Dish Network has expressed an interest to either partner with a wireless carrier like Sprint or Clearwire or buying them outright.
According to T-Mobile inside blogger, TmoNews, the Samsung Vibrant 4G will move data at a lightning 21Mbps. 50% faster than the G2 and MyTouch 4G (T-Mobile’s other hot smartphones), this device will be T-Mobile’s speediest offering. The Vibrant 4G is an upgraded version of the Samsung Vibrant, currently the #1 selling Galaxy S product in the US, with over 1 million units sold. No details about plans or pricing for the new device are yet available.
Other exciting additions accompany the Vibrant 4G as well. According to the leaked documents, the Vibrant 4G will carry Android 2.2, Froyo. The original Vibrant is still running on Android 2.1, so this is a welcome improvement. However, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) has already been released, leaving this upgrade with more to be desired. A more welcome addition, a front-facing video camera will adorn the new device, enabling video chatting. A couple new programs, T-Mobile TV and the Double Twist Air Sync, will be included but not too much is known about their particulars.
In terms of similarity, the Vibrant 4G contains the same internal processor, Super AMOLED touch screen, and memory capacity ranging from 16 to 32GB. The Kindle app and Samsung Media Hub will also come included, although the free movie Avatar will be replaced with Inception. The same 5 megapixel camera still rests at the back of the device.
Is the Vibrant 4G really a 4G phone? T-Mobile likes to refer to its HSPA+ system as a 4G-level network, however most objective analysts say it’s really only a superfast 3G, not quite up to 4G standards. In any case, definitions in this area remain fuzzy at best and it’s difficult to come up with clear distinctions between the various technologies. Either way, the fast speeds promised for this new device certainly boost its appeal. The question remains: will it be as popular as its predecessor? Only time will tell.… Read the rest
In a press conference today, Verizon announced that its LTE data plans will run at $50 for 5GB of coverage and $80 for 10GB. Go over those data caps and you could be charged ten dollars per GB. With Verizon touting LTE’s lightening-fast speeds, one PC Mag tester ate through his 5GB data cab in just 32 minutes. So how can 4G plans function when they are being offered with 3G pricing?
Engadget offers a comprehensive overview of current 4G data plans, comparing offerings from Verizon, Sprint, Clearwire and others. While there are advantages and disadvantages in terms of coverage and hardware, the disparity in data plan costs is most staggering.
While most reviewers are hesitant to define a clear leader in the data plan race, Sue Marek of Fierce Wireless points out that, for most consumers, $80 for just 10GB–along with the prospect of hefty overage fees–is just too much. With CLEAR offering unlimited data on its WiMAX network for just $45/month, budget-conscious users have a much clearer choice. … Read the rest
Things are getting a little testy between WiMax business partners Clearwire and Sprint as of late. With the recent 3rd quarter assessment that Clearwire is not monetarily equipped for the long-haul, the former best friends of WiMax technology in the U.S. are in a bit of a spat over the money Sprint pays Clearwire to have their WiMax-equipped smartphones operating on the latter’s network.
The ability to charge their chief stakeholder for each 4G handset means big business for Clearwire, with 3 million HTC Evo 4Gs and Samsung Epic 4Gs expected to ship by the end of 2010. Sprint is supposed to pay $4.46 to Clearwire per 4G user, but complications arise when the amount of customers living in places where access to WiMax 4G has yet to be activated is taken to account. 810,000 Sprint phone users of 4G phones are without a technology to take advantage of, and Sprint is withholding funds accordingly.
In order to resolve this situation, Sprint and Clearwire have entered arbitration, but things stand to get uglier for Clearwire if things don’t go their way. A company spokesman admitted that the loss of these per handset payouts in areas still unequipped with WiMax could result in an inability to fulfill their previously drawn up plans for further WiMax rollout across lacking U.S. markets. While from a customer’s perspective Sprint’s reluctance to payout the $4.46 makes sense, you have to wonder whether Sprint is interested in seeing the WiMax network completed so that they might continue to compete with other upcoming 4G offerings from Verizon, AT&T and MetroPCS; or whether they’re just slowly backing away from the whole scene and hoping some big company with a lot of money buys them off and makes the WiMax experiment all just go away. … Read the rest