HSPA+ Stories February 25, 2013

Following the official announcement of Samsung’s 8-inch Galaxy Note smartphone and tablet hybrid, Asus today made things official for its own 7-inch tablet with built-in 3G calling capabilities. We’re not exactly sure if consumers are asking for a 7-inch or larger device for making calls, but the addition of an HSPA+ radio is on top of otherwise decent specs compared to its competitors. Dubbed the FonePad, Asus said the device includes a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1,280-by-800 HD display, and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The Fonepad also packs a 4,270mAh battery that Asus said should bring around 9 hours of battery life.

As for availability, Asus said the Fonepad would arrive to customers in the U.K. sometime in late Q2 of this year with prices starting at £179 (inc VAT) for the 16GB variant.

The company also announced another phone/tablet hybrid today, the next-generation PadFone. Asus has released previous generations of the device including a smartphone and tablet dock that allows users to quickly switch from the tablet form factor to a smartphone. It announced it is upgrading the smartphone portion to a 5-inch, 1080p display, while the 10.1-inch tablet gets a new 1,920-by-1,200 display and upgraded internals (via Engadget):

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HSPA+ Stories May 17, 2012

T-Mobile announces no-contract broadband passes starting at $15

T-Mobile announced new “worry-free No Annual Contracts” today for its mobile broadband service that is expected to launch through T-Mobile retail stores and online May 20. The plans start at $15 per one-week pass capped at 300MB and $25 per one-moth pass capped at 1.5GB. The carrier is also offering 3.5GB and 5GB one-month passes at $35 and $50, respectively.

T-Mobile’s website currently lists no-annual contract broadband plans at $100 for a 100MB week pass, $30 for a 1 GB month pass, or $50 for a 3GB month pass. We are assuming the new plans will replace the old ones on May 20.

Starting at just $15, T-Mobile’s lineup of No Annual Contract mobile broadband passes delivers a pay-in-advance, overage-free solution that offers an allotment of mobile data, making it possible for customers to choose a pass that best fits their data needs without committing to a two-year contract.

The full press release from T-Mobile is below:

T-Mobile Introduces New No Annual Contract
Mobile Broadband Service Passes
New Passes, Available May 20, Offer Flexible, More Affordable Access to High-Speed Internet on the Go on an Advanced Lineup of 4G Tablets, Mobile Hotspots and Laptop Sticks
Bellevue, Wash. — May 17, 2012  T-Mobile USA, Inc. today announced that its new, flexible and worry-free No Annual Contract mobile broadband service passes will debut May 20, making it easier for customers to enjoy access to high-speed Internet on the go whenever they want. With T-Mobile’s new, more affordable No Annual Contract data passes, customers can experience T-Mobile’s blazing-fast 4G network speeds across a variety of mobile broadband devices including tablets, mobile hotspots and laptop sticks – with no strings attached.
 
Starting at just $15, T-Mobile’s lineup of No Annual Contract mobile broadband passes delivers a pay-in-advance, overage-free solution that offers an allotment of mobile data, making it possible for customers to choose a pass that best fits their data needs without committing to a two-year contract:
  • 300MB 1-week pass for $15
  • 1.5GB 1-month pass for $25
  • 3.5GB 1-month pass for $35
  • 5GB 1-month pass for $50
“Although most of our mobile broadband customers choose postpaid rate plans for the best device prices and data rates, we know that many of our customers want the flexibility to be able to experience mobile broadband without committing to an annual contract up front,” said Jeremy Korst, vice president of marketing, T-Mobile USA. “With better pricing and new features like an auto-refill option and a simpler purchase experience, T-Mobile’s No Annual Contract mobile broadband passes make it easier and more affordable than ever to experience high-speed Internet on the go on a range of devices.”
 
