The worst thing about the future is all the waiting it takes to get there. Those of us anticipating T-Mobile's new LTE-Advanced to go live have had to make do without an official list. Thankfully, just before the weekend, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray tweeted the general location of all his company's active LTE-A sites.
Subtlety isn't the strong suit of T-Mobile's CEO and his press announcements, but this new release comes to us courtesy of the company's CTO, Neville Ray, who seems to be taking on the same blunt approach of the famous Legere.
T-Mobile, through Ray, announced new network technologies to improve the speeds of its network: 4x4MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) which doubles the number of data paths between your phone and the cell network, and 256QAM/64QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) for faster bits transfers during downloads and uploads, respectively. 4x4MIMO is already available in 319 cities while 256QAM/64QAM is live in half T-Mo's network and will be on every network cell by the end of October.
There's no such thing as a connection that's too fast. Samsung seems to be following that sentiment with the latest variant of the Galaxy Note 4, officially announced this weekend. The new Note 4 has something called LTE Advanced Tri-Band Carrier Aggregation, which is a fancy way of saying that its mobile download speed is faster than just about anything else on the market. Samsung claims the phone can download files at a speed of 300mbps, faster than all but the most advanced wired connections.
We'd show you the Galaxy Note 4 LTE-A Tri-Band CA, but Samsung didn't post a photo.
A little over a week ago, rumors of yet another Galaxy S4 variant hit the web, but this time it was packing support for LTE Advanced, the successor to the LTE we all know and love. That device is now official on Korea's SK Telecom, and it not only has support for the fastest mobile network on the planet, but also Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 800 chip. Early benchmarks of the device are in, and it crushes everything we've seen thus far – up to and including the "original" Galaxy S4. Take a look:
Past the Snapdragon 800, other specs of the S4 LTE-A seem to be largely the same – 5-inch Super AMOLED display, 13MP camera, and the like.
Samsung is developing a Galaxy S4 with support for LTE-Advanced, which is able to reach nearly twice the speed of normal 4G. The phone may be sold in South Korea as early as this month, but given the lack of necessary infrastructure, it may never see release in America. Or anywhere else, for that matter. Nevertheless, Samsung's phone will still be the first LTE-advanced smartphone to ship anywhere in the world.
This new Galaxy S4 will be powered by Qualcomm chips and cost only slightly more than the current model. Samsung's flagship is still outselling the competition, but given the saturation within the high-end smartphone market, the company hopes to expand by introducing new technology such as faster speeds and flexible displays.
The US Department of Justice approved a sale of unused wireless spectrum to Verizon today, marking one of the largest spectrum sales to a single corporate entity in history. The unused portion of the AWS spectrum is owned by a number of cable companies (known collectively as "SpectrumCo") that bought it during the FCC AWS auction back in 2008.
Of course, back in the old spectrum heydays of, uh, four very long years ago, those megahertz were a lot cheaper. In fact, $1.3 billion cheaper. The cable company axis of evil consortium purchased the AWS blocks for a comparatively paltry $2.3 billion at the time.
There's been a lot of buzz over Sprint's LTE plans lately, but the company's vice president of network development and engineering, Iyad Tarazi has just added more fuel to the fire, indicating that Sprint plans to deploy LTE-Advanced in a 10x10 configuration by the first half of 2013, using its 800MHz spectrum, offering download speeds of around 12-15 MB/s.
Meanwhile, Sprint's deployment of LTE on their 1900MHz spectrum is still on track for commercial launch by mid-2012. By the end of 2013, the company plans on having LTE coverage more expansive than their current CDMA network, covering 250-277 million POPs.
Tarazi also indicated plans to move voice service from CDMA 1x to LTE, launching the first VoLTE devices in the first quarter of 2013.