Wireless Broadband

Statshot: How mobile data traffic will grow by 2016

The growing number of tablets, smartphones and connected devices will push demand for mobile data to over 10.8 exabytes per month by 2016, an 18-fold increase over 2011 according to Cisco. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 78 percent from 2011 to 2016.

Why we love to use iPad indoors — WiFi

By analyzing data from a live 3G network in a major city, the mobile network analytics firm Actix has found that only 5% of iPads are used outdoors. iPads account for just 1% of data sessions, they use 4X more data than an average 3G device.

Verizon begins filling the gaps in its LTE network

Verizon Wireless plans to launch 27 new LTE markets on Thursday and has been expanding its mobile broadband footprint in cities where it already offers 4G. All of that activity will amount to only 9 million new people covered, but it represents a massive geographical expansion.

Solving the LTE Puzzle: Comparing LTE Performance

We’re testing carrier coverage to give consumers a real-world look at mobile data performance. As part of this process, we measured performances across multiple LTE markets during the first quarter and have put together a head-to-head comparison of AT&T and Verizon’s LTE networks.

Low-cost MVNO, Ting, will offer LTE through Sprint

Ting, the innovative startup that resells Sprint’s cellular service in consumer-friendly plans, will soon be adding 4G LTE service to its lineup. If pricing is competitive on a per gigabyte basis, Ting’s shared plan component could bring a boost to Sprint’s new LTE network.

Why you’ll likely see Sprint LTE phones sooner than later

Sprint customers holding out hope for new WiMAX smartphones can officially consider such hopes dashed: no additional WiMAX phones will be launched. The carrier’s LTE tests are wrapping up and on track for a mid-year launch; we may see Sprint LTE phones sooner than later.

Clearwire sells first post-PC WiMAX dongle

The most unsexy gadget in mobile just got a lot more attractive. Clearwire has started to sell a new WiMAX dongle that users can plug into laptops, tablets or netbooks and get instant broadband access – without installing any device management software or messing about with logins.

16 predictions for mobile in 2012

As expected, the past year was an exciting one for mobile tech. I did reasonably well on my 2011 predictions, but now it’s time to power up the crystal ball and gaze at what 2012 will bring. Here are my 16 predictions for the new year.

2011 video recap: The year mobile took over the world

While mobile device usage has been steadily growing for years, 2011 was the year that mobile took over the world. This two-minute video from MobileFuture illustrates this view, recapping key mobile datapoints: 8 trillion texts this year and 26 Instragram photos shared every second, for example.

Verizon’s LTE network covering two-thirds of country

Verizon’s LTE rollout has passed the 200-million-pops-coverage mark, extending the new ultra-fast mobile broadband network’s umbrella to nearly two out of every three Americans. Verizon’s 4G footprint is now three times larger than archrival AT&T’s own LTE coverage, but it’s doubtful Ma Bell cares.

Clearwire closing in on the magic LTE investment number

Clearwire is raising another $52.5 million in its public offering. That’s hardly big money in the world of telecom finance, but it happens to be the exact amount Clearwire needs to reach its $400 million target, triggering an investment by Sprint and kickstarting its LTE rollout.

Verizon confirms family data plans coming in 2012

Verizon Wireless customers can expect data plans supporting multiple devices on a single account in 2012. It’s about time, as kids are getting smartphones and more connected devices are finding their way into our lives. One plan for all devices is a good fit for families.

Nokia Siemens to cut 17,000 jobs as focus shifts to mobile broadband

Nokia Siemens Networks, the struggling telecommunications gear joint venture, announced it is cutting 17,000 jobs as it tries to restructure the company with a focus on mobile broadband. The layoffs will cut 23 percent of NSN’s workforce and will save the company about $1.3 billion.

Why the mobile app economy will keep growing quickly

A new PwC survey shows more than half of the polled smartphone owners use their handsets for three activities each day: basic communication, accessing news, weather or sports and social network usage. By 2013, more than 40 percent expect their activities to expand to other apps.

AT&T reveals final six 2011 LTE launch markets

The addition of Charlotte; Indianapolis; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Oklahoma City and San Juan, Puerto Rico bring AT&T’s LTE city count to 15 — meeting its 2011 target. But feeling pressure from Verizon’s ever-growing competing network, AT&T may opt to overshoot its goal.

Leading the LTE pack, Verizon doubles data limits

Verizon is tops with 63 percent of the world’s current LTE subscriber base, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. But the U.S. carrier isn’t resting on its laurels. It now offers a promotion that doubles the monthly amount of LTE data for smartphones at no extra charge.

