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Amazon Kindle Fire with Android OS is Coming for $199 

Amazon announced today a WiFi only 7 inch Android tablet that it will sell for $199.  However, will Amazon's next version of the Fire have free 3G wireless?  Amazon allows customers who have the black and white Kindle to access AT&T 3G for free.   The next Amazon Fire could have free AT&T 3G for $299 similar to the black and white Kindle for $79.  The current WiFi only Fire tablet has a 7 inch screen and weights only 14.6 ounces.  The Amazon does not include 3G and you can pre-order it for $199.  Shipping date is November 15, 2011.

This is a tremendous breakthrough for the industry where the device itself becomes a commodity and the services behind the device become the real value.  Subscriptions to content like Pandora, Netflix or Amazon movie become more important and thus will allow Amazon to subsidize the price of the device.

It remains to be seen if newspapers can get into the game of require subscriptions to view their content.  My speculations is they won't have much success getting people to pay for news and simply will have apps build in this Android platform that are filled with ads.

If you compare this device to the iPad 2 its $300 cheaper and does not have the following features.  Camera and GPS which are unnecessary for most tablet users.  Tablet users are primarily inside the home and office and only need WiFi.   Also, if you are a savvy user and have figured out how to tether WiFi devices to your 4G smartphone than the WiFi only version will also be sufficient.  

2G, 3G, 4G: WTF is 4th Generation Anyway?

Friday, September 23, 2011 | , , , ,

Techies throw terminology around all the time, and often we have to pretend that we understand what they're referring to. In this post, we'll try to explain and elucidate some of the tricky lingo used frequently in today's circles. Specifically, we'll look at the G's, 2G, 3G, and 4G - what they are, and what they mean for us.

The Gs refer to stages in the development of cellular technology. G stands for "generation." 2G, therefore, means "second generation" cellular systems. Service providers have just begun to roll out fourth generation networks, the most advanced technology developed to date. We'll get to fourth generation in a bit, but let's back up to the beginning, with 1G.

The systems retroactively dubbed 1G were the world's first mobile telephone networks. The first 1G network surfaced in Tokyo, in 1979. Over the next ten years, mobile networks were slowly built in countries all over the world. 1G systems communicated with analog signals, using continuous radio waves to transmit information. The analog system was dumped for digital communication with the advent of 2G in the early 90s.

The second generation of cell phone technology improved system capacity, allowed mobile data service with text messaging, and lowered the radiation emitted from phones. Much of this was affected by the move to digital communication, swapping continuous analog signals with the short burst, message-style transmissions of digital technology. 2G is still used in many parts of the world today.

It would be another ten years before the debut of 3G onto the world stage. 2G systems were strengthened and altered, ushering in mobile internet, video calling, mobile TV, and videoconferencing. Officially, 3G is not a specific technology, but a standard—an outline of specifications for cellular networks. Several different systems have been built that all comply with 3G requirements, such as EDGE, CDMA2000, and UMTS. Different service providers, like AT&T and Verizon Wireless, build and use their own designs for their respective networks. It's the differences in this sort of network structure that define whether or not your phone uses a SIM card.

Recently, the wireless communications world has been abuzz about 4G, the latest development of digital communication. The fourth generation standard aims to increase the speeds and thus the capabilities of 3G-enabled tasks, like mobile internet. Before 4G, downloading or streaming movies, songs, or any significant amounts of data to a mobile device was an abysmally slow process, if at all possible. 4G minimizes the difference in user experience between using a top-speed computer and your smartphone. In fact, it's 4G technology that justifies smartphones' existence.

"So that was all very nice," you might say, "but how does that affect me?" Well, the sort of technology your phone or mobile device uses will affect what accessories, upgrades, and supplemental systems you can attach and sync with it. For instance, signal boosters, which enhance weak cellular signals, read very specific transmissions. To amplify the weak signal for your 4G phone, you'll need a 4G booster capable of decoding and transmitting 4G signals. It's all quite simple, really. You now have the power to take on those tech nuts and show them who's boss.

Related Articles:
What does 1G 2G 2.5G 3G 3.5G 4G 5G mean
4G Phones Weakest Link

So you're tired of poor reception, dropped calls, and drained batteries. You know it's time to find a solution and someone recommended checking out signal boosters. But how do you navigate the sea of uninformative model numbers, strange names, and new technologies to find the solution that fits your setup at the most reasonable price? Here's a guide that will outline the factors to remember when going booster shopping. You'll be a cellular amplifier expert in no time.

