The formal unveiling of LG's Viper this morning may not have piqued your interest, but Sprint loyalists hellbent on maintaining access to an unlimited plan may want to take a second look. Initially pointed out by TechHog, and confirmed to us today by a Sprint spokesperson, the carrier's impending LTE data network will indeed be included on its existing Everything plans. In other words, the Viper -- as well as any other LTE smartphone, Galaxy Nexus included -- will be able to surf the LTE superhighway without limits. To date, the "unlimited" nature of Sprint's data remains a huge differentiator in a world full of hamstrung options, tiers and throttles, and it'll certainly be used to get the attention of heavy users in the months ago. We also reconfirmed that Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio are on track to receive LTE in "midyear 2012," with "other markets following in the third and fourth quarters." Huzzah!Permalink | | Email this | Comments
For those unaware, AutoPay automatically drafts the most recent amount from either a linked checking / savings account or a credit card on file, and while we can understand VZW's desire to better control when it's getting paid, charging customers to make it happen is just downright ludicrous. Here's a thought, Verizon: enforce stricter penalties on late payments, or just offer those that shift to AutoPay a small discount for going out of their way to make your life a little easier. Or, you know, for all those hours that your network has been down during the holidays.
Update: Verizon has officially confirmed the change to its policies and the $2 surcharge you'll be hit with each month if you're not using autodraft or some other small subset of payment options. Head after the break for all the details straight from the horse's mouth.
[Thanks, Alex]Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Update: We have it on good authority that the launch here relates to Cellular South's recent buyout of a number of southern cellular shops, with this being the merger of those. There aren't any details yet on what it'll mean for prospective customers in that region, but it seems -- at least for now -- that this won't be a national rollout.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
We're told that the initial LTE rollout will target "high-demand areas of current 4G markets," taking advantage of existing 4G infrastructure in order to reduce expenditures. For those curious about transmission rates, you can look forward to download speeds exceeding 120Mbps (or so it says). In a telling quote, Dr. John Saw, Clearwire's Chief Technology Officer, confesses:
No doubt, that closer there is a direct shot at the dilemmas faced by LightSquared -- a company that Sprint curiously just inked a partnership deal with. It's hard to envision how this unholy love triangle's going to play out, but the company's making it quite clear that its LTE network will be "LTE-Advanced-ready," enabling it to have a leg-up on the laggards here in the States. The dirty little secret in all of this is that Clearwire's still waiting on "additional funding" to fully implement its LTE desires, which involve the use of multicarrier, or multichannel, wideband radios that will be carrier aggregation capable. As you'd likely expect, the company closed with a restatement of its support to the existing WiMAX network, but it's practically a guarantee that you've seen the last expansion effort on that one. In case you've been looking the other way, Clearwire hasn't produced plans for a new WiMAX market in all of 2011. Now you know why.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
"This is the future of mobile broadband. Our extensive trial has clearly shown that our 'LTE Advanced-ready' network design, which leverages our deep spectrum with wide channels, can achieve far greater speeds and capacity than any other network that exists today. Clearwire is the only carrier with the unencumbered spectrum portfolio required to achieve this level of speed and capacity in the United States. In addition, the 2.5GHz spectrum band in which we operate is widely allocated worldwide for 4G deployments, enabling a potentially robust, cost effective and global ecosystem that could serve billions of devices. And, since we currently support millions of customers in the 2.5 GHz band, we know that our LTE network won't present harmful interference issues with GPS or other sensitive spectrum bands."