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Everything posted by legion125

  1. by Jeff Foster Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Friday, April 20, 2012 - 11:31 AM MDT Is there a "spectrum shortage?" Those two words send shivers down the spines of wireless industry executives. New services demand ever more spectrum, and, the story goes, there simply isn't enough spectrum available. An Internet search engine will easily find hundreds of thousands of links to the term "spectrum shortage." Many claim that it will be the downfall of America. The dwindling availability of a finite resource that can't be seen or touched threatens to possibly disrupt the mobile lifestyle that virtually every American has embraced. Dropped cellphone calls, delayed text messages and choppy video streams could become more frequent occurrences because the airwaves on which that data travel are nearing capacity at a time when mobile usage shows no signs of slowing. Federal regulators and industry players are searching for ways to fend off the supply-and-demand collision. Dish Network recently acquired a large block of vacant wireless spectrum that pending regulatory approval could be used for mobile broadband services. Short-Term Plan AT&T tried to merge with T-Mobile to solve its own capacity problem. It wanted to get its hands on T-Mobile spectrum. Still, that would have been only a temporary fix at best. Remember all the terrible stories about the quality of AT&T's wireless data network over the last few years? They say they simply don't have enough. The reason is that during the last few years, smartphones like the Apple iPhone and the many devices running Android emerged, and wireless data traffic grew like crazy. This problem jumped up and bit AT&T in the rear end. Suddenly, so many people were sucking so much data that the network could not handle it, due to spectrum shortage. Spectrum is like the size of the hose, and a wider hose is needed to carry more data for more customers. A couple good things are suddenly happening that may give carriers a little time to solve this increasing problem. Perhaps Verizon starting to sell the iPhone last spring has something to do with it. If so, then now with Sprint selling the iPhone, AT&T will have more breathing room, at least temporarily. That's the good news. However, that reprieve will only last a short while before the exploding smartphone and wireless data growth catches up. Then the other carriers will be faced with the same problem that's confronting AT&T. In the first quarter of 2011, the amount of data the average smartphone user consumed each month grew by 89 percent to 435 megabytes from 230 MB during the same quarter in 2010, according to Nielsen research. That's up from about 90 MB in 2009. For reference, the average size of an MP3 music file is about 4 MB. "Texting has always been traditionally viewed as a lightweight consumer of bandwidth, but if I start adding videos and pictures to my texts, that also starts consuming more bandwidth," said Tom Cullen, an executive vice president with Dish. But the primary growth driver will be video. Consumers can go through 5 gigabytes a month simply by streaming 10 minutes of standard definition video daily, he said. Data use is skyrocketing Data from the FCC indicate that more Americans are looking at their phones rather than talking on them. In 2009, 67 percent of available spectrum was utilized for voice and 33 percent for Internet data. Those percentages are now at 75 percent for data and 25 percent for voice. With each new iPhone release, data consumption grows. The iPhone 4S eats up twice as much data as the iPhone 4 and three times as much as the iPhone 3G, according to a study by network services firm Arieso. The new iPhone features Siri, a bandwidth-heavy voice recognition feature. The FCC estimates the U.S. will face a spectrum deficit of 90 MHz in 2013 and 275 MHz in 2014. To address the crunch, the federal government hopes to unleash 500 MHz of spectrum currently used for other purposes for wireless broadband by 2020. To put that figure in perspective, there is currently 547 MHz of spectrum allocated for mobile services, and AT&T and Verizon each own about 90 MHz. The government plans to hold so-called incentive auctions, which will try to lure spectrum owners such as TV broadcasters to sell their licenses. Verizon Wireless has agreed to purchase spectrum from a group of cable-TV companies. Sprint has expressed interest in working with Dish, which acquired the bulk of its 45 MHz of spectrum through two deals for bankrupt satellite technology companies. Dish chairman Charlie Ergen has said that the satellite-TV provider would prefer to partner with an existing wireless carrier on a high speed, 4G network. In response to recent comments by Sprint Chief Financial Officer Joe Euteneuer about the company's interest in working with Dish, Cullen said other wireless carriers are in the same situation. After failing to acquire T-Mobile, analysts expect AT&T to make a play for Dish, a long-rumored merger partner. As for T-Mobile, perhaps the most logical buyer is CenturyLink. T-Mobile's German-based parent company has indicated that it might exit the U.S. market. CenturyLink, which acquired Denver-based Qwest last year, is the third-largest landline phone company but does not own a wireless service, unlike the top two, AT&T and Verizon. Carriers are trying to offload as much traffic as they can to Wi-Fi networks, which ride on unlicensed spectrum. In some areas, they're installing picocells, which are smaller cell sites that can help boost capacity in dense areas. Finally, they're spending billions of dollars on LTE networks that use the airwaves more efficiently. Verizon and AT&T already have 4G LTE networks in place, and Sprint is moving to the technology. Dish says it hopes to enter the mobile broadband market with advanced LTE technology by late 2014 or early 2015. If Dish were to also offer voice service, it would come through VoLTE, which is similar to Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone services. Dish still needs the FCC to drop a condition tied to its spectrum that requires devices to have the ability to communicate with satellites, not just ground-based cell sites. The rule-making process that will likely remove the requirement is underway and could be completed by summer's end. Is there really a shortage problem? The problem, analysts argue, is that the operators that control the greatest amount of unused spectrum may be under-capitalized or unwilling to build out networks to use the spectrum. "We do not believe the U.S. faces a spectrum shortage," Jason Bazinet and Michael Rollins wrote in their Citigroup report. "Too much spectrum is controlled by companies that are not planning on rolling out services or face business and financial challenges. And of the spectrum that is being used, 90 percent of it has been allocated to existing 2G, 3G, and 3.5G wireless services by larger wireless carriers, such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile USA. In total, U.S. operators have licenses for about 538MHz of wireless spectrum. Only about 192MHz of that spectrum is currently being used. Most of the unused wireless spectrum is owned by companies such as Clearwire, LightSquared, and Dish Network. But so far, LightSquared has been stopped and the other companies have been slow to build networks using their available spectrum. "There is definitely a mismatch when it comes to spectrum in the wireless industry," said Paul Gallant, an analyst with MF Global in Washington, D.C. "There are some companies that have spectrum, but they're struggling financially. Or they aren't quite sure what to do with the spectrum. And others that have the money and business model, but need the spectrum." The move to 4G is very important for these operators because it offers them a more efficient way to deliver service. 4G LTE uses the available spectrum roughly 700 percent more efficiently than the 3G wireless technology EV-DO. Carriers will soon be refarming 3G spectrum to 4G LTE in several years. A key factor in encouraging efficient use of spectrum has been largely overlooked in carrier boardroom discussions. Wireless providers can add capacity, without obtaining more spectrum, by adding more and more cell sites. Additional cell sites in spectrum constrained areas allow the same spectrum to be used by even more consumers, as well as adding picocells and microcells to denser population areas. So far, the carriers have not expressed too much interest in this method due to additional capital expenditures and overhead. Their strategy is like what Microsoft, Apple and Google have used. It's just cheaper to buy what you need than to invest the time and energy to do the actual work. So what can the wireless companies do? To some extent, re-farming their existing networks will help. But so will finding ways to use other spectrum. For example, only T-Mobile lets users make phone calls using Wi-Fi, yet most of the mobile devices available from carriers have this capability; the carriers just don't enable it. Allowing Wi-Fi calling could unload millions of voice and data users on to alternative networks and ease the spectrum crunch, at least to some extent. Encouraging VoIP use would also help for two reasons. VoIP doesn't require a lot of bandwidth, and it means that the phone in question uses only the data spectrum, not both voice and data while this is going on. These points illustrate that the carriers do have options beyond just buying up spectrum. They can offload more wireless traffic than they do now, build more cell sites into their networks and they can allow the use of other types of communications. While the spectrum crunch isn't going away, that doesn't mean that the process can't be slowed. Sensational graphic extolling the dire spectrum crisis. Maybe a tad exaggerated??? Images courtesy: Spectrum Bridge, iqmetrix.com Source: FierceWireless.com, Denver Post, Ecommercetimes.com, CNET
  2. legion125

