HD version for the iPad that lets users make or receive calls as well as text-message using Wi-Fi or 3G. The app requires an existing Line2 account (due to App Store restrictions, users must get the account from the website rather than within the app) and allows users to port over existing phone numbers, supports Visual Voicemail and generally turns the iPad into a full-fledged mobile phone.
Company stopped Ebay sale of modded model
A modified MacBook Pro with a built-in SIM card slot and a raisable 3G antenna that showed up on Ebay three weeks ago will soon be back in Apple's hands, CNet is reporting. A North Carolina man, who originally bought the item for parts from a listing on Craigslist for parts, had his Ebay attempt to sell off the machine stopped by Apple, who are now in touch with him to arrange its return, despite bids as high as $70,000 before the auction was pulled.
Perhaps new method of 'hiding' 3G antenna?
Just days after a prototype MacBook Pro with a built-in 3G antenna appeared for auction on Ebay (since removed), the company has been granted a patent on an integrated wireless antenna system that is "hidden" in keys on a notebook keyboard, perhaps demonstrating a superior way of adding 3G (or other wireless) communication to future models. The patent lists Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but also mentions GPS and 3G as possible connections, AppleInsider reports.
Offers quad-band 3G, auto failover
Nova Media in Berlin and Belgium company Option have made available a combo router with support for both broadband and quad-band 3G which supports up to 14.4 Mbit per second download and 5.76 Mbit per second uploads, compatible with most 3G networks worldwide. The GlobeSurfer III+ also offers DSL failover, automatically switching to cellular data and switching back when the broadband connection returns.
Comes on heels of ending unlimited data
Verizon will now start sending text-message alerts (free of charge) to 3G data customers when their data uses crosses certain thresholds, the company has announced, alongside the e-mail based alerts that have been available for tablet, netbook, PC card and mobile broadband customers previously. In addition, customers can check their data usage on-the-fly by dialing #DATA, which will send a free text message with current usage information.
Similar to existing 'citizen journalism' apps
The BBC is developing a single app intended to allow its field reporters to file video, images and audio reports directly into the BBC News system from an iPhone or iPad, Journalism.co.uk reports. The new app, which will replace a hodge-podge of commercial apps like AudioBoo currently in use, will allow correspondents to broadcast live from an iPhone even using only a 3G signal.
Features Launch2Net Premium for software control
Berlin-based Nova Media have introduced a "surfstick" for Mac OS X made in conjunction with Belgium company Option called the iCON 461, a world-wide 3G data stick modem that is completely unlocked and can be used with most 2G or 3G networks around the world. The modem features an integrated GPS chip as well as a MicroSD card slot, enabling it to double as portable storage.
New customer survey includes questions about 3G
A survey being sent out to select MacBook Air owners may reveal that Apple is considering adding native 3G capability to the ultra-portable -- among other possibilities, reports AppleInsider. The survey also asks questions about how users handle syncing data, how often and for what purpose the USB and MiniDisplayPort ports are used, what accessories MBA owners use most often and other such questions.
T-Mobile 4G claims gain some credence
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has issued a press release that has expanded the use of the term 4G. Technologies that can now carry the 4G label include regular LTE, WiMAX and even what it broadly refers to as “evolved 3G technologies”. Previously it had maintained that the only technologies that would fit any definition of 4G would have to comply with either LTE Advanced or WiMAX 2.
Keeps track of data usage, creates wi-fi networks
Nova Media today announced a major update of its 3G connection manager for Mac, Launch2Net Premium, to v2.1, adding new support to 3G modems from Huawei and ZTE as well as updating its connection settings for other providers such as Novatel, Sierra Wireless, Sony Ericsson and Option. The program smoothes the connection process for Mac users who want to use a 3G modem to provide internet access, helps find local prepaid providers, keeps track of usage and includes an ability to create an ad-hoc wi-fi network so that non-3G devices can share the connection.
Hack enables functionality missing from US app
In just a few days following Skype's Android app launch, hackers have reportedly managed to enable VoIP calling over 3G networks. Although international users could take advantage of 3G VoIP calling without using modified software, the US release restricted users to placing calls over Wi-Fi networks.
Site launches ahead of schedule
Best Buy has accidentally confirmed its Connect mobile 3G service ahead of schedule. The company quietly published a website for the new service, however the pages were quickly removed. Earlier reports suggest the offering is actually based on Sprint's network, but rebranded specifically for the retailer.
Data usage counted toward mobile cap
AT&T has announced that it has completed 3G MicroCell deployment for all customers in the continental US. The system works as an independent 3G connection for a home or office, routing data and voice through a wired broadband connection. Users can make phone calls or use data features even in dead zones or fringe areas.
Faster 3G available to 45 million more people
T-Mobile today said that the ongoing expansion of its HSPA+ network will cover 25 major urban areas by the end of June, providing the 21Mbps access to significantly more people. The latest cities to get the expansion include Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and North Carolina's research triangle area (Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem). This more than doubles the number of people covered by T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, from 30 million to 75 million.
Other additions coming to Memphis, Vegas
T-Mobile has announced ongoing expansion of its HSPA+ network which brings faster 3G data speeds for subscribers. The company's HSPA+ network has been broadened in the New York City metropolitan area, including New Jersey and Long Island, along with other New York Cities such as Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.
iPad Data Global Add-On matches iPhone pricing
AT&T has disclosed its pricing structure for international data plans for the 3G iPad, indicating similar fees currently tied to the iPhone. The costly "Data Global Add-On" options include four levels of usage, ranging from 25MB to 200MB. Customers will have to pay $25/month at the lowest level, while the 200MB plan fetches $200.
