Sprint’s LTE in 151 Markets

Sprint has announced that the company’s LTE deployment has now reached portions of 151 markets.

According to a Sprint press release, the company turned LTE on in parts of 41 new markets today, including Jacksonville, Florida; Daytona Beach, Florida; Flint, Michigan; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Oakland, California; and Portland, Oregon.

Sprint’s Network Vision, first announced in 2011, ran into snags which included buyout offers from Dish and Softbank as well as a need for increased backhaul.

Sprint’s Network Vision consolidates multiple networks for increased efficiency. Sprint is reclaiming Nextel’s 800 MHz frequencies which can provide enhanced 3G and 4G coverage over their primary 1.9 GHz PCS band. Integrated antennas and basestations, covering the 800 Mhz, 1.9 GHz, and 2.6 GHz bands, are expected to lower operational and energy costs while enhancing coverage.

Sprint’s 1900 MHz LTE network provides peak speeds of of 25 Mbp while Clearwire’s planned TD-LTE network is expected to support theoretical peak speeds of up to 168 Mbps by 2014.

The first devices to access Sprint’s 2.5 GHz LTE service will be the NETGEAR Zing Mobile Hotspot and NETGEAR 341U USB stick along with the MiFi 500 LTE by Novatel Wireless. Those devices went on sale July 19.

Samsung today announced the world’s first commercial devices capable of TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE seamless handover technology. The Samsung LTE-A phone is powered by a Snapdragon 800, Qualcomm’s fastest chip, which also integrates an LTE modem.

Samsung is launching TDD/FDD Dual Mode LTE versions of the Samsung GALAXY S4 and Samsung GALAXY S4 mini for seamless voice and data switching between the two different types of LTE networks. Samsung says it is the first player in the global mobile industry to provide dual-mode (TDD-LTE/FDD-LTE) smartphones, although ZTE’s Grand Era LTE also launched in Hong Kong with dual-mode LTE.

Sprint plans to cover at least 200 million POPs with LTE. T-Mobile’s LTE network now covers 157 million POPs in 116 markets, and the company expects to cover 200 million POPs with LTE by year-end and is launching wider, 2×10 MHz channels for LTE.

Verizon now covers 301 million POPs with LTE, reports FierceWireless. By the end of the year, AT&T Mobility plans to cover 270 million POPs with LTE.

Public Service Small Cells Tested

PureWave Networks announced today that it began deploying a band class 14 LTE test network in Silicon Valley, using the company’s PureWave Constellation family of small cells.

The network will operate for the remainder of the year, and will be used to demonstrate small cell performance in a range of advanced deployment scenarios critical to public safety networks. Planned capability demonstrations include deployable networks, multi-tenant small cells and MOCN (multi-operator core network).

“In addition to increasing network capacity, small cells are the only effective solution for providing coverage in indoor public venues and for providing deployable, ad-hoc network coverage for incident management and event support,” said Ronen Vengosh, PureWave’s VP of Marketing and Business Development.

As part of the trial, PureWave is collaborating with a number of
industry partners to offer first responders advanced capabilities. The company will also be testing the performance characteristics of the network across a wide range of deployment scenarios and applications.

“Small cells offer capabilities that will be very useful for public safety wireless networks, and there is much that we can learn about their use and applications from this trial,” said Barry Fraser General Manager of the Bay Area Regional Interoperable Communications Authority (BayRICS).

“We are eager to propose specific test scenarios and will monitor the results closely for useful information as we work with FirstNet (First Responder Network Authority) to develop our regional broadband network.”

BayRICS will oversee the build-out and operation of one of the first LTE networks designed exclusively for public safety, which will eventually become part of the FirstNet nationwide public safety broadband network.

Related stories on DailyWireless include; FirstNet: Get Utilities to Pay for It ,SF Announces LTE First Responder Net,SF Approves Dedicated LTE Network for First Responders, Seybold: Furgetabout Video on LTE Public Safety Band, Broadband Disability Act, Public Service Radio Convention, Public Safety Net Removed from Debt Ceiling Bill, The D-Block Gamble, D-Block Gets a Hearing, National Wireless Initiative, White House: D-Block to Police/Fire,

Starbucks Dumps AT&T WiFi for Google WiFi

Google today announced that it will soon be supplying WiFi to all Starbucks locations in the US. That also includes its new gigabit Google Fiber internet service where available.

Google will make free WiFi connections available to all 7,000 company-operated Starbucks stores in the United States over the next 18 months, ousting Starbucks’ current WiFi supplier, AT&T.