    Feds dump BB for Iphone/iPad

    Ok, just one agency, but another kick in the cojones for Blackberry. Goverment agencies besides Big Business were one of the last big stalwarts to keep BB floating in the U.S. They should hope August gets here soon so their new "London" device and the Playbook 2 can get back in the game. http://www.bgr.com/2012/02/09/government-agency-ditches-blackberry-for-iphone-ipad/ Government agency ditches BlackBerry for iPhone, iPad The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency within the United States Department of Commerce, will stop using BlackBerry phones later this year and instead supply workers with Apple’s mobile devices. In a memo relayed by Loop Insight, NOAA’s Chief Information Officer and Director for High Performance Computing and Communications said that support for BlackBerry phones will cease in May of this year. Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S will replace the agency’s BlackBerry handsets, and NOAA plans to adopt current and future generations of Apple’s iPad tablet as well. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones have been the U.S. government’s go-to solution for wireless devices due to their enhanced security and robust messaging capabilities. Loop Insight’s report did not indicate that the NOAA memo provided an explanation for the agency’s decision.
  3. The geeks at MS and Purdue found that advertisments pushed to your phone can cause up to 70% of you battery usage. I wonder since this is Googles claim to profits, will they dump a bag of money in long lasting battery research? If you root, make sure you use ad-blocker. Quote: "A team of researchers from Purdue University and Microsoft has discovered that up to 75 percent of app-related battery drain in Android can be caused by ad-serving processes." "In testing Angry Birds, Pathak recorded energy usage for one level of gameplay, and found that less than 30 percent of the app's battery drain was caused by the game itself. The other 70 percent was consumed by the uploading of user information metrics, location, and downloading and displaying of adverts." http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/19/2884902/android-apps-battery-efficiency-study
  4. legion125

    iPhone 5 Facts/Rumors

    It's springtime and you know what that means? Time for iPhone rumors to begin. I though I would start this thread to to keep things in one place. Here's one that may actually be true, but I don't believe the 2nd quarter release date. We'll know things will get serious once a prototype is lost in a bar and there's a fire at a Foxconn plant. Quote: "Apple has decided on the bigger 4.6-inch display for its next iPhone and started placing orders to its suppliers...Its major display suppliers LG Display and Samsung Electronics Co declined to comment." http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/22/us-apple-iphone-idUSBRE82L01G20120322
  5. legion125

    ICS may be out for GSll in March.

