Wireless Stories August 7, 2015

verizon building Verizon will launch brand new, simpler data plans and kill subsidies as expected from August 13. Today, the company introduced a set of plans which will require customers to pay for their smartphones in monthly installments, or buy them outright, instead of having the cost subsidized.

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Wireless Stories July 29, 2015

Sri Lanka might become the first country in the world to have its Internet covered by Project Loon

Google’s Project Loon has been in development for a couple of years now, and it’s finally signed up its first official partner: Sri Lanka. The deal between the government of Sri Lanka and Project Loon will see the nation become the world’s first to be fully covered by Loon’s floating towers.

Sri Lanka’s IT minister, in a statement to Lanka Business Online said: “As a result of this agreement, the entire Sri Lankan island – every village from Dondra to Point Pedro – will be covered with affordable high speed internet using Google Loon’s balloon technology.”

This news comes shortly after the hot-air balloon Internet tech was upgraded to act more like a mesh to provide faster, more consistent Internet coverage. They’ll launch 13 balloons over the next few months, and see the network size grow over time afterwards.

It’s a pretty exciting time for the small nation which typically has little rural coverage. Google’s balloons represent a saving in transmission costs, and will bring LTE network coverage to those who previously had nothing.

Wireless Stories July 28, 2015

qualcomm wipoer

Qualcomm announced today that it has become the first company to launch wireless charging that works on devices with metal casing. WiPower is not only material-agnostic, in that it can technically charge all kinds of devices, but it can do so at a distance and charge multiple devices simultaneously. If it works as Qualcomm says it does, this could be one of the most versatile and easy-to-use wireless charging solutions announced so far. expand full story

Wireless Stories April 21, 2015

google

Google’s oft-rumored U.S wireless service could be unveiled as early as Wednesday, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The report corroborates earlier rumors that the key selling point of Google’s network will be that users will only pay for the amount of data they actually use each month.

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Wireless Stories March 2, 2015

Microsoft announces foldable version of its universal Bluetooth keyboard

If you use both Android and Windows devices (and maybe iOS too), the latest version of Microsoft’s universal keyboard may appeal. Designed to allow you to switch easily between Android, Windows and iOS devices, the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is a more portable version, folding in half down the middle. (If you like a smaller vertical fold made for smartphones, Zagg makes an excellent product)

There’s no word yet on pricing or availability, but the original version retailed at $80 (and is available on Amazon for $65), so something in the same ballpark or a little higher seems likely.

Photos: CNET

Wireless Stories July 10, 2014

Motorola offers $100 off an unlocked Moto X through Net10 Wireless

Motorola has announced an awesome deal on Twitter, offering the almost-year-old Moto X at a steep $100 discount. To take advantage of the $299 price, though, you’re stuck with getting the unlocked phone through Net10 Wireless.

Lucky for you, the phone won’t be stuck with any plain jane design; you can customize it as much as you like using the famed Moto Maker. If you’re fond of the famed wooden custom backplates, it’s only going to cost you an extra $25. As for cases, Motorola says that they’re 50% off with this deal.

The Moto X has seen many a price drop dating back to as far as November of last year. And it makes sense that Motorola would want to be pushing stock, as rumors of the Moto X + 1 are most definitely swirling.

Wireless Stories June 19, 2014

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Google, as noticed by GeekWire, has just acquired the networking start-up Alpental Technologies. The start-up is relatively unknown and never received too much press attention. Alpental was founded by former Clearwire executives, Pete Gelbman and Mike Hart. The former worked at Clearwire for seven years as a founding member of the company’s CTO group. He also oversaw the company’s systems engineering, intellectual property, and corporate research.

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Wireless Stories June 3, 2014

Update: The Moto Stream is now live on Motorola’s website. It costs $49, uses Bluetooth and NFC technology to connect to devices, charges over USB, and has a 3.5mm to RCA connector for audio. Motorola also provides a bit more insight into this “DJ experience” it hinted at by describing a software feature called Heist Mode: expand full story

Wireless Stories June 1, 2014

fiber

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Google is planning to spend more than $1 billion to expand internet access to unwired regions of the world with a fleet of satellites. According to “people familiar with the matter,” Google this time around is hoping that it can overcome financial and technical problems it has faced in the past with this goal.

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Wireless Stories May 22, 2014

googlewifiruckus

Following yesterday’s report that Google intends to launch a WiFi network aimed at small businesses, new information (via Gigaom) has surfaced suggesting that wireless equipment maker Ruckus Wireless will be partnering with the Mountain View corporation to make it happen.