There's one puzzle you should try to solve first, before you start your booster search: Namely, why is my reception so poor? Coverage goes hazy for a variety of reasons. You might live adventurously close to the edge of the network, a good distance from the most far flung cell towers. On the other hand, you might live in a city skyscraper behind thick concrete walls impenetrable to the strongest of cell signals. Or it's possible you live comfortably in suburbia well within cellular range but your house happens to rest at the bottom of an imposing hill, blocking most of the good reception from reaching your residence. Determining the primary obstacle to your cellular experience is key in reaching success with a signal booster.

The second puzzle to solve (and this is a lot easier than the first) involves determining how strong your natural, unamplified signal is, both indoors and out. Just open up your phone and check the bars of reception. Signal boosters vary in the degree to which they amplify a signal. Some simply modify a mediocre signal while others totally soup up a dead zone into a power house. So why not go for the biggest and the strongest? Price, of course; those powerful amplifiers come with a hefty price tag for their fancy technology. You want to find the booster that suits your needs exactly to be financially sound and energy efficient.

So, you’ve determined why your cell signal is poor and just how strong your unamplified signal is indoors and out, as described above. Now, you'll want to know exactly how much square footage you plan on blanketing with amplified signal before hitting the stores. The signal booster kit contains multiple pieces of equipment that serve different functions. The broadcasting antenna distributes the boosted signal throughout the desired space and these antennas come in a wide spectrum of strengths, each able to cover a different-sized space. Of course, the larger the space, the more powerful and more expensive the antenna. It's important to keep in mind that some websites and product descriptions advertise maximum broadcast ranges that refer to tests set in open territory. However, when those antennas are placed indoors where it must battle through walls, staircases, and other obstacles, the antenna's range reduces significantly. Be sure to get help with an expert from the store to find the true indoor range of these amplifiers.

With this easy checklist you'll be way ahead of the game when in the market for a signal booster. Try to look for boosters with the strength you need and antennas to cover the space you want. Remember, asking for help never hurts. There are cell booster experts available to answer specific questions and assist with large-scale installations.


Top 5 Smartphones with Long Battery Life
With over 25% of US cell phone users now using smartphones, cell phone companies have released new smartphones with features like bigger screens and more apps while leaving one of the most important features as an afterthought… battery life.

Because battery life is one of the more overlooked features in smartphones today, we have compiled a list of the top 5 smartphones that have long batter lives. In order to determine the top 5 phones, we researched phones with the highest overall expert rankings from sources like CNET, PC magazine, Wired, and PC world and that also had at least ten hours of talk time battery life.

1. HTC myTouch 4G: The top smartphone on our list was the HTC myTouch 4G because of its overall excellence with an expert rating at 4.37 out of 5, as well as its 10 hour talk time and 432 hour standby battery life.

2. Apple iPhone 3GS: Apple’s iPhone 3GS exceptional talk time of 12 hours can be attributed to its smaller screen that is measured at 3.5 inches, and even though this is the highest on our list, the standby life of the 3GS is a moderate 300 hours. With these features taken into account, the 3GS received an average expert rating of 4.25 out of 5.

3. Samsung Droid Charge: The Samsung Droid Charge was the only Verizon phone to make our top list for performance and battery life. Expert rankings came in at 4.23 out of 5 for the Charge, while its talk
time was measured at 11 hours, but its standby battery life was the lowest on the list at 280 hours.

4. Google Nexus One: The Google Nexus One is the most widely available phone on our top list, as it is available on Vodafone and Singtel in places like Singapore, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. The average expert score on the Nexus One was 4.1 out of 5, with a talk time of 10 hours and a
moderate standby time of 290 hours.

5. Samsung Captivate: The Samsung Captivate from AT&T comes in at number five on our list receiving an average expert rating of 3.78 out of 5. The talk time on the Captivate is 10 hours with an amazing maximum standby time of 710 hours, which almost twice as much as any other phone on our list.

When put in a side-by-side comparison, these smartphones all prove to have great battery life as well as several differences in price and features that will allow shoppers to find the best smartphone that won’t die when their needed most.

Why iPad is Losing WiFi Connection

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 | , ,

Turn Off iPad Notifications to Fix Wi-Fi Problem 
Why does your iPad constantly lose your WiFi connection? If you are experiencing this problem you probably are visiting the Settings / WiFi / Renew Lease button often to refresh your IP address.  This often solves the problem for a short time but if you are a heavy app user the problem continually resurfaces during sessions.  We originally posted a solution on how to fix iPad WiFi problem but this solution did not last long.  

I narrowed my search down to one app that seemed to be causing all of the trouble.  Words With Friends unfortunately, is pinging the network too often and the iPad or the WiFi network seems to get kicked off.  Its very annoying but now the iPad works fine but requires me check for game updates and moves manually.  This is much better than having to constantly renew lease on the WiFi.  

