After silently activating in most of its launch markets this weekend, Sprint's 4G LTE network has finally been officially announced. A promotional launch video released today explains Sprint's 4G LTE rollout and Network Vision, and encourages viewers to comment on the burgeoning LTE network's performance.
To that end, things aren't looking great for Sprint's new 4G network – at launch, it is promising just 6-8 Megabits per second download speed (burstable to 25Mbps) and 2-3 Megabits per second upload.
While AT&T's LTE network may not be nearly as expansive as Verizon's, the company is still making good progress on broadening its other 4G reach. It announced today news of yet another expansion, this time bringing its brand of 4G LTE to six new markets:
Back at the beginning of May, the DROID Incredible 4G LTE was made official, with Verizon's press release stating that the device would be available in the "coming weeks." Well, it's now July, and it looks like those "coming" eight weeks have finally reached their end - Big Red has at long last announced that the device will go on sale on July 5th, just as expected.
In all honesty, I get a little more excited than I probably should when it seems like someone's marketing department has accidentally revealed juicy details. Today, after seeing Jelly Bean 4.1 teased in a thumbnail image and checkout page (which was quickly redacted), it seems that Sprint may have let slip the existence of a white version of the HTC EVO 4G LTE. In a banner found on the Now Network's website earlier today, we see a white Samsung Galaxy SII (nothing surprising there) right next to a white and silver version of the EVO LTE.
Looks like it's the time of the month for Verizon to flip its 4G LTE switch to 'on' in new markets. It seems that the rollout has been in hyperspeed lately, as more and more cities are getting their taste of the blazing fast 4G service; this time Big Red is giving it to 46 new markets:
Yuba City/Marysville, CA
Panama City, FL
Carrolton, Gainesville, and Newnan, GA
Decatur/Effingham, Kankakee/Bradley-Bourbonnais, and La Salle/Peru/Ottawa, IL
Columbus and Michigan City/La Porte, IN
Greater Portland, ME
Greenville/Greenwood, Jackson, and Tunica, MS
Houghton and Traverse City, MI
Jefferson City, Lake of the Ozarks, and West Plains, MO
Binghamton, Elmira/Corning/Hornell, and Oneonta, NY
Burlington, Hickory/Lenoir, Jacksonville, and New Bern, NC
Bedford and Sharon/Farrell/Hermitage, PA
Anderson, Florence, and Greenwood, SC
Lufkin/Nacogdoches, Midland, San Angelo, and Waco, TX
Huntington and Logan, WV
Fond du Lax, Janesville, Beloit, and Sheboygan, WI
The Lihue, HI (launched on June 11)
And expand in 22 existing markets:
Denver and Fort Collins/Loveland, CO
Daytona Beach, Gainesville, and West Palm Beach, FL
Glens Falls and New York, NY
Charlotte/Gastonia and Greensville, Washington, NC
Although I've dropped a phone a total of about three times in my life, and although manufacturers are continually touting more and more durable glass, polycarbonate plastic, and even metal that's 3x stronger than stainless steel, there lingers in the back of my mind the question of what may happen if and when that fateful day comes – the day when I finally drop my phone onto an unforgiving concrete, asphalt, or otherwise hard surface.
Verizon has officially announced the impending launch of its shared data plans on June 28, and at first glance, they make look a little confusing:
The reality is much simpler (check out this PDF - it's better). The "Share Everything" plan, as it's called, starts out on the premise that you are required to choose unlimited voice and text messaging. Not bad.
Then, you're required to select a data plan based on your needs.
If you're still looking to get your hands on a Sprint-branded Galaxy Nexus, Amazon has a deal for you – Amazon Wireless is offering the Galaxy Nexus right now for $49.99 if you open a new account. This is a great discount, cutting a full $100 off the last deal we saw.
It's worth noting that customers looking to activate a new line or upgrade an existing line can expect to pay $99.99 or $149.99 respectively for the Now Network's debut LTE device.
Alongside Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, Sprint has announced that it, too, will be carrying the next Galaxy in just a few short weeks. As far as we can tell, the device will be unbranded aside from the standard Sprint logos, but we've yet to confirm this (Sprint has not provided images).
Yesterday, we'd heard from Samsung that the device would be coming to five carriers in the US, and with Sprint's announcement, we're now up to all five.
It's been a long time coming, particularly for the pioneer Android tablet, but the Ice Cream Sandwich update for Verizon's 4G Xoom is rolling out today as expected. The update brings the Xoom to the very latest version of Android available - 4.0.4.
An over-the-air rollout has started today, but if you are too impatient to wait for that, you have the option of installing the update manually (this method requires the use of a USB host cable):