Back in August, Verizon turned heads when it said it would begin to use "Network Optimization" for those few customers still on the old unlimited data plans. In layman's terms, it meant that Verizon intended to throttle the speed of the top 5% of unlimited data users on LTE networks, something that's already in place on the carrier's aging 3G system. But today, the very first day that the policy was set to go into practice, the company seems to have backed down.
Google rolled out the 4.4.4 update to devices earlier this year, with the 2013 Nexus 7 seeing the OTA in mid June. Here we are over three months later and Google has finally posted the full factory images and binaries for the LTE version of the N7. It's about time, guys.
Remember Karma? It's OK if you don't - this data-only MVNO with a focus on sharing has been relying on Sprint's outdated WiMax network since 2012, and isn't actually all that useful in its present form. But Karma is getting upgraded to some sweet, sweet LTE data in just a couple of months. The upgraded Karma Go LTE WiFi hotspot is going on sale in December, but if you act quickly and pre-order you can score $50 off, for a cost of $99 plus whatever data you buy.
Verizon pre-announced its VoLTE service a few weeks ago, but now it's rolling out. Customers can finally start taking advantage of VoLTE calling starting today—that assumes people still make phone calls, which is debatable. You need to have a supported device of course, and there are still a few caveats.
Sprint has announced that it will start offering an LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 on Friday, September 12th. The carrier is only willing to let go of the tablet for customers who can pay $27.09 a month for two years or drop down $649.99 in cold hard cash right on the counter. Either way, buyers aren't walking out without a service plan, but if they didn't want one, then they were better off buying the Wi-Fi version for $100 less anyway.
Even if you don't talk on the phone a lot, VoLTE is going to be a thing that you want. Replacing the old 3G standards for voice will mean one less radio always sucking down power in your device when you're in an LTE area. Verizon (as well as other carriers) is already testing VoLTE on some of its devices, and it apparently also intends to build video calling into VoLTE-capable phones as part of its so-called "Advanced Calling 1.0" initiative in the coming weeks.
T-Mobile has really been stepping up the rhetoric against Sprint since the backroom acquisition deal allegedly fell through a few weeks ago. T-Mobile's latest promotion takes direct aim at the Now Network, but it targets the other big carriers too. Starting next week, if you bring a friend over to T-Mobile on a Simple Choice plan, you and they both get a free upgrade to unlimited LTE for one year. Also, there will be awkward dancing, if T-Mobile's promo image is to be believed.
When HTC first released the One M8 in India, it decided to disable the phone's 4G LTE radio. So despite having a Snapdragon 801 SoC and all the necessary hardware in place, Indian users couldn't connect their phones to LTE networks and enjoy higher internet speeds. The company has been promising to release an OTA update to fix the issue on August 15th, and they've fulfilled their commitment.
T-Mobile likes to call most of its plans "unlimited," but only a few of them actually have unlimited access to LTE speeds. These plans include unlimited bandwidth, but that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want. The terms and conditions prohibit the use of p2p file sharing, and now a leaked internal memo points to a new offensive against such violations. Beginning August 17th, T-Mobile goes to war against torrents.
You'll finally be able to hitch your wagon to the Sprint Spark LTE network in tablet fashion come this Friday. That's when Sprint plans to launch its first tablet with support for tri-band LTE. The device in question is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0, and other than the LTE radio, it looks to be the same device you can get now sans mobile data.