AT&T to Use Auction Winnings to Boost Downlink Performance
AT&T today said its winnings from the recently concluded FCC AWS-3 spectrum auction give it a near contiguous 10x10MHz block of spectrum across much of the country. The J Block spectrum covers 306 million people, or 96% of the U.S. population and 96 of the top 100 markets. AT&T said it expects to begin deploying LTE service on the spectrum in the 2017-2018 timeframe. It will initially use the spectrum to supplement its downlink services. AT&T needs to work with the FCC, NTIA, DOD, and other federal agencies so it can eventually support uplink capacity. AT&T spent $18.2 billion to acquire the licenses. "Growth in our customers' mobile data usage continues to explode, driven by mobile video traffic. This spectrum investment will be critical to AT&T staying ahead of customer demand and facilitate the next generation of mobile video entertainment," said AT&T's John Stankey, chief strategy officer. AT&T said data traffic on its network has increased 100,000 percent from January 2007 through December 2014. Verizon also commented on its winnings. Verizon scored 181 licenses covering 192 million POPs, or 61% of the U.S. Verizon said it would have more to say about its plans for the spectrum next month.
Google Refocuses Daydream View Headset
Alongside the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, Google today introduced a new version of its Daydream View VR headset. Both new Pixel phones are Daydream-ready and function perfectly with the revised viewing hardware.
Apple Refreshes the Apple Watch with LTE
Apple today updated its smartwatch with several new features. Notably, the Apple Watch Series 3 gains an optional LTE radio for connections when phones aren't around or available.
Apple Watch Series 3 Supports Carriers' One Number Calling and Messaging
Apple this week announced the Apple Watch Series 3 with an optional cellular radio. The LTE radio makes it possible for the smartwatch to connect to cellular networks on its own, without a nearby iPhone.
Google Intros 'Zero-Touch' Android Enterprise Deployments
Google today made it easier for businesses to configure and deploy Android handsets to employees with a new tool called zero-touch enrollment. Google says zero-touch lets companies configure purchased devices and ship them directly to employees completely preconfigured with corporate policies and controls all in place.
T-Mobile Says It Will Start Using 600 MHz Spectrum This Year
"T-Mobile now has the largest swath of unused low-band spectrum in the country," said T-Mobile CEO John Legere about the company's 600 MHz auction winnings. The company successfully won an average of 31 MHz (ranging between 20 MHz and 50 MHz) of the 70 MHz low-band spectrum auctioned off by TV stations and the FCC.