Republic Wireless: Everything you need to know

Republic Wireless, the division of Bandwidth.com that offers customers an Android phone with unlimited voice data and texts for $19 a month launches Tuesday. Here’s how it will work (there’s a $199 “membership” fee) and what it means for the wireless industry.

FCC questions AT&T on T-Mo claims

The Federal Communications Commission has joined those questioning Ma Bell about its stated benefits of its purchase of T-Mobile. The agency on Thursday sent AT&t letter inquiring about the number of jobs AT&T said would be created by the merger.

More than 1/3 of U.S. Android phones run on 4G

A new study by analytics firm Localytics found that 36.6 percent of U.S. Android devices in the third quarter offer 4G. That could set up an interesting comparison with the next iPhone if it doesn’t support 4G, though it may not affect iPhone sales.

US DOJ files suit to block AT&T, T-Mobile merger

The U.S. government filed suit to block AT&T’s $39 billion merger with T-Mobile, claiming the deal would “create an anti-competitive environment.” If the merger falls through, AT&T will lose cash, spectrum holdings and the ability to add T-Mobile’s unique 1700 MHz frequency LTE network expansion plans.

A deal for Clearwire could be a wireless tipping point

If the cable companies gain control of Clearwire the ISPs that control the wireline infrastructure in the country could be the same companies that control the wireless access, and their business models of delivering services, as opposed to access, will stay in place.

Smartphones, the cigarettes of the next century?

A survey from British telecom regulator Ofcom paints smartphones as addictive, but smartphones are just a symptom in the spread of broadband across society. Instead of smartphone addiction, let’s talk about how broadband is changing society and creating new business opportunities.

So what happens to Clearwire’s WiMAX network

Clearwire, the wireless broadband company, on Wednesday announced that it is trying out a new LTE-Advanced-based network that would allow it to offer a network with speeds of 120 Mbps. The question is when will they switch over to it and sunset the WiMAX network?

The smartphone: Our new tool for sharing experiences

Attending Keith Urban’s concert in Philadelphia last night, my wife and I were lucky in our seat selection as near the end of the show, the country superstar serenaded our section. What was nearly everyone’s first reaction? Whip out the smartphone, take pics and get sharing!

So what is a gigabyte for mobile users, anyway?

Now that the two largest mobile operators in the U.S. have abandoned unlimited data plans for new customers, understanding how much mobile broadband different activities use, is even more important. Here’s a list of guidelines to get you started, as well as a few online resources.

Wow! Mobile is now 2% of global GDP

The worldwide mobile industry should bring in $1.3 trillion in 2011 and will represent about 2 percent of global gross domestic product, according to data released today by analyst Chetan Sharma. But despite rocketing growth, carriers are having to keep an eye on their margins.

Honey, I Shrunk the Mobile Data Use!

Onavo, a free iOS app that launched last month, claims to help iPhone and iPad users reduce the amount of monthly bandwidth on their 3G-enabled devices. Onavo compresses application data in the cloud and has already saved iOS owners 500,000 MB of data in three weeks.

RIM Boss Loses It, Walks Out of BBC Interview

The launch of the Playbook tablet is a big moment for Research In Motion boss Mike Lazaridis — his company’s attempt to take on the iPad. But the attention is all going the wrong way today, after the BBC revealed how he walked out of an interview.

Is Your Data Plan Subsidizing Other Smartphone Users?

The number of U.S. smartphone users is on the rise: 29.4 percent of Americans have one says comScore. Oddly, the amount of people using smartphones for data-intensive activities is very low, indicating that new smartphone owners are paying for the networks that tech-savvy people are using.

AT&T’s Plans to Bond Spectrum Could Lead to Faster LTE

Carrier aggregation is the latest weapon carriers are trying in order to add capacity to their mobile broadband networks and AT&T is the latest operator to consider using the technology to consolidate its multiple spectrum bands into one network. What does that mean for spectrum valuation?

App Store Smarts, Not Apps, May Be the Better Investment

Appia, a white-label mobile application marketplace, announced $10 million in funding from Venrock today, brining total funding to $28.5 million. Casting a wider net with an app store builder may be the better play as opposed to raising millions for a single application.

Track Your 3G Tablet Usage With DataMan for iPad

Want to get a better idea of how much cellular data you’re using on your iPad? DataMan’s new app designed specifically for the iPad 3G can help. The app offers highly customizable data info, including push notifications and granular usage tracking, designed specifically for Apple’s tablet.

