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Found 21 results

  1. I was taking a look at the HTC 5G Hub that's supposed to be launching on Sprint sometime this month. It looks like it could technically be Sprint's first foray into the WISP space. On HTC's site they mention it as a sort of replacement for your WiFi router with the ability to connect up to 20 devices to it. I wonder what data caps will be on this when it launches and what they plan on charging people for using it? It seems to be a lot of things smashed into one device. It's combining a wireless router, a streaming box, and a cloud gaming device all into one. It also has support for pretty much every U.S. LTE band. https://www.htc.com/us/5g/htc-5g-hub/
  2. by Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 12:01 AM MST Many of us enjoy the freedom that rooting or jailbreaking our phones gives. Adding custom ROMs, removing “bloatware” or Carrier IQ, and adding additional controls are just the start. We knowingly take the risk that that we may turn our phone into a brick, and our warranty will likely not cover repair or replacement. But will we knowingly commit a criminal act to unlock our phones? Apple has claimed that jailbreaking the iPhone was in conflict with copyright laws. Given the amount of time they spent locking down iOS, it’s no surprise they oppose it. In July 2010, the U.S. Copyright Office eventually decided that jailbreaking and rooting was not a violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), as long as it was not done with the intent of circumventing copyright. However, this decision was not permanent. If it is allowed to expire next month, jailbreaking and rooting could be considered breach of the DMCA. Development websites like XDA started out with the public perception that they were underground gatherings of hackers and pirates. Since the U.S. Copyright Office published the finding that jailbreaking and rooting was not illegal, those development websites have become widely popular and have largely changed the public's perception. Even Steve Kondik, aka “Cyanogen”, creator of the widely popular Android ROM CyanogenMod was hired by Samsung. Due to the liberties that millions of us enjoy about to be removed due to the sunseting DCMA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has begun a campaign to keep our phones free. They are undertaking a campaign to convince the U.S. Copyright Office that we should have the right to unlock not only our smartphones, but our tablets and video game consoles. They have a petition that they will send to the U.S. Copyright Office, and they are asking for Concrete examples of legal uses of jailbreaking that “will help show the Copyright Office why they should renew and expand the exemptions for jailbreaking.” You can visit the EFF’s jailbreaking page here: https://www.eff.org/...ee-your-devices Photo courtesy of iphonefreakz.com Source: http://www.phonearen...l-again_id26246
  3. by Jeff Foster Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 7:46 PM MST Since last fall, there had been talk of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus launching on American carriers other than Big Red. Sprint has finally announced several weeks ago that it is the another vendor slated for release in the U.S. Suffice to say, many of us out there, especially those adverse to heading to Verizon and paying its premium prices, are excited about the impending release. The good news is that Google could be working on an updated version of the Galaxy Nexus. It has unofficially been dubbed the Galaxy Nexus Plus. There is much anticipation that it will be released before Sprint turns on LTE this summer. It’s not the first time an OEM has refreshed a device and re-released it to the market place, which works to our advantage. It’s rumored that the new Galaxy Nexus will have either a 1.5 or 1.8 GHz Texas Instrument OMAP4670 dual core processor. This would be a significant upgrade from the 1.2 GHz dual core processor found in the current Verizon version. We don’t know anything about official specs, but it’s also rumored to have an 8 MP camera. This is a noteworthy upgrade to the 5 MP shooter on the Verizon model (which has been lauded by many techies). We already know that the Sprint model will come installed with Google Wallet, per previous announcements. Some rumors also point to a beefier battery as well. The phone should have all the other features that’s on the current Galaxy Nexus, so now all we have to do is wait. Source: http://androidandme....era-on-the-way/
  4. by Rick Layton Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Monday, June 25, 2012 - 4:27 PM MDT As technologies advance, the equipment to use the technology must advance as well. With the upcoming release of 4G LTE in our area (Houston), new equipment will be required to be able to use it. Although Sprint will have numerous data devices to handle the usage by the end of the year, only the Sprint Tri-Band Modem will be available at the rollout of the 4G LTE service. Due to the enormous dependence my business has on accessing data in a mobile environment, plus the great increases in data speed available with 4G LTE, this makes getting access to 4G LTE imperative to me. I depended heavily on the Sierra Wireless data devices when I started this business 7 years ago for my source of a reliable method of mobile data transmission. This relationship continued on until the release of the original Hotspot with the 4G service in my area. At one point, I was so displeased with past models, that I had sworn I would never buy another Sierra Wireless device as long as I live. This conclusion was reached after having numerous issues with previous hotspot models. There were so many problems that it seemed as if the device was never even tested on the networks it was to be used on. Also Sprint actively blocked reviews of the device, likely to not hinder sales in spite of the problems. My need for a new device with both WiMax and LTE capability outweighed my outright dislike of Sierra Wireless products. I proceeded against better judgment, and the Tri-Band modem was ordered even though the possibility of getting a substandard unit once again was always at the forefront of my mind. On with the show The official part number of the Tri-Band Modem is 803S. Along with the modem, I also ordered the SSX7077-V desktop cradle. I had to dig through a lot sites to find the information necessary to make this decision for my business. Much to my surprise, even though I was told the cradle was not available yet, I got a Sprint telesales person who was able to use the part number and find they had it in stock. Upon arrival I unpacked the unit and cradle...while holding my breath. The device that came out of the box was a pleasant departure from the previous Hotspots I had owned. Above is a picture of the device as it was shipped with all components. There was a small user guide as well but to get the real instructions the user guide must be downloaded from Sprint. Gone was the one piece blow molded plastic case which allowed no air circulation and caused the prior Hotspots to overheat quickly. Although the display is still too small for my aging eyes (it is actually the same display size as prior units) the change to the case makes it much easier to see in the interior of my van where the device will mostly be used. In this picture of the front you can see that there is a new button arrangement as compared to the older Hotspots. Also in the picture is the USB cable for use with the charger or to connect a computer, the AC to USB adapter, the battery and the battery cover. I opened the cradle, which was surprisingly inexpensive, and was delighted to find an additional AC to USB adapter which meant the cradle could be left in place without having to move the adapter around. As you look at the modem from the side you can see the antenna ports (the covers are open), the USB connector in the middle and the slot for the memory card. The round hole just right of the left antenna port is the reset button for the unit. Here is the same view with the battery and cover installed. Notice that the SD card slot is covered by the battery cover. The opposite side has two switches. The one on the left is a WPS setup button while the one on the right is a slider to mute