LTE Spectrum Crisis, Confirmed

March 6, 2012

Today’s Fierce Wireless recap of a Verizon FCC filing about the need for more LTE spectrum reminded me that we covered that subject more than two years ago. And the quote from Boingo’s Dave Hagan from this blog post over at Light Reading still seems to ring true:

“LTE does not solve the iPhone problem,” said Boingo Wireless Inc. CEO Dave Hagan, speaking on a conference panel. While LTE might provide throughput four times greater than current 3G implementations, Hagan said the incredible jump in demand generated by devices like the iPhone will trump such low-shooting improvements. “They are chasing a 50x increase [in data consumption] with a 4x solution, a 4x solution that’s going to take four years to complete,” Hagan said. “That’s not going to work.”

Meanwhile, Verizon apparently still isn’t selling too many 4G LTE phones since its double-data promotion is back at stores. Go figger.


AT&T: All 4G Phone Users Need $45, 4GB Plan to use Mobile Hotspot UPDATE: Make that $50, 5 GB

January 17, 2012

Editor’s note: Conspiracy theorists, start your engines. Just a few days after we noticed AT&T’s switch to make its smartphone customers pay $45 a month for a 4 GB data plan AT&T announced a further change that would mirror Verizon’s plan and now require a $50, 5 GB plan to use that mobile hotspot feature on your phone. All the analysis from the original post below still holds. More on this topic soon.

I haven’t paid attention to the AT&T 4G LTE site for a few months, so I was surprised by a new twist in AT&T’s top-network data plans. If you want to use the snazzy portable Wi-Fi hotspot feature found in almost every new top of the line smartphone, you’ll have to throw down on the “DataPro 4GB” plan, a $45 per month data plan which includes 4 GB of downloadable data and access to the hotspot feature. Don’t want to buy the big plan? Then you aren’t going to be able to use the hotspot feature, according to an AT&T rep I just had an online chat with.

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DAS Mateo! Spotted in the Wild, a DAS Antenna From… AT&T?

January 14, 2012

A little weekend geekspotting: Driving down the road near my house Friday, what did I see but a DAS antenna staring down at me! Seriously, we have previously reported AT&T’s moves to put DAS — Distributed Antenna System, or smaller cell antennas — in and around Palo Alto, and then we saw one at an AT&T workyard near here. But this one is apparently live and in the public wild, theoretically improving local cell reception.

Anyone know if AT&T is working with San Mateo to put these puppies in? If you didn’t know what you were looking for I am not sure you’d notice this one, a single antenna plopped right on top of a light pole.