Look! Now AT&T Is Talking Up Tiers

Hot on the heels of Verizon talking about tiered data plans for the iPhone as well as new plans for its LTE roll out, AT&T is signaling more of its thoughts on pricing plan changes. AT&T also announced a new pricing plan for tablets today.

Macheen’s Dreams of a Broadband Cloud

Macheen, a company trying to provide retailers and device makers with mobile broadband service, launched today and could possibly fill a much-needed niche as more and more people buy connected devices but don’t want to sign up for more data plans.

AT&T’s Less-Than-Transparent 4G Coverage Map

AT&T has produced a coverage map indicating where it has 4G service, with cities such as Dallas, San Francisco and Boston showing faster wireless. But while the map is a step forward for transparency, it has the potential to mislead users about 4G down the road.

Verizon to Introduce Tiered Pricing for iPhone

Verizon iPhone users enjoy an unlimited $30 data plan today, but the carrier says these iPhone plans will change to a tiered model this summer. Smaller, cheaper plans could attract more customers to the carrier, but consumers won’t want to give up their current unlimited plans.

The Real 4G Wireless Networks Will Arrive in 2013

Sure, consumers don’t care what constitutes real 4G, but for those diehards who believe real 4G has to deliver 1 Gbps down and 100 Mbps while mobile then rejoice, because the standard for LTE-Advanced could soon be set and be network-ready by the end of 2013.

Could Apple Be Your Next Phone Company?

Apple’s plans for a universal SIM card and allowing consumers to pay for mobile access from multiple carriers via iTunes would turn Apple into a mobile virtual network operator and puts Apple, not the carrier, in control of the customer. It changes everything. Here’s how.

Obama’s Wireless Plan Favors Broadband Over TV

President Barack Obama Thursday unveiled his plan to provide 98 percent of Americans 4G wireless coverage. The plan is a mix of programs costing $18.2 billion, but the president believes a new spectrum auction will cover the costs and even help reduce the deficit.

Verizon Soft-Caps Make Sense, But Carry a Harsh Penalty

When Verizon announced Apple’s iPhone, the operator appeared confident that its data network was robust enough to handle the anticipated increase in network traffic. Here’s how: data optimization and bandwidth throttling after 5 GB of use, which can slow data speeds down for nearly two months.

Data Demand Shifting Verizon Earnings Into High Gear

Verizon added 872,000 wireless contract customers, and 75 percent bought smartphones and the lucrative plans they use. Data ARPU is up nearly 20 percent, and only one-quarter of Verizon customers have smartphones. That fact, combined with a fast 4G network is priming the pump for Verizon.

Carriers’ Dysfunctional Relationship With Apps

Carriers in several countries are providing the data used by new Facebook app for feature phones for free, while Microsoft today is investigating a third-party app for rogue downloads. Together, these stories about different apps on different platforms expose the love-hate relationship carriers have with applications.

Connected Car App Users Accelerating 40-Fold by 2016

With more chips, our cars are getting smarter. That paves the road for more mobile apps that work between a phone and a vehicle: 129 million will use such apps by 2016, up from the 3.2 million consumers this year. What will the apps look like?

In 2011 Mobile Broadband Will Surpass Wired Broadband

Globally, mobile broadband subscriptions are set to double in 2011, up to 1 billion from 500 million last year. This growth rate is increasing and it corresponds very highly to another growth rate: that of smartphone sales, which recently jumped 93 percent per year.

Carriers and the Mobile Expense Woes! Not!

There are claims Internet mobile video is costing the carriers billions every year as they try to keep up with the demand for wireless data. Actually it’s not video; in reality, it’s apps, along with web in general, that are boosting the demand for mobile bandwidth.

NTT DoCoMo Launches 75 Mbps LTE: Merry Christmas, Japan!

Japan joins the LTE party courtesy of NTT DoCoMo, who just launched a fast 4G network in major urban areas of the country. The carrier says outdoor downloads are up to 37.5 Mbps, while indoor areas, such as Tokyo International Airport, will enjoy double those speeds.

13 Mobile Technology Predictions for 2011

As 2010 closes out, it’s time took forward and see what advancements in mobile technology and gadgets that 2011 will bring. ARM chips will still dominate, and Android will keep closing the usability gap with Apple’s iOS but will tablets be the talk of the town?

LTE Will Crush WiMAX. Eventually! [Infographic]

WiMAX might have had a head start when it comes to the next generation wireless broadband sweepstakes, but it’s feeling the heat from Long Term Evolution aka LTE. New data shows that by 2015, LTE will have seven times as many users as WiMAX.

