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All posts tagged "wireless"

Thursday, May 12, 2011

US Wireless Capacity To Hit A Wall In The Next 24-36 Months?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 06:30 AM

"According to the FCC, the United States is facing an imminent spectrum crisis, in which exploding demand from smartphones will soon overwhelm the nation's wireless capacity. The problem, the FCC says, is the lack of new spectrum being made available to wireless data carriers. Smartphone data traffic is growing so fast, the FCC says, that--if nothing is done--we will use up our available spectrum by 2013."

Image: Federal Communications Commission

If you are in any way dependent on wireless services then you will probably want to take note of this article. The Business Insider has posted an article citing statistics produced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which indicate the US is quickly running out of wireless capacity. On the current course, and without an intervention of some kind, by some point in 2013 we will hit a spectrum deficit wall. The FCC does, though, have a plan to recover under used spectrum capacity from various sources. Hit the Read link for additional data and commentary by the Business Insider.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Altec Lansing InMotion Air Wireless Bluetooth Speaker System Reviewed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:00 PM

"Every year the gadget world is swamped by new buzz words, technological breakthroughs or product types that we simply must buy into. For music fans the must-have gadget is a dock and the buzz word it must now have is 'AirPlay' - Apple's wireless streaming connectivity capable of supporting lossless audio. So can we take a wireless speaker with none of this functionality seriously? Actually yes..."

Bluetooth-based speakers tend to be more on the "suck" side of the spectrum than the "awesome" side, but it seems Altec Lansing has pulled a rabbit out of their hat here and delivered a system that actually allows Bluetooth-transmitted audio to sound good. Go figure! If you've got a Bluetooth device and want to listen to music without having to connect it to a speaker dock, this looks like a good solution.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Not Always Better in North America: US & Canada Pay More for Wireless

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android Mobile Operators" @ 11:00 AM

"Mobile users in the US and Canada tend to pay more for a complete cell phone package than anyone else in the world, according to a new report from the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative (OTI). The foundation examined the different types of mobile packages in various countries in order to determine the minimum cost for voice minutes, texting, and data, and found that-surprise!-countries with more competition and more regulation tended to have the best pricing."

An interesting piece by Ars Technica highlighting a recently released report showing that those in the US and Canada pay the highest prices for cell phones and plans relative to the rest of the world. Since US is just now starting to have some saturation with Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) data plans from companies like T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile Broadband, I'd agree that we have some catching up to do. Hopefully lowering prices will result!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Will Windows Phone 7 Have Tethering at No Extra Charge? Maybe, Maybe Not...

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 10:38 AM

It's your classic "Tweet & Delete": a fellow named Richard Dudley tweeted that all Windows Phone 7 devices would have tethering - as in, connect to your laptop and get Internet access via your phone - at no extra charge. Then he said his statement was a mix-up, and deleted all the evidence of his statements. I'd rather see retractions/corrections on Twitter rather than deletions, but the way Twitter is constructed right now, you can't attach a correction to a previously made Tweet.

At any rate, the issue of tethering is an interesting one. I've always liked the fact that I could tether my phone to my laptop or netbook when I needed a connection, but with WiFi available in so many places, I probably only use it half a dozen times a year at most. What about you? How important is tethering to you on your phone, and how often do you use it?

Monday, September 14, 2009

802.11n is FINALLY Official

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Software" @ 03:00 PM

"After six years, almost a dozen drafts, and two years of products available under Wi-Fi Alliance certification, IEEE approved the 802.11n wireless standard. 802.1n is also more energy efficient and can make for speedier WiFi on handheld devices without burning through as much battery power."

Got a nice chuckle out of this. I can recall teaching a class on wireless back in 2003 and having a slide that said "n" was coming soon. Given how long the pre "n" products were being sold, I expect we will be seeing pre "m" or whatever the next letter is in the series sometime soon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Microsoft's CTIA Wireless 2009 Keynote at 10 AM, PDT

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Events" @ 07:18 PM

"International CTIA Wireless 2009 is where broadband communications come to life. From April 1 to 3, more than 1,000 exhibiting companies and tens of thousands attendees from more than 125 countries will converge to do business, discuss innovation and exchange ideas. Join us for four days to learn more about the emerging technologies that enable us to work toward the common goal of taking wireless and broadband communications to yet another level."

Earlier in the day, we gave you a look at what Microsoft has in store for CTIA Wireless 2009. Robbie Bach is scheduled to unveil it all in a little under fourteen hours - 10AM, PDT to be exact. As always, there's the opportunity to watch it live (world times listed below). But if you prefer to digest it all in one go, keep your eyes peeled for our post-keynote report.

  • Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle: Thursday, 10:00 AM
  • Chicago, Houston: Thursday, Noon
  • New York, Washington, DC: Thursday, 1:00 PM
  • London: Thursday, 6:00 PM
  • Paris, Berlin: Thursday, 7:00 PM
  • Moscow: Thursday, 9:00 PM
  • Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Perth: Friday, 1:00 AM
  • Tokyo: Friday, 2:00 AM
  • Sydney, Melbourne: Friday, 4:00 AM
  • Auckland: Friday, 6:00 AM

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Microsoft: "Using Your Windows Mobile Phone for Laptop Internet Access"

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Articles" @ 07:30 PM

"As ubiquitous as Wi-Fi networks are, they're not everywhere, and open Wi-Fi access points designated for public use are becoming more and more rare every day. You can pay to subscribe to Wi-Fi networks, but that can be expensive over time - as can buying latte after latte at your local coffee shop. The cellular networks will sell you a USB or ExpressCard-based wireless modem for anywhere Internet access, but they'll charge you an extra monthly fee (usually in the $50 realm) for the privilege of this service. There's a better way, and it involves using your Windows Mobile phone in a way you might not have considered before: as a wireless modem."

If you're new to tethering, check out this informative column on the Windows Mobile web site. It just happens to be written by our very own Jason Dunn, so if you have any queries or comments, feel free to fire them off in this thread and I'm sure our head honcho will attend to them, as always.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Broadcom's Chip Packs 11n, Bluetooth, and FM

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 08:30 AM

"Broadcom has released the latest of its so-called combo wireless chips, this time putting single-stream 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and FM radio reception and short-range transmission into its BCM4329. These combo chips are designed to bring high-end wireless features to handsets and portable media devices by reducing chip count and overall integration costs. Chris Bergey, Broadcom's director for embedded wireless LAN, said that WiFi has moved from a smartphone requirement "into the high-end feature phone market," which led to the necessity for combination chips like the BCM4329. Feature phone is the euphemistic industry term for cellular handsets that have basic functions, but lack the computation power and flexibility of smartphones."

There was a time when it was a struggle finding a Windows Mobile device with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. These days, said devices are ubiquitous, yet almost all of them - including HTC's newest beasts, the Touch HD and MAX 4G - only go as far as 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.0. Enter Broadcom's newest wireless chip: it packs 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and an FM radio receiver/transmitter. Let's hope a Windows Mobile OEM takes note.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Watch Those Bytes with Spb Wireless Monitor 3.0

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Software" @ 11:25 AM

"Spb Software releases Spb Wireless Monitor 3.0 - a powerful software solution that offers full control over all types of smartphone data connections by monitoring them in accordance with configurable tariffs and data plans, and providing per application data traffic reports. First brought to market in 2002, Spb Wireless Monitor, formerly known as Spb GPRS Monitor, accounts for the lack of a built-in data tracking tool in Windows Mobile devices. A four-time prize winner in the Smartphone and Pocket PC magazine’s Best Software Awards, shipped in over a dozen devices by ASUS, HTC, O2, Samsung, and T-Mobile, the Spb Wireless Monitor has over 3,000,000 loyal customers worldwide. The new name of version 3.0 comes with massive enhancements in features and abilities. With the growing popularity of mobile Internet and captivating online services - crossing the data plan limits and receiving painful phone bills is common, especially with the high cost of roaming. Spb Wireless Monitor 3.0 prevents unwanted mobile service charges and gives subscribers control over their mobile data spending, by measuring data traffic, calculating the network charges, warning of costly data usage, and reporting which application exactly generates what kind of data traffic. The new Wireless Monitor supports both touch and non-touch screen devices, it can manage CDMA, GPRS, 3G, and even Wi-Fi and USB connections. Spb Wireless Monitor can provide per application traffic and cost reports, allowing users to single out guilty applications, responsible for high data charges. The new version has a modern, multilingual user interface and can manage several connections simultaneously."

Spb GPRS Monitor is dead. But, all is not lost, as the new Spb Wireless Monitor 3.0 is now available for all flavours of Windows Mobile. Head over to our affiliate software store (Pocket PC - Professional, Smartphone - Standard) for free trial versions and/or full versions for $19.95. Upgrades from Spb GPRS Monitor 2.0 are $9.95.

Tags: wireless, monitor, spb

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do You Have A WiFi Network At Home And If So, How Many Devices Are On It?

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 07:00 PM

I was just wondering how many readers of these three sites (Zune Thoughts, Pocket PC Thoughts and Smartphone Thoughts) had wireless networks at home. By just having a device that these sites cater to, it is likely you have a WiFi enabled device. I just got a Zune 8 about 3-4 weeks ago, my first Zune, and love how I am able to sync with my PC's media database over the network, which only increases my frustration with my Windows Mobile device's inability to sync via WiFi.

