Tag Archives: WiMAX

GNC-2012-03-08 #748 Apple TV Fail

What the heck was Apple thinking. The Apple TV update was the weakest hardware update in Apple’s history. Lots of great tech today and luckily I do not dwell on the Apple news.

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Samsung Bests Apple in Worldwide Smartphone Sales

Samsung Electronics overtook Apple in Q3 in smartphone sales worldwide. Shipping 27.8 million smartphones, Samsung took 23.8 percent of the market. This is a report by Milton Keynes, a UK based strategy analyst reported.

This was a large overtaking, as Apple shipped 17.1 million smartphones (14.6 percent). But this is not surprising. As Apple says, they are in it for quality, not quantity. With Samsung smartphones, you have a bigger choice:

  • Samsung Galaxy S
    Samsung Galaxy S

    Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon [CDMA/LTE], 1 GHz processor, Android 2.3, 5 MP rear, 1.3 MP front camera) $149 with contract

  • Samsung Galaxy S II Epic (Sprint [CDMA/WiMax] or AT&T [GSM] , Android 2.3.4, 1.2GHz dual-core, 8 MP read, 2 MP front face camera) $199 with contract
  • Samsung Fascinate (Verizon [CDMA], Android 2.1, 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, 5 MP camera) free with contract
  • Samsung 4G Android (T-Mobile, 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird, 5MP rear, VGA front facing camera) $99
  • Samsung Captivate (AT&T [GSM Quad Band, UMTS Tri-band], 1GHz Cortex A8 hummingbird, Android 2.2,  5 MP camera) 0.01 cent
  • Samsung Vibrant (T-Mobile [GSM & AWS Dualband], Android 2.2,  1 GHz Cortex, 5 MP camera)
  • Samsung Mesmerize i599 (US Cellular, Android 2.1, 5MP camera) $49
  • Samsung Showcase (C-Spire, Galaxy S series, CDMA, Android 2.2,  5 MP camera, Super AMOLED display) $99
  • Samsung Galaxy Prevail (Boost Mobile, Android 2.2, 2MP camera, microSD), under $200
  • Samsung Showcase i500 (C-Spire, Android 2.2, 5MP camera) $99

It shows which carrier in the US carries each phone. Carriers on other continents will have these phones tailored to their networks. Since the majority of the world works in a GSM / LTE standard, you can guess which phones you might get in your area.

Although Apple just introduced the 4S, with CDMA and GSM support, it’s still a limited flavor phone. The lower end model 3GS only comes in GSM. You still have a limitation on CDMA with Voice and Data at the same time.

So with that all said, you can see how Samsung can overtake Apple. More choices with more carriers. The C-Spire carrier is in Greenland.

In the end, an Apple iPhone might still have quality, but we are in a world where phones are disposable. People can switch their smartphone every year – I even know people that get a new phone every 4-5 months. They just can’t keep a phone for longer.

Sprint May be Getting iPhone5. Not Definite Yet [RUMOR]

Sprint Networks
Sprint is rumored to get iPhone5. Will it happen?

The upcoming iPhone5 in October might have a new twist to it. Sprint-Nextell might be joining the ranks as a phone carrier. This would be in addition to AT&T and Verizon to carrying the phone in the US.

I say “may” because it’s unconfirmed just yet. The Wall Street Journal reported that it will be happening. They got their information from “people familiar with the matter”. Yet, news leaks sometimes can be misleading.

Other iPhone5 Rumors

  • iPhone4 will get an 8GB model, replace 3GS as low-end device
  • dual-mode iPhone will let you switch from CDMA to GSM networks.
  • 4G LTE – No word if dual-mode LTE – WiMax
  • 8 Megapixel camera, Front facing VGA camera with no light.
  • A5 processor running dual 1 GHz.
  • Thinner and lighter phone
  • Longer and wider screen – Same size phone
  • Turns into Bumble Bee, everyone’s favorite Transformer (OK, maybe not. But wouldn’t that be cool?)