T-Mobile® offers a variety of 4G mobile broadband devices that, when connected to T-Mobile’s high-speed 4G network, offer customers fast access to the Web, e-mail, gaming, movies and more, while on-the-go.
  • T-Mobile’s lineup of mobile, connected tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus and the T-Mobile® SpringBoard™ with Google,  deliver a premium on-the-go entertainment and Web experience, making it possible to stream movies on a road trip or shop online while the kids play at the park.
  • The T-Mobile® Sonic 4G Mobile Hotspot and the T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot are ideal for staying connected on-the-go with colleagues and clients or providing Internet on the go for the family on vacation. Providing simultaneous access to T-Mobile’s 4G network for up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices, customers can use their mobile hotspots to connect their iPad® devices, laptops, music players, portable gaming devices and e-readers, among other devices, to T-Mobile’s high-speed 4G network.
  • T-Mobile’s laptop sticks, including the HSPA+ 42-enabled Rocket 3.0 USB Laptop Stick, are perfect for customers looking for a blazing-fast mobile Internet connection on their laptop.
Availability
T-Mobile’s new No Annual Contract mobile broadband passes are expected to be available beginning May 20 at T-Mobile retail stores, select dealers, national retailers and online at http://www.t-mobile.com. More information on T-Mobile’s mobile broadband offerings is available at http://mobile-broadband.t-mobile.com.  

HSPA+ Stories November 16, 2011

Qualcomm has just issued a press release announcing the commercial availability of their Gobi 4000 chips for 4G LTE and HSPA+ capable devices, variants of which could very well land in any number of  forthcoming dual and quad-core LTE Android devices. Qualcomm is already working with OEMs to include the Gobi 4000 platform, which comes in both LTE/HSPA+ and LTE/EV-DO designs, in devices including Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops, and Dell’s Latitude E6420 laptops, in addition to other Android and Windows powered mobile devices. Qualcomm explains:

Qualcomm’s latest Gobi-enabled 4G platform features the Gobi Application Programming Interface (API) with LTE extensions and is compatible with leading connectivity standards, including CDMA2000® 1xEV-DO Rev. A and B, HSPA+, dual-carrier HSPA+, and LTE with integrated backwards compatibility to HSPA and EV-DO. The Gobi 4000 platform also includes software enhancements for select MDM™ chipsets that enable a common software interface to help connect, locate and manage 3G/4G devices regardless of wireless interface and operating system. 

The new chips, now shipping to OEMs through Novatel Wireless and Sierra Wireless, are based on Qualcomm’s MDM9600 and MDM 9200 3G/4G wireless modems, and as the company notes, have been specially designed for deployment in Android devices utilizing Snapdragon dual-core and quad-core processors. In addition to HSPA+, dual-carrier HSPA+, and LTE support, the Gobi 4000 platform is also backwards compatible with HSPA and EV-DO. You can expect the chip to land in a number of LTE-capable Android devices in the months to come.

Qualcomm’s senior vice president of produdct management for CDMA Technologies, Cristiano Amon, had this to say about the announcement: expand full story

Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

HSPA+ Stories September 27, 2011

A Localytics study issued today helps understand why Verizon Wireless recently sided with Samsung in the ongoing Apple vs. Samsung legal saga. Per Localytics’ data, 4G is one of Android’s key differentiators: More than one in three Android phones in the United States take advantage of fourth-generation cellular networks. In the third quarter of this year, some 36.6 percent of Android handsets in the United States were 4G-ready, a notable increase over the 22.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

This number is increasing rapidly – since the beginning of the year, the percentage of Android devices that are 4G-capable has grown by over 50 percent, culminating at a full third of the Android ecosystem. It will be interesting to see whether the iPhone 5 supports any type of 4G network. The drawbacks – bulkier antenna and a much shorter battery life – may outweigh the benefits in speed. Regardless, with the growth in 4G-capable handsets Android has seen, it appears that smartphone users are buying into the value of speed. We’ll see how this continues. 

The nation’s most popular 4G handsets in the third quarter were the HTC Thunderbolt (Verizon), the HTC Evo 4G (Sprint), the Samsung Epic 4G (Sprint), the Samsung Droid Charge (Verizon), the myTouch 4G (T-Mobile USA) and the Motorola Atrix (AT&T). A few caveats and the full list of most popular 4G devices in the country right below the fold…

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HSPA+ Stories July 12, 2011

AT&T this morning announced first two devices 4G LTE devices, both Mac compatible: A 4G LTE mobile hotspot and a 4G LTE USB modem. If you live in any of AT&T’s five 4G LTE markets (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, with more coming by the year’s end), you can take advantage of 4G LTE speeds. Those living outside the initial 4G LTE coverage needn’t worry because AT&T, as they say, will have the only combo LTE/HSPA+ network and both devices feature HSPA+ support as a fallback technology. “Our customers will receive a more consistent mobile broadband experience that supports simultaneous voice and data connections and higher speeds than others can provide outside their LTE footprint”, AT&T argues. More on the devices, availability and price points after the break.

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