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Posts Tagged ‘New Wave’

AT&T should be investigated for ‘fraudulent’ data policies, public interest group says

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

AT&T on Monday announced a new plan that will let developers pay for the data used by their apps and services. The data consumed by apps that make use of this new feature would not apply toward a user’s data cap. The new service was pitched as a way for content providers to ease customers’ growing concerns over wireless data usage, however one public interest group sees the feature as a slap in the face to AT&T subscribers. “This new plan is unfortunate because it shows how fraudulent the AT&T data cap is, and calls into question the whole rationale of the data caps,” Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge, said in a statement. ”Apparently it has nothing to do with network management. It’s a tool to get more revenue from developers and customers.” Read on for more.

“The plan creates two new groups of customers and app developers — those who pay AT&T extra for the privilege of being exempt from the cap and those who don’t,” Feld continued. ”We are disappointed that the FCC has ignored the two requests we have made for the agency to investigate the need for both wireless and landline broadband caps. There is still no rationale for why they are needed, what the network costs are, how they are imposed and how many customers are subject to them.”

AT&T’s smartphone data policies have been called into question lately following a new wave of subscriber complaints. Loyal customers who retained their unlimited data plans after AT&T switched to a tiered system can continue to use an unlimited amount of data each month, but their data speeds are throttled — sometimes to nearly unusable speeds, according to a number of readers who have emailed BGR with tales of woe — if they are among the top 5% of data users in a billing period.

On a number of occasions, subscribers have seen their data speeds slowed after less than 2GB of usage in a single billing period. For the same $30 AT&T is charging unlimited data plan holders each month, however, smartphone users on a tiered data plan can enjoy up to 3GB of full-speed data.

“This is exactly the type of market manipulation we hoped the FCC’s Open Internet rules would prevent,” Feld added. “If the Commission does not believe it has the authority under those rules to investigate this practice, it should do so under its general authority over wireless services.”

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Throttling unlimited data plans is pointless, study finds

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

AT&T’s questionable policy with regard to unlimited smartphone data plan holders recently found its way back into the limelight following a new wave of subscriber complaints. The nation’s No.2 carrier no longer offers an unlimited data plan to smartphone users, though many subscribers on its network still have grandfathered plans that provide an unlimited amount of smartphone data each month. Subscribers who approach the top 5% of unlimited data users in a single billing period see their data speeds throttled, however, and countless users have found that AT&T is now beginning to throttle users after less than 2GB of data usage in a billing period. According to a new study, subscribers are right to be furious at AT&T because throttling does nothing to alleviate network bandwidth issues. Read on for more.

Wireless bill analysis firm Validas extracted data from more than 55,000 cell phone bills belonging to AT&T and Verizon Wireless subscribers from 2011, and the firm sought to determine whether or not data throttling is necessary. According to Validas’s findings, throttling may indeed simply be a ploy to push unlimited users into newer tiered plans.

“When we look at the top 5% of data users, there is virtually no difference in data consumption between those on unlimited and those on tiered plans—and yet the unlimited consumers are the ones at risk of getting their service turned off,” Validas wrote in its report. “So it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues. After all, Sprint does seemingly fine maintaining non-throttled unlimited data for its customers.”

Verizon Wireless subscribers on unlimited smartphone data plans actually used less data on average than those with tiered plans according to Validas’s data. The opposite was the case at AT&T, however the difference was 0.78GB on average and median data usage varied by 0.53GB.

AT&T is not the only wireless carrier in the U.S. that throttles smartphone data speeds for unlimited data plan holders, of course. Verizon throttles the top 5% of unlimited data users and T-Mobile throttles its smartphone subscribers after 5GB of data usage in a single billing period. AT&T has drawn the most attention of late because it has been throttling unlimited data plan holders after less than 2GB of usage in many cases. AT&T offers a 3GB tiered plan for the same $30 per month that unlimited plan holders pay for 2GB of full-speed data or less, however the tiered plan offers 3GB of full-speed data.

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Samsung seeks to block iPhone 4S sales with new patent complaints

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Samsung filed two separate motions for preliminary injunctions in Paris, France and Milan, Italy on Wednesday seeking to block the sale of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 4S in each respective market. The company confirmed the complaints on its corporate blog on Wednesday, just one day following the unveiling of Apple’s next-generation iPhone 4S smartphone. Samsung’s motions allege that Apple’s new smartphone infringes on two Samsung-owned patents related to communications over WCDMA cellular networks. Read on for more.

“Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology,” Samsung said in a blog post. “We believe it is now necessary to take legal action to protect our innovation.”

The move is hardly unexpected. Reports surfaced last month suggesting that Samsung was already planning to target Apple’s then-unannounced next-generation smartphone in a new wave of patent attacks, and Samsung went on record days later stating that it planned to turn up the heat in its ongoing patent disputes with the Cupertino, California-based tech giant.


