Motorola Atrix and HTC Inspire owners have had good reason to be upset with AT&T's "4G" network - due to the fact that HSUPA wasn't enabled on either of the two devices, users have been plagued with unbearably low upload speeds, and the announcement of an upcoming Atrix update that ignores the problem didn't seem like a good sign. Fortunately, AT&T has used its Facebook page to confirm that software updates enabling normal upload speeds are in the works and are expected to roll out some time in April.
Wondering if you should be considering that T-Mobile 4G phone purchase now that the merger plan has come to light? Read on.
With the news of the AT&T / T-Mobile merger spreading like wildfire, there have been rumblings about the network compatibility implications of the deal. More accurately, how the merger will affect consumers' use of 4G handsets on their respective carriers.
Make no mistake - it has been confirmed that AT&T will slowly disassemble T-Mobile's 4G HSPA+ network over time, converting those HSPA+ bands (the "AWS" spectrum) into LTE frequencies.
Now that the dust has settled a little bit on the proposed deal that, if approved, will shake up the US wireless landscape, what more is there to know about AT&T's buyout of T-Mobile? Several stories (reported by All Things D) caught our attention regarding the aftermath of the deal:
Sprint Scoffs At Deal, Says The Wireless Market Would Be Altered Dramatically
While most experts seem to agree that the deal will most likely get FCC and Department of Justice approval, Sprint (not surprisingly) doesn't have a lot of nice things to say about the buyout.
We have known for some time about a high-end 3D smartphone from LG that was among the manufacturer's upcoming high-end releases. Up to this point, the glasses-free phone had been referred to as the LG Optimus 3D and (along with the G2x and the G-Slate on T-Mobile) we knew it would be hitting shelves within the next several months. While the release date is still a mystery, we now know that it will be known as the LG Thrill 4G and will be exclusive (at least at launch) to AT&T in the US.
In a move that comes way out of left field, AT&T and T-Mobile officially announced today that the former will be buying the latter for $39 billion. This is contrary to what we've been hearing around the 'net that Sprint was the one likely to be making the purchase, but in some ways, a merger with AT&T does make more sense.
For starters, AT&T and T-Mobile both use GSM, while Sprint relies on CDMA.
AT&T users who have been tethering their phones' data plans under the radar (either using MyWi on a jailbroken iPhone, or one of many apps like Wireless Tether for Root Users on a rooted Android phone) have been receiving a little nudge from AT&T asking them to sign up for a tethering plan - or face possibly getting signed up for it without consent.
In a lengthy email, AT&T writes "Tethering can be an efficient way for our customers to enjoy the benefits of AT&T’s mobile broadband network and use more than one device to stay in touch with important people and information.
They say "talk is cheap" - and these days it seems like every major US wireless carrier is claiming to have the fastest 4G (of course 4G is a highly debatable marketing term that describes three vastly different networks, but that's fodder for another post altogether). It's relatively easy to tune all of the marketing hype out but, when presented with some solid numbers, it gets easier to pay attention. PC World has tried to give us some raw data to work with in their profiling of the data speeds on the four major providers.
AT&T points out that the speeds were not "capped," but are simply not HSUPA-capable. While this does accurately reflect that the carrier was not intentionally throttling data speeds, it seems to only distract from the fact that, on the customer's end, the result is the same.
4G is here - and it seems like all four of America's biggest carriers are more than happy to advertise the fact that they've got it. Sprint was first on the scene - offering their WiMax 4G, and T-Mobile shortly thereafter began its upgrade to HSPA+ technology. Verizon was next, providing mobile broadband LTE via USB dongle for laptops, though its much-awaited debut 4G handset, the Thunderbolt, has yet to hit shelves after numerous delays.
At the leading edge of this new wave of dual-core superphones is the Motorola Atrix. One of the major innovations of this device, besides the next-level processing power and fingerprint scanner, is Webtop - the desktop-style interface available when the Atrix is docked. By plugging into the HD multimedia or laptop dock (sold separately of course), you can interact with the phone on a larger display while using an internet browser, file explorer and Facebook in a pseudo-desktop environment.