the unit. The unit sits nicely in the cradle and looks to me to be a solution to help keep the USB port for the charger/interface cable from failing. This has been a major issue with the prior Hotspots. The case of the unit also helps support the USB port to take some of the load off of the circuit board. It took quite a bit of digging on the Sierra Wireless site to find out that the antenna ports are for the 4G WiMax band only. The cradle contains 2 5dbi omnidirectional antennas to allow full use of the WiMax network architecture. Initial testing The initial testing of the unit looks promising. The antennas in the cradle for 4G WiMax actually seem to get 3 – 5dBm gain in all conditions tested. The new unit has the ability to search the other bands for signals while staying connected. This allows less downtime between band changes. I notice a lot less disruption when switching bands. This unit has better reception on 3G and 4G WiMax than the previous hotspots and even the U600 USB modem I use as well. 4G WiMax is able to connect quickly even at 10% and the cradle has improved stability of WiMax and decreased ping times. For a short time I had access to Sprint 4G LTE as they were testing the towers in my area. The speeds were incredilbly faster. A 10% 4G LTE signal averaged 8.12Mbps download and 1.85Mbps upload. An 80% signal was able to get 35.8Mbps down on my best test and 22.1Mbps up. The upload speeds was very unexpected, and much higher than Sprint LTE smartphone devices have reported. This is likely due to much stronger transmit capabilities of the hotspot. I also discovered that when the modem is tethered the cable limits the bandwidth to approximately 20Mbps total speed. It will be interesting to see how it works in the 12 to 14 hour days of hot Houston Weather. First week in the field The Tri Band Modem got pressed into service a little quicker than planned, as my main unit went down with a bad transmission and the U600 USB modem with a Cradlepoint that was in this unit appears to have been damaged by the wrecker’s radio which runs on the edge of the WiMax frequency at 5 watts. The units have been sent in to determine cause of failure and for repairs but I think next time I will make sure all electronics are powered off before getting that close to a transmitter (OUCH!!). I am running the same routes in a rental van with the Tri-Band Modem that I normally use the other units on. There is less downtime in the signal gaps I am familiar with and areas where I have had signal problems in both 3G and 4G WiMax are much improved. I have yet to encounter any more 4G LTE signals but am looking forward to the service coming online soon. The unit seems to be running hotter than I would like with a fully charged battery but is actually cooler that the previous Hotspots. The temperature is supposed to soar over the next few days without the cloudiness we have had this past week. So it will be interesting to see if the overheating problems of previous models still occur. Week 2 – The True test The unit is getting worked really hard this week with temperatures outside up near 100 degrees. The GPS is useless with this kind of sun load as the unit will overheat if left in direct sunlight (as the instructions state) in about 20 minutes. The good news is that this is about twice as long as my original Hotspot will last. How anyone can make a unit that requires a clear view of the sky for GPS but can’t handle sunlight is beyond comprehension. A quick check of the Tri-Band’s temperature specs shows that the unit is only rated for 95 degrees. The prior Hotspot was rated well above the century mark but couldn’t even handle 90 degrees for any length of time. The crappiest laptop on the market will handle 105 degrees plus all day long. The true test will be my afternoon calls when the temperatures are high. Battery life has been about 8 to 9 hours which is far better than the prior Hotspots. The unit started overheating one afternoon. I can’t say I’m a bit surprised at that, but what is surprising is that it will run steadily as long as the air temp is below 98 degrees. This is a first for Hotspots as they always overheated well before the rated temperature spec. The bad news is the crappy overheat shutdown doesn’t turn off the unit before damage starts to occur, nor does it turn the unit off completely. Removing the battery cover seems to help air circulation and overheating some. The button lights are flickering after one overheating but the unit seems to be working fine other than this. It will be interesting to see what happens when it really gets hot here. According to the specs 4G LTE takes the least amount of wattage to run so it may not overheat as fast when using 4G LTE. I had the chance to try the modem in the old school 3G EVDO mode as one of my locations is 40 feet underground and that is all that is available at this location. I shut the unit down after 30 minutes as the unit was so hot you could barely handle it even though the temperature underground is around 70 degrees. I would not recommend trying to use this for any length of time if you want the Tri-Band to not overheat!! My Opinion Although Sierra Wireless has made some major improvement in the 3rd generation Hotspot, this is still a unit for the casual user. It is not designed to handle heavy use or outdoor summer temperatures for any length of time. It will be going in my climate controlled cabinet to protect it from the heat next week. I will let you know how it works when the temperature stays below 85 degrees. The improvements in connectivity, reception and stability are worth the investment. As long as you know and adjust your usage for the limitations of the unit.
  5. Sprint Nextel revealed their second quarter 2012 corporate earnings in a conference call to their investors today and S4GRU was covering for news on Network Vision. Network thinning of the iDEN network is complete, taking 1/3 of Nextel towers off air. The Nextel network was built to support 20 million subscribers, but was only supporting 4.4 million subscribers, so it could easily be thinned without [much] noticeable change in street coverage. Sprint also converted 60% of the Nextel subscriber loss into their Sprint subscriber base. Interestingly, they stated that Verizon has been the biggest poacher of subscribers leaving Nextel, grabbing 50% of former subscribers in the last 4 1/2 years. In that same timeframe, Sprint has grabbed 25%, AT&T 20% and T-Mobile 5%. On the Network Vision topic: 4 additional cities will launch, including Baltimore, by the end of August.*Edit* Cities were disclosed VIA press release following the conference call. They are: Baltimore, MD Gainesville, GA Manhattan/Junction City, KS Sherman-Denison, TX Over 2,000 sites are currently online with 12,000 sites to be online by the end of the year Network Vision towers are seeing 10-20% additional voice minutes usage per tower, overnight after activating Network Vision. This will equal roaming savings for Sprint, and ESMR will only increase that savings. CEO Dan Hesse confirmed that Sprint will be releasing the Motorola Photon Q "in the very near future." It will be a QWERTY slider "with robust business and consumer features." It will also be sporting world phone capability. Several hundred Network Vision sites are waiting for backhaul, and will turn on when the backhaul is installed, several hundred more sites have birds nesting on them and Sprint won't be able to turn them on until the birds leave, according to the conference call. Sprint sold 1.5 million iPhones during the quarter, even though other carriers saw slowing of sales with rumors ramping up that the new iPhone would support LTE. 40% of the iPhone sales were to new customers. They also stated that iPhone customers require less customer support and are expected to churn less than customers on other phones. Mr. Hesse confirmed that Sprint is not looking to change plans in the near future. Things are looking up for Sprint. This quarter saw their highest ARPU and their lowest churn rate to date. They posted a larger loss than Q1, but beat their revenue goals for Q2. For more detailed financial information, check the source link below. Source: http://investors.spr...spx?iid=4057219 http://finance.yahoo...-141200985.html -Thanks to S4GRU sponsor marioc21 for finding this link!