Video: The Year In Mobile Recapped (in 180 Seconds)

The year is nearly over and mobiles have impacted all walks of life around the globe. This three-minute video highlights some key 2010 mobile statistics that illustrate the mind-blowing growth in smartphones, data demand, mobile video uploads and the billions of apps sold this year.

In a Race to Grab Customers, Clearwire May Grab $1.1B More Debt

With unlimited use of its WiMAX network, Clearwire stands apart from the crowd, but the U.S. 4G market is getting crowded as carriers are implementing next-generation networks. But unlimited use isn’t growing Clearwire fast enough; the company plans to take on $1.1 billion in additional debt.

LTE: Around the World

Verizon, one of world’s largest wireless carriers, today launched its LTE network, being the latest in a series of carriers who are spreading the LTE revolution across the world. So we decided to put together a handy snapshot of LTE across the planet and its future.

Verizon’s 4G LTE Service Arrives Dec. 5 With 3G Prices

Verizon Wireless launched its next-generation LTE network today, promising fast mobile broadband speeds in 38 U.S. markets and 60 airports. Initially, the carrier will offer two USB data dongles for computers, but expects to follow these up with LTE-capable handsets in the first half of 2011.

Asia Pacific Will Have 120 Million LTE Connections in 2015

There will be nearly 120 million LTE connections in the Asia Pacific region, driven by four major markets: China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. The race begins with the December 2010 launch of Xi, a new LTE service from Japanese mobile giant, NTT DoCoMo.

Operator Says LTE Subscribers Using 15 GB Per Month!

Teliasonera, the first carrier to offer LTE, is already witnessing its average customer using between 14 and 15 GB of wireless data per month, which rivals the 14.9 GB used by the average wired broadband consumer. How will carriers handle and price for such data demand?

U.S. Mobile Data Traffic to Top 1 Exabyte

The U.S. wireless data market grew 25 percent in the third quarter of 2010 versus the third quarter of 2009. The market gained 7 percent over the second quarter of 2010 to hit about $14 billion. Data will bring in over $54B in revenues for 2010.

Clearwire Digs Its Foxhole to Fight for Its Life

We said that building a wireless network isn’t for wimps. It doesn’t just take billions of dollars; it takes the guts to go out and fight to create a big business out of cheap spectrum and new network technology. Clearwire has guts, but it needs cash.

Flat-Rate Data Plans Are Dead. Is That a Good Thing?

As demand for wireless data grows for smartphones, tablets and other devices, networks are struggling to keep pace while operator margins decline. One solution addresses both problems and help carriers better predict demand: tiered data plans. But will customers buy in that these are good deals?

At CTIA, AT&T’s LTE Is a No Show

With much anticipation, I was hoping to hear AT&T Mobility’s big boss Ralph de la Vega outline company’s LTE plans at CTIA in San Francisco. Rather, he was a no show, and with that, Ma Bell is letting Verizon become the cynosure of the LTE world.

Cracking the Case of HTC’s LTE Phone

HTC’s CEO Peter Chou said that his company is building an LTE phone for 2011, but didn’t specify which carrier or operating system the device will support. Even a non-psychic can figure it out though, as all of the clues are right in front of us.

LTE to Boost Demand for Mobile Bandwidth, Network Gear

The smartphone boom is already putting wireless networks under intense pressure. With higher speed LTE networks on the horizon, it is a matter of time before demand for networking gear and bandwidth shoots up. That’s much-needed good news for the telecom sector.

The iPhone’s NIMBY Problem Underscored

The tech industry has pretty much determined that mobile is the future of the Internet: on your cell phone, on your tablet and in your car. Despite this, there’s still a huge reluctance to allow the infrastructure to helps deliver mobile connectivity: the towers.

Indian 4G Wireless Auction Brings in $5.5B

Indian auctioned the 2.3 GHz spectrum for deployment of Broadband Wireless Access services for roughly $5.5 billion. The big winner was Infotel, a private company that has now agreed to be bought by conglomerate Reliance Industries. The 4G-focused spectrum is expected to compete with 3G service.

Will Carriers Be Big Players in the Internet of Things?

By 2014 over 2 billion mobile devices will connect to the web. The number is growing fast because more types of devices are leveraging connectivity, but we could see a 3G and 4G schism form between smartphones and non-traditional data devices in the next five years.

India Will Have 150M 3G Connections by 2014

India will have 150 million 3G connections by 2014, according to Wireless Intelligence. India just concluded a 3G auction (marked by bureaucratic delays) that raised about $11 billion, a big price tag which will ensure that the 3G rollouts are slow and 3G access expensive.

What Happens When Data-friendly Phones Come to Prepaid?

