Another day, another set of LTE networks. That's how the old saying goes, right? Eh, it's something like that, and when we're talking about the mobile world, I'd say that's pretty damn accurate. Just five days ago, AT&T announced a handful of LTE Market updates and expansions - not to be outdone by Verizon's twofer this month, though, Big Blue has just upped the ante with another set of activations.
You know the drill by now. It's time for some new LTE market announcements! Woo! Party hard. The network rollouts today are coming to Pennsylvania, California, Indiana, Virginia and Puerto Rico. This comes on the heels of Sprint announcing its intention to purchase the remaining shares of Clearwire that it didn't already own.
Here's the list of new cities:
The CyanogenMod team has been slowly but surely rolling out CM 10.1 builds for various devices - mostly Samsung - over the last week or so. A handful of new tablets and phones hit just yesterday, including the LTE Galaxy Nexus variants, 3G Nexus 7, Galaxy S, SII, some SIII variants, and Galaxy Tab 2. Adding to that list, builds for the Verizon and Sprint variants just hit the scene this morning.
After a couple years of working on its LTE Network, we've come to expect these monthly market activations from VZW. The lists started off small - consisting of mostly big cities - but as the towns get smaller, the lists get longer. Earlier this month, Big Red announced that it would be bringing LTE to a slew of new markets on December 20th:
- Port Angeles, WA
- Port Townsend, WA
- Sequim, WA
- Kennewick, WA
- Pasco, WA
- Richland, WA
- Klamath Falls, OR
- Roseburg, OR
- Jackson Hole, WY
- Teton Village, WY
- Kemmerer WY
- Pinedale, WY
- Price, UT
- Richfield, UT
- Lamar, CO
- LaJunta, CO
Today, however, it has expanded that list by several more areas:
- Marshalltown, IA
- Saddlebrooke, AZ
- Ruidoso, NM
- Flagstaff, Prescott, And Sedona, AZ
- Casa Grande, AZ
- Farmington and Gallup, NM
- Payson, AZ
- Mason City and Charles City, IA
- Oskaloosa, IA
- McCook, NE
December 20th is the big day for all those cities, as well - looks like you're only three days away from saying goodbye to VZW's [less than spectacular] 3G network for good.
There's no doubt that the breakout feature of Samsung's Note II is multi-window, which allows users to run two apps side-by-side on the device's massive 5.5" display. The thing is, this isn't yet available on all versions of the Note II, though Samsung has been doing a pretty good job of getting updates ready and rolling out to all the different variants.
Beginning on Wednesday, December 19th, T-Mo's Note II is next in line to receive multi-window in an OTA update.
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).
Apparently it's the Day of the Deal, because the savings just keep rolling in. We've already highlighted a couple of good deals on GSIIIs today, but if that's just not your cup of tea, Amazon Wireless just knocked quite a bit off the price of Sprint's Note II and Optimus G for new customers.
Hot on the heels of Best Buy's daily deal, Amazon wireless has dropped the prices of all its GSIII models to match - with one exception. Instead of knocking Spring's GSIII down to $50/$99 for the 16/32GB respectively, it's now $0.01/$50 for new customers. That's basically a free GSIII!
It's hard to say if this is a permanent change or just something temporary in order to compete with Best Buy, but one thing is certain: this is the best deal we've seen yet on any version of the GSIII.
As always, the closer we get to the holidays, the more deals we see. It's anything but uncommon to see one-day super deals pop up just before Christmas, and today Best Buy is offering the Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon variants of the 16GB Galaxy S III for just $50 and 32GB for $99 (Verizon only) with a two-year agreement. T-Mo customers are stuck paying a bit more, with the 16GB handset coming in at $80 and 32GB variant for $130.
If you're still toting the US Cellular-connected Galaxy SII, good news – it seems the device's update to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 is ready to go and can be installed using USC's "Simple Upgrade Tool" any time now.
The update, which carries software build number FK19, brings with it all the Ice Cream Sandwich goodness some other carrier variants already enjoy including Face Unlock, TouchWiz improvements, and more.
While US Cellular's Galaxy SII may be a bit late to the Ice Cream Sandwich party, it's nice to see continued support for the device, 10 months after it first debuted on the carrier.