  6. So....got a text from the wife today...says, "Bad News...." I reply.....Uh Oh....What happened? She sends me a picture of my Netgear Zing and says, I just pulled this out of the washer. Who all has ideas or methods of drying out your accidents? ie. Water logged devices? Appreciate any input...
  7. by Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 10:44 AM MDT Fear not Sprint iPhone fans, Sprint will not be left out when the next iPhone model is released. There has been speculation that Apple may only manufacture LTE enabled iPhones to AT&T and Verizon after the iPad with LTE connectivity was only released for those carriers. While he didn’t come out and confirm that Sprint would be receiving a LTE iPhone, Sprint Nextel CFO Joe Eutenuer went on record saying that "we will not be disadvantaged" when it comes to selling the iPhone, adding that Sprint has the same contract as AT&T and Verizon for selling the iPhone. This contract that the carriers have also does not have LTE coverage requirements, so even if the iPhone is released earlier than expected, Sprint shouldn't be excluded due to less LTE coverage than the AT&T or VZW. This comes as good news for current customers who have held off their purchase of an iPhone because the 3G speeds in their area are lagging and they are prefer a 4G WiMax handset. If you build it, he will come [float right][/float]There is still no guarantee that the new iPhone will support LTE, but all signs point to the next generation iPhone boasting LTE connectivity. AT&T made the decision to move away from their HSPA+ 3.5G network and aggressively push LTE. Sprint also made the decision to aggressively rollout a LTE network, instead of continuing with Clearwire’s WiMax. Possibly the most telling sign was when the new iPad was announced to have LTE connectivity. Thanks to Sprint’s “Network Vision” plan, there will be plenty of LTE towers for iPhone fans to consume unlimited data at 4G speeds. By this Fall, when the iPhone is speculated to release, Sprint will have LTE service in nearly all major markets and will be starting work in many other markets. Sprint’s Network Vision is expected to have 100-120 million POPs covered by LTE by the end of the year. And you know you will get all the latest LTE deployment info here at S4GRU.com! Sources: Nasdaq SprintFeed Fierce Wireless
  8. by Danny Bullard Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 9:45 PM MDT Earlier today, HTC and Sprint announced the highly anticipated next generation EVO, dubbed as the EVO 4G LTE. Kinda of a long name huh? Well it's not about the name, it's about the device itself. The EVO 4G LTE has a HUGE 4.7" 720p screen with a Super LCD2 display. Powering this device is ICS covered with SENSE 4.0 with Qualcomm's S4 chip. This device is basically Sprint's version of the ONE X, so it has an impressive 8MP camera that can record up-to 1080p video. Along with those fancy specs, this device will run on Sprint's soon to debut 4G LTE network. Other specs include a NFC chip, Micro SD Card slot, Beats audio, red kickstand and a 2000mAh battery. This device will also be the first device to feature HD VOICE (I will go into detail in another article). When most devices are announced, release dates and prices are left out. Well, Sprint was so kind/sarcasm to tell us when we can pre-order this monster and how much this will cost us. Preorder for the EVO 4G LTE will begin on May 7th and it'll only cost you $199.99! Pretty reasonable, eh? So, will you be purchasing this bad boy once it hits Sprint stores? Sound off in the comments. Also, EVERYTHING you need to know about the device is listed in the PR below the photos. Photos courtesy of HTC.
  9. by Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Monday, April 2, 2012 - 12:29 PM MDT Microsoft entered the modern era of smartphone operating systems with the release of their Windows Phone 7 (WP7) platform. The first WP7 handsets went on sale October 21st 2010 with Sprint receiving their lone WP7 offering 5 months later with the HTC Arrive. The HTC Arrive suffered from slow sales numbers and Sprint brass quoting a poor “user experience” for returns of the device. There was recently evidence that Sprint may have rejected a follow-up to the Arrive, the HTC Maaza, when a tester prototype phone showed up for sale on ebay. The WP platform still has not gained as much as a 5% market share as Microsoft continues to lose market share. Ratings giant Nielsen saw such a small market share for WP that they did not even include WP as a separate platform and inserted their statistics in the “other smartphone” category. Even though the HTC Arrive has failed to generate a whole lot of buzz at Sprint, many of the consumers who purchased the device think very highly of it. The user rating of the HTC Arrive currently stands at 4.6 out of 5 stars and 91% of those who purchased the phone would recommend it to a friend. This stands out in comparison to the highly vaunted Apple iPhone 4S which currently boasts a 4.4 rating out of 5 stars with 86% of consumers who would recommend it to a friend. Windows Phone fans at Sprint are so passionate that they have started a petition to Sprint to procure more WP devices that currently has over 2,400 signatures. Partnership with Nokia gives Windows Phone a partner committed to the OS Microsoft began their campaign to gain ground on the US smartphone market by announcing that they would partner with one of the largest phone makers who has been longing for a reentry into the US market. On February 11th 2011, Nokia announced that they had established a partnership with Microsoft to make their mobile platform the primary operating system for Nokia phones. In Nokia, Microsoft found a partner to not only build flagship devices that are designed to pull the most possible functionality out of the WP operating system; they also found a partner to help them market the phones and operating system. Nokia is set to release the first LTE enabled phone running the Windows Phone operating system on April 8th in the form of the Nokia Lumia 900 on AT&T’s network for a mere $99.99. Customers are unfamiliar with the operating system Microsoft has learned from the past, while the operating system may be able to compete with the likes