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NVIDIA CEO disappointed by Android tablet sales, blames pricing and poor app selection

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

It won’t have escaped your attention that just about every Honeycomb tablet shipping in the first half of this year features, or will feature, NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 hardware. Unfortunately for NVIDIA, reception for the Android 3.0 slates has been a little underwhelming, and the company’s Chief Eloquence Officer, Jen-Hsun Huang, has had a few words to say about it. He sees the relative paucity of tablet-optimized Android apps as a weakness, while also expressing the belief that cheaper WiFi-only models should’ve been the standard shipping config rather than fully fledged 3G / 4G variants as Motorola has been pushing with the Xoom. All in all, his is a very sane and accurate analysis, but Mr. Huang loves to look to the future as much as he enjoys talking about the present, and in his opinion all these major downsides have already been “largely addressed” by “a new wave” of Android tablets. He doesn’t specify the devices that constitute said wave, but his emphasis on thinness and lightness leads us to believe he’s talking up Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 models. Hit the source links to read more from the bronzed stallion in charge of NVIDIA.

NVIDIA CEO disappointed by Android tablet sales, blames pricing and poor app selection originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 15 May 2011 20:05:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceCNET, ZDNet  | Email this | Comments

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2010: Phones, fires and 4G

Friday, December 31st, 2010

2010 was quite the interesting year for the tech industry and here on BGR, the smartphone was king. Adoption of Google’s Android OS skyrocketed, Microsoft is officially back in the smartphone game, Apple is leading with its iOS devices, RIM is working on a brand new OS to power tablets and handsets, HP acquired Palm, and “4G” finally fought its way to the tip of everyone’s tongue. We wanted to highlight some of BGR’s most popular smartphone-related stories of the year, and they each fell into three main categories: Android, BlackBerry and iPhone. Join us after the break for a run through, and a big thanks to all of the great readers who helped make BGR one of the top tech destinations in the world in 2010. Happy New Year!

Google Android

Google sure isn’t slowing down as far as Android is concerned. At the start of 2010, the OS had plenty of growing up to do but as 2010 draws to a close, the OS is really coming into its own. The writing was on the wall, and we knew the second half of 2010 would belong to Google — especially at Verizon Wireless where a leaked roadmap was sprinkled with several exciting Android devices. The roadmap also reveal a great deal about Verizon’s plans for 4G, which lead to a bumpy road as we accused Verizon and other carriers of flaunting fake 4G. But LTE and similar technologies will still help a new breed of mobile devices move data faster than ever before, and Android will be at the forefront of this new wave. CES will kick off the new year with more Android -powered tablets than you can count, and gorgeous new devices like the HTC Thunderbolt 4G we scooped over the summer.


RIM’s BlackBerry platform received a major upgrade to version 6.0, and the first devices to get the new OS were the Torch, seen above, and a freaky clamshell device we took an exclusive look at in April. While the world waited for OS 6 to be released for the BlackBerry 9700, Waterloo’s finest was hard at work on the next-generation BlackBerry operating system, based on QNX, which will be its OS “for the next 10 years”. The first taste of RIM’s new OS came in the form of the company’s first Apple iPad rival, the BlackBerry PlayBook, which we explored in depth on video.

Apple iPhone

The single most popular smartphone model in the world evolved a great deal this year, thanks to a string of updates. First came a new operating system bump to OS 4.0, and then we got a hardware update in the form of the iPhone 4. The iPhone wasn’t without its string of controversies, though, and beyond the much reported (and blown out of proportion) “Antennagate” ordeal, we had a report of an iPhone 4 bursting into flames and injuring its owner. But that won’t stop Apple, of course, as it’s widely assumed that Verizon Wireless will be grabbing up Apple’s device early in the first quarter of 2011.

BGR Senior Staff Writer Zach Epstein contributed to this article

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Windows Phone 7 Marketplace now home to 2,000 apps

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Following concerns that Windows Phone 7 wouldn’t have enough titles support to satisfy the new wave of app-hungry smartphone users, Microsoft confirmed Monday that developer support has exceeded expectations. In a post on The Windows Phone Developer Blog, Microsoft’s Todd Brix announced that the Windows Marketplace for Mobile is now home to approximately 2,000 apps and games compatible with Windows Phone 7 devices. The figure is nearly double the company’s target, which was set last month. Microsoft also announced that the Marketplace is fully open to app submissions, and that it currently has 13,000 registered Windows Phone 7 developers. Windows Phone 7, which launched Monday in the U.S., is Microsoft’s attempt to reclaim consumer interest in its smartphones. Continued developer support is one of several keys to the success of the platform, and Microsoft certainly has an uphill battle ahead of it considering the massive app war chests held by Apple and Google.


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Scosche freedomMIC for Flip Video cameras is the wireless microphone add-on for Real Americans

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Freedom. Justice. Microphones. We’re pretty sure you can find all of those in the constitution, or inside the pure essence of eagle tears, or in Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” played backwards. Scosche understands, and that’s why they’re unveiling the freedomMIC add-on for Flip Video cameras. It’s one of those new FlipPort-compatible accessories that we’re sure we’ll be seeing plenty of now that Cisco’s new wave of cameras are out for public consumption. The mic itself offers a pretty neat solution to the perennial problem of sucky Flip audio: you plug the receiver base into the bottom of the Flip and hand the wireless lapel mic to your subject. Conveniently, you can start and stop recording with the microphone itself, and a 4 hour rechargeable battery should get you through the most trying of interviews or impassioned YouTube monologues. The mic will be out in “late December” for $100.

Scosche freedomMIC for Flip Video cameras is the wireless microphone add-on for Real Americans originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Sep 2010 16:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceScosche  | Email this | Comments

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