Archive for September, 2012

Mobile Broadband availability

September 29th, 2012 No comments

Announced Upgrades to the U.S. Mobile Broadband Network

As of November 2009, according to data from American Roamer, 3G service covers roughly 60% of U.S. land mass. In addition, approximately 77% of the U.S. population lived in an area served by three or more 3G service providers, 12% lived in an area served by two, and 9% lived in an area served by one. About 2% lived in an area with no provider.

These measures likely overstate the coverage actually experienced by consumers, since American Roamer reports advertised coverage as reported by many carriers who all use different definitions of coverage. In addition, these measures do not take into account other factors such as signal strength, bitrate or in-building coverage, and may convey a false sense of consistency across geographic areas and service providers. As with fixed broadband, most areas without mobile broadband coverage are in rural or remote areas. In fact, 3G build out is significantly lower in several states—in West Virginia, only 71% of the population has 3G coverage and in Alaska only 77% have coverage.

Additionally, American Roamer also suggests that 98% of businesses have 3G coverage today, although the data have similar limitations regarding signal strength, bitrate and in-building coverage. While most businesses have wireless broadband coverage,60 nearly 9% of rural business sites still do not have access, compared to less than 1% of business sites in urban or suburban areas. Finally, while a business location may have coverage, the value in mobile broadband comes when employees can access applications everywhere, which limits the importance of this particular coverage metric.

Several operators have announced upgrades to 4G broad- band networks. CITI notes that by 2013, Verizon Wireless plans to roll out Long Term Evolution (LTE)—a 4G mobile broadband technology—to its entire footprint, which currently

covers more than 285 million people. AT&T has announced it will test LTE in 2010 and begin roll-out in 2011. Through its partnership with Clearwire, Sprint plans to use WiMAX as its 4G technology. WiMAX has been rolled out in a few markets already, and Clear-wire plans to cover 120 million people with WiMAX by the end of 2010.

Mobile broadband network availability will change rapidly because of these deployments. Improved spectral efficiencies and significantly lower network latencies are some of the features of 4G networks that could lead to a better mobile broadband experience. For example, the spectral efficiency of mobile broadband networks could improve by over 50% with a transition from early 3G networks to 4G, while improvements relative to state-of-the-art 3G networks are likely to be a more modest 10–30%. The extent to which the effect of these advances are reflected in users’ experiences will depend on a variety of factors, including the total amount of spectrum dedicated to mobile broadband and the availability of high-speed backhaul connections from cellular sites.

Evaluating network availability and performance is much harder for mobile than for fixed broadband. For instance, the quality of the signal depends on how far the user is from the cell tower, and how many users are using the network at the same time. Therefore, the fact that users are in the coverage area of a 3G net- work does not mean they will get broadband-quality performance. Still, as with fixed broadband, it is clear that the speeds experienced on mobile broadband networks are generally less than advertised. Actual average download speeds have been reported
to be as low as 245 kbps, while speeds in excess of 600 kbps are advertised. Actual average upload speeds as low as 106 kbps have been reported, versus advertised rates of 220 kbps or higher.

Both mobile network performance and the availability of mobile broadband rely on the availability of spectrum. Carriers and other broadband-related companies agree that more spectrum will be needed to maintain robust, high-performing wireless broadband networks in the near future.


– Department of Education, Evaluation of the Enhancing Education Through Technology Program: Final Report

– Atkinson & Schultz, Broadband Report



Apple loses its direction with iPhone 5 maps

September 21st, 2012 No comments

When I first heard that Apple was ditching Google Maps on iPhone for its own in-house maps application I had misgivings. It turns out that I was right.

Apple is a great company which makes great products. Even more amazing is that this company is the most valuable company in the world, yet it makes just three or four basic product lines.

Unfortunately, Apple, like Microsoft before it, is in danger of falling victim to its own greed.

Microsoft had two basic product lines that were hugely profitable – Windows and Office. Despite the fact that these product families were producing obscene profits, which were steadily growing with the market, Microsoft wasted huge amounts of money trying to get into markets where it didn’t belong.

Likewise, Apple is in danger of making the same sort of mistakes. There are areas that Apple is venturing where it should not – probably because it has so much cash it doesn’t know what to do with it all.

Two huge areas which spring to mind are Apple’s stoushes with Adobe and Google.

When I bought my iPad 2, it was a constant source of irritation to discover that it would not play native Flash files because of issues Apple was having with Adobe.

