T-Mobile could be first to offer ‘5G’ LTE Advanced,
thanks to late LTE rolloutBy Devindra Hardawar | VentureBeat.com
It’s a year of late firsts for T-Mobile: The fourth-place carrier just launched its LTE network, and it finally received the iPhone a few weeks ago.
But even though it’s late to the party now, T-Mobile could be one of the first to offer the 5G wireless technology LTE Advanced.
“I think we’ll probably be able to move faster [to LTE-Advanced] because we have the latest hardware in place,” said Yasmin Karimly, head of T-Mobile’s radio network and evolution strategy, in an interview with VentureBeat last week. “Others may have hardware that’s two years old, so they may have to rip and replace.”
While it’s unclear what other carriers will need to do to upgrade to LTE Advanced down the line, it will most likely involve swapping out some of their older infrastructure. In this particular case, being a bit slow may be better for T-Mobile in the long run.
The latest LTE Advanced specification calls for simultaneous download and upload speeds of up to 300 megabits per second, around three times faster than LTE’s current theoretical speeds (theoretical, as in you’ll never actually see that in the real world). LTE Advanced could end up performing much faster once it’s actually rolled out — it’s based on the ambitious IMT-Advanced specification, which called for maximum speeds of 1 gigabit per second.
T-Mobile’s LTE network is currently up and running in seven cities, and the company expects to cover 100 million people by the middle of the year and 200 million by the end of 2013. While I had the chance to briefly test out T-Mobile’s LTE service during its New York City launch event, the company only lit up the LTE network for that particular event. Karimly tells me T-Mobile plans to get LTE going in NYC by this summer.
March 14, 2013
Hype ahead of Thursday’s launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy smartphone is reaching levels typically reserved for products from top smartphone rival Apple.
Tech blogs have obsessively catalogued predictions about new features and rumored prices for the company’s next smartphone, which many expect will be called the Galaxy S4. Samsung itself has released teaser shots of the phone on Twitter. The company even pulled a major publicity stunt ahead of the launch: a promotional, tap-dancing flash mob in Times Square.
This is new territory for Samsung, which has clawed its way to a leading 29 percent of the global smartphone market by releasing a broad range of devices at different price levels but hasn’t released a single model that can sell better than Apple’s iPhone.
Samsung has been pouring large amounts of money and energy into making its Galaxy smartphone a flagship device, and the success of this new device will be crucial to Samsung’s ability to keep its leading position in the smartphone market.
The key will be for Samsung to secure an iPhone-like following for its highest-end phones and develop devices at lower price points for new smartphone users.
“This is the time to grab mindshare — hopefully, marketshare will follow,” said International Data Corp. analyst Ramon Llamas.
The timing is right. Apple’s next iPhone isn’t expected for months, giving Samsung plenty of time to frame the competition’s current phone as “last year’s model.” Apple, meanwhile, has been struggling to convince the tech community and consumers that it hasn’t lost its innovative touch.
It’s a narrative Apple’s been eager to combat. Apple’s chief marketing officer Phil Schiller took a rare public stab at Samsung Wednesday in interviews with the The Wall Street Journal and Reuters , arguing that Samsung and the Android operating system don’t work as seamlessly as Apple’s products.
Apple’s grip on the global smartphone market has slipped over the past few years, falling to 21.8 percent in 2012.
Samsung is keeping up a steady stream of television commercials that take not-so-subtle digs at the iPhone, which has a smaller screen than Samsung’s Galaxy phone models and lacks features such as a near-field communications (NFC) chip that allows users to easily share data or and make payments.
Analysts expect Samsung will continue to highlight those features when it reveals its newest phone, and it may add other features such as mobile payment software that the company announced at an industry trade show in February, in partnership with Visa.
Samsung can use these features to frame itself as the cutting edge smartphone maker — taking that mantle from Apple, Llamas said. “It amps up the pressure on Apple to respond in some way shape or fashion to the prevailing market trends that are out there,” he said.
Samsung has also gone aggressively after the business market as more employees clamor to bring their personal devices to the office, too. Security is a major concern for Android users, and being recognized as the platform’s “safe” alternative would be a major feather in the company’s cap. It also positions Samsung well against competitors such as Microsoft and BlackBerry, who are both vying to be the third-place smartphone operating system.
All smartphone makers, Samsung included, are facing a potential slowdown in growth this year as U.S. and Western European markets approach smartphone saturation while the markets with the most potential for growth — China, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa — have yet to develop an appetite for expensive premium phones.
The company announced the news Thursday, saying that more than 250,000 students are enrolled in the free educational courses. Over 1,200 universities and colleges — and the same number of K-12 schools and districts — contribute more than 2,500 courses on a variety of topics through the service. These include classes from universities such as Yale, Cambridge, Oxford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Stanford University alone, the company said, has seen more than 60 million downloads.
The company first introduced iTunes U in 2007, and introduced an iPad and iPhone application for the service last January that allowed teachers to create syllabi, post lecture notes and share videos with their students.
Since the service’s launch, it has become a truly international affair — something Apple says has spread the reach and influence of participating universities far beyond the borders of their own countries. In the release, Apple said that more than 60 percent of the downloads originate from outside the United States. People in more than 155 countries, including Brazil, South Korea and China, have access to the course content.
Apple is one of several organizations that have been fueling the growth of online classes, along with other notable initiatives such as the Khan Academy, which The Washington Post reported serves more than 239 million students.
The company announced this year that app downloads from its iTunes store as a whole topped 40 billion.
Page 6 of 83