Update already submitted to Apple
ABC is reportedly ready to launch an updated version of its iPad app, according to the Business Insider. The app will allow users to stream videos across 3G networks, overcoming the Wi-Fi limitation of the current version. An ABC representative recently blamed the restriction on a "variety of business and technical considerations."
Functionality requires trimming of standard SIM
The iPhone Dev Team, a group better known for iPhone jailbreaking, has allegedly found a way to send SMS messages from a 3G iPad. The additional functionality reportedly requires raw code, as the feature has yet to be officially enabled on the tablet, according to details listed on a Twitter post. SMS messages are also prohibited from AT&T accounts bundled with the 3G models.
Device increases signal strength in the home
AT&T has extended availability for its 3G MicroCell router beyond the initial pilot cities. Customers can now sign up from additional locations in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, San Diego and Las Vegas. The device creates a local 3G hotspot, using an in-home broadband connection to connect back to the phone network.
Connection automatically switched as needed
AirLive has introduced the Air3G, a multifunction router capable of working with USB-attached wireless broadband modems. Users can configure the the router to choose the wired connection for primary use, while the 3G modem is automatically enabled only if the primary connection is disrupted. To help prevent overage charges on a wireless broadband account, the router automatically switches back to the standard connection as soon as service resumes.
Companies reportedly disagree on CDMA pricing
Apple and Verizon are allegedly involved in negotiations regarding a CDMA-equipped iPhone, although both companies are said to be unable to agree on pricing, according to UBS analyst Maynard J. Um. A separate Wall Street analyst, Brian Marshall of Broadpoint AmTech, suggests that Apple is focusing on Verizon to be the 3G carrier for the rumored tablet device.
Device optimized for newspaper content
Sony on Monday announced that its flagship Reader Daily Edition has begun shipping. The device features a seven-inch touchscreen optimized for newspapers and magazines, while a 3G connection utilizes AT&T's wireless network to download content from Sony's Reader Store.
Blogger calls for network overload on Friday
AT&T has responded to Fake Steve Jobs' call for iPhone users to work together in an attempt to overload the carrier's data network at noon on Friday, according to Cult of Mac. An AT&T spokesman criticized the protest, claiming it was totally irresponsible and simply an attempt to bring more readers to the blog, which is written under the Fake Steve pseudonym by Newsweek's Dan Lyons.
Chip choice helps increase gross margin on iPhone
Apple has allegedly established a system to minimize licensing costs for 3G components patented by Qualcomm, according to Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi. While most 3G OEMs are paying Qualcomm roughly 4 percent on the wholesale price of their phones, Apple reportedly dodges most of the fees and pays an estimated 1.6 percent of its iPhone revenue to the chip maker.
iPhone carrier works to ban 3G maps from TV ads
Verizon has filed a response to AT&T's lawsuit which had sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ban the "there's a map for that" ads critical of the latter carrier's 3G coverage. Verizon defends its ad campaign, claiming the coverage maps are accurate and clearly labeled as 3G networks. AT&T argues that the ads mislead customers to believe the comparison includes 2G coverage.
Device similar to 3i launched in China
Dell's Android-based Mini 3iX has surfaced in Brazil with support for Wi-Fi and 3G UMTS/HSDPA on 850MHz, 1900MHz and 2100MHz bands, according to photos posted on the Brazilian site CelularCafe. The integration of 850MHz 3G components adds evidence to rumors suggesting Dell is planning to bring its Mini 3i smartphone design to the US market.
GlobeSurfer X.1 ships
nova media has launched the GlobeSurfer X.1, a WLAN b/g/n router that connects via ethernet or 3G modem. The router has two 100 Mbps ethernet ports, a USB 2.0 port for a 3G connection and a standard USB 2.0 port that supports an external drive or offers print-serving with an attached printer. It uses a web interface for configuration and arrives with a quick setup wizard for assembling a local network.
New 3G antenna ships
Modem Mate is launching an external antenna for USB-based 3G modems that lack an antenna connector. The device couples inductively with the internal antenna of most 3G modems. The antenna ships with an adapter that features a fastening strip for attaching/detaching the coupler to a 3G modem. The antenna then clips to the upper portion of the display for the best signal strength.
New 3G EC modem ships
nova media has launched the GlobeTrotter Express 441 ExpressCard modem, providing Macintosh notebook users worldwide access to 3G connections. The modem supports HSPA connections in the 850-, 900-, 1900- and 2100-MHz bands providing maximum 7.2 Mb/sec download speeds and 5.76Mb/sec upload speeds. GPRS and Quad-Band Edge connections are supported within the afore-mentioned bands. The modem features an auto-off switch, triggered by retracting the antennae, so it can remain in the express card slot of a MacBook Pro constantly, only drawing power when the antennae is raised, and not interfering with airplane signals when retracted.
3G hardware development
In brief: Gameloft is currently working on a new iPhone game that is based on the Apple II classic "The Oregon Trail". The game has been updated for the iPhone platform and will have several new features to take advantage of the devices capabilities. No release information has been detailed yet but several screen shots have been released. The WebObjects Community Association has started conducting their annual survey for collecting information from its community. The collected information is used to plan ahead for next year and also to help plan for the next WOWODC. In other news, nova media has released a new hardware development kit for 3G devices based on a 3G embedded wireless module.