Archive for the ‘gsm’ Category
Smartphones continue to improve in the “smart” areas: better screens, faster processors, more memory, etc., but there’s not been a lot of innovation in the phone aspect of those devices. HD voice technology can change that, but since its introduction in 2009, hi-fi calling was only available on GSM networks… until now. Ericsson has just made the first HD voice call via CDMA — made possible by a new Enhanced Variable Rate Codec Narrowband-Wideband (EVRC-NW for the awkward acronym-loving crowd). The codec delivers sound in the 50Hz – 7000Hz range, which makes traditional calls limited to the 300Hz – 3400Hz spectrum sound like they’re coming from a drive-thru attendant at your local Mickey D’s. So far, the tech’s limited to the lab, but here’s hoping Ericsson lets it roam free to deliver the dulcet tones of our friends and family sooner rather than later.
It ain’t as crazy as you may think. If you’ll recall, we actually heard last month that Deutsche Telekom was mulling the idea of spinning off T-Mobile USA from its portfolio, and now it looks as if one carrier in particular is interested. According to the inimitable “people with knowledge of the matter,” Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting that Deutsche Telekom has gone ahead with talks to “sell its T-Mobile USA unit to Sprint in exchange for a major stake in the combined entity.” Granted, there’s no guarantees at this point that the two will actually reach a deal that sits well with both boards, and up until now, they haven’t been able to come to terms with T-Mob’s valuation. As the story goes, Deutsche Telekom has purportedly said that it could sell “all or part of the US business, and all options are open.” Meanwhile, Sprint’s remaining mum. A merger of these two would combine the number three and four players in America, but if that doesn’t pan out, T-Mobile USA may end up buying wireless spectrum from Clearwire as an alternative. We’re hearing that an outright sale of T-Mobile in the US is pretty much off of the table, but considering just how many backroom talks are apparently going on in both camps, we won’t be surprised until they tell us to be.
We’ve seen the HP TouchPad up close and personal, but only under strict supervision — and now that we find Tinhte has been playing with a prototype for hours on end, you can only imagine our jealousy. Anyways, without those meddlesome PR representatives to keep them from prying at ports, the Vietnamese gadget hounds discovered that the slate has a slot for a SIM card. While we can’t attest to the vintage of this particular prototype — and thus say whether the TouchPad will still have a SIM when it ships — it’s safe to assume that HP was at least considering GSM frequencies at some point during its development. Video after the break.
[Thanks, Nguyen The Bach]
Say it ain’t so! According to this here slide, which details a bit of insidery AT&T information about the impending release of iOS 4.3, Ma Bell’s iPhone 4 will have its Personal Hotspot restricted to use with just three devices. Just about every MiFi / mobile hotspot device we’ve ever seen — including Verizon’s iPhone 4 — has supported five WiFi devices, but unless AT&T pulls a 180 here, it’ll be limiting its iPhone to just three connections. What’s wild is that we’ve found AT&T to actually have superior 3G speeds when you can actually get a signal (and thus, be more conducive to tethering five devices at once), and since you’d be on a data cap anyway, it’s not like AT&T risks losing millions from five P2P servers being ran over one’s iPhone. Granted, it’s possible that some unicorn crafted this piece of paperwork to throw us all off, but we’ve reached out to AT&T and are awaiting comment. You know, just in case.
Update: Based on Apple’s iOS 4.3 page, only three WiFi devices are supported through the Personal Hotspot connection. If you’d like to tether five total devices, the other two will need to be over Bluetooth / USB. Don’t go blaming AT&T here — we’re guessing Verizon’s model will be set up the same way. Thanks, Christian!
Right on cue, the three radio variants of the iPad 2 — that’s the WiFi A1395, GSM A1396, and CDMA A1397 — have arrived at the FCC’s labs for stringent testing. We’re sure Uncle Sam’s testers will stay on task checking up on RF interference and not just spend their time melting faces with Photo Booth, but we understand the temptation.