4G Stories February 12, 2016

AAPL: 93.99

0.29

Verizon began lab-testing its 5G network last year, aiming to carry out the first real-world tests this year, and AT&T has now announced that it will be doing the same. The company seems even more optimistic than Verizon, which estimated 5G speeds some 30-50 times faster than LTE.

We expect 5G to deliver speeds 10-100 times faster than today’s average 4G LTE connections. Customers will see speeds measured in gigabits per second, not megabits. For reference, at one gigabit per second, you can download a TV show in less than 3 seconds. 

Don’t get too excited just yet, though, as there are a couple of small hurdles to be overcome first …

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4G Stories August 31, 2015

AAPL: 112.76

-0.53

T-Mobile to clamp down on network abusers, booting them down to lowest Simple Choice plan

T-Mobile has announced that it’s going to seriously clamp down on any users using unauthorized methods to get around its tethering cap. Those caught using more data than they should be on the highest tier, unlimited Simple Choice plan will be warned to stop, before being moved down to the entry-level plan. This move is aimed specifically at smartphone users who deliberately break T-Mo’s terms and conditions using workarounds to conceal their tethering usage.

The magenta carrier published an updated FAQ page on its support site stating that some customers have been blowing way past the 7GB tethering limit on the highest Simple Choice plan, some using as much as 2TB (2000GB) of data on their mobile plan. Its biggest concern is the experience created for others. With people using the network so heavily, it can ruin the network performance for everyone else. The carrier has developed software to detect those using workarounds and will initially warn users. If they carry on abusing the network, then they get moved on to a plan with just 1GB data (including tethering).

We’re first warning these customers that they’re illegally using more data than they bought. We hope folks will stop on their own so they can keep their current plan. These customers are on an unlimited 4G LTE smartphone plan that includes a set amount of Smartphone Mobile HotSpot data, but they’re using workarounds to make their tethering look like smartphone usage which helps them use significantly more 4G LTE tethering than their plan includes.

Once they’re on a plan with a set amount of 4G LTE data, it won’t matter what method they use for Smartphone Mobile HotSpot. Once they use their 4G LTE data bucket, they’ll continue to be able to use data at reduced speeds and still never worry about overages.

T-Mobile will start communicating these changes with its customers from today and notes that only a very small percentage of its customers have been discovered to be concealing their tethering. Despite it being a very small fraction of the customer base, it has a “disproportionately negative impact” on the experience for everyone else.

4G Stories August 17, 2015

AAPL: 117.16

1.20

AT&T enhances GoPhone plans to support 4GB data in Canada & Mexico

National carriers across the US have been adding features that make it easier to use their service in Mexico and Canada as a growing trend, and today AT&T has announced enhancements to its pre-paid GoPhone plans to include 4GB of high speed data use in Canada and Mexico as well as the United States. The new AT&T GoPhone feature goes into effect on August 21st and is supported on the carrier’s $60 pre-paid plan without making any changes.

In addition to 4GB of 4G LTE data for use across North America where available, the GoPhone plans include unlimited talk and text in the US, Canada, and Mexico as well. AT&T’s $60 GoPhone plan is reduced to $55/month for customers using the carrier’s Auto Refill automatic payment feature.

For post-paid subscribers, AT&T supports international calling and texting to Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on its 15GB and 20GB Mobile Share Value plans that it simplified over the weekend. More similarly, T-Mobile enhanced its own plans last month to support 4G LTE data use in addition to text and calls in Canada and Mexico without international roaming fees.

4G Stories July 14, 2015

T-Mobile launches competitive new Family Plan, offering $30/per 10GB line

T-Mobile’s Uncarrier Amped moves are still going strong. Just days after announcing its cross-border ‘Mobile Without Borders’ plan, the magenta carrier has unveiled a brand new family plan.

With the new plan, two customers can get 10GB per line for $100 per month. Each additional line is then $20 per person, each with 10GB data allowance. As a special offer, T-Mobile is also giving customers a fourth line for free. Between now and Labor day, customers will be able to sign up to four lines with 10GB data on each, for $120 per month.

4G Stories July 1, 2015

One of the main upgrades to the next iPhone’s internals will be a redesigned wireless system featuring a new Qualcomm-made LTE chip, as revealed by images of a prototype iPhone 6S logic board shared by a source. As shown in the image below, the new device will include Qualcomm’s MDM9635M chip, also known as the ‘9X35’ Gobi modem platform. This new chip promises significant performance improvements over the “9X25” chip found inside of the current iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, capable of delivering up to twice the theoretical LTE download speeds…

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4G Stories March 30, 2015

T-Mobile introduces new next-gen coverage map w/ customer data updated biweekly

T-Mobile has today unveiled what it hopes will be the next-generation of network maps, breathing new life into the carrier coverage maps of old. T-Mobile says that its new “Next-Gen Network Map” is the industry’s first crowd-sourced map, and reflects “near real-time customer experiences.”

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