Words With Friends App

All of the U.S. carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint have announced new wireless data capacity usage plans for their customers. There pricing plans are very fluid and will likely change a lot in the next few months to year. Why are carriers capping data plans? Because there is no money in fixed-pricing and the carriers can make more by charging the heavy data users (like our kids). This is very similar to capping text messaging where your average cost per text goes up to .25 to .35 cents after you go over your text messaging plan allotment.

I think this is the new industry scam that must be regulated. It is impossible to think that consumers can trust their wireless carrier to objectively measure their data usage.  Currently there are not applications or features on phones to help you manage your usage thresholds.  Remember the cases of customers who received the outrageous bills while using their phone and roaming overseas.  More transparency is needed for consumers to understand how much data they are using before they can be charged.  Data caps are hurting the mobile apps business before it even gets off the ground.

We think that free free WiFi around the World will disruptive cellular data fraudulent pricing practices.  Offloading 3G and 4G data to WiFi is the first sign that carrier networks will ultimately fall on their face 


AT&T customers can see recent network enhancements in the Phoenix area. An industry first, the microsite gives customers an unparalleled view of what AT&T is doing to enhance the customer experience. Visitors to the new “Focus: Phoenix” microsite immediately view a map of the Phoenix area, and are prompted to select the city or town they’re most interested in. The hyper-local map displays specific network enhancements that AT&T has made in the area since the beginning of 2011. Enhancements include new cell sites, broadband speed upgrades, capacity upgrades and network connection upgrades.  Follow updates on Twitter @ATT_PHX

In the Phoenix area, year to date through August 5, 2011, AT&T has:
  • Built 54 new cell sites, providing more bars in the area. 
  • Upgraded three cell sites, providing faster mobile broadband speeds. 
  • Added 138 carriers to increase spectrum on area cell sites, providing extra capacity to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times. 
  • Expanded 301 network connections with fiber lines at area cell sites, helping reduce dropped calls and enable 4G data speeds for compatible devices.


AT&T customers can see recent network enhancements in the Detroit area. An industry first, the microsite gives customers an unparalleled view of what AT&T is doing to enhance the customer experience. Visitors to the new “Focus: Detroit” microsite immediately view a map of the Detroit area, and are prompted to select the city or town they’re most interested in. The hyper-local map displays specific network enhancements that AT&T has made in the area since the beginning of 2011. Enhancements include new cell sites, broadband speed upgrades, capacity upgrades and network connection upgrades. Follow updates Twitter @ATT_Detroit

In the Detroit area, year to date through August 5, 2011, AT&T has:
  • Built 14 new cell sites, providing more bars in the area. 
  • Upgraded 26 cell sites, providing faster mobile broadband speeds. 
  • Added 322 carriers to increase spectrum on area cell sites, providing extra capacity to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times. 
  • Expanded 470 network connections with fiber lines at area cell sites, helping reduce dropped calls and enable 4G data speeds for compatible devices.


AT&T is now offering consumers a unique view of AT&T’s local wireless network enhancements in metro Atlanta. Launched in response to customer feedback, this industry first microsite gives customers an unparalleled view of what AT&T is doing to enhance the customer experience. Visitors can view the microsite. Visitors to the new “Focus: Atlanta” microsite will see a map of the Atlanta area, and are prompted to select the city or town they’re most interested in. The hyper-local map displays specific network enhancements that AT&T has made in the area since the beginning of 2011. Enhancements include new cell sites, broadband speed upgrades, capacity upgrades and network connection upgrades.  Follow updates on Twitter at @ATT_ATL

In the Atlanta area, since the beginning of the year through Aug. 5, AT&T has made the following upgrades:
  • Built 14 new cell sites, providing more bars in the area. 
  • Upgraded 16 cell sites, providing faster mobile broadband speeds. 
  • Added 284 carriers to increase spectrum on area cell sites, providing extra capacity to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times. 
  • Expanded 576 network connections with fiber lines at area cell sites, helping reduce dropped calls and enable 4G data speeds for compatible devices.


AT&T customers can see recent network enhancements in the Indianapolis area. An industry first, the microsite gives customers an unparalleled view of what AT&T is doing to enhance the customer experience. Visitors to the new “Focus: Indianapolis” microsite immediately view a map of the Indianapolis area, and are prompted to select the city or town they’re most interested in. The hyper-local map displays specific network enhancements that AT&T has made in the area since the beginning of 2011. Enhancements include new cell sites, broadband speed upgrades, capacity upgrades and network connection upgrades.  Following updates on Twitter @ATT_Indy.

