Wednesday, March 23, 2011

T-Mobile's 3G data is getting better in my area

I still don't know how I feel about the AT&T / T-Mobile merger just yet. I do know that T-Mobile has the fastest service in my area (Sierra Vista, AZ) and I wouldn't want to lose this speed. I know its not super fast HSPA+ but since I live in a small city of 50,000 people I wouldn't expect any sort of real 4G technologies here any time soon so 3G is fine with me. I know some of you may laugh but considering that when I moved here 5+ years ago, T-Mobile was still rocking GPRS and only got EDGE service in 2007. Now just 4 years later, they are blowing the other cellular networks out of the water, AT&T and Verizon both included.

I'll be happy if the merger means a better, faster network. But if AT&T leaves out the little guys like Sierra Vista, AZ, I'm gonna be pretty pissed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

UPDATE: AT&T buys T-Mobile USA for $39B

A bit of shocking news came out today. AT&T agrees to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $25B cash and the rest in stocks said to total about $39B. The merger between the two companies is not expected to formally take place for about 12 months. The merger will change the mobile landscape in the US because currently AT&T is the nation's second largest carrier at about 90 million subscribers and T-Mobile is 4th with about 33 million. AT&T and T-Mobile both use GSM technology for their phones but they use different bands for their 3G networks. Merging 3G technologies will not be a hurdle they will have to cross as AT&T has plans to start deploying their 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) network this year.

Once the merger finalizes, AT&T will once again be the largest carrier in the US totally approximately 120 million subscribers. I guess T-Mobile is getting the iPhone after all.....sorta

UPDATE: More news was dropped today with details about the merger between AT&T and T-Moble. Apparently T-Mobile has some provisions in place in case the merger is not approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). If the deal does not get approved, AT&T will have to pay T-Mobile $3B, be forced to accept roaming agreements in areas that T-Mobile does not have coverage and release some of its AWS (3G) bands that are not critical to their network. Basically, if the deal falls through, T-Mobile will gain coverage, 3G frequencies, and pocket $3B in cash.

Additionally, AT&T released its plans for what they will do to T-Mobile's network. First, they plan to allow customers to roam for free between both networks basically instantly giving AT&T coverage to the entire country. Secondly, they plan to move T-Mobile customers to AT&T's 3G networks on the 850MHZ band. This will obviously happen as customers are available to upgrade their phones as the customer service reps will sell you a phone with AT&T 3G bands. The average customer won't have a clue what network their phone operates on so that transition should be seamless. AT&T will also switch to dual band towers to service EDGE and 3G networks across the integrated AT&T and T-Mobile networks. As customers leave the 1700MHZ T-Mobile 3G network, AT&T will incorporate that network into their 4G LTE plans.

This may seem like information overflow for non tech savvy people but just know that once the merger happens (if it does), your current T-Mobile phone will have better signal in more areas (albeit only on EDGE) and the next phone you buy will more than likely be from an AT&T store that used to be a T-Mobile store. You will also see faster data rates (download and upload speeds) as some of the strain currently on the AT&T network will be pushed over to the T-Mobile towers. This should improve voice and data quality on both networks.

In summary, if you have AT&T or T-Mobile, your network just got a lot larger and a lot better even if your cell phone plan and customer service just got a lot worse. At least some of you can stop bitching about not getting the iPhone on T-Mobile. In about 12 months, you'll be on AT&T and can soak up all of Steve Jobs "mistruths" see for yourself what the iPhone has to offer.

Source BGR, PhoneScoop, PhoneScoop

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wow, Apple's Safari browser hacked in 5 secs

At the annual Pwn2Own conference, Apple's Safari browser was exploited in 5 seconds. Apple issued an update to Safari 5.0.4 but the update still had the same vulnerabilities and was still exploited in seconds. Microsoft's Internet Explorer didn't fair much better, it was also exploited fairly easily.

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) - Use Google Chrome or Firefox because neither was able to be exploited as of yet during the Pwn2Own conference.

Read more Here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Download this app "Plug in Launcher" NOW!

This app will allow your Android phone to launch any app when you plug in a USB cord or 3.5mm audio cable. Download the app from here and set up your preferences for the USB and Headset ports and you're all set. I set my G2 to start Pandora for the Headset jack and the stock Android Clock for the USB. This will allow my phone to act like a Nexus device does when inserted into a dock.

I've tested this out and I have to say that it works perfectly. 5 stars from me.