After investing billions into the iPhone, Sprint is trying to play catch with Verizon and AT&T and deliver 4G LTE data across the U.S. They already have 4G LTE in nearly 200 cities, or are in the process of delivering it, but they’ll need to add a lot more coverage if they really want to compete with AT&T and Verizon.
Yesterday, Sprint announced that they are going to bring 4G LTE to 28 additional cities in the U.S. within the next few months. If you’re in one of the new cities, Sprint says that you can actually uses the 4G LTE network during the pre-launch phase as soon as you get a signal.
Here’s a list of all the new places that will get some juicy LTE later this year:
AT&T could acquire a European carrier as it looks to expand its business overseas, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company is reportedly looking at way in which it can escape the growth constraints in the United States by entering a new wireless market where it can “upgrade technology and rollout more lucrative pricing strategies.”
Although AT&T is only identifying targets at this point, it’s though the company could announce a deal before the end of the year.
AT&T has been dancing around its FaceTime restrictions for several months now. Before iOS 6 even went public, it was discovered that the carrier would block FaceTime calls over a cellular connection at its own discretion. AT&T later confirmed that users would have to be on one of its new shared data plans.
Public outcry caused AT&T to then backtrack and extend the feature to anyone with a tiered, traditional data plan and a LTE device. That still didn’t cut it. Now AT&T has updated its policy again, and subscribers with grandfathered unlimited data plans are the only ones still left out in the cold.
Apple’s 4G-equipped iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad have taken a step closer towards a launch in China today after receiving their network licenses from Chinese telecommunications certification center TENAA. Like the iPhone 5, the tablets are expected to be available on the China Unicom and China Telecom networks.
Sprint has announced today that it is set to acquire 100% ownership of Clearwire in a deal worth $2.97 per share — or roughly $2.2 billion. The carrier says it plans to utilize Clearwire’s 2.5 GHz spectrum, which will be migrated to 4G LTE standards, to achieve “operational efficiencies and improved service for customers.”
The United Kingdom is a little late to 4G — just a few months ago, 4G networks didn’t exist. Now it has one, EE, which is quickly trying to expand its 4G coverage across the country. It began its rollout in 11 major cities, and the company has announced today that it will be reaching an additional 17 by March 2013.
The iOS family continues to propel Apple’s incredible growth.
LTE smartphones are all the rage these days, and Apple only has one: the iPhone 5. That hasn’t stopped Apple from quickly gobbling up nearly 30% of the global LTE market, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
While Android handset makers have been churning out LTE devices left and right in recent months, Apple accounts for 26.7% of all LTE devices in use around the world—and that’s with only the iPhone 5, Retina iPad, and iPad mini.
Strong sales of the iPhone 5 have helped Apple grab more than a quarter of the global LTE device market last quarter, despite the handset’s short time on sale. The Cupertino company now commands 27% of the market share, while arch rival Samsung’s 40% share means it maintains the top spot for the seventh quarter in a row.
However, increasing competition from its rivals means Samsung’s share has quickly slipped by more than 10% from 50.9% in the previous quarter.
Looking to get an iPad mini with super-speedy LTE access ridiculously cheap? If you’re in the United Kingdom, then you’re in luck. EE, the U.K.’s first and only 4G network, is now offering Apple’s new tablet subsidized for just £50 (approx. $81) — providing you’re happy to sign up for a new two-year agreement at £36 (approx. $58) per month.
Apple exerts more control over cellular networks than any other technology company on the planet. If a carrier wants to sell the iPhone they have to pay Apple a heft subsidy. Before getting the iPhone 5 to run on their LTE network, Apple has to come around and make sure it doesn’t suck before they enable LTE on the iPhone or iPad.
The reason behind Apple testing carrier’s networks before enabling 4G is pretty simple – Apple doesn’t want it’s users to have a crappy experience. But no other smartphone maker in the world has a policy where they get to test a carrier’s network before turning a feature on, it’s usually the other way around, and some carriers think Apple is getting a little too big for its boots.