Verizon CFO: First LTE-Only Phone Arriving First Half of 2016

Verizon CFO Fran “ShamWow” Shammo sat down for the opening of the Oppenheimer Internet and Communication Conference this morning to discuss the state of his company’s affairs. These conversations typically revolve around areas that Big Red can continue to to grow in to make more money, since that’s all investors really care about. But when speaking of new money-making arenas, we tend to learn about Verizon timelines for new products or services, like 4G LTE rollouts or Multicast or the introduction of everyone’s favorite, tiered data plans. (more…)

BLU Has a 4G LTE-capable Smartphone Finally, the Studio 5.0 LTE

We have talked about BLU devices a few times, but one of the main pain points we have with the company’s phones is that they never feature 4G LTE. Sure, they rock HSPA+, but for someone who is used to the speeds that LTE delivers, going back to HSPA+ is quite hard.

Finally, BLU has a 4G LTE capable device, the Studio 5.0 LTE. While the device does bring LTE speeds to users (only available on T-Mobile and metroPCS’ LTE networks), the rest of the phone could have used some work.  (more…)

Sprint Lights Up 17 New 4G LTE Markets

Sprint lit up 17 new 4G LTE markets across the US this morning, bringing their total market count to nearly 500. Considering its LTE network launched in 2012, it has been a long road for Sprint, but now that it is live in Eureka and even Fortuna, CA, I can say that the rollout has pretty much made it to the end of the road.

Of course, Sprint will continue to deploy and enhance its network across the country, hopefully enabling additional bandwidth for data-hungry users. There is always work to be done on that front, and that goes for all US carriers, not just Sprint.

Take a look below at the full list of new LTE markets.  (more…)

Verizon Makes It Official: Throttling Comes to Unlimited 4G LTE Customers in October

Verizon took a minute this morning to confirm our report from yesterday, announcing that they are indeed going to include unlimited data customers with 4G LTE devices in their version of throttling, which they refer to as “Network Optimization.” Starting in October, if you fall into their top 5% of data hogs bracket and have unlimited data, you could see slowed speeds when attached to a cell site that is experiencing high demand.  (more…)

Starting October 1, Verizon Will Include Unlimited 4G LTE Customers in “Network Optimization”

Back in September of 2011, Verizon introduced a new initiative called Network Optimization that only affected unlimited data customers. What is Network Optimization? Well, it’s a little bit like throttling in that Verizon can slow down your data connection if you meet a list of factors, because they don’t want you to ruin the data experience for the rest of their customers.

The thing is, up until now, Network Optimization only affected the 3G connection of those with unlimited data plans. Since most of you are all on 4G LTE now, it really didn’t matter much. But according to sources of ours, along with at least one reader who has been notified of the change, LTE will become a part of the “optimization” starting October 1. Like before, this only affects unlimited data customers.

This is what we know.  (more…)

Qualcomm is Ready to Bring You LTE Direct, Battery-Friendly Contextual Awareness

Lots of apps nowadays – from Google Now, to Foursquare, to Keep – rely on locational awareness (more commonly referred to as “geofencing”) to serve contextually sensitive information, such as the number of nearby restaurants and friends. That’s all good and fine, but those features typically rely on a combination of GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth signals to function, which means using them requires sacrificing power.

Qualcomm thinks it may have a solution in LTE Direct. The technology, a device-to-device discovery service, piggybacks on LTE spectrum to help smartphones and tablets – thousands of devices at a range of around 500 meters, to be precise – to exchange information.  (more…)

AT&T Launches Eight New 4G LTE Markets Across US

This morning, AT&T announced yet another set of cities/towns that have been graced with their 4G LTE network. It seems that the network won’t stop its rollout, at least until every US resident is bathed in faster data speeds.

As for the competition, Verizon announced the end of its 4G LTE rollout quite some time ago, and we actually expected the same from AT&T, as both carriers are now focusing on LTE-Advanced in select markets. Verizon is also beefing up large chunks of its LTE network to XLTE, which simply boosts bandwidths in struggling sectors.  (more…)

Verizon Announces 4G LTE Connectivity for ALLSET Prepaid Plan, Launches July 17

Two weeks ago, we exclusively reported that Verizon would introduce 4G LTE connectivity to its ALLSET prepaid plan starting July 17. Today, Verizon made it official. After keeping 4G LTE out of its prepaid plans for years, Big Red will now allow you to “bring your own device” to ALLSET and not have to worry about contracts. Even XLTE-ready devices will work with ALLSET going forward.

The plan works like this – $45 will get you unlimited talk and text, plus 500MB of data. If you want more data, you can pay for BRIDGE DATA at $5 for another 500MB, $10 for 1GB, or $20 for 3GB. BRIDGE DATA expires after a certain amount of days if you don’t use it ($5 data after 30 days, $10 and $20 after 90 days). You can add up to two BRIDGE DATA packages at a time.

If you sign-up for auto pay, Verizon will also give you another 500MB of data at no cost.  (more…)