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Wireless Stories March 14, 2014

amazon

Rumors that Amazon’s set-top TV box will double as a games console have been lent weight by photos of a Bluetooth controller claimed to have been discovered in an overseas regulatory filing by Zatznotfunny.

The wireless Bluetooth controller features a gaggle of controls, including both shoulder buttons and triggers, in addition to media playback transport controls. And we give Amazon credit for using Android-esque icons for home, menu, and back …  expand full story

Wireless Stories January 29, 2014

AT&T offering $100 to both new and existing customers

Following a back and forth between T-Mobile and AT&T on promotions geared toward customers wanting to jump the carrier ship, AT&T announced today a short term promotion that actually rewards existing customers in addition to new users.

AT&T is shelling out $100 (in the form of a credit) for new lines including smartphones and tablets.

New and existing customers are eligible when you activate a qualifying wireless line

Add a new line for any smartphone, feature phone, tablet, wireless home phone, MiFi puck, or other connected device

You must remain active and in good standing for 45 days; your credit will be applied within 3 bill cycles

The promo runs through the end of March, so it’s not permanent, but it’s certainly a hefty incentive and hopefully of sign of what carrier competition can bring.

Wireless Stories December 5, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 11.10.55 PM

AT&T has launched a new initiative called Mobile Share Value Plans that is designed to save customers money on their monthly AT&T mobile phone service bills. The following changes are specifically for the Mobile Share program, which allows devices to work under the same AT&T account and share data, talk, and text plans. Similar to T-Mobile’s “un-carrier” approach, the new AT&T plans separate the cost of the device hardware completely from the monthly service charges:

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Wireless Stories May 8, 2012

Coming out of CTIA 2012 today, Virgin Mobile announced it plans to launch the HTC EVO V 4G on May 31 as its first 4G device. Of course, Sprint’s no-contract subsidiary will offer the device without a commitment, which means you will have to hand over $299 and a minimum of $35 per month to get your hands on it.

Virgin also announced today the arrival of the no-contract $35 4G data plans that will go hand-in-hand with the EVO V as outlined in the press release below. Sprint confirmed its EVO V 4G WiMAX variant would come to Boost Mobile also for $300 with data plans as low as $40.

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Wireless Stories July 21, 2011

(Triumph on the left, Virgin Optimous Center and Samsung right)

Let’s get this out of the way first: I like Virgin Mobile.  The Sprint prepaid subsidiary offers plans that work well for me because I don’t use a lot of voice minutes – specifically, their Unlimited Data/Text Minutes plan which just unfortunately went up from $25/month to $35/month for 300 minutes of talk.  Virgin also doesn’t put too much trash on top of Android and the phones they sell don’t have manufacturer overlays on them either.  You almost get a Google phone, though one here that is left back on Froyo.

If anything slows Virgin down, my major gripe has been their lack of diversity in phones and specifically at the high end in Virgin’s lineup.  Until now, they’ve offered a small anemic Samsung Slider and a very solid but economical LG Optimus V (which I reviewed at Fortune).

That all changed today with the release of the Motorola Triumph (manual- PDF), a slim 4.1-inch screen candy bar with a 1-GHz Processor and front and back cameras.  The device is handsome and coated with a soft rubber feel that certainly improves the grip.  How does it perform?

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Wireless 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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Wireless Stories July 4, 2011

Android Central has received an exclusive screenshot that points to an August 4th launch date for the Droid Bionic. The Droid Bionic was announced at CES last January, and has seen hardware reconstruction since then. Motorola calls the changes ‘expanded features, functionality and an improved form factor’, but we don’t have any details past that. The screenshot above also points to a July 14th release date for the Droid 3.

The Bionic has already received FCC approval, so it’s just a matter of time before we see this phone hitting the LTE waves. Of course this date could always change. If you haven’t seen this phone yet, check out the press image after the break.

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Wireless Stories June 26, 2011

Pocketnow has published exclusive pictures of what they say is a Samsung QWERTY slider on its way to Verizon Wireless. As you’ll notice, the device is very similar to the Epic 4G on Sprint. It is not clear yet as to whether this device will have 4G capabilities like the Epic 4G, but we are hopeful.  More importantly, we’re wondering if Verizon is going to saddle this thing with Bing like it has its other Samsung (save the Droid Charge) and LG Android devices.  If so…pass!

The device has the model number SCH-i405, following Samsung Continuum’s of SCH-i400, reports AndroidSpin. The device has already earned Bluetooth and Wi-Fi certifications, but has not made its way past the FCC. There isn’t any other information as to what’s actually inside the device. For those of you who can’t wait to get your slide on, this device should be hitting stores in a month or two. expand full story

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