    Although it doesn't mention whether this is for all GSll's, the international and/or U.S. versions. Since a lot of people seen to have the Sprint version on this site. How many are waiting for the stock version or have you already rooted? http://www.bgr.com/2012/02/10/ice-cream-sandwich-may-hit-samsung-galaxy-s-ii-galaxy-note-on-march-1st/ Ice Cream Sandwich may hit Samsung Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note on March 1st An Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note is slated for a March 1st release, according to mobile industry insider Eldar Murtazin. Murtazin posted a tweet claiming the official update would roll out next month, though availability will vary depending on country and carrier. He also said that the Android 4.0 update will be made available over the air or using Samsung’s Kies software. Samsung previously announced that an Android 4.0 upgrade would be coming to the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy Note, Galaxy R, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus.
  6. legion125

    GSlll rumored specs

    Remember this is a rumor: 4.8" screen, ceramic backside and simultaneous release to 50 markets world wide. Does anyone think phones are getting too big? The big release tells me that the U.S. carriers won't see individual versions any longer. This coincides with Samsung saying it will limit the number of different devices in the future. What do you all think? http://www.phonedog....ramic-backside/
  7. legion125

    iPad 3 or HD

    The new iPad will be released tomorrow and it should have some interesting specs. What I'm most curious about is what sort of LTE connectivity will it have? With the iPhone coming out later this year, what the iPad has will sure to be included with the iPhone. Quote Phone Arena said: "Where things start getting interesting is with the connectivity. According to the sources for The Verge, we could see three different versions of the tablet introduced tomorrow. Verizon and AT&T will each get their own LTE model, the first mobile devices from the manufacturer to offer LTE support, and there will be a 3G variant with both a CDMA and HSPA radio similar to what is in the Apple iPhone 4S. Although LTE chips from Qualcomm can also run on 3G bands, Apple might have had a financial reason to separate these models." http://www.phonearena.com/news/Read-all-about-it-Apple-iPad-HD-to-have-more-RAM-separate-LTE-versions-will-launch-March-16th_id27728
  8. legion125

    iPhone 5 Facts/Rumors

    Here's a rendering of what it may look like if Apple goes with the 4" screen. http://www.bgr.com/2...l-release-date/
  9. legion125

    Galaxy Nexus data service issue

    Sprint pushing a software update to resolve GNex network problem. http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/1/2991439/sprint-galaxy-nexus-software-update-connectivity-issues
  10. legion125

    GSlll rumored specs

    Looking good so far.
  11. legion125

    Apparently, LG Viper does voice and data at the same time.

    Seems to be a good idea and it could take some of the air from AT&T since they used that as a differentiator for its service.
  12. legion125

    GSlll rumored specs

    I think Samsung has LTE support already built in, it was the chip-sets announced earlier in the year that still hadn't got it in before the device wnt to market, thus the EVO LTE geeting the S4. I agree about the quad- core. This chip will allow this device to do alot, but do we need a phone with "PC" like powers? I am looking forward to the multi-tasking feature. Quote: "The...processor is a crucial element in providing our customers with a PC-like experience on mobile devices. Samsung's next Galaxy device, which will be officially announced soon, offers uncompromised performance and ground breaking multi-tasking features." http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57421616-92/samsung-announces-quad-core-chip-for-galaxy-s-phone/?tag=cnetRiver
  13. legion125

    Android taking the lead in 2012 !

    RIM is still in third place in the OS market and I'm disappointed that WP hasn't taken off yet. It looked good for a while, but as of now, it's losing momentum. If BBX 10 (QNX) is a moderate hit when it debuts, RIM will have a much easier time keeping its slot than MS and WP 8 still trying to make up ground. After test driving a Playbook, I like BBX more than WP.
  14. legion125

    Android taking the lead in 2012 !

    Not much info on this, but Sprint has publically commited that the Epic Touch and Nexus S (old news) is going to get the ICS treatment. Quote: "Sprint will begin to roll out Google's latest version of Android™, Ice Cream Sandwich, to our customers in 2012. Ice Cream Sandwich will be available via an over-the-air update to a variety of devices including Galaxy™ S II, Epic™ 4G Touch and Nexus S™ and other key products in our line-up." http://community.spr...stomers-in-2012
  15. The GNex is my fall back phone when I re-sign. I'm waiting until the 3rd to see what the GSlll looks like. I'm impressed with the speculated internals, now just waiting to see pics. If it's as good looking as the GNex, then that will be my next phone. I was considering the new EVO, but since its been redesigned and doesn't even come close to looking like the One X, I've scratched that off my list.