Under the AT&T branding there was no purchase or subscription required, no password needed and no time limit on your session. Starbucks and AT&T started their service in 2008, at first offering a mix of free and paid wireless Internet service. Starbucks switched to free WiFi access in June, 2010.

Google will start rolling out the new networks in August, using the SSID “Google Starbucks”.

Google recently announced it will also offer San Francisco $600,000 to set up free access in public spaces, with a rollout planned for completion in April, 2014 pending approvals.

Small cells and Hotspot 2.0 are the hot new thing for carriers. Hotspot 2.0 allows seamless roaming from licensed carriers to unlicensed WiFi.

AT&T says it will deploy more than 10,000 new macrocells, along with 40,000 small cells and 1,000 distributed antenna systems (DAS). AT&T expects their 700 MHz LTE network will cover 300 million POPs by the end of 2014. That compares to its current plans to deploy LTE to about 250 million people by year-end 2013.

Combining low frequency (600-800 MHz) macrocells with high frequency (2.4-2.7 GHz) small cells in urban cores is a tactic that may become increasingly popular. Especially if new competitors are allowed into the 600 MHz auction or are allowed to buy or lease 2.6GHz from Softbank.

Here are 25 Blogs Featuring the Best Places to Get Free Wi- Fi.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Free WiFi for 31 SF Parks, Free Google WiFi for NYC Chelsea Neighborhood, Meraki Proposes Free SF Wi-Fi Network, Cities of San Jose and Santa Clara Get Free WiFi, AT&T: 40,000 Small Cells, Free WiFi: It’s a Right!, San Jose: Municipal Wi-Fi Comes Alive (Again), FirstNet: Get Utilities to Pay for It, Seattle’s Gigabit Fiber CityNet, Chicago Announces Free WiFi in Parks, Municipal Networks: Good for Cities?, Genachoski : Gigabit Fiber in 50 States by 2015 , SF Public Service Net: In Trouble?, Street light Provides Wi-Fi, Cell Coverage.

NSA’s XKeyscore Revealed

NSA’s tool, XKeyscore, collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet and allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to The Guardian.

The NSA boasts XKeyscore, is its “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet.

The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian’s earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisa surveillance court oversight.

The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10, reports The Guardian.

“I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.

US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden’s assertion: “He’s lying. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”

But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

The system is available to NSA analysts and can be accessed without a warrant, notes TechCrunch. According to training manuals produced in 2010, the system requires analysts to request data on certain individuals. The system then scans traffic beginning and terminating the United States using keyword searches.

Google Announces Dedicated PhotoSphere Site

Google today announced a new community site called Views. It’s a place to publicly share your photo spheres to Google Maps.

Photo spheres can be created with the camera in Android 4.2 or higher, including most Nexus devices and the new Nexus 7 tablet. A photo sphere camera app lets you snap photos in any direction and piece them together. You can also share panoramas you’ve created with your DSLR camera.

You can then view these on your phone, share them to Google+, add them to Google Maps, and even post them on your own website.

To add your own, you’ll need to sign into the Views site with your Google+ profile. Next, click the blue camera button on the top right of the page and import your existing photo spheres from your Google+ photos, or tap “Share” in Android’s Gallery app and select Google Maps.

SK Telecom’s LTE-A Launch a Hit

Just over a month after flipping the switch on its LTE-Advanced network, Korea’s SK Telecom has already signed up 300,000 customers for the service and made plans to deploy 32,000 additional base stations to expand its footprint, reports Light Reading.

The Korean operator boasted the world’s first network to support the LTE-Advanced with carrier aggregation, at the end of June. The network now covers the entire Seoul area and the central areas of 84 cities in the region, up from an initial 42 cities, with dwnlink peak speeds of 150 Mbit/s.

The network can be accessed using a Samsung S4 LTE-A phone which features the new Snapdragon 800, 2.3GHz quad-core processor from Qualcomm, as well as a 2,600 mAh battery, 5.0-inch full HD screen, 13 megapixel camera, Android 4.2 and 32 GB internal storage.

The multi-carrier technology allows SK to utilize both its existing 800MHz frequency band and the 1.8GHz band. With an additional 20MHz uplink/downlink spectrum, it will be using a total of 40MHz for its 150 Mbps LTE service.

SK Telecom, a provider of mobile service in South Korea, has a 50% market share. The company has built a total of 20,000 RU (Radio Units) as of June 2013. Some 13 operators in 8 nations, including Verizon, AT&T, NTT Docomo, with Sprint, Telstra, 3 Italia and Yota saying they will do so this year.