LTE vs WiMax

If Sprint does get the iPhone5, we could see a full iPhone war come October. There is one problem to this – Sprint is primarily a WiMax 4G service and iPhone is rumored to be LTE.

Sprint had put in measures to try and buy out Clearwire and add LTE into their service. Even if that happens, Sprint will have to do some fast work to make the iPhone 4G usable in the US.

We then have to ask the question: is T-Mobile also getting the iPhone? Not to mention the underdog carriers (US Cellular is one of the top underdogs in the Midwest, an iPhone 5 would mean local competition, too).

How iPhone5 Could Affect Android

Android has done a good job in clouding the market. Whereas iPhone only has 1 model with 3 memory size options (16, 32, 64 GB) and 2 color options (Black or White), Android comes in many sizes and shapes. HTC, LG, Motorola (obviously) and Sony- Ericsson all make different types of Android smartphones.

Still, with an iPhone 5 in all four US carriers could put a new dent into Android sales. A lot of people may make the switch because it’s an iPhone.

Once again, this is a rumor, but if true, could give Apple a bigger market share. Sprint users might have a bad experience for the first year simply because the carrier has to adapt to the phone, instead of vise-versa. If it does happen, I might finally switch off to another carrier for the first time in 13 years…

Living With The Sprint HTC Evo

I’ve been living with my HTC Evo now for a few weeks, long enough where I can make a few informed observations about the device.

The Evo’s 4.3 inch multi-touch screen is superb. I’ve been surprised by the brightness and readability of the Evo’s screen even in a vehicle or outdoors in sunlight. The screen is big enough to be useful, yet the device still fits into a regular shirt pocket.

The Evo is fast and responsive. It seems that no matter what programs are open, the Evo remains just as responsive — there’s no wait for programs or configuration screens to pop open. The other smart phones I’ve owned in the past are dog-slow and sluggish by comparison.

The HTC’s “Sense” user interface that sits on top of Android is a winner. Popular social networking sites are slickly integrated right into every aspect of the phone’s functionality, making it possible to share most everything you can think of with a couple of taps.

The WiFi hotspot feature is also a tremendous convenience. It does have its quirks though. I’ve found that if I have opened up a bunch of different applications in the course of using the phone, if I then open up the WiFi hotspot feature, something will go wrong after a few hours and turn off the battery’s charging circuit. Something I have installed and am running may be causing this to happen. If I reboot the phone and then run the WiFi hotspot feature, this problem doesn’t occur and the battery keeps charging when it’s plugged in to AC power.

The integrated GPS is able to quickly find a signal. There are two GPS navigation choices that are included – Google Navigation and Sprint Navigation. Both work exactly as expected. I find myself making the most use of Google Navigation and Google Maps. The ability to search for businesses in a local area based on the phone’s own GPS location is extremely useful and I typically find I use that feature several times a day.

4G is currently not a good reason to buy an Evo because 4G coverage is currently extremely limited. This situation is in the process of changing. In the meantime, I’m happy with Sprint’s 3G coverage. I knew about this 4G limitation going in to getting this phone, so it’s not a problem for me. In reality, it’s likely going to take two or three years before 4G is widely deployed. I’ve been a Sprint data customer for more than 5 years, so I’ve witnessed (and lived with) the process firsthand of them going from 1XRT service that was limited to the eastern half of the country to widely-deployed EVDO Rev “A” 3G service.

Android is light years better than Windows Mobile 5, 6 or 6.5. When Android needs to pull data from the Internet it quickly pulls it without fuss or muss. All the versions of Windows Mobile I’ve dealt with have a “Dial-up Networking” routine they have to go through just as if it was a desktop computer connecting via a modem, which is slow and sometimes prone to fail. Windows Mobile data connections must be manually closed when not in use or they can drain the battery. Android just does what you expect it to without jumping through a bunch of hoops.

The Evo’s main 8 megapixel camera is very good, and the interface allows instant uploading of photos to services such as Flickr and Facebook. The front-facing camera will work with a free program called “Fring” that will allow two-way video conferencing, but I’ve found Fring’s interface confused and somewhat unreliable.