My list of WiFi enabled devices that I use daily include:

  • Work Laptop (Vista Ultimate)
  • Wife's Laptop (XP Pro)
  • Three Series 2 TiVo's
  • Wife's T-Mobile Dash with Windows Mobile 6.0
  • My K-Jam with Windows Mobile 6.1
  • My HTC Universal with Windows Mobile 6.0
  • The family Wii

So I have 9 devices used online in any given week on my WLAN, plus the family desktop PC that is connected to the router via Ethernet. Note that I have a few other devices like an older iPAQ 3900 with the sleeve and WiFi card (2003 all over again!) and my son has a Nintendo DS that we just haven't bothered to put on the network. I even have a 1999 Dell Latitude that works on the network, but to say it is slow would be an understatement. I am sure that looks like a lot to some here, but I am sure more than a few of you will be able to make me look like a Luddite by comparison.

Tags: wireless

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Verizon Offers Smartphone Users Unlimited Web Browsing and Email

Posted by Paul Martin in "Smartphone News" @ 06:00 AM

"Multi-tasking moms, tech savvy young professionals, and entrepreneurs will be able to access e-mail, surf the net and bookmark their favorite Web pages right from their Smartphones with Verizon Wireless’ newest management solutions. Verizon Wireless E-mail and Web for Smartphone, available today, offers customers a host of features including an unlimited data allowance for e-mail and Internet browsing. The plan supports up to 10 personal e-mail accounts, including those from popular Internet service providers such as Yahoo!® Mail, AOL®, Windows Live and Customers will enjoy e-mail provider branded inboxes on select accounts creating a familiar, convenient and easy-to-use e-mail experience."

Verizon Wireless Logo

Finally, unlimited data usage is becoming much more affordable! Adding to the unlimited voice plans announced in February, Verizon Smartphone users now have the option of unlimited data for an extra $29.99 per month on top of a voice plan. Right now, the plan is available for the Verizon Wireless SMT5800 (HTC Libra), the Verizon Wireless XV6800 (HTC Mogul) and the MOTO Q9m. Look for more devices to be supported in the coming months. Any Verizon users planning to jump on the new plans?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Robbie Bach's Keynote at CTIA Wireless 2008

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Events" @ 12:55 AM

CTIA was where it all happened - the unveiling of Windows Mobile 6.1, the parade of devices running said OS, and the showing off of other bits and pieces that you'd expect to see at a mobile and wireless trade show. Robbie Bach, and a few others, were at CTIA to do the unveiling, so if you're interested in reading or watching the keynote, click here. It's a little over 26 minutes long, or however long it takes you to read a lengthy article, if videos just aren't your thing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

APRIL FOOLS: Microsoft Reveals Windows Mobile 7 - Dubbed Photon!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 08:47 AM

"As CTIA kicks off today in Las Vegas, Microsoft revealed the new version of their mobile operating system, Windows Mobile Photon. This new version of Windows Mobile is lighy-years more advanced than previous versions of Windows Mobile. Equipped with a full standards compliant web browser as well as front facing cameras on all devices for video conferencing!"

[Windows Mobile Photon shown on an HTC S730!]

Well not only does Microsoft release the much anticipated Windows Mobile 6.1 today, they have also revealed the next version of Windows Mobile, dubbed Windows Mobile Photon! My only guess is that Windows Mobile 7 was a confusing codename since they are already creating a Windows 7 operating system for the desktop. I for one dig the Photon name a lot more! As you read above, the new device will sport a complete standards compliant web browser. On the Windows Mobile Standard devices, you will be able to zoom in and out on web pages using the volume up and down keys. Very smooth in the video presentation that was shown. Also it was noted that all devices will include one front facing camera for video conferencing! Now that is what I call neat!

Watch the video of the announcement here!

Monday, March 24, 2008

AT&T, Verizon, and Google Chime in on FCC Auction Aftermath

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 08:00 PM

"Win or lose, all the bidders wrapped up in the so-called Auction 73 for precious spectrum in the 700MHz band are still under tight FCC-imposed gag orders in an effort to stem any funny business, but it looks like they're at least ready to come out and dip their toes into the PR waters. Verizon, the biggest winner having claimed the big, wide Block C prize, says that it's "pleased with [its] auction results"... and that they're now better positioned to lead the way with new services and devices. Meanwhile, AT&T seems happy with its purchase, too -- but then again, it's not like any of these companies would be issuing immediate statements expressing buyer's remorse, we guess."

Verizon and AT&T both made out like bandits in the recent FCC spectrum auction. As noted above, Verizon came out on top with the coveted C Block and following behind with nothing but smiles was AT&T, which completed successful bids for the B Block. Along with AT&T's recent purchase of Aloha Partners, the largest owner of the 700MHz spectrum, AT&T can now boast that it covers over 95% of the U.S. population! The real winner of this auction though is Google. Even though Google did not come out of this auction with a pocket full of spectrum, it is safe to assume they accomplished exactly what they set out to do - force the bids high enough to ensure that the 700Mhz spectrum will be open to all devices, as well as keep over $4.6 billion dollars in the bank, and in their shareholders’ pockets.

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