Verizon Wireless is taking a stand - in the race to deploy 4G LTE mobile broadband service, they don’t want to come in second to AT&T or Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, the latter of which said it would offer such a network commercially in 2010. According to executive vice president and chief technology officer of Verizon Communications, Dick Lynch, they plan to begin rolling the enhanced network capabilities out by about this time next year, ahead of the original 2010 timetable.
The original plan called for initial rollouts in 2010, with a wide commercial launch in 2011 and true mass availability coming shortly after. But according to an IDC analyst, Verizon’s new, more aggressive deployment schedule was likely inspired by the threat of launching after another company. Verizon wants to be first! Can you blame them? They don’t have the iPhone...
If you’re wondering what LTE is, it’s a fourth-generation wireless data system expected to be the next step up in speed and capacity for carriers using the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) platform, which is dominant in most of the world. Like Sprint Nextel’s already deployed (in one city) WiMax, it should deliver multiple megabits per second of throughput.
After introducing LTE, Verizon plans to offer subscribers small in-home base stations known as femtocells, which will extend the signal indoors - likely including built-in Wi-Fi, which will allow newer personal electronics such as cameras to automatically exchange information over the air. Imagine getting home from a trip and having your pictures automatically upload to the internet once you walk through the door. This may be a reality sooner than you think.
Read More | Yahoo!
So you don’t have an iPhone or other web-enabled phone, you’re away from your computer and you’re tired of shelling out your precious greenbacks for 411 services; is there any other option? Well, you could just keep on calling 411, the phone companies love it when you do that – a quick check reveals that Verizon charges $1.49 per call and both AT&T and Sprint charge a piggy bank busting $1.79 per call – or you could give Google or Microsoft a call, they’ll take care of you for free. Google’s service, “GOOG-411” can be accessed by calling 1-800-GOOG-411, while Microsoft’s “Live Search 411” can be accessed by calling 1-800-CALL-411.
Both systems use voice recognition technology (you won’t be able to speak with a real human) to provide directions to and phone numbers of millions of destinations across the United States and Canada, connecting you to your destination and sending you a text message containing the requested information if you so desire.
Which service is right for you? You’ll have to try them both out and decide for yourself. I surprised myself by choosing the Microsoft service as my favorite. Stranger things have happened…
Check out the video (up top) for an introduction to the Google service.
If you’ve followed us for any amount of time, then you’d be familiar with our gadget and tech video show, Bleeding Edge TV. You can find it here on Gear Live, on YouTube, on Blip.tv, and a bunch of other places on the interwebs. However, today we are happy to tell you that if you are a FiOS TV subscriber, you can catch the show there as well, on demand. To check it out, just pull up On Demand, and go into The Cutting Edge category. From there, choose Blip.tv, and you’ll find us (along with other top Blip-hosted programming). Expect to see our other show, Unboxing Live up there shortly as well.
For those of you on other cable systems, no worries - we are working hard to bring our content to your cable boxes as well. In the meantime, the Internet will have to do.
If you’re in Reno and you use AT&T as your broadband Internet provider, you’re now unfortunately the latest victim of this whole capped bandwidth nonsense that seems to be taking hold across the US. It started when Comcast implemented a 250GB per month cap on October 1. Now word has hit that metered billing of between 20-150GB per month is going to be tested in Reno on AT&T’s DSL network. If you are a new customer who’ll be apart of the trial, depending on the speed tier you choose, you’ll get a cap somewhere between 20 and 150 gigabytes per month. If you’re an existing customer, you’ll be chosen to be a part of the trial if your monthly bandwidth happens to exceed 150GB in a month.
The trend is something we are vehemently against, so I figured I’d ask one of the Verizon PR reps that I know on Twitter, Kevin Laverty, if we should expect a similar announcement from Verizon, after another Verizon rep said no. His answer:
That’s an affirmative - Verizon has no plans to cap bandwidth on either its FiOS or High Speed Internet/DSL services.
It doesn’t get much clearer than that. It’ll be a nice bullet-point for Verizon if they can say that FiOS is not only faster, but also is completely uncapped as far as usage goes.