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Samsung Galaxy Note II

September 20th, 2012 No comments



Platform Band 3G Band Yes
Size Weight 180 g
Dimension (HxWxD) 80.5X151.1X9.4 mm
Display Internal Technology HD Super AMOLED
Resolution 720×1280 (HD)
Size 14.09 cm (5.55″)
Battery Standard Capacity 3100 mAh
Camera Flash LED, BSI
Photo Quality Best Photo, Best Group Pose, Low light shot
Video Video Player MPEG4, H.264, H.263, VC-1, DivX, WMV7, WMV8, VP8
Video Recording Full HD (1080p)
Music & Sound Audio Format supported MP3, oGG, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, MIDI, AC-3, Flac
Connectivity Bluetooth BT 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles Yes
USB 2.0 host
WIFI 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi HT40
Others Samsung AllShare Play & Control, Samsung AllShare Cast
Memory Internal User Memory 16 GB
External User Memory Upto 64 GB MicroSD
SDRAM Memory 2 GB
Extra Features Touch Screen Full Touch,Touch Keypad , Capacitance
Operating System Operating System Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
Chipset Chipset CPU Speed 1.6 GHz
Type Quad Core Application Processor
Camera Camera Resolution(Front) CMOS , 1.9 MP
Camera Resolution(Rear) 8 MP
Platform Band 2G Band Yes
Connectivity Wi-Fi Direct Yes
SIM Support Yes
External Memory Slot Yes
Earjack 3.5mm,Stereo



StarHub launch LTE Network

September 19th, 2012 No comments

The Singapore based mobile network will set its LTE network to go live today, making it available in Singapore’s Central Business District as well as in Changi Airport and Singapore Expo. Nationwide LTE network coverage is scheduled to be completed by 2013.

The high-speed mobile broadband network with Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Dual Cell High-Speed Packet Access Plus (DC-HSPA+) will offer customers improved peak downlink speeds of up to 75 Mbps and 42 Mbps respectively. Mr Chan King Hung, Head of Marketing & Products at StarHub notes the advanced LTE and DC-HSPA+ mobile broadband network will offer “increased data capacity, improved speeds and reduced latency; our customers can enjoy bandwidth intensive content including mobile TV, video and music streaming, cloud services, and social networking, among others”.

StarHub’s LTE pricing plans are priced below M1 and SingTel LTE packages although its coverage will initially be limited to certain areas of Singapore whereas M1 boasts nationwide coverage.

The lack of 4G handsets was perhaps a restrictive factor in the acceleration of Singapore’s LTE network but with the recent announcement of the LTE-enabled iPhone 5 and all three Singapore-based mobile operators signed up to offer the handset from 21st September onwards, it is likely things will soon speed up! We are set for an exciting day ahead at LTE Asia 2012 as LTE has become ever more established in the Asia Pacific region.

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World’s first iPhone 5 unboxing

September 18th, 2012 No comments

Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 launches on Friday but we have been sent photos of the world’s first iPhone 5 unboxing. Apple has changed its packaging slightly with the iPhone 5, and as it announced last week, the company’s new EarPod headphones are bundled with the iPhone including a plastic travel case.
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Buying New Electronics ? and why not recycle the OLD ?

September 14th, 2012 No comments

Consumer electronics have different life spans and keeps going  (a smartphone’s is 18 months at an average, while a TV is more than 3 to 5 years) and first you should look to extend the life through resale or reuse (reselling isn’t that difficult now as a popular local FREE website which is always the number one to sell items locally). See if there’s a worthy home for your small or large electronic devices at a local school in our Island communities or else community center. You’d be surprised how valuable your old device might be to someone else or to group of young kids for their studies as in Multimedia Lab or in the computer lab it can be from wall clock, TV’s, DVD players, computer systems to all the electronics.



Intel finishes Android Jelly Bean port for x86, passes it to carriers

September 13th, 2012 No comments

Own a Medfield-based smartphone? Probably not, but in other corners of the world there are surely a few people who picked up a Xolo X900. If you count yourself among that select group, there’s some good news from Intel today: the company has completed its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean port for the x86 smartphones.

That’s certainly good news, but don’t expect to receive the update any time soon. Intel VP Mike Bell notes that even though the code is ready to run, it still requires those oft-maligned finishing touches from the carriers. It’s up to them, then, to polish off the update and then deliver it to users. As we’ve seen before, that can take a considerable amount of time — so be prepared to soldier on with Ice Cream Sandwich for a bit longer.

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