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#TBT: Rolling out WiMAX, testing LTE Release 8, broadband stimulus … this week in 2009

Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

Vegas, Atlanta and Portland get WiMAX

Sprint Nextel Corp. added Las Vegas, Atlanta and Portland, Ore., to its list of WiMAX-enabled markets. The carrier offers the service as a mobile virtual network operator running on Clearwire Corp.’s network. Sprint Nextel initially launched its own WiMAX-powered network in Baltimore in Sept. 2008 prior to merging its WiMAX operations with Clearwire later that year. Sprint Nextel plans to extend the offering later this year to Chicago; San Antonio, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Kileen-Temple, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, Waco and Wichita Falls, Texas; Philadelphia; Boise, Idaho; Seattle and Bellingham, Wash.; Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, N.C.; Honolulu and Maui, Hawaii; and Salem, Ore. The launch plans will follow those of Clearwire’s Clear offering … Read more

Let’s hear it for LTE Release 8!
Verizon Wireless said it has completed the first data call using the LTE Release 8 standard at its testing facilities in Boston and Seattle. The carrier, which is planning to launch LTE trial networks in the two markets before the end of the year, said the calls involved streaming video, file uploads and downloads and Web browsing. Verizon Wireless also said it has made voice calls on the network using Voice over Internet Protocol technology. Alcatel-Lucent provided technology support for the trials in the Boston market, while Ericsson was the technology partner in Seattle … Read more

Europe looks to invest in LTE research

The European Union said it plans to invest more than $25 million beginning in 2010 into research in support of LTE-based wireless networks. LTE-based network are expected to begin launching in Europe in early 2010. In the U.S., Verizon Wireless has said it plans to launch LTE trial networks in Boston and Seattle by the end of the year using its 700 MHz spectrum and recently completed the first test calls over the 4G networks. While specific spectrum has yet to be set aside for LTE deployments in Europe, EU member states recently ratified a proposal to allow carriers to use their 900 MHz band spectrum holdings for LTE services. The 900 MHz spectrum band was set aside specifically for deploying GSM-based networks … Read more

Looking for a piece of a $4 billion broadband pie

Applicants trying to score a piece of the $4 billion available in the first round of broadband stimulus funds now face an Aug. 20 deadline for electronic filings. Paper filings are still due Aug. 14 to request funding. The majority of the $7.2 billion available to improve the nation’s access to broadband telecom services is set to be given away either as loans or grants in this round of funding. Two more funding rounds will follow. All of the $7.2 billion set aside to help bring broadband access to more Americans must be awarded by Sept. 30, 2010. The funds are part of a $787 billion stimulus package signed by President Obama to create U.S. jobs and jumpstart the nation’s sluggish economy. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a division of the Department of Commerce, will oversee $4.7 billion in funding, and the Rural Utilities Services (RUS), part of the Department of Agriculture, will manage another $2.5 billion in grants and loans. Nearly all of the RUS funding is available this round … Read more

Handset sales down, smartphone sales up; Nokia is #1
Worldwide handset sales were down 6% in the second quarter, but smartphone sales continued to climb, according to new research from Gartner Inc. More than 268 million units sold globally in the quarter, and 40 million of those sales were smartphones, up 27% year over year. Nokia remains the No. 1 handset maker, selling 105.4 million devices in the quarter, but its marketshare slipped from 39.5% a year ago to 36.8% today. Nevertheless, the Finnish-based manufacturer commands more than twice as much market share as its next strongest competitor, Samsung, which gained market share, going from 15.2% to 19.3%, selling 55.4 million units, according to Gartner estimates. The world’s No. 3 handset maker, LG, also gained market share, going from 8.8% to 10.7% … Read more

AT&T’s results fueled by iPhone

AT&T Mobility continues to ride the iPhone tide as the nation’s second largest operator posted strong customer growth during the second quarter bolstered by Apple Inc.’s device. The carrier, which prior to Verizon Wireless’ closing of its acquisition of Alltel was the industry’s No. 1 carrier, said it added 1.368 million customers during the quarter, including 1.153 million postpaid net adds. The carrier added that more than 2.4 million iPhone’s were activated on its network during the quarter, which included the launch of the latest 3GS models. The carrier ended the quarter with 79.6 million customers on its network … Read more

Considering the “power gap” for mobile devices
The role of mobile devices is rapidly evolving – converged products like the iPhone are shaping consumer behavior and creating unprecedented expectation for video, web browsing, gaming, and GPS. As our handsets transform from primarily voice-driven devices to highly visual platforms for multimedia, the display is becoming increasingly central to the mobile experience . not only as the window to the mobile world, but also as an enabler – or preventer – of true mobility. The issue is this: the spike in consumers’ usage of power-draining mobile applications has far outpaced advances in battery technology. We’re approaching a mobile “energy crisis” of sorts, where the modest pace of battery advancement cannot match the demand for a multimedia-rich mobile lifestyle. The widening power gap between demand and capabilities is a recurring theme in consumer complaints about smartphones whose batteries die before the days’ end.a problem which will only increase as mobile functions continue to progress … Read more

Check out the RCR Wireless News’ Archives for more stories from the past.


Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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