We caught up with Clear, who had just launched their new 27-city 4G mobile broadband network, at CES 2010’s It Won’t Stay in Vegas blogger party. We talk a bit about what 4G is, why it’s better (way better) than 3G, and also give you a look at the technology in action. Clear has partnered with Sprint on the rollout of 4G, so all that 4G that Sprint has been talking about recently? That’s thanks to the efforts of what Clear (formerly known as ClearWire) has been doing in the 4G space.
A big thank you to Bing for sponsoring Gear Live’s CES 2010 coverage.
In a puzzling move, Comcast announced today that they are going to be rebranding their broadband services under a new moniker: Xfinity. Seriously. Starting next week, Xfinity TV, Xfinity Internet, and Xfinity Voice will be rolled out to current Comcast customers in 11 markets, those being: Boston, Philly, Baltimore, DC, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Hartford, Augusta, and Chatanooga, along with parts of the Bay area. Don’t expect any changes in the actual services you receive, this is just a name change, similar to when CableVision rebranded their services under the Optimum banner.
Expect a marketing blitz in the markets named above to start next Friday, including TV ads during the Olympics, print, and radio spots.
Read More | Comcast Voices
If you’re considering picking up an Apple iPad when they launch a couple of months from now and you plan on taking it on the go, you’ll want to know about the extra fees you’ll incur if you choose to go the with AT&T-provided 3G access plans. First, though, your 3G iPad will cost $130 more than the Wi-Fi-only version. Once you get it, you’ve got two options with AT&T:
- $29.99 per month unlimited data plan
- $14.99 per month for 250MB of monthly data
It’s a good deal for monthly 3G access, especially when you consider the fact that both plans are pre-paid month-to-month plans that don’t require any sort of contract. The other benefit that you get from picking up a 3G iPad model is assisted GPS, which the Wi-Fi-only iPad lacks.
No shocker here. Wired.com did their own independent tests to determine the fastest and slowest average 3G network speeds in the US, and Verizon came out on top. The survey included 15,000 participants, with 12,000 of them reporting back with data that was valid and usable for the tests. Verizon clocked in with an average download speed of 1,940 kbps, T-Mobile dropped in at second at 1,793 kbps, Sprint took third at 1,598 kbps, and AT&T was way behind at just 901 kbps. That’s just sad, and very telling when you consider the complaints from many an iPhone user as it pertains to 3G speeds.
Granted, this wasn’t the most scientific of studies, as the test included 8153 AT&T users, compared to just 856 from Verizon, but hey, the info is still useful, right?
Read More | Wired
Newegg‘s got a deal on the Linksys WRT54GL 802.11b/g router for $49.95, selling it for $30 less than retail from now through June 15. This is a router that is a dream for DIYers, as it works great with a lot of different custom firmware packages, making it easy to set up your own VPN, Samba, and FTP servers. It can also boost existing wireless signals, act as a Radius server, and more. Take a look at the Linksys WRT54GL on Newegg, and use promo code ROUTER685 to get the savings.
As always, you can find all sorts of Newegg promo codes and deals on our forums.
Read More | Newegg: Linksys WRT54GL
Acer has announced that they are offering their blue or pink 8.9-inch Netbook with built-in AT&T Mobility Broadband for only $79.00 with a new 2-year commitment with plans at $60.00 a month or more. The netbook, which can be found at RadioShack, has a CrystalBrite LED backlit LCD screen with 1024x600 resolution, 1GB memory, 160GB hard drive, Intel Atom processor, WiFi, WiMAX and 3G wireless access, 3 USB ports and Windows XP.
Read More | RadioShack
After users loudly complained both online and off, Time Warner Cable has announced it will stop their proposed metered broadband services. Interestingly enough, even Twitter, the site of few words, was used to argue the case. There were so many complaints that Congressman Eric Massa tried to push for legislature to ban “unfair pricing structures.” We suspect that this will not be the end of it, but its about time the little people won one.
Read More | Consumer Affairs
The first cellular network was launched in Japan in 1979 by NTT. Twenty three years later the planet passed its 4th billion mobile connection. Mobile broadband accounts for about a quarter of that figure. Other connections in such countries as China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan added to unconnected devices gives us an estimate that by 2013, this figure will hit 6 billion. Considering there only 6.7 billion humans on the planet now, this definitely proves it’s a mobile world out there.
Read More | Gizmag
Novatel has just announced the future release of their new MiFi 3G portable hotspot, and we are officially excited. Using the MiFi, you’ll be able to grab the signal from your EV-DO Rev. A or HSPA account, and share it over Wi-Fi to a group. For example, you can hit up Starbucks with two buddies, break out the MiFi, and all three of you can hit the Internet without paying for Starbucks Wi-Fi three times. The MiFi device itself looks just as awesome as its usage scenarios, as it just as long and wide as a credit card, and isn’t really that tall. Novatel is also touting that the battery will last for 4 hours when used actively, and 40 hours when on standby. Nice.
Mark our words - we are going to be keeping an eye on the news leading up to the Novatel MiFi official release. Expect to see if available for purchase in for first half of 2009.
Read More | Novatel Wireless
Now that’s what we’re talking about! AT&T Movility President Ralph De La Vega just dropped the official word that the iPhone will be gaining the ability to be wirelessly tethered to notebooks, giving you 3G internet access on your laptop wherever your iPhone has a 3G signal. Just about every other smartphone that is the caliber of the iPhone has this ability, so it’s been a long time coming. No definite date given or anything, but at least now we know that iPhone tethering is on the horizon.
Read More | Technologizer