AT&T has gotten hammered over the years (well, really just since the iPhone 3G came out ...) due to a congested network. As such, it should be no surprise that AT&T can barely contain its excitement at getting its hands on T-Mobile USA's significant spectrum holdings -- especially their 1700 MHz "AWS" bands, which currently hold the carrier's 3G signal. The slide you see above (from an early morning press conference) confirms that AT&T wants to use it in order to bolster their available spectrum for the upcoming LTE rollout.
They specifically mention that HSPA+ will continue to be supported on both networks in addition to LTE. As both carriers have been marketing their HSPA+ networks as "4G" to compete with Sprint and Verizon, one would wonder what they would call LTE to differentiate it. 5G, maybe? [AT&T]
If you are a Samsung Epic 4G or Samsung Galaxy Tablet owner on Sprint, be on the lookout for an OTA update that is set to roll out this week. For the Epic 4G this should be a revised update of the one that was pulled previously, which will bring the device to Android 2.2 Froyo. For the Galaxy Tab, you're getting Sprint ID. And that's nice, but we'd much rather hear about any possible Honeycomb (or at least Gingerbread) update for this rapidly aging tablet.
Sprint says the rollout will be completed by March 24. So if you own these devices, be sure to be on the look out for the updates. Full details available after the break.
Google has announced that it will be integrating Google Voice with Sprint devices to give users a nearly native experience from their Google Voice number. The Android GV experience already is as good as it gets, and it's about to get better. The long and the short of it is that your Sprint number will become your Google Voice number, without any messy porting. Here are the deets, straight from the Google Voice blog:
First, Sprint customers will be able to use their existing Sprint mobile number as their Google Voice number and have it ring multiple other phones simultaneously. So now, calls to your Sprint mobile number can easily be answered from your office or your home phone, or even your computer through Gmail. Calls from Gmail and text messages sent from google.com/voice will also display your Sprint number. This basically gives Sprint customers all the benefits of Google Voice without the need to change or port their number.
Alternatively, Google Voice users can choose to replace their Sprint number with their Google Voice number when placing calls or sending text messages from their Sprint handset. This feature works on all Sprint phones and gives Sprint users all the benefits of Google Voice without the need for an app.
While unfortunately this is not currently available right now, it will be coming "soon" to all Sprint users. If you are a Sprint user, be sure to drop your email at this link to sign up for the service. [Google Voice Blog]
Behold, the Sprint Nexus S 4G! It's a Nexus S, erm, with 4G! True to the rumors, Sprint's finally gotten itself a Google developer phone. It's the same Nexus S you know on T-Mobile, only it's on Sprint, and it has Wimax data.
That's right, same 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen. Same 1GHz processor. Same 16GB of memory. Same NFC capability. Same 5MP rear camera and VGA front camera. Same lack of carrier bloatware (we presume). Plus you get all the usual hotspot bells and whistles, which is nice, though we're checking with Sprint to see if you have to have its tethering plan to do it, or if it'll just "work" like the other Nexus phones.
We're not all that far off from CTIA kicking off and low and behold some more information has already snuck out about what Sprint may be announcing in their time there. We've seen plenty of rumors and speculation but this latest bit of info takes the cake. We're sure it'll be removed at some point soon but the above image is what turns up when you search for Nexus on Sprints very own website. Crazy right?
Although the device info is great the see, the thing that really piques our interest is the mention of Google Voice integration. We're not sure on the complete details behind it but that alone seems more newsworthy to us then just another 4G device announcement. No matter, the wait will soon be over and we'll be there at CTIA to bring you all the latest. [Engadget]
So now that T-Mobile's hopped in bed with AT&T -- maybe you've heard about it -- what's that mean for you T-Mobile customers in the near-term? The quick and easy answer is not much. There are a lot of hoops that have to be jumped through for this to even happen. So in the meantime, everyone sit tight and peep these bullet points:
Keep paying your bills. T-Mobile's pretty not dead yet, and you still need your phone to work. So write your checks to Magenta just like normal.
Your current T-Mobile phone won't yet work on AT&T 3G. And AT&T phones won't work on T-Mobile 3G. The laws of physics can't be breached by this deal.
And that means neither T-Mobile nor AT&T are likely to shut down the 1700 MHz (AWS) band any time soon.
No, T-Mobile isn't getting the iPhone. And they're pretty clear about that, saying that in the interim, "T-Mobile USA remains an independent company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone."
And as you just read, this whole thing's going to take a year or so to be done. There also will be some major rebranding to be done, and likely Carly and that Snarky McSnarkington in those Apple ripoff/AT&T bitchslap commercials will be no more.