of iOS and Android, unless the sales staff can highlight the strong points of the OS, is familiar with the phone and has incentive to sell the phone over other models, the phone will not sell in the quantities they desire. This is why Nokia is spending upwards of $25 million to provide the Lumia 900 to AT&T for “company use” allowing the sales staff to trade in their iPhones and Androids in exchange for a free Nokia Lumia 900. This move will allow the customer to see the phone as more desirable because the sales staff always seems to have the “cool, cutting edge” phones. Additionally, this will extend the sales staff’s familiarity with the OS well beyond the training that AT&T provides them. Microsoft has also given AT&T sales staff a financial incentive to sell WP models. A $200 million program has been initiated by Microsoft, through AT&T to pay a $10-15 commission for every windows phone that an employee sells to a customer. If the AT&T test bed pays off in increased sales of WP handsets, the promotions will likely spread to other carriers like Sprint when they begin receiving shipments of their WP flagship later this year. Customers want apps on their smartphone As it stands, the Windows Phone Marketplace has about 65,000 apps, this number pales in comparison to the nearly half a million apps in iTunes and nearly as many in Google Play. Even more concerning, is the lack of some of the most popular apps. Pandora, Bump, Skype, Dropbox and Google Maps are all missing from the WP platform trumping an argument that WP has quality apps and not merely a large quantity of apps. Microsoft and Nokia have contributed $12 million each to develop a mobile app development program. They also plan to spend $10 million on an advertising campaign to promote the competitors of the top apps that are absent from the WP Marketplace. Apps also tend to cost more on the WP Marketplace than other app stores due to the developers needing to charge extra to make up for smaller sales numbers since the OS has such a small portion of market share. Without apps, the platform will have a tough time catching on with customers, and without customers, the platform will have a hard time attracting developers. Advertising can make consumers more receptive to Windows Phone The Nokia Lumia 900 is reported to be the benefactor of a $100 million “hero” advertising campaign. It is not known how Microsoft, Nokia and AT&T will split up the advertising costs, but that much money will certainly bring customer awareness up for the operating system and for Nokia’s brand recognition. Sprint customers will no doubt see these ads and become more familiar with WP and Nokia (should Nokia build a device for Sprint’s network) so when a WP device is released on Sprint’s network, it will also benefit from the ad campaign. Another Windows Phone flagship is rumored for a late 2012 release to capture sales during the holiday season, with another “hero” advertising campaign; this could bring Sprint and Verizon customers into the fold nicely if it is a Nokia model released on all three carriers. Consumer perception must be that Windows Phones are “flagship” devices Many would-be buyers of WP7 handsets such as the HTC Arrive could have been turned off by the combination of lackluster stats and lower price and confused the device with a mid-tier offering. If someone were to compare AT&Ts offering of Samsung handsets today, you would see the Galaxy Note coming in at $300, the Galaxy SII coming in at $200 and the Focus Flash at $1, there is also a newly released Focus S at $200. The Nokia Lumia 900 would have no such comparisons, and even at a lower price, could be perceived as a flagship at a value price. The Windows Phone OS has been designed to run smoothly on less system resources. The dual core processors, large amounts of memory and larger screens of the Android competition tend to wash out the stats of the Windows Phone lineup. That shortcoming is being remedied with the next WP offerings it seems. Sprint is set to receive a WP with a Qualcomm MSM8960 dual core 1.5GHz and LTE connectivity [float right][/float]One of the best ways for an operating system to gain new customers is by “smartphone envy.” Friends, family and coworkers tend to show other people some of the more advanced features that their phone has and some of the best apps. In order to spur this type of referral, Microsoft needs to gain market share, and quickly. Windows phone will gain functionality with the release of Windows 8, which will tie the phone OS and PC OS closer together. The OS can also gain significant ground by integrating further with the popular XBox 360 platform, but they can't afford to lose any ground on Android and iOS. By infusing money into different methods of marketing and into application development, Microsoft is hoping that they can sell handsets and gain market share. They won’t continue throwing money at the platform if it never catches on, but thanks to the moves that they have made, most notably bringing Nokia on board, they may just have the right recipe. They will undoubtedly watch carefully what happens with AT&T as a “test bed” when they start planning their marketing campaigns for Sprint and Verizon. Maybe someday Windows Phones will “sell themselves” as Android and Apple phones seemingly do, requiring smaller marketing budgets, but for now Microsoft and Nokia need to launch a full scale marketing attack on the market to secure their place in the future. Sources: Android Authority WPCentral betanews phonenews
  10. So basically im just wondering what you all would like in an LTE Phone and what you'd name it. I would like an Android phone that allows you to be rooted and have great battery life 1080p screen with LTE. Also have the Play Store ( Android Market) work like the APP store off of IOS because I dont want to have an Credit card or bill to account feature. I'd Rather have an a pre paid redeemable card to buy stuff. Battery that can last about a good 1 Day with heavy LTE Usage with alot of apps and playing games and what not. And Lastly added to the device i would like it to have a amazing camera that is even better than the iPhone and good apps that are not fragmented like IOS. I would Name this Device the... miPhone!!!
