Better late than never, I suppose. Today Sprint announced that it's bringing new LTE service to Boston and Framingham, Mass., Austin and Bryan-College Station, TX, Fort Wayne, IN, and Western Puerto Rico. The latter is actually not the first round of 4G coverage for the territory, as PR has had coverage in a few southern cities for a while. Additionally, the carrier improved its 3G services throughout the entire island.
It's a good start for 2013 as Sprint continues its Network Vision plan, which should only ramp up this year as a variety of deals—including the Softbank acquisition, the Clearwire buyout, and spectrum purchases—finalize.
Have you heard that T-Mobile is working on an LTE network? It's true. According to an interview with the carrier's USA EVP and CTO Neville Ray over on FierceWireless, the company is "days away" from flipping the switch on its new towers. The initial rollout will take place in Las Vegas (where T-Mo had hoped to debut in time for CES, but was delayed), followed closely by Kansas City.
The carrier intends to follow a similar rollout plan as its initial HSPA+ expansion. The first round of cities included Baltimore, Houston, and Washington D.C., followed by others like Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Portland and many more.
Today, Sprint announced that it would be spending $2.2bn to acquire the remaining (roughly) half of Clearwire that it doesn't already own. The transaction, which is naturally subject to regulatory approval, will give the carrier ownership of all of Clearwire's significant share of spectrum, which will be a huge boost to Sprint as it attempts to build out an LTE network to compete with Verizon and AT&T.
Of course, these deals can take forever to close, so in the meantime, the two companies have entered into a rather brilliant agreement: Sprint has promised to buy roughly $80m worth of Clearwire stock every month starting in January 2013 for up to ten months (or a total of $800m, and slightly more than 1/3rd of the total Clearwire purchase price).
Sprint would like you to know that, while LTE coverage has not yet been activated in these areas just yet, the Now Network has plans to rollout the shiny new towers to cities like San Francisco and Napa, CA, Naples and Cape Coral, FL, and several markets in midwest and southern states. The network is not live yet, of course. As with the carrier's previous announcement, this is simply to let people know what's coming.
Here's the full list of cities that have been added to the plan:
San Francisco, CA, San Mateo-Redwood City, CA
Cape Coral-Ft Meyers, FL
Dyersburg-Union City-Martin, TN
Fort Wayne, IN
Lafayette/West Lafayette, IN
Lexington Park, MD
Naples-Marco Island, FL
Punta Gorda, FL
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN
Terre Haute, IN
According to Sprint, before the official launch of these networks, you may see LTE coverage pop up and, in that case, you "are welcome to use the network" (as opposed to politely declining the coverage you paid for?) but there's no word yet on when the official launch in these cities will occur.
Previously, we'd heard rumors and whispers that T-Mobile (by way of its parent company Deutsche Telekom) would be acquiring MetroPCS. Today, both companies' boards have approved the merger and, pending regulatory and MetroPCS shareholder approval, the deal should be completed by mid-2013. The two companies will have a combined subscriber base of about 42.5 million customers, which still leaves it in fourth place in the U.S. behind Sprint with 56 million and AT&T/Verizon who each have over 100 million users.
The biggest news is that this will allow T-Mobile the spectrum it needs to rollout a competitive LTE network. In fact, T-Mo's CEO John Legere hopes to some day be able to "taunt" competitors over their LTE coverage.
The games are underway in London and the whole world is watching. If you'd like to follow the course of the events without spending the next couple weeks glued to your television, Yahoo! may just have you covered. The app is decidedly slick-looking, though some users have reported some trouble with the app, however in our test runs, it's worked adequately. Your mileage may vary.
The app has sections for news, photos, and quick access to which countries have won what medals for which events. Because, really, isn't that why we all watch? The app seems fully featured for the casual viewer, though it lacks any video streams, so it's not quite the complete experience, but it should be plenty to keep you update while you're away from the telly.
Starting Sunday (February 26), the world's biggest dedicated mobile technology conference will kick off in Barcelona, Spain - Mobile World Congress 2012. Tens of thousands of journalists, exhibitors, and booth girls, along with millions of business cards and promotional knick-knacks, will swarm the provincial capital of Catalonia like a Baskin Robins on Free Scoop Night. Countless tons of tapas and sangria will be consumed. Few hours of sleep will be had. And most importantly, hundreds of new and exciting Android devices, apps, and accessories will be unveiled. That's where we step in.
In fact, it's fully likely that MWC 2012 will outdo CES in terms of new Android device goodness, because the whole event is centered around all things mobile.
Verizon may have gotten a head start, but did you know AT&T is building an LTE network too? It's true! In fact, today the mothership activated new networks in Raleigh, NC and Tampa, FL and surrounding areas including Sarasota and Manatee counties, and Durham, NC. So, if you've been living near, but not quite in these cities, this is your time.
AT&T still has a ways to go before they reach Verizon's level of network saturation, but new markets are always welcome. There's still a few major cities not on the list yet, but the rollout continues. Of course, if AT&T is to believed, the rollout will stop suddenly when they run out of spectrum without T-Mobile's bands, but at the moment, the duopoly has been avoided and the world hasn't come crashing down around us.
Folks, in less than 24 hours, the busiest, craziest, and most exciting (for gadget geeks anyway) event of the year will begin in Las Vegas and continue non-stop through all of next week. Of course, I'm talking about the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where almost 130 thousand people are going to be touching, drooling, ogling, and playing with countless products put on display by companies from all over the world, big and small. Hell, half the fun will be catching all the announcements of products we can't even touch yet - ones we may not see for many months. Tablets, phones, phablets, tabphones, 3G, 4G, 5G (OK, maybe not 5G just yet), dual-cores, quad-cores, Android-powered TVs, goggles, and even dongles - we'll see them all!
Welcome to the home of the Ice Cream Sandwich launch live coverage. Come back to this page about 30 minutes before Google and Samsung start the event in Hong Kong and join us in the chat. The official start times in various time zones are below:
Oct 18 4PM HAST
Oct 18 7PM PDT
Oct 18 8PM MDT
Oct 18 9PM CDT
Oct 18 10PM EDT
Oct 19 2AM GMT
Oct 19 3AM BST
Oct 19 4AM CEST/IST
Oct 19 5AM EEST
Oct 19 6AM MSK
Oct 19 10AM HKT
Oct 19 11AM JST
Remember, the whole event will be broadcast live at youtube.com/android - don't forget to tune in.