Android Police

4G

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There's a little bit of 4G in your 5G, and other reasons why that 5G icon on your phone is going to suck

As the wireless industry likes to say, "5G is here" — from manufacturers with 5G capable phones, carriers with 5G networks, and the users who want to feel like they're on the bleeding edge because they're enjoying super-fast speeds. But that little "5G" icon in the status bars on their shiny new phones may not represent all the progress they've been promised.

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The Pixel 3 and 3 XL will get LTE band 48 in a future software update

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL launched late last year with a robust but not comprehensive set of LTE bands. According to an FCC document, Google has asked regulators to approve a change to the Pixel's LTE complement. In the coming months, these phones could get LTE band 48, which is good for everyone.

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AT&T to start using a fake 5G indicator on LTE phones

Technology is complicated enough for the average consumer, but carriers have a long and storied history of manipulating terminology to make it even harder to follow. Years ago, carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T jumped the gun on 4G by rebranding their 3G HSPA+ networks as "4G." Now, AT&T is doing the same thing as we move on toward 5G. After announcing 5G Evolution branding earlier this year, it's going to use a fake 5G icon on LTE phones.

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Qualcomm's insane new LTE modem is twice as fast as typical fiber - meet Snapdragon X24

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X24 LTE modem is the fastest, most advanced 4G chip on the planet. Or, at least, Qualcomm hopes it will be by the time it's in your next smartphone.

Based on a 7nm fabrication process (yes, seven nanometers), the X24 LTE modem is the world's first Category 20 LTE modem and supports an absolutely bonkers 2Gbps max download speed by aggregating up to seven carrier bands. It also uses advanced massive MIMO and Licensed Assisted Access tech to help achieve these figures. Aside from being the first commercial product announced to use a 7nm fab, the small process size should also make it Qualcomm's - and thus, quite likely the world's - most efficient LTE modem ever.

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Xfinity Mobile is now available across Comcast's entire nationwide retail network

Back in April, Comcast announced that it was entering the wireless game with Xfinity Mobile. It promised "a new kind of network" and the plans actually weren't too bad, with $12 per GB, a $45 unlimited tariff, and discounts for Xfinity home internet customers paying for the more expensive packages. 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots are also accessible, helping to keep cellular data costs down. Xfinity Mobile has now been rolled out across all of Comcast's service areas.

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The Sprint Magic Box will improve your coverage and increase download speeds

This is Sprint's Magic Box, the world's first all-wireless small cell, which promises to improve LTE data coverage and download speeds indoors. The plug-and-play unit is aimed at both small businesses and regular customers and offered at no extra cost, with availability subject to qualifying locations.

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On heels of FTC suit, Apple is now suing Qualcomm for $1 billion, alleges unfair licensing practices [Update: Qualcomm responds]

Apple has filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm in California today, claiming damages around $1 billion. The damages stem from what Apple claims are rebate payments Qualcomm refused to pay. Specifically, Apple alleges Qualcomm withheld the payments after the iPhone-maker began to cooperate with Korea authorities who later fined Qualcomm $850 million in an antitrust investigation.

Earlier this week, the FTC filed suit against Qualcomm for anti-competitive practices.

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Pixels seem to be having trouble with LTE band 4 connectivity, possibly other bands, around the world

Google's Pixels are advertised as supporting LTE band 4, an AWS frequency. The band is commonly used throughout North and South America, and a number of readers from both continents have gotten in touch to let us know the Google Pixels are having difficulty with this band which, in some regions on some operators, is basically the only LTE signal available to subscribers. A Google Product Forums thread where these problems are being discussed can be found here.

Users in other countries have reported LTE issues on other bands, but band 4 is currently the source of most complaints, and we can't verify that reports of other bands not connecting are widespread.

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[Weekend Poll] How Happy Are You With Your Carrier's Mobile Data Speeds?

I'm working on an article about 5G - it is becoming increasingly, exasperatingly long - and one of the major themes I'm finding is that new mobile technology is often touted as being the silver bullet for a problem with existing technology. For example: my AT&T LTE service here in Los Angeles sucks, like sub-1Mbps up and down speeds outside not next to a tall building. I've started using HSPA+ more and more just to avoid LA's ultra-congested AT&T LTE network - it's that bad in my area. 5G, of course, promises to fix all of this (I won't get into the hows and whys here - that's what the article is for).

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The AT&T / ZTE Mobley Is An LTE Hotspot For Your Car, Works Via OBD-II Port

We've seen mobile hotspots for cars before, but I don't think I've ever heard of one that uses the ODB-II communications port on your vehicle for power, freeing up that precious cigarette lighter for things like chargers. The ZTE Mobley is just that.

Power is, of course, provided from the ODB-II port on your vehicle, and the hotspot theoretically should only function when the vehicle is on or in accessory mode. This leaves your precious cigarette lighter free for things like chargers, and also removes the associated bulk of what is likely to be an at least semi-permanent accessory for your vehicle.

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