Sprint appears to be blocking the uploading of videos recorded on the phone even through the phone’s integrated browser when signed in to YouTube. However, I was able to email a video as an attachment to my YouTube account.

The Evo’s “HD video” recording capability is not anywhere close to HD standards. Furthermore, the sound quality of recorded video and audio is quite poor. The Evo is not a replacement for a real video camera. It is only fair to note here that all iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads have superior audio recording capabilities. Also the iPhone 4’s HD video recording capabilities are obviously quite superior to the Evo’s.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the HTC Evo. That being said, keep in mind that it requires expensive voice/data plans if you wish to take advantage of all its capabilities. Furthermore as a two and one half year plus Sprint customer I’m satisfied with the quality and speed of the Sprint network.

GNC-2010-03-29 #563 Headed for Honolulu

Way beyond ready to head for home, this has been a long trip and I have a long list of things from my lovely wife to take care of when I get back. Rare early afternoon recording of the show. Good old Chrome decided to play games with me during the podcast so that was fun to deal with. At least no idiots in the chatroom today!

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Clear WiMax Hawaii

I have been a Clearwire / Clear customer for 2+ years. Overall the service has been pretty bad over the past 2 years and we only used the service for a backup connection. On the old Clearwire 1st gen system we saw average Speed Test in the 1500 kbps down  350 kbps up and the connection was really bad.

Last week I decided to give Clear one more shot. Essentially I decided to do a head to head test with Hawaiian Telecom DSL and the new Clear WiMax. Let me show you the new Hawaii Clear WiMax speed test.


In all honesty with all the hype I was expecting a whole heck of a lot more speed. The Upload speed is horrible as you can see. I was getting that upload speed with Sprint EVDO 3G.

My clear modem has a strong signal all bars are lite so it is not a matter of signal strength. The modem sits in a window facing the tower so I know we are getting a good signal. But the problems with clear service continues.

In streaming video off of YouTube, Ustream it is choppy the video stop and sputters. I find email times out and overall the service quality while the speed is faster is about the same.

The DSL modem that I got from Hawaiian Telecom has none of these issues. I am a long way from the switch and maintain a steady 3000 kbps down and 1000 kbps up and the video on YouTube and Ustream does not sputter and email has been solid.

Unless someone at Clear Hawaii can explain to me why their service is still crap I am cancelling my Clear WiMax service and do not recommend it at this time to any Hawaii customer. Call Road Runner or Hawaiian Telecom and you will get a connection that is wired and works.

Hawaii Sprint 4G – Wimax – 3G Speed Test

Over the past 4 years I have been a subscriber of Sprint 3G/EVDO service here in Hawaii and have traveled extensively with the service. Up until last week I was using Novatel U720 card which in Hawaii and almost everyplace I went was able support 1550 kbps Down and 500 kbps up.. This was the speed I was able to achieve in almost any Sprint market.

Wanting to get in on the 4G / WiMax action I ordered the Sprint U300 card which is dual purpose 3G/4G or as they call it WiMax.

When I put the card in 3G mode and connect to the internet and do a speed test my speed has dropped of to unacceptable levels. Now remember with my old card I was getting 1500 down and 500 up. Here is what I am getting on the new card on the old 3G Network.

Can you believe that crap.. This is the speed I got out of the card here in Hawaii, Dallas and Austin.

So lets look at performance of Spring WiMax / 4G for the Hawaii which was turned on 6 days ago.


Not bad and I am happy with the new speed but the question remains why did the speed drop of with the 3G portion of the card. Well I have been doing some test and it is the card. The Sprint U300 is a piece of crap for 3G. Sadly the U300 has no antenna port either? I am at a toss-up on what to do.. I may cancel the 3G service for this card and sign up for a second account that is 3G only with the other card. This way I can still get high-speed 3G when I travel to non WiMax /4G areas.

I would love to talk to sprint on this and see if they can make me happy. My advice do not upgrade to the U300 card unless you are willing to never get any value out of the 3G connection.