Companies like Google and Microsoft consider themselves “services” companies, even though they sell hardware like the Nexus and the Surface. Those brands exist to make sure that other hardware partners have the proper “incentive” to continue producing high quality devices to utilize the software that Microsoft and Google produce.
While it’s important that consumers have access to high quality gadgets to run these services, it’s equally important that consumers have access to affordable data networks to utilize services which are becoming increasingly data intensive.
We’re seeing progress in some areas, carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile embracing practices like rollover data, but we’re also backsliding in other areas with Comcast expanding the number of areas where they will be capping data for home broadband even though it won’t have any significant impact on bandwidth or service stability.
For Google and Microsoft, it’s becoming increasingly important to support initiatives which improve coverage, data speeds, and reduce prices for their customers. Where those initiatives don’t exist, it’s up to those two tech giants to create them.
Continue reading “Microsoft Working on Project Fi Competitor?”
The times they are a changing.
We’ve gone years with “Unlimited” plans which have restrictions on data usage or speed throttling based. In light of recent concerns facing AT&T and T-Mobile unlimited plans, Sprint reacted quickly to customer complaints regarding their new All In plan, which offers unlimited talk, text, and web for $80 a month.
The issue? A video streaming throttle of 600Kbps. With more consumers streaming high quality video, watching Youtube and Netflix, or broadcasting with apps like Periscope, it makes sense why the nation’s fourth place carrier would want to put some limit on the bandwidth people might use. However, we’re all a bit more sensitive about what the word “unlimited” means. We’ll have to see how Sprint might manage potential network congestion issues moving forward…
You can read Sprint’s brief press release below.
Continue reading “Sprint Removes Video Streaming Limit on ALL IN Unlimited Plans”
Business solutions often involve work groups. Try to connect a couple road warriors to data while on the go, and you can quickly max out most portable hotspots. Add in the fact that each person on the team will usually have more than one device, and keeping everyone “fed” gets even more difficult.
AT&T is adding the Netgear Unite Pro to their hotspot lineup, and while it comes with a number of handle features like dual band WiFi, a touchscreen, and 16 hours of battery life, the feature most will probably consider first is that it’s capable of connecting up to 15 individual devices over WiFi to share a 4G LTE data connection.
It might bog down a bit if all 15 try streaming HD video at the same time, but you should be served PLENTY of bandwidth to get your work done.
Unite Pro will cost $50 when it goes on sale November 22nd. Full PR and a video after the jump.
Continue reading “AT&T adds Unite Pro to Hotspot Lineup – Connect 15 devices to LTE over WiFi”
I love watching companies actually compete.
T-Mobile is our little-engine-that-could fourth place carrier, and over the last year they almost got bought by AT&T. When that fell through we’ve seen a plucky little organization work to really shake up how we buy smartphones and service plans. It’s been fun, and their attempts at market disruption have actually forced the bigger players to adapt.
Now T-Mobile is unleashing an incredible upgrade to their data plans: free data in over 100 countries.
If you travel a lot, this has probably affected you. I’ve had several friends return from trips abroad with either huge cellphone bills or recounting frustrating stories of trying to use local carriers short term. T-Mo’s new offerings aim to end-run around that problem.
Without doing anything, without signing a new agreement or getting a new fee tacked on to your bill, T-Mo customers on a Simple Choice plan now have free unlimited data around the world. There’s a list of participating countries on the T-Mo site, so I’m not going to write it out here. If you were planning on backpacking across Europe though, chances are pretty good you’ll be covered.
Now what KIND of data you can expect is still somewhat up for grabs. I’d be surprised if T-Mo has worked out licensing agreements in each of these countries to provide super-fast 3G and 4G unlimited connections. In many areas you’ll probably be rocking EDGE, but that’s still plenty of bandwidth to get your email, look up map info, and check your socials.
Along side free data, free texting is included, and calls are 20 cents a minute, which isn’t too shabby. All in all, it’s a pretty nice value add.
Check out their bold announcement video below:
Well color me jealous… Again…
Not only are people in Kansas City lit up, folks in Austin will finally receive some actual competition, and Provo is about to flip the switch, but where else in the world will people get amazing fiber-optic-to-the-home internet connections?
Romanian ISP RCS & RDS is rolling out new fiber and upgrading their backhaul. Not only will their customers have 500Mbps and 1Gbps tiers, the top service will only cost the equivalent of $18 a month. Yup. 1000Mbps data will cost less than one Andrew Jackson a month. Yikes… Kinda kicks that TWC “50 megs innernet” right in the junk…