  11. Danny Bullard Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 8:59 PM MDT Looking to buy a smartphone but not looking to spend $200+? Look no further! WireFly and Sprint are selling HTC EVO 3D for a low price of $0, yes free. Requires you to be a new customer or adding a new line of service. The EVO 3D can still hang with some of the higher end smart phones. The 3D has a dual core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, 4.3" qHD display and dual 5MP cameras that can take 3D shots and video. Plus, the EVO 3D is slated to get Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich this year. So, who will be heading over to WireFly's site or Sprint's site to order a free EVO 3D? Or, are you waiting for Sprint's LTE Galaxy Nexus? Sound off in the comments! Source: Sprint, Wirefly
  12. Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Update Saturday, March 24, 2012 - 4:14 PM MDT What would you do to get a $20 per line discount on your monthly bill? Would you pay full price for your cellphone? That is what Cole Brodman, T-Mobile’s Chief Marketing Officer would like to see happen. In fact, T-Mobile already offers a discounted plan for customers who forego a subsidy on their device. This works out fairly well for T-Mobile’s GSM customers who want to use an unlocked international or AT&T phone instead of T-Mobile’s subsidized offerings, but will it catch on with other carriers? Will customers who have grown accustomed to inexpensive upgrades suffer sticker shock at the prospect of a $650 replacement for their cellphone? If you think about it, the customer is probably better off using the unsubsidized route, unless they buy one of the highest subsidy phones as soon as they are eligible, every time. Carriers are also protected because they have nothing to lose if the customer walks away from their contract, only an ETF to gain. The only catch is that carriers are more likely to retain their customers if they offer an upgrade 4 months prior to the expiration of the contract, in exchange for a new 24 month contract. Carriers and many customers are addicted to this retention method and it would likely take an industry-wide effort to change the way business is conducted. [float right][/float]The customer would win with the increased competition among cell phone manufacturers. If the manufacturers are forced to compete with each other on price, we would likely see prices drop thanks to bargain brands like ZTE and Huawei. Currently the cell phone carrier just adds a different subsidy to the cheaper priced cell phones. Prepaid plans already use this model, but they tend to get the older and cheaper models instead of the flagships to reduce the sticker shock and upfront cost to their customers. [float left][/float]T-Mobile is currently offering unsubsidized plans under the “Value” line of plans. An individual value plan with unlimited minutes, text and data (with 2GB of high speed data) currently will run $59.99 plus applicable fees and taxes per month. A comparable plan from the “classic” line with the subsidized handset will cost $79.99. T-Mobile even offers interest free loans that tack on a payment to the monthly bill if a customer elects to not pay the full price up front. $20 per month adds up to $400 over the 20 months that customers normally wait for their next upgrade. The only catch with this plan is that you still sign a 2-year contract, something that customers who buy their phone outright usually detest. It has been noted by T-Mobile sales staff that customers do not understand the difference in plans and customers who receive a subsidized phone complain that there is a lower priced plan and want to be switched over. [float right][/float]A $480 savings on a 2-year agreement trumps almost every device subsidy. The iPhone 4S currently retails for $650, but sells for $199 with a 2-year contract equaling a $450 subsidy which comes close, but not quite. Even the Samsung Galaxy Note only commands a $350 subsidy. Ironically, the HTC Titan retails at $549 and sells for $0.01 making it the most subsidized handset. It is quite possible that a good chunk of that subsidy comes from Microsoft, in an effort to gain market share at the cost of their own profit. [float left][/float]Ending carrier subsidies might be seen as a step towards the wireless carrier becoming a "dumb pipe" or the carrier being nothing more than the provider of minutes and data bytes, with no customized services. U.S. carriers have resisted becoming dumb pipes because carriers wouldn't see the end user profits from their additional services and it will inspire less brand loyalty. Carriers have already lost a lot of revenue thanks to iTunes and Google Play, among others. The carriers used to offer their own multimedia offerings to increase their revenue, but much of that is now going to Apple and Google, thanks to the trend towards carriers becoming dumb pipes for smartphone users. So what do you think? Would you like to see Sprint follow T-Mobile’s lead and reduce prices in exchange for dropping subsidies? Or does Sprint need to keep subsidies to continue the smartphone welfare? Using the customers that choose the cheaper handsets or keep their handset past their upgrade date to offset the higher subsidy on the iPhone or other high subsidy handsets. Source HotHardware T-Mobile Phonearena
  13. Danny Bullard Sprint 4G Rollout Update Friday, March 23, 2012 - 2:44 PM MDT Hello S4GRU readers, today I will be giving my verdict on the new iPad. I will tell you what I like about the new iPad and what I don't like about the new iPad. Let's get started... What I like about the new iPad 1.) After using the iPad for a few minutes at BestBuy, I fell in love with it's beautiful retina display. This display's PPI is 264, while packing an astonishing 2048x1536 resolution. The screen is just perfect, the colors are great and you can't really see any of the pixels when really looking at the display. 2.) If you've used the iPad 2's camera, I'm sure you are aware how horrible they perform. That's not the case with the new iPad, Apple upgraded the horrible 0.3MP camera to 5MP, using the same five-element optics from the iPhone 4S on the new iPad. The iPad was only capable of taking 720p video, but now the new iPad can record up-to 1080p HD video. After taking a couple shots with the camera, the camera is actually usable, in a good way. 3.) The new iPad packs a dual core CPU and a quad core GPU. After playing around with the new iPad, I've noticed it just seems faster then the iPad 2 when switching in between apps and etc. When it comes to gaming performance, the new iPad did not disappoint. Games look and perform great on the new iPad. Titles like Infinity Blade II look pretty darn good and I didn't notice any lag while playing this game. Not everything is perfect, and this applies to the new iPad. Now I will go over what I didn't like about the new iPad. What I don't like about the new iPad 1.) When the new iPad was announced, people were disappointed that there was really no physical difference between it and the iPad 2. When I compared the two tablets side by side and asked people which one is the new iPad, only a couple people could tell me. Honestly, I think that when a product's successor comes out, there should be at least a little physical difference. 2.) With the upgraded camera on the new iPad, you'd think Apple would include a LED flash this time around, right? Well no, the iPad is still lacking a LED flash. While I was surprised with Apple's decision to not include a LED flash on the new iPad, it wasn't the only thing Apple did not include with the new iPad.... 3.) If you've used the iPhone 4S, I'm sure you've used Siri. Siri is a personal voice assistant. You can have Siri send text messages for you, get you directions and more. With the upgraded GPU, I'm also shocked that Apple did not include Siri with the new iPad. Some people are disappointed with Apple's decision to not include Siri. Even though the new iPad is lacking Siri, Apple did include Voice dictation on the new iPad. 4.) When Apple announced the new iPad, they announced LTE versions for AT&T, Verizon and some Canadian carriers, While I was happy Apple decided to add LTE to the new iPad, I was disappointed that Sprint did not get any iPad loving. While we really don't know why Sprint did not get the new iPad, we can all pretty much assume that Apple didn't want to announce a LTE iPad on Sprint's premature 4G LTE network. Even though Sprint doesn't have the new iPad on their network now, doesn't mean Apple won't announce the new iPad on Sprint's network later this year. That's my verdict on the new iPad. Feel free to sound off in the comments telling what you love and hate about the new iPad. Photo Credit: Engadget, Mashable