In the Indianapolis area, year to date through August 31, 2011, AT&T has:
  • Built six new cell sites, providing more bars in the area. 
  • Upgraded one cell site, providing faster mobile broadband speeds. 
  • Added 126 carriers to increase spectrum on area cell sites, providing extra capacity to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times. 
  • Expanded 203 network connections with fiber lines at area cell sites, helping reduce dropped calls and enable 4G data speeds for compatible devices.


AT&T customers can see recent network enhancements in the Philadelphia area. An industry first, the microsite gives customers an unparalleled view of what AT&T is doing to enhance the customer experience. Visitors to the new “Focus: Philadelphia” microsite immediately view a map of the Philadelphia area, and are prompted to select the city or town they’re most interested in. The hyper-local map displays specific network enhancements that AT&T has made in the area since the beginning of 2011. Enhancements include new cell sites, broadband speed upgrades, capacity upgrades and network connection upgrades.  Follow on Twitter: @ATT_Philly

Since the start of 2011, AT&T has made more than 1,500 wireless network upgrades in the greater Philadelphia area. Some of the enhancements in Philadelphia, the western suburbs and southern New Jersey include:
  • Deploying enhanced backhaul connections to more than 740 cell sites. Combined with HSPA+ technology, these backhaul deployments enable 4G speeds.
  • Adding capacity or an extra layer of frequency, to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times. This is like adding lanes to a highway - to more than 650 cell sites in the following areas: 
    • Philadelphia - Overbrook, University City, West Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, Mount Airy, Fern Rock, Frankford, Tacony, Richmond, North Philadelphia, Center City and Old City
    •  Delaware County - Upper Darby, Lansdowne and the airport area
    • Atlantic County - Atlantic City, Ventnor, Brigantine, Margate, Pleasantville and Absecon.
    • Cape May County - Cape May, Wildwood, Ocean City. 
    • Lincoln University - Chester County
    • Crescentville - Philadelphia
    • Hainesport - Burlington County
    • Yeadon - Delaware County
  • Installing 13 new cell sites to improve network coverage.
  • Upgrading 15 existing cell sites to provide faster mobile broadband speed
"More than ever before, customers look to wireless communications to stay in touch with family, friends and business colleagues," said J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T New Jersey and Pennsylvania. "We're working to make this possible by investing in new wireless coverage. in the area. In addition, our recently announced agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand our network. If approved, this deal means that we'll be able to expand the next generation of mobile broadband - 4G LTE - from our current plan of 80 percent of the U.S. population to more than 97 percent."

"Our goal is to deliver a network experience that mobilizes everything for customers," said Tiffany Baehman, vice president and general manager, AT&T greater Philadelphia market. "The ongoing investment we're making in Pennsylvania and New Jersey is designed to increase coverage and reliability, and to provide advanced services to our customers so they can do more with their wireless devices."


AT&T customers can see recent network enhancements in the St. Louis area. An industry first, the microsite gives customers an unparalleled view of what AT&T is doing to enhance the customer experience. Visitors to the new “Focus: St. Louis” microsite immediately view a map of the St. Louis area, and are prompted to select the community they’re most interested in. The hyper-local map displays specific network enhancements that AT&T has made in the area since the beginning of 2011. Enhancements include new cell sites, broadband speed upgrades, capacity upgrades and network connection upgrades. Follow on Twitter: @ATT_STL

In the St. Louis area, year to date through August 5, 2011, AT&T has:
  • Built five new cell sites, providing more bars in the area. 
  • Upgraded seven cell sites, providing faster mobile broadband speeds. 
  • Added 219 carriers to increase spectrum on area cell sites, providing extra capacity to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times. 
  • Expanded 294 network connections with fiber lines at area cell sites, helping reduce dropped calls and enable 4G data speeds for compatible devices.


AT&T customers can now see recent network enhancements in the Kansas City area. An industry first, the microsite gives customers an unparalleled view of what AT&T is doing to enhance the customer experience. Visitors to the new “Focus: Kansas City” microsite immediately view a map of the Kansas City area, and are prompted to select the city or county they’re most interested in. The hyper-local map displays specific network enhancements that AT&T has made in the area since the beginning of 2011. Enhancements include new cell sites, broadband internet providers speed upgrades, capacity upgrades and network connection upgrades. Kansas City Microsite Follow on Twitter: @ATT_KC

In the Kansas City area, year to date through August 5, 2011, AT&T has:
  • Built five new cell sites, providing more bars in the area.
  • Upgraded 30 cell sites, providing faster mobile broadband speeds.
  • Added 42 carriers to increase spectrum on area cell sites, providing extra capacity to reduce dropped calls and improve service quality at busy times.
  • Expanded 222 network connections with fiber lines at area cell sites, helping reduce dropped calls and enable 4G data speeds for compatible devices.

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