Amtrak is looking for proposals on how to upgrade its on-board Wi-Fi service on trains running the Northeast Corridor. The goal is to increase available bandwidth per train from the currently available 10Mbps to a minimum of 25 Mbps. The company is soliciting bids for a proof-of-concept project.
AT&T is trying to gain traction for its $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV by sending up a trial balloon that it could offer the NFL’s Sunday Ticket to its wireless phone subscribers. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that AT&T’s management floated the possibility of offering NFL Sunday Ticket to its phone subscribers without having it count against their data caps.
Despite a downward dip in revenue in the first quarter, the wireless LAN equipment market is on a roll, according to a recent report by Infonetics Research. The global wireless LAN equipment market saw its first down quarter since the end of 2012, with revenue shrinking 11 percent sequentially in the first quarter of this year to $1.1 billion. Overall, the market was up 3 percent from the same period a year ago.
Apple will reportedly partner up with AT&T and T-Mobile in order to offer prepaid account activations for iPhones purchased in Apple’s retail stores. 9to5Mac said Apple Stores will begin stocking AT&T GoPhone SIMs and activations kits and T-Mobile SIMs, allowing customers to buy full-price iPhones and walk out of the store with a connected device.
Prior to the start of this fall’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, the SCTE and CableLabs will cue up wireless and DOCSIS 3.1 in a symposium designed to provide the current status of the two technologies and their impact on cable operators’ services. The symposium will also tackle the technical requirements and engineering techniques that are needed to ensure seamless, successful deployments of DOCSIS 3.1 and wireless technologies.
Lantiq and Intel have added a new LTE module option enabling manufacturers of home gateways to add 4G wireless connectivity at up to 300 Mbps in their home routers. The LTE router option has been growing rapidly in emerging telecommunications markets and in some rural markets.
Time Warner Cable Business Class will start offering business data customers its TWC WiFi Hotspot solution for no additional charge. The service, which will be available across Time Warner Cable’s footprint, includes a free Wi-Fi access point installed and managed by Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC.)
Boingo Wireless and Time Warner Cable have signed a bilateral Wi-Fi roaming deal that will allow their subscribers to tap into each other’s hotspots across the nation. The deal marked the first time a cable operator has inked a roaming agreement with Boingo.
Taking a page out of its residential playbook, Comcast Business is offering a dual band Wi-Fi gateway for small businesses. As part of its neighborhood Wi-Fi initiative, last year Comcast started deploying gateways with dual SSIDs, which is the same tack its taking with the new business wireless gateway.
Apple's Mac operating system will have easier ways to share and search, while the iOS software for iPhones and iPads is getting new features for keeping tabs on your health and controlling home devices. Apple is also making it easier for various devices to work together, even though the Mac and mobile systems are separate.
Google is deploying 180 satellites to provide Internet access to under-served and unconnected regions in the world, according to The Wall Street Journal. The price range for the project could range from $1 billion to more than $3 billion. The report said the number of satellites could double based on final designs.
While service providers and consumer electronics companies are just starting to settle in on 802.11ac, Huawei said it had successfully achieved the industry’s first 10 Gbps Wi-Fi speeds in laboratory trials at its campus in Shenzhen, China. Using the emerging 802.11ax standard, Huawei said it achived a record transmission data rate of 10.53 Gbps on the 5 GHz frequency band during its lab trial.
SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son has been loudly making a case for further consolidation in the U.S. wireless industry. Son’s arguments have suggested that a combined Sprint and T-Mobile would be better equipped to take on the “duopoly” of Verizon and AT&T as well as improve service and pricing for U.S. wireless consumers.
Kansai TV, a commercial broadcaster in Osaka, demonstrated the delivery of HEVC-encoded 4K video over ISDB-T to an Ultra HD TV. The demo used Elemental Technologies’ video processing equipment. The off-air demonstration took place during a 4K educational event hosted by Kansai TV and system integrator CTCSP last week.
Videotron is serving up a new Wi-Fi router that supports 802.11ac and 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless networks simultaneously. The router was developed exclusively for Videotron in partnership with ZyXEL. Videotron said that supporting 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless networks limited interference and lag.
Virgin Media Business partnered with vendor Siklu for a small cell trial in Leeds, which is the third-largest city in the United Kingdom. To showcase the ease of the installs, Siklu’s radios were installed on various types of light poles by technicians that didn’t have any telecommunications experience.
Time Warner Cable has launched a new online customer portal that will enable its customers to connect automatically to Wi-Fi hotspots. TWC customers go to the new portal and register their Wi-Fi enabled devices. After that, they will automatically be signed in to any Wi-Fi hotspot operated by TWC or its cable affiliates.
The device will actually place and receive phone calls without needing to be tethered to a smartphone. The report outfits the device with a camera, GPS, Bluetooth, a heart-rate monitor and email functionality. Samsung is reportedly in talks with U.S. wireless providers about the yet-unnamed device, which could be announced as soon as June or July.
The company is planning a nationwide roll-out of a service for its wireless customers, who for $30 a month will be able to install a router in their homes that will convert LTE broadband into Wi-Fi signals. Up to 10 devices will be able to connect to the router at a time, AT&T said.
The city has switched on an outdoor public Wi-Fi access service built with equipment from Ruckus Wireless. NebraskaLink is providing a 1-gigabit network connection to support the project. Commonwealth Electric, the City's fiber optic contractor, donated the installation of the fiber optic network.
Starting June 3, Time Warner Cable will debut its 300 Mbps tier to more than 100,000 customers in Austin, Texas. Back in February Time Warner Cable announced it would increase the speeds across six of its residential data plans at no additional cost.
Bill Smith, president of AT&T’s network operations, said AT&T’s pending acquisition of DirectTV won’t have any effect on how the carrier invests in its network. Smith said that if anything, the acquisition of DirecTV was complimentary to AT&T’s current network plans.
Given all of the Wi-Fi related news over the past few months, an interesting press release came over the transom this morning. Benu Networks announced today that a “major North American MSO” had deployed its technology for community Wi-Fi deployments. Benu added more mystery to release by saying that it was in lab trials with two more North American service providers.
AT&T announced on Sunday that it would by DirecTV for $48.5 billion in cash and stock, which figures out to be $95 per share. The deal would give AT&T 26 million video subscriber and make it the second-largest pay TV provider behind the combined Comcast/Time Warner Cable entity that would service 30 million subscribers under the $45 billion merger that was announced in February.
Following a busy day at the FCC that saw the Commission drafting rules for upcoming spectrum auctions and revising its spectrum screen, carriers weighed in with varying degrees of praise or scorn for the new policies. The FCC’s move to set aside a reserve of 30 MHz in the 600 MHz Incentive Auctions for bidders holding less than one-third of available low-band spectrum licenses per area drew a lukewarm response from T-Mobile.