  14. Danny Bullard Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 9:45 AM MDT Hello S4GRU readers. In this article, I will give you my 3 reasons why Apple is successful. I will go into extensive detail on each reason why Apple is successful. These are my opinions, so feel free to comment telling me your reasons why Apple is successful and how you think Apple could improve in each category. Note: These are in no specific order. 1. Marketing Apple markets their products like no other. If you've ever seen Apple's TV commercials, you'll notice how they're simple and cut to the chase. During most Apple commercials, Apple talks about the simplicity and beauty of their products. Example, Apple's new ad for the new iPad talks about the iPad's new retina display saying "When a screen becomes this good, it is simply you and the things you care about." When it comes to presentations, Apple is no slouch. When going over the product and such, they explain it all where the common buyer can understand everything about the product, not just tech geeks. Apple isn't only about marketing, they are also about engaging with their fans, and that is exactly what Steve Jobs did and Tim Cook is doing. 2. Simplicity The average consumer usually doesn't usually care about specs when looking into purchasing a smartphone or a tablet. They just want something that is easy to use and just "works". If you have ever used the iPhone or iPad, I'm sure you know how simple they are to operate/use on a daily basis unlike other devices. The iPhone 4S is so simple that your younger children can operate it without any hiccups (ever seen the Sprint iPhone Unlimited ad with the young child?). Apple's programs like iTunes and the App Store provide seamless experiences for downloading music and apps. Almost everything Apple releases is easy to use, and that's why we love them. Simplicity is a virtue to Apple, case closed. 3. Innovation Apple is known for innovation. They are always thinking of ways to improve their products while making them "different" from others. If you've seen the new iPad, I'm sure you've noticed the iPad's new display packing a whopping 2048x1536 resolution. That is the highest resolution of any tablet/mobile device. Impressive huh? Apple doesn't stop innovating there. Apple's iPhone 4S rocks an 8MP camera with F/2.4 Lens. It's the "The you-can't-believe-it's-on-a-phone camera." Innovation never stops at Apple. Those are my three reasons why Apple is successful. Please weigh in with your thoughts below! Constructive and well thought out comments only, please.
  15. Danny Bullard Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Monday, March 19, 2012 - 10:49 PM MDT Any Windows Phone 7 users in the house? Are you getting tired of waiting for a new Windows Phone to replace your HTC Arrive? Well you might not have to wait to much longer. According to SprintFeed's sources, Sprint will be getting a LTE Windows Phone Apollo device this Fall. At the moment, we aren't certain who is making this device. Nokia sure would sound good to most of you! This mysterious device is reported to pack Qualcomm's MSM8960 chip. This chip provides a dual-core CPU and Qualcomm's Adreno 225 GPU. Qualcomm's new chip has beat Nvidia's Tegra 3 chip in a few benchmarks. GPU performance also looks very solid. This would be Microsoft's most powerful Windows Phone device to date. Hey Windows Phone fans! So, do you plan on holding out for this device? Or have you already switched to another carrier for more Windows Phone 7 devices? Sound off in the comments. Source: SprintFeed
  16. by Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Saturday, March 17, 2012 - 8:59 PM MDT S4GRU.com already broke the launch date of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus this weekend, and now we know that it won’t be the lone device slated to hit store shelves on April 15th. The same sources of our GNex story have also revealed that the LG Viper, Sprint’s other LTE smartphone unveiled at CES, will be ushering in Sprint’s LTE era at a Sprint store near you on April 15th. You may recall the revealed stat sheet for the Viper, 4 inch 480x800 screen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread (surely to be upgraded to 4.0 soon). The Viper will also be sporting the Qualcomm Gobi MDM 9600 for juggling the various data connectivity methods (LTE, EVDO, 1x). As with the Galaxy Nexus, the LG Viper will ship with the LTE radio turned off to save battery life. When more LTE sites come online, Sprint will enable LTE self-discovery, as early as June. LTE self-discovery will allow the phone to intermittently search for LTE, and if it is unavailable, it will turn itself off to reduce battery drain. It's more "bloat"ed than the Nexus, but tolerable Those worried about excessive bloatware on the non-Nexus offering by Sprint will be pleased to see the Viper coming preloaded with only Smart Device Manager, Sprint ID, Sprint Zone, Visual Voicemail, NFC, and Google Play. Those interested in Sprint’s application offerings such as NASCAR Mobile, Sprint Football Live, Sprint Music Plus, Sprint Navigation, Sprint TV and Sprint’s NBA Application will be free to download them at will. While the LG Viper doesn’t have the hefty stat sheet of the Galaxy Nexus or the rumored stats of devices on the horizon, it also doesn’t have the same hefty price. The LG Viper is expected to come in at a noticeably less steep price tag than the Nexus. 4G photo courtesy of intomobile.com
  17. by Jeff Foster Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Monday, March 12, 2012 - 11:00 AM MDT Linux’s biggest success story for the end-user is Android. Some analysts have predicted that Android could become the number one OS for smart phones in the world. Others have speculated that the iPhone and iOS will be Androids downfall. I don’t think so. I think the iPhone is a great phone and Apple has done well in establishing a market for it, and with it, a rabid consumer base. However, you will likely never see a new inexpensive iPhone. As all Apple lovers know, Apple prefers to be on the high-end of the consumer scale and they don’t sell anything cheap. So Apple will have a hard time exploiting the market penetration that Android allows with the variety of devices offered. The other OS’es? Some such as Windows are trying to make a mark, but the jury is still out. Blackberry? Tizen? webOS? Too little, too late or not fast enough off the mark. So what could go wrong? Android doesn’t have to worry about the competition; its manufacturing and carrier partners are the cause of concern. Let’s review, once a new version of Android is released, it can take three to six months before the consumer gets it. First, the chipmakers have to configure Android to run on its particular