Don't believe us? Wanna hear more about how "the merger will ensure the deployment of a robust 4G LTE network to 95% of the U.S. population"? (Never mind that Verizon's very much beating AT&T-Mobile in the 4G game at the moment.) T-Mo's got a nice Q&A worked up in its forums. [T-Mobile Forums] Thanks to everybody who sent this in
This week is arguably one of the most anticipated weeks in Android history to date. TONS of people have been waiting for the HTC Thunderbolt to officially release, and while many users were anxiously awaiting that, there was a whole ton of other news. From Apple going crazy with their new ads, to a wide variety of issues with the Thunderbolt, there is a possibility you may have missed something. Let's take a look at some of what you may have missed.
Although we've most recently seen some renders of the HTC Pyramid we're now getting another look at some blurry cam images of the actual device sitting next to an HTC Desire HD. While the renders had Google branding this device is proudly shown off wearing HTC branding.
With specs calling for a 1.2GHz processor, 768MB of RAM along with an 8MP rear and 1.3MP front facing camera on board we're hoping to see more come CTIA. Oddly enough, no mention of what version of Android is running on this device for now -- previous rumors suggested Honeycomb but we can't really see that happening. [Techblog via Engadget]
One of the people "close to the matter" has given us a bit more information about the scheduled update to Froyo for the Sprint Epic 4G. Besides the lovely picture you see above, we have the text from the instructional page that you'll be seeing tomorrow (March 21) at Sprint's website. While this may be old hat for many of us, I'm sure that others will benefit, and more evidence that it's coming is always a good thing. Hit the break for the rest, and remember, the Android Central Epic 4G forums can answer most questions that Sprint doesn't. Thanks Anonymous!
This one's still trickling in, but it appears that the keys needed to bypass the bootloader protection used by Motorola have been uncovered, with proof posted on Twitter. This means developers should be able to build true custom .sbf files and sign them so that they can be flashed via the locked and encrypted bootloader on select Motorola devices. And presumably, Motorola has its cease-and-desist macro at the ready. Holy shades of Sony v. Geohot, Batman, this is going to get interesting!
To you and I, these aren't of much use. I'm sure the people that needed them are already hard at work, and soon we will see the benefits. In the meantime, hit the source links to keep track of the progress. [@nenolod; nenolod.net]
The folks over at Engadget were slipped a little tip that happened to showcase the entire upcoming lineup for UK carrier Three. Included in this was information about a 3.7 inch Samsung Galaxy S2 Mini, and we are puzzled as to where the mini part is, as the screen is still larger than that of the iPhone.
This device, not to be confused with the previous Samsung Galaxy Mini, will be introduced as a high end handset, and is set to launch with Gingerbread. Along with its 3.7 inch display, the device will have a 1.4GHz processor, a 5MP rear facing camera, along with a front facing camera, and 21Mbps HSPA+ connectivity. The launch date for this device is shown as April, which is not far away, and the information included also stated that the HTC Flyer will be available in May, which is also not far away. [Engadget]
The team behind DoggCatcher, the popular Android podcast player, have cut the app's price to $2.99 (£1.84 in the UK) this weekend, and are donating all proceeds from app sales during this time to the Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund. This is a great way to get hold of one of the best podcast catchers for Android at a reduced price, while helping those in need following the natural disasters in Japan last Friday, so it's definitely worth a look. But hurry, the weekend is almost over!
Market links and a QR code for DoggCatcher can be found after the jump.
Earlier today AT&T and Deutsche Telekom entered a deal for the acquisition of T-Mobile, which between cash and stocks is a deal valued at 39 billion. Part of the deal also gives Deutsche Telekom an equity stake of the company, which is about an 8% of ownership in the company. While this news is rather stunning, and customers of both networks probably have many questions, keep in mind that it will take at least a year to finalize, and faces regulatory approval, but either way this is pretty huge news. With the joining of the two networks, they certainly hope to build one super network, which they put as:
AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA provides an optimal combination of network assets to add capacity sooner than any alternative, and it provides an opportunity to improve network quality in the near term for both companies’ customers. In addition, it provides a fast, efficient and certain solution to the impending exhaustion of wireless spectrum in some markets, which limits both companies’ ability to meet the ongoing explosive demand for mobile broadband.
As the deal continues to develop, we will continue to bring you the news. All we can hope for is one super competitive true 4G network that is ready to compete with Verizon. For all the details currently available be sure to check out the press release here. [Business Wire]
O2 UK has announced that it's enabled a 900MHz 3G network in London, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, after the carrier obtained permission to use the spectrum from communications regulator Ofcom in January. O2 says this will increase its 3G coverage, improve download speeds by 30% and network capacity by 50% in these areas.
To take advantage of O2's "3G900" service in the cities with coverage, you'll need a phone with UMTS/HSPA 900MHz capability. Thankfully most popular Android smartphones sold by O2 fall into this category. The Xperia X10, HTC Legend, Wildfire and Desire series, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S series should all be able to use O2's speedy new network.
O2 says it will use a range of new technologies in the future to improve its mobile data network. Nigel Purdy, O2 UK's CTO, mentions in today's press release that the carrier plans to implement HSPA+ and LTE networks in addition to its current 2G and 3G coverage. [O2 UK]