The Canadian company CellWand Communications has teamed with Single Touch Systems to allow AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, and Alltel Wireless customers a new service. It is almost too simple. Need a cab? Press #TAXI on your cell phone. Already successful in Canada, ST’s CEO Anthony Macaluso calls it “like 911 for a taxicab.” The new service is pay per use with Alltel and Verizon subscribers coughing up $1.50 per call, while AT&T users will pay $1.79. Other carriers may be added later this year.
Read More | RCR Wireless
Yes, Virginia, there are other phones out there. Verizon has launched their LG Chocolate 3 Clamshell. The cellie features a built-in FM transmitter, and supports both Verizon’s EV-DO network for Net surfing and VZ Navigator for GPS service. It also supports Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and a micro SD slot, a 2-megapixel cam and holds 1GB of memory. Available in both black and blue, the 3.9 x 1.9 x 0.6-inch phone is going for $129.99 after mail-in rebate and with a 2-year contract.
Read More | gadgetell
For all you Verizon FiOS subscribers out there, Verizon just announced this morning that they are going to be upping a couple of their speed tiers across the country, beginning next week. Of course, you need to live in one of the FiOS-covered areas in one of the 16 states where the service is available, like we do.
So, first things first - if you are in New York or Virginia, don’t expect any changes. You guys are already enjoying the upgraded speeds that the rest of us have been waiting for. For the rest of us though, two changes are in order. First, the 30/15 speed tier will be going away, and will be replaced by the newer 50/20 tier. Crazy, we know. The 50/20 speed will remain at the same $139 per month cost. Those of you on the 15/15 symmetrical tier will also say goodbye to your current speeds, as you will be upgraded to the new 20/20 speed tier, and it will remain at the same $64 per month cost.
The lower tiers are getting upgrades as well, as 15/2 becomes 20/5, and 5/2 becomes 10/2. It should be noted that Comcast recently bumped up their speeds across the board to 16/2. I guess Verizon was just waiting on Comcast before spreading their NY and VA speeds to the rest of the country.
Read More | Verizon Press Release
Nokia is hip to all the Batman freaks and has come up with a Dark Knight Edition 6205 for those that can’t wait until the film comes out on July 18. The cellie features a 1.3 megapixel cam, a voice recognition speakerphone, a music player, Bluetooth capability, and their new Calendar Preview for schedule management. Try a two year contract at Verizon and an online discount and the batphone can be yours for $69.99. Think how jealous the other batfans will be when you flash it at the premiere.
Read More | Verizon
We remember a time (about 15 years ago) when we were allotted only so many hours on the Net. If you were really addicted, that meant you either had to go online with a stopwatch, reconnect occasionally, or be charged for a business account. Nowadays you can go 24/7 and most providers will offer you a good deal for doing so. For example, knowing that about 1 in seven no longer have landlines, Verizon will be offering discounts to those who don’t but order Internet or TV service. Their Flex Double Play begins this week allowing customer discounts of $8.00 to $12.00 a month if you combine their wireless plan with FiOS TV or broadband.
On the swing side, AT&T is thinking of charging more for those who download too much data. Spokesperson Michael Coe claims that about 5% of their DSL customers use 46% of their bandwidth, while overall usage doubles every year and a half. Time Warner is already charging its customers in Beaumont, Texas, who go over their bandwidth limit $1.00 per gigabyte. If you are one of those who downloads movies and TV shows, especially in hi-def, don’t move to the Lonestar state.
What do you guys think? Should we be charged extra for services that companies are pushing on us to the max? Or should we all go out and purchase a Roku and spend the $8.99 a month before our Internet overcharges become excessive?
Verizon’s newest mobile offering is the Motorola W755 cellie. The black slate or purple flip phone has a 1.3 megapixel cam, a memory card slot, Bluetooth capability, VZ Navigator GPS, text and multimedia ability, and a music player with external controls. It supports Verizon’s 3G EV-Do network and, as per usual, there is an online deal attached. The $119.99 price with a 2-year contract and a $50.00 instant discount knocks that sucker down to a feasible $69.99.
Read More | Verizon
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