chip set. Then the device manufacturers (OEM’s): HTC, Motorola, Samsung etc., place their UI’s on top of Android. The most common UI’s are Motoblur, Sense and Touchwiz. Then the carriers get hold of it and add their own variety of applications which has become known to the tech savvy as “bloatware”. All these additions have to work, first by the chipmakers, then the OEM’s and finally the carriers before we get the latest Android OS in our hands. Say what you will about Apple, but they have their support structure down pat. Of course, it’s much easier for them to do updates with two to three hardware configurations, made by one manufacturer that also happens to be the software developer. The three different types of fragmentation that affects Android users. Operating/Component Systems Due to the number of different devices that the OEM’s produce and the different UI’s they develop to run on top of Android to give it the manufacturer’s particular branded look, the specifications of the device will have a lot to do with the amount of OS support the OEM will give it. Our question is; will the device be future-proofed for additional upgrades? My view? High and mid level devices should be supported for at least 2 years. The OEM’s allegedly work at keeping all its devices on the most recent version of Android and also determine which device will be upgraded and which won’t base on the capability of the components to handle an up rated version of the software. This is a cause of frustration when it seems that a biased and arbitrary decision is made when one device is upgraded by one OEM, but a similar device with similar specifications is denied by another. Hardware This can also be called device fragmentation. Some devices have camera buttons, gamepads, keyboards, and kickstands. OEM’s have to configure Android to work with different settings and features of their devices. Developers can also be caught in a bind with different specifications from different OEM’s. For example, some apps have been seen not to scale effectively because of different screen resolutions. As more devices move to 720p and 1080p, this will become less of an issue since developers will catch up to meet the new guidelines. Android has to be configured to work with all the different attributes that devices have, it’s not one size fits all. This is another determination used by the OEM in determining if a device can be upgraded. User Interface User Interface fragmentation can be attributed to the skins that the OEM’s run on top of Android. As mentioned before, Sense, Motoblur, and TouchWiz are the three main User Interfaces seen by the public. From icons to unlocking the device to setting up an email account, these skins developed by the OEM’s fragment the user interface on Android. These skins are also the main contributor to Operating System fragmentation. For those who believe Android will become the best operating system in the world, fragmentation is still an important issue. Since fragmentation means different things to different people, hopefully, this will help in terms of being specific in detailing the actual effects that fragmentation causes. Understanding that there are different types of fragmentation is helpful in understanding the issues facing you the consumer and the industry. Android will continue to get better, and some speculate that fragmentation will persist as an obstacle, but it won’t ruin Android. Fragementation image courtesy of obamapacman.org. Sources: ZDnet.com, DroidLife
  18. by Jeff Foster Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 4:30 PM MST Hearken back to April 2010 when Sprint announced the HTC EVO 4G and thus, became the first carrier to introduce a 4G device. Oh, the excitement! It was 4G WiMax, but who cared? Not many thought LTE would be such an overwhelmingly dominant 4G technology so quickly in the future. Of course, we later learned that WiMax didn’t pan out in America in the way Sprint had hoped. LTE has now become the global standard in fourth-generation wireless. Verizon and AT&T are using LTE for their 4G networks and most other U.S. carriers have planned or are even starting to implement their own LTE network. Sprint has now begun the progression of transferring from WiMax over to LTE for its 4G technology. At the CES exposition, Sprint announced three new LTE devices, two of them being smartphones. The LG Viper, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and a dual 4G WiMax/LTE hotspot. It looks to be several more months before any of them are released. Earliest rumors calling for Mid-April. However, Sprint's last final word was Mid 2012. Sprint has said the first LTE markets won’t go live until approximately June of this year. The initial launch markets officially announced by Sprint are Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Kansas City and Baltimore, with additional markets coming online later in the year. (S4GRU has announced many of these other markets *wink*) So what happens to existing stocks of WiMax smartphones? Promotional Sales, of course! Sprint has committed to keeping the WiMax network running up until 2015. That is several more years of WiMax network availability. A network that Sprint estimates will get significantly less burdened between now and 2015 (see graphic at bottom of page). More free space for you to stretch out those data consuming legs. WiMax Subscription Forecast. WiMax subscriber numbers are expected to drop by 10% this year and then really start dropping fast. The closer we get to the middle of 2012, the more aggressive the pricing will likely get and the better the deals that will probably come available. Especially from the third party retailers. After all, who wants to be stuck with worthless paper weights when the goodness of LTE is right around the corner? If you’re in the market for a phone now, depending on your needs, you may want to wait for a LTE device. However if your phone is acting froggy, you dropped it last night, or its just on its last legs and you need a replacement, then maybe a new WiMax device is a good choice for you. Best Buy recently had several WiMax devices on sale with a new contract for as low as $49.99. Including the Evo 3D. These deals are likely to keep repeating themselves all over the internet into the forseeable future until all WiMax devices supplies are wiped out. If you live in a solid WiMax market, and you're in need of a new device, it may make sense to pull the trigger and pick one up. Or if you have solid 3G coverage, and don't even care about 4G service. You will be able to score some really solid devices for great prices. And if you find a great deal, post it in the S4GRU.com forums! WhyMaxxx photo courtesy of Gizmodo.com
  19. by Jeff Foster Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Monday, February 27, 2012 - 2:21 AM MST Earlier this year, both HTC and Samsung stated in reports that it will be slimming down its product lines in order to reduce expenses, concentrate on higher quality and to lessen the effects of diluting similar product lines. Samsung has hinted that the Galaxy S lll will be launched simultaneously in many markets, and would eliminate the U.S. carriers from individual looks and independent features. Now HTC has introduced its "One" (several discussions are taking place on individual phones already) brand which appear to cover the entry, mid and high level markets. The new "One" phones will be equipped with Android 4.0, Beats Audio and a "toned down" Sense UI. This new Sense will be more Android like and less resourse intensive. It appears like HTC was listening to customer complaints of Sense UI taking too much memory and interfering with performance. HTC appears it has taken its cues from Samsung and its success from the GSll series of devices that boosted Samsung's bottom line. HTC is hoping that this new strategy and new Ice Cream Sandwich devices will help HTC climb back towards the top spot and return to a position of reporting record profits. So are you sad, angry or relieved that the Evo badge may be no more? S4GRU members have been commenting and speculating since October 7th on the next Evo LTE device anticipated. Sound off with your thoughts below. Source: CNET
