Friday, April 4, 2014

Best Prepaid Cellphone Carriers

Every so often, Lifehacker publishes a list of what they call "5 best".  This week, they examine the 5 best prepaid cellphone carriers based on reader feedback.  I found the list so compelling, I'm thinking of making a switch myself.

5 Best Prepaid Cellphone Carriers - Lifehacker - http://lifehacker.com/five-best-pre-paid-cellphone-carriers-1461230147/all

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rural LTE a "real" Market, Thanks to Sprint Partnership

Since 2010, Verizon has been the dominant rural carrier, through what that carrier calls the "LTE in Rural America Program."  NetAmerica Alliance has been trying to compete with Verizon by offering 4G LTE service to their customers under the collective brand "Bonfire."

According to Fierce Wireless, "Sprint had been building on a plan to compete in rural broadband, with a joint program involving its Clearwire division (now known as Clear) and Dish Network--which just last year was Sprint's likely merger partner. Now that Softbank acquired Sprint instead, Dish is making moves on its own, using its own chunk of 700 MHz spectrum to offer rural LTE broadband using its own outdoor antennas.
So Thursday's announcement that Sprint is teaming up with NetAmerica, for what's being called the Small Market Alliance for Rural Transformation (SMART), could actually create the competitive broadband market that legislators have sworn for years already existed." 

Sprint partnership suddenly makes rural LTE a real market - Fierce Wireless-  http://www.fierceenterprisecommunications.com/story/sprint-partnership-suddenly-makes-rural-lte-real-market/2014-03-31

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mind that Phone!

Dropping that iPhone is mistake that could cost you plenty!  Carriers are well aware of the pitfalls (pun intended) of owning these expensive devices, and provide insurance plans to save users from these expensive slip-ups. 

Limitless Technology Blog explains why these plans are not worth purchasing: http://limitlesstechnology.com/cell-phone-insurance-worth?goback=.gde_48941_member_245765892

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Have a cell phone signal booster? FCC says to get permission first

Ars Technica reports that The Federal Communications Commission today enacted new rules governing the sale and deployment of wireless signal boosters, those little machines that let consumers get better cell phone signals in areas with poor coverage.  More than 2 million of them have been sold in the US, and until now consumers could just turn them on and let them go, until now.
For now on, users must seek the permission of carriers. Even the 2 million devices already in use must be turned off immediately unless their owners register them. The FCC states in an FAQ:
Did the FCC recently adopt new rules for signal boosters? 
Yes. The FCC recently adopted new rules to improve signal booster design so these devices won’t cause interference to wireless networks. The FCC also adopted new rules about what cell phone users need to do before using a signal booster.
 I already have a signal booster; do I need to do anything under the new rules?
Yes. Under the FCC’s new rules, you (1) need your wireless provider’s permission to use the booster, and (2) must register the booster with your wireless provider. Absent your provider’s permission, you may not continue using your booster.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Top 10 Smartphones (for now)

ZD Net has one again unveiled its list of the top 10 smartphones.  The latest version includes some surprises, including placement of the IPhone 5 in 3rd place. 

ZD Net - Top 10 Smartphones to kick off 2013 - http://www.zdnet.com/top-10-smartphones-to-kick-off-2013-7000011398/

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Huawai gets called out...on plagerism?

The web sure makes it easy to steal information from other websites, and to some extent this is unavoidable.  This is a particularly interesting case: Huawai was at Railway Telecommunications event last November and needed to publicize it to their customers.  Rather than write up some original content and post it to their site, the took information nearly directly from a competitor in this space, Kapsch.  They even went as far as linking to Kapsch's site for "more information".  This is more than just lazy; the doc lists Kapsch personnel that will be at the event!  The best part: after discovering the theft, Kapsch posted all this information on their own site, along with a statement that they are "not amused".

Kapsch vs. Huawei: Find the differences: http://www.kapsch.net/kcc/EVENTS/Railway-Telecommunications/Find-the-differences

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Is Jolla for Real?

Former visionaries from Nokia are trying something new, and it's getting plenty of notice. 
Finnish boutique smartphone company Jolla last month let us know a little more about their new smartphone platform, Sailfish OS. Many industry watchers have been watching to see what the small company can deliver.

According to Forbes
"The covers were taken off Sailfish OS  this morning, with a presentation video showing off the clean lines of the UI, including the multi-tasking, a number of applications, and the ‘pulley menu’".

Sharp eyed viewers will also spot a certain green logo… While Sailfish is not running Android, it does offer a significant amount of compatibility with Android applications. There should be a significant number of third party applications that will run on any Sailfish handset out of the box."

Jolla believes that Sailfish will become a legitimate alternative to Android and Apple's iOS. What makes this group of fewer than 100-odd Finns, most of them refugees from the sinking ship that is Nokia, think they stand a chance?  According to Quartz:

"Jolla cannot possibly take on Google and Apple head-to-head, and it doesn’t plan to. Rather, the company, which is rapidly becoming a Finnish-Chinese hybrid with headquarters in both Helsinki and Hong Kong, and an R&D operation in a yet-to-be-named location in mainland China, plans to nurture and grow an entirely new mobile “ecosystem” — meaning the phones, the operating system that runs on them, and the apps that run on that. And it plans to do it in China because that is the one market producing first-time buyers of smartphones fast enough to give such a scheme a chance.

In order to get its operating system and, eventually, Jolla-branded phones, in front of enough Chinese, the company has partnered with the largest mobile chain retailer in the country, D.Phone. Not only will D.Phone sell Sailfish-powered phones through its 2100 outlets; it is also part of the Sailfish Alliance, a group of software and hardware companies that will all be able to add standards and code to the open-source OS."
Here Comes the First Real Alternative to iPhone and Android - Quartz via Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/12/02/here-comes-the-first-real-alternative-to-iphone-and-android/?goback=.gde_23013_member_194500408
 Is this the next big phone OS?  Meet Jolla's MeeGo based Sailfish OS - GigaOM: http://gigaom.com/europe/heres-what-jollas-sailfish-os-the-future-of-meego-looks-like/
Jolla Sets sail on the Smartphone Sea - Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2012/11/21/jolla-sets-sail-on-the-smartphone-sea-and-reveals-sailfish-os-with-android-support/