For nerds of a certain age (my age), the Sinclair ZX Spectrum was our first home computer/games console/escape from the nightmare world of normal humans. And now this iconic machine is set to be reborn in its home country of Great Britain, only now it’ll be a Bluetooth accessory for your iPad.
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 wireless spectrum crunch is forcing most mobile carriers to consider options to address a future in which there simply isn’t enough frequency available to easily meet the ever-growing demand for 3G and LTE connections. One idea that has been floated is developing systems that can offload mobile data onto Wi-Fi networks.
That idea isn’t new. In fact most iPhone and 3G/LTE iPad users tend to offload data service to home or public Wi-Fi networks. Doing so has clear advantages to consumers in that it helps avoid any overage fees and it can provide a faster connection in some circumstances.
Dealing with limited spectrum resources, however, carriers have been forced to consider ways of offloading data themselves rather than waiting and hoping that users to take action on their own.
Believe it or not, there are over one million iPhone users in the United States who cannot access 3G networks because their carrier of choice is T-Mobile. Apple’s smartphone isn’t officially available on T-Mobile right now — because the operator’s unique 3G network isn’t supported by the handset’s wireless chip — but people choose to use its 2G network instead.
That situation will change for the new iPhone, however, because T-Mobile has announced it will launch a new LTE network next year.
As AT&T continues to roll out its LTE network across the country, some markets are getting markedly lower speeds for LTE iPads and other devices. In fact, two of the company’s largest markets are getting speeds below the national average for AT&T’s LTE service and below Verizon’s LTE service in those areas. Those two markets are Los Angeles and Chicago – but several other cities may be in for the same issues as AT&T expands its LTE service in the coming months