4G Stories February 10, 2015

Apple’s comms chip supplier Qualcomm fined almost $1B in Chinese anti-trust case

Qualcomm, which makes baseband communications chips for Apple and licenses 3G and 4G patents to other smartphone manufacturers, has been fined almost a billion dollars by the Chinese government in an anti-trust case. The company was found to have abused its dominant position in wireless chip technology by charging “unfairly high” licensing fees to manufacturers of smartphones and tablets.

The 6B Yuan ($960M) fine is the largest fine ever imposed on a foreign company, reports the GuardianChina’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that the fine was calculated as 8% of Qualcomm’s 2013 revenue in China. China is responsible for around half of Qualcomm’s total revenue.

Chinese regulators said that Qualcomm bundled together patent licenses, forcing Chinese companies to buy unwanted licenses in order to get the core 3G and 4G ones they needed. Qualcomm said that it was disappointed by the ruling, but has agreed to separate out its licenses to allow companies to purchase only the ones they need.

The ruling is unlikely to impact Apple this year, as the company orders its baseband chips from Qualcomm rather than licensing patents, but may have an impact next year. KGI predicted last month that Apple would be buying 30% of its baseband chips from Intel in 2016.

Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters

4G Stories December 15, 2014

T-Mobile has announced that it will be unveiling its latest contract-free deal in a livestreamed ‘fireside chat’ tomorrow, Un-carrier 8.0.

Un-carrier 8.0 is ready to roll, and you’re invited to join us for the unveiling of one of our biggest and boldest moves yet! This one is so big we had to keep it a surprise.

Join John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, as he unveils the news during a live fireside chat with David Pogue of Yahoo! News. David will be taking questions for John from Twitter through @JohnLegere and @Pogue and the #Uncarrier8 hashtag.

The company hasn’t hinted at any of the details, but we’ll of course let you know …  expand full story

4G Stories May 15, 2014

United States-based carrier AT&T today officially announced its rollout of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) calls. The VoLTE rollout comes in tandem with AT&T HD Voice launch, which provides better sounding phone calls. Starting on May 23rd, IllinoisIndianaMinnesota and Wisconsin will be the initially supported markets for these features, but AT&T says to expect a more complete rollout as time goes on:

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4G Stories March 20, 2014

A man holds a new Apple iPhone 5S next to his iPhone 5 at an Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district

Photo: readwrite.com

China Mobile announced that it sold 1.34M 4G handsets in February and that “most of them” were iPhones. China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua was relatively non-committal on the numbers.

It’s just been getting started for one or two months. So far it’s hard to tell how that will affect our business […]

We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities.

Analyst estimates of likely sales had varied widely. Most had predicted at least 15-17M sales a year in China as a whole, however, suggesting that 1M in a month on what is by far the country’s largest carrier may be somewhat lower than anticipated …  expand full story

4G Stories March 8, 2014

From tomorrow, AT&T will cut the price of its 2GB data plan tier ‘Mobile Share Value’ from $55 to $40. In total, this plan will cost you $65 per month in data charges for one device, comprised of the reduced $40 data plan and a $25 device charge. As usual, there is a $25 charge for each device that shares the data allowance. For one device, this represents an overall reduction of approximately 20% of AT&T’s current offerings. Otherwise, the plans remain the same with unlimited talk and text service, unlimited international messaging in addition to the shared data.

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4G Stories December 9, 2013

Verizon is almost fixed in New York as AT&T announces LTE roaming in Canada on Rogers

Verizon’s problems with LTE capacity in NY are almost at an end, claimed CEO Lowell McAdam during an investor conference on Monday. Describing the issues as “a short-term blip,” he said the company was “now back to where we want to be.”

Verizon identified 49 cell sites in the New York area where capacity was insufficient, and said that all but seven of them had been strengthened.

AT&T, meantime, said that it has become the first U.S. carrier to offer international LTE roaming thanks to an agreement with Rogers Communications to allow customers access to LTE data when visiting Canada. The Rogers LTE network covers approximately 70 percent of Canada.

Roaming is not, however, cheap. For occasional use, you’re charged $15.36/MB. Alternatively, you can sign up for a Data Global Add-on packages at $30/month for 120MB, $60/month for 300MB or $120/month for 800MB. The two more expensive packages also give you 1GB of wifi usage where available.

Full AT&T press release below … 

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