Info & Phones News
AT&T today announced a new mobile hotspot from Sierra Wireless called the Unite. The Unite has a 2.4-inch touch screen and can connect up to 10 devices at a time to AT&T's LTE 4G and HSPA+ networks. The Unite features controls on the touch screen that allow the owner to manage the other devices that connect to it, including permitting guest access while blocking unwanted surfers. It can be used with a stand-alone mobile hotspot account or added to a Mobile Share plan for $20 per month. AT&T hasn't announced pricing or availability details for the Unite mobile hotspot.
Wi-LAN has filed a lawsuit against Research In Motion alleging that the BlackBerry maker is infringing on a single patent related to Bluetooth technology. Wi-LAN says a number of RIM's smartphones, such as the Bold, Pearl, Storm, and Torch, infringe on the patent. It is seeking damages and an injunction to halt sales of the devices in the U.S. Wi-LAN is a patent licensing firm. It has filed similar lawsuits against Apple, HTC, and Sierra Wireless over LTE technology. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Sprint today announced that the Sierra Wireless 4G LTE Tri-Fi Hotspot goes on sale starting May 18. The Tri-Fi supports CDMA 3G, WiMax 4G, and LTE 4G, and can provide wireless internet access for up to eight devices. The Tri-Fi also includes a microSD memory card slot. The device costs $99 after rebate with a new agreement. Data plans for the Tri-Fi start at $35 per month for 3GB of combined 3G/4G data and max out at $80 per month for 12GB.
Qualcomm today announced its fifth-generation of Gobi embedded modem chipsets. The most significant advancement of these new modems is that they will support multiple LTE network frequencies, as well as FDD and TDD type LTE networks. The MDM9615 and MDM9215 are also backward compatible with HSPA+ and EVDO 3G networks. Though these chips will target devices such as laptops, hotspots, and convertibles, the new Gobi architecture also supports Google's Android operating system and can be paired with Qualcomm's SnapDragon mobile processors. Qualcomm said that companies such as Huawei, Novatel Wireless, Option, Sierra Wireless, and ZTE will offer the first wave of Gobi 5 devices in various form factors and world markets.
WiLan, a Canadian patent-licensing firm, today announced that it has initiated legal proceedings against a number of technology companies over patent infringement. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, names Apple, Alcatel-Lucent, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, HTC America, Kyocera International, Kyocera Communications, Novatel Wireless, and Sierra Wireless America as the defendants. According to WiLan each of the companies is infringing upon two patents, one pertains to CDMA and HSPA, and the other pertains to LTE and Wi-Fi. Patent litigation has become an oft-used tool to generate income.
AT&T today announced that its first batch of Long Term Evolution-compatible devices will become available on Sunday, August 21. The devices, both made by Sierra Wireless, are the USBConnect Momentum 4G (dongle) and the Elevate 4G (hotspot). The Momentum 4G costs $49.99 and the Elevate 4G costs $69.99, both requiring a new two-year contract. Both devices will include a slot for microSD cards, support for GPS, and support for Apple computers at launch. The Elevate 4G has a 1.77-inch LCD display for access to device information and supports up to five connected devices for up to five hours. Both devices can also fall back to Category 14 HSPA+ (max of 21Mbps downloads under optimal conditions) when LTE isn't available. They will be in AT&T stores starting August 21. AT&T's LTE network will launch at some point soon after the devices become available, but AT&T has still not locked down a definitive date. AT&T also announced that the USBConnect Adrenaline will also be able to be updated to LTE beginning Aug. 26. LTE data plans for mobile broadband devices will cost $50 per month for 5GB. Overage charges will come in at $10 per GB over the 5GB limit. AT&T's first five LTE markets will be Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. AT&T plans to have 15 markets and 70 million people covered with LTE by the end of the year.
Sprint today announced that it has added its WiMax 4G network service and device portfolio to the list of wholesale products it offers. Sprint already allows other companies to resell its 3G wireless services and handsets. Sprint believes the addition of 4G to its wholesale offering will give companies the flexibility they require to meet their customers' needs. Sprint says that the wholesale customers can resell Sprint devices such as the HTC EVO Shift 4G, the Sierra Wireless 250U 3G/4G data card. Other 4G devices will become available in the coming months. Sprint notes that WiMax is now available in 71 markets around the country.