Google Fiber is officially coming to Austin, Texas, giving people yet another reason to want to live in the edgy city. Google has not yet revealed the rollout schedule, but don't let that fool you--they'll likely be splitting the city up into different "Fiberhoods" like what happened in Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri in order to gauge the areas of highest interest. Google Fiber offers 1 Gbps broadband Internet, television service, and phone service through a direct fiber to the home connection. This marks the thirs city that Google Fiber is making an appearance in, as Google's Eric Schmidt recently said that Fiber is a "real business"--here's hoping we see quick expansion to additional neighborhoods in the US.
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I have a bridge to sell you if you think AT&T's announcement had nothing to do with T-Mobile's hard push of its new HD Voice to its upcoming iPhone customers. AT&T Senior VP of Network Technology, Kris Rinne, was chatting it up at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit in Sausalito, California. She stated that the telecommunications company will support the HD Voice technology later this year in 2013. Nevermind that smartphones like the iPhone 5 have had HD Voice capabilities since October 2012.
@jason_diaz AT&T never implemented full rate AMR, much less AMR-WB, which is required for HD Voice.— Neal Gompa (ニール・ゴンパ) (@Det_Conan_Kudo) March 27, 2013
Rollout of newer technology has historically been AT&T's Achilles Heel; it took them over a year to include Internet tethering for the iPhone 3GS, despite carriers across the globe supporting it at launch. AT&T finally included the internet tethering, only after the iPhone 4 launched, with several deal breaking caveats such as forfeiting "unlimited" data plans and exorbitant pricing for data that customers are already paying for. On the brighter side, dropped calls will soon be in HD.
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FreedomPop provides free 4G data to mobile customers, and has now launched the Burst home router. The FreedomPop Burst provides a free 1 GB of WiMAX data each month to buyers, after they pay an $89 deposit to get the router itself. Users can purchase additional buckets of data if need be, but FreedomPop also allows you to earn more free data by adding friends to their network through email and social media, as well as through signing up for partner promotions. It's an interesting approach. Check out the video after the break for more on FreedomPop.
The airwaves are running out, and you may've noticed it from the data diet your phone company has probably went on, or from the inability to send texts from busy areas in the city.
The FCC has approved the transfer of 608 spectrum licenses to AT&T that cover about 82 percent of the US population. Don't start streaming those 1080p movies from your data plan just yet, as the new spectrum isn't going in effect any time soon. It'll be years before any of us can take advantage of it, we're afraid.
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After launching its new 4G LTE service in Seattle days before the iPhone 5 launch, AT&T is now launching its faster data service in Tacoma, Washington, as well as Federal Way, Lakewood, Puyallup, and Auburn. Additionally, LTE expansion upgrades are now live in Seattle, Bothell, Bellevue, Kirkland, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Renton, Redmond, Tukwila, and Woodinville. AT&T plans to officially announce the enhancements tomorrow. Of course, you'll need an LTE-compatable AT&T device to take advantage of the faster speeds.
Today Google finally took the wraps off of its long-awaited Google Fiber service. Focusing on Kansas City, Google Fiber is both an Internet service and television service, and Google showed off just how awesome the service will be.
First, the Internet speeds. Google Fiber provides gigabit speeds both up and down the pipe. That's 1000/1000 Mbps (which makes our 35/35 connection look atrocious.) The company detailed how far behind the USA is in terms of speed and pricing, and is looking to invoke some major change. Google Fiber Internet will also come with 1TB of Google Drive cloud storage, and there will be no bandwidth caps or overage fees. But that's not all…
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If you thought Comcast would let Verizon make them look bad with those 300 Mbps FiOS Quantum speeds, you've got another thing coming, as the company has just announced Xfinity Platinum. Boasting speeds of 305 Mbps down and 65 Mbps up, the new offering will only be available to Comcast customers living in the northeast region, with no details on if it will be deployed elsewhere.
In addition, customers on the lower-speed Xfinity Blast! tier will see their speeds increased from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps, and Extreme tier customers get bumped from 50 Mbps to 105 Mbps with no price increase. Now, two pieces of bad news. First, the 305 Mbps service will cost $299.95 per month, which is $95 more than FiOS Quantum. Second, if you're a Comcast customer who doesn't live in Boston, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburg, Hartford, Wilmington, Richmond, New Jersey, Baltimore, or Washington, D.C., then you don't get any speed bumps.
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It's been a long road since the time that the ambitious Google Fiber initiative was announced, but a little over two years later, and the product is ready to launch. This morning Google announced that Kansas City will be set to go live with super-fast Gigabit Internet speeds on July 26th, and we are very green with envy.
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Sprint has officially announced that the first 15 cities to be lit up with its LTE service are now live. Unfortunately, it's a slow start, but at least it's something. If you are in select areas of Georgia, Texas, or Missouri, then you're in luck if you've also got a Sprint LTE device. The full list of cities:
Atlanta, GA; Athens, GA; Calhoun, GA; Carrollton, GA; Newnan, GA: Rome, GA; Dallas, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Granbury-Hood County, TX; Houston, TX; Huntsville, TX; San Antonio, TX; Waco, TX; Kansas City, MO-KA; St. Joseph, MO
Let us know how it's working for you!
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We've been testing the recently-released Western Digital My Net N900, a router released by the company most known for its hard drives. This isn't just any router though--it's supposed to make QoS setup quick and easy for the every man. With a few clicks, Western Digital says that you'll have an optimized home network that'll make sure the important data doesn't get hindered by background tasks that aren't as high on the totem pole of priority. Does the My Net N900 live up to that promise? Join us after the break for our full My Net N900 review to find out.