The gap between AT&T and Verizon Wireless and the rest of the field is growing as budget-conscious users continue to eschew contracts in favor of bargain-basement prepaid services. The behemoths have made hardware the key differentiator, but how long will that strategy continue to work?

The Disconnect Between Subscriber Growth & Revenues in Broadband and Mobile

Providers of both fixed-line broadband and mobile services saw modest worldwide growth in 2009, according to new figures from TeleGeography, but revenues failed to keep pace. Plenty of opportunities still exist in emerging markets, but mobile carriers elsewhere must find better ways to monetize data services.

Clearwire Races to Grab 4G Customers

For Clearwire, 2010 is the year it makes it or breaks it. As part of its annual results today Clearwire said it will triple its number of subscribers this year. To do that it will cover 120 million people and spend up to $3.2 billion.

Connected Gadgets Need a Business Model That Works

We’re big fans of adding connectivity to everything, from GPS systems to thermostats, but for every wireless connection there’s a price, and figuring out who pays that price and how they pay it is a roadblock for enabling smart appliances and gadgets according to Accenture.

Planet WiMAX

The incumbent carriers may be considering Long Term Evolution (LTE) as their post 3G wireless broadband technology, but Telegeography says that there are about 600 WiMAX networks, many of them in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It’s clear: WiMAX’s future is in developing telecom markets.

Aircell Gets $176 Million for In-flight Broadband

Aircell, the company behind wildly popular GoGo in-flight broadband, has raised $176 million in funds from an undisclosed group of investors. GoGo is available on more than 700 aircraft and adding more — which means the company will have to build out its network aggressively.

Data Revenues Will Push Mobile Biz Past $1 Trillion

The growing popularity of smartphones and higher-speed wireless broadband networks are proving to be two major catalysts for the wireless industry. As a result, expect the mobile industry’s revenues to barrel past the $1 trillion-mark by 2013, says Informa Telecom’s & Media.

Anatomy of a Rural Wireless ISP

Brett Glass, a longtime reader, shared his experiences about his wireless Internet service in Laramie, Wyo., in a lunch talk at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. It’s a great story. You can watch or download it from the Berkman Center’s web site.

The State of Global WiMAX: The 2009 Report

WiMAX, the wireless broadband technology, ended up having a decent 2009, with 519 network deployments. Some of the technology’s backers, such as Russia’s Yota, reached breakeven, proving that WiMAX is viable outside the US. In 2010, WiMAX carriers will see competition from LTE operators.

LTE Access for Less Than a Dollar a MONTH!

Early LTE adopters in Stockholm and Olso will be able to score their monthly broadband for 56 cents per month and 17 cents per month respectively during an introductory period. The operator’s goal is to drive usage of the network despite the lack of multimode devices.

Stockholm, Oslo First to Get Commercial LTE

TeliaSonera, a Scandinavian telecom operator, today launched its Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology-based wireless broadband network in Stockholm, Sweden, and Oslo, Norway. It’s the world’s first commercial rollout of the technology that is generically called 4G wireless.

Verizon Promises LTE Speeds of 5-12 Mbps

The proposed speeds on Verizon Wireless LTE network are impressive and compare favorably against WiMAX. But we won’t know how much we’ll pay — and how usage might be restricted — it’s too early to say what kind of user adoption we’ll see.

Bring Back the Radio Wars

The enthusiasm in Silicon Valley over the growth of mobile broadband and mobile applications is palpable these days, but there’s one thing…

Led By India, WiMAX Growing Fast

[qi:gigaom_icon_4G] WiMAX is only now getting some traction in the U.S., thanks to rollouts by Clearwire (s CLWR), but overseas the wireless…

Has the U.S. Wireless Data Boom Stalled?

While the U.S. wireless industry has been ravaged by brutal price wars when it comes to plain-vanilla voice minutes, carriers big and small have managed to turn in profits and show hefty growth, thanks to growing demand for wireless data services. In the fourth quarter, Verizon and AT&T raked in about $6 billion just on wireless data. Taken together, the results were, as Stacey noted in her post last week, making wireless data looks recession-proof. But a week later, we’re not so sure.

Sprint Launches 3G-4G Modem

In anticipation of the growing footprint of its WiMAX (4G) service, the beleaguered mobile operator Sprint (s S) launched a 3G/4G dual-mode…

Will the Google Phone Give T-Mobile USA a Boost?

T-Mobile USA needs a picker-upper. Its number of new subscribers is slowing, as is revenue from its voice ops. Meanwhile, its data revenue lags that of its rivals. But help may be on the way — in the form of the Google phone.