  20. by Scott Johnson Sprint 4G Rollout Updates Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 4:09 AM MST The Kindle changed the way many of us purchased and read books. Amazon may have seen the way iTunes and iPods changed the way consumers purchased their music. Consumers were moving away from physical CDs and towards digital media that could be delivered electronically without the trip to the store or even the trip to Amazon.com to have the CD shipped to their house. Amazon created an ecosystem, complete with free 3G on certain models to access their purchased books in “the cloud” at any time. Now the Kindle Fire has thundered in and added music and video to its arsenal. Amazon has carefully built an app store, mp3 store and instant video streaming to add to its digital bookstore. Amazon also modified the open sourced Android platform to give consumers a user friendly interface that brings their digital content delivery to the front line. Then Amazon changed the way electronics were sold by selling their Kindle’s and Kindle Fire’s at or around cost. The result of their work was a tablet that some analysts estimate sold 5-6 million units in Q4 2011. Analysts also estimate that Amazon generates $136 in revenue from their app, music, video and book stores per Kindle Fire. Furthermore, possibly due to the simplicity and ease of use, Fire users purchase over two and a half times the apps than other Android tablet users. Developers are loving the Fire, the current fastest growing platforms for developers is the Kindle Fire and Windows Phone platforms. Amazon has done what the wireless carriers, and Google to a certain point, have struggled mightily to do with their digital marketplace. They have even introduced Amazon Prime, which gives subscribers access to a Netflix-like video streaming service, a Kindle book lending library, and free two day shipping on all their Amazon.com orders. All of this makes the wireless carriers attempts to generate revenue from their digital media marketplaces look like a failure. What's next for the Popular Kindle Fire Series? Amazon is rumored to be placing orders with Foxconn for a 10 inch Fire. Could this be a sign of things to come? Citigroup’s Taipei-based hardware research analyst Kevin Chang believes “an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12.” With their ability to sell units at a low profit margin or even a loss and make money on content delivery, they could be a major player in the low end smartphone market. On the major carriers, the subsidy could easily bring an Amazon Fire Phone to free on contract. The prepaid world would be another market that Amazon could exploit. Prepaid carriers thrive on the low end and low cost smartphones. The app store would likely still see plenty of use, but with a smaller screen, the amount of books and video purchases could tail off. There is no question that Amazon has built their platform into a success. They have designed a marketplace that is easy to use, motivates users to buy additional content and wraps nicely into their existing business promoting users to buy household goods from their online marketplace. While Amazon has a Kindle app, music app, app store etc., they don’t work nearly as well as standalone apps as they do when they are all wrapped into one user friendly package. Amazon could remove itself from the device building industry and license the “Fire” platform to device companies like HTC or LG to build devices while still retaining the content delivery profits. They would most likely need to remove the traces of Android from their new operating system, or work out a patent licensing deal with Google for use of their version of Android. Could Amazon boldly become a Quasi-Wireless Carrier? Still another option for the retail giant would be to purchase large amounts of mobile data from wireless providers or wholesalers and bundle it with the digital delivery to provide “free” downloads of music or video. There is already a cost difference between SD and HD digital video; the additional bandwidth cost could be built right into the price of the video. It wouldn’t be the first time that they provided free data for downloading purchased content. Several models of Kindle have included a 3G radio for downloading books onto the device (but any other data usage was limited to WiFi only.) They could even start a MVNO with their device lineup. Customers of Amazon are normally looking for a bargain from a reputable name; just the Amazon name behind a prepaid or postpaid MVNO would sell plans thanks to their clout in the marketplace. Whatever direction Amazon decides to travel, they have struck success with a first generation device. This is a very difficult thing to do with the competition level as fierce as it is today. Apple owns the tablet market currently, but Amazon has certainly inserted itself near the top of the Android platform and has shown that their Fire platform is a major player in the tablet market. Sources: ReThink Wireless, ReThink Wireless, AllThingsD, IntoMobile.com Photos courtesy of CBS interactive and PC World.
  21. Version 1.0


    Upgrade Now Promotion - Trial Promotion allows customers to upgrade early by paying a fee Effective date: 2/12/12 - 4/14/12 Eligibility Customer Type Depends on criteria which may include: Existing customers who are not yet eligible for upgrade In targeted markets Customers with 9 to 21 months Rebate Life on File (RLOF) [*]Important Note: Only participating Sprint stores can verify customer eligibility. Device All Networks All Service Agreement 2-year Service Agreement required at time of upgrade Participating Channels and Markets Company-owned Sprint stores in: Atlanta / Athens, GA Charlotte, NC Chicago, IL Cincinnati, OH Cleveland, OH Columbus, OH East Kentucky East Michigan Ft. Wayne / South Bend Indianapolis, IN Jacksonville, FL Miami / West Palm, FL Milwaukee, WI Minnesota Nashville, TN Orlando, FL Raleigh / Durham, NC Tampa, FL West Kentucky West Michigan Winston / Salem, NC Details SOCs No SOCS required. Plan Specifics No specific plan required. Trial Promotion Customers pay an 'Upgrade Now' fee to upgrade early. Fee is based on how long it has been since the last upgrade. 9-11 months RLOF = $165 12-14 months RLOF = $125 15-17 months RLOF = $95 18-21 months RLOF = $55 [*]Customers pay the lowest promotional price for the phone and the $36 upgrade fee. Literature (LIT) N/A Mail-in Rebate (MIR) N/A Other There is no notification sent to customers about this trial promotion. The only way customers learn of this offer is when they are in a Sprint store and the rep tells them about it because they are targeted for this trial promotion. Actions Questions about trial promotion Do not proactively share information with any customer. Answer questions about promotion. If customer is in participating market, tell customer to go to a Sprint store to find if they are eligible for this trial promotion. Customer participated in Upgrade Now trial promotion If customer wants to return device or has other questions about promotion, tell customer to return to Sprint store where device was purchased, or where they first heard about the promotion. Upgrade Now fee Do not remove the Upgrade Now fee after it has been applied to account.
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