AT&T to Begin Testing 5G, 10-100 Times Faster Than 4G LTE

AT&T has announced that it will begin trialing 5G wireless technologies this year, including lab tests in the second quarter and outdoor tests over the summer. The carrier anticipates 5G speeds to be 10-100 times faster than today’s average 4G LTE connections, with reduced latency.

Customers will see speeds measured in gigabits per second, not megabits. For reference, at one gigabit per second, you can download a TV show in less than 3 seconds. Customers will also see much lower latency with 5G. Latency, for example, is how long it takes after you press play on a video app for the video to start streaming on your device. We expect 5G latency in the range of 1 to 5 milliseconds.

Worldwide standards are still lacking for 5G technologies, but the 3GPP group aims to complete the first phase of that process in 2018. The widespread rollout of AT&T’s 5G network will likely take until 2020, but the carrier plans to provide wireless connectivity to fixed locations in Austin before the end of this year. The carrier joins Verizon, who will also be field testing 5G solutions this year.

AT&T’s 5G network will be based on technologies such as millimeter waves, network function virtualization (NFV), and software-defined networking (SDN). The carrier has already migrated 14 million wireless customers to its virtualized network, and it says millions more will be added this year. AT&T plans to virtualize 75% of its network over the next four years in the lead up to 5G.

It remains too early to predict Apple’s roadmap for 5G connectivity. Apple was quick to support LTE-Advanced, a faster standard of 4G LTE, on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus or later, but 3G and LTE wireless technologies were both available for years before Apple adopted them. Based on AT&T’s and 3GPP’s timelines, a 5G iPhone may not be released for at least three to four years.

Tags: AT&T, LTE, 5G
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Lara Croft Go, Reeder 3, and other awesome apps of the week

Another weekend is whizzing by and — with evenings continuing to draw in and memories of summer sun a distant memory — it’s the perfect time to catch up on the best apps currently circulating in the iOS App Store ecosystem. Whether you’re planning on a lazy game-playing Sunday, or want to be up on the latest secure messaging app, we’ve got something […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Siri won’t answer music questions if you’re not an Apple Music subscriber

If you want Siri to tell you everything there is to know about music you might need an Apple Music subscription to get the right answers. The three-month trial period for Apple Music has finally ended, and it appears that not signing up for the monthly service may cost you a bit of Siri functionality. […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Sprint Will Start Throttling Customers That Use More Than 23 GB a Month

Sprint today announced that they would begin throttling customers who used more than 23 GB of data during their billing cycle, regardless of whether they had unlimited data plans or not. The move, according to Sprint Chief Technology Officer Dr. John Saw, is to provide a better customer experience for the majority of their users.

The 23GB threshold is typical in the industry and other carriers have already implemented a similar practice. We agree this is a smart approach towards making sure a small number of customers don’t adversely impact the experience for others. Today approximately three percent of our postpaid subscribers are using overwhelmingly disproportionate network resources. Our goal with QoS is to prevent some portion of that three percent going forward from negatively impacting the other 97 percent of customers.

The carrier notes that 23 GB of data would allow a user to send 6,000 emails with attachments, view 1,500 web pages, post 600 photos to social media, stream 60 hours of music and stream 50 hours of video. Sprint also says that number is „far more“ than most of its customers use in a typical billing cycle.

The change will affect those who choose an unlimited data handset plan after October 16 or to Sprint customers who choose to upgrade their devices on or after October 16. Those who go over 23 GB will see their data prioritized below other customers, which means they will encounter slower data speeds, but only in times and locations where the network is constrained.

This summer, T-Mobile also decided to update their plans to throttle customers. However, T-Mobile’s soft data cap is 21 GB, slightly less than Sprint’s choice. T-Mobile also announced that it would restrict customers who abused data tethering, saying some of its customers use up to 2,000 GB a month.



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Microsoft’s new Lumia phones boast facial recognition, liquid cooling

Microsoft hopes to tempt you away from Android and iOS with a pair of flagship smartphones that boast built-in facial recognition and liquid cooling. The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL scan your eyes instead of your fingerprints for lightning-fast unlocking, and they’re the first smartphones on the market powered by Windows 10. Microsoft’s new devices, which were announced […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Tim Cook Addresses Privacy, Government Requests in New NPR Interview

Just days after Apple updated and expanded its privacy site to explain how it handles personal information, CEO Tim Cook sat down with NPR’s Robert Siegel to talk about how the Cupertino company protects user data and when and where it uses that information.

Image via NPR
Cook starts off by noting that Apple designs its products with privacy in mind after being asked about government data requests. Apple wants the user to control the data and who gets to see or use it.

However, we design our products in such a way that privacy is designed into the product. And security is designed in. And so if you think about it … some of our most personal data is on the phone: our financial data, our health information, our conversations with our friends and family and co-workers. And so instead of us taking that data into Apple, we’ve kept data on the phone and it’s encrypted by you. You control it.

The Apple CEO goes on to address his thoughts on a „back door“ that allows government agencies access to user data in an effort to pursue national security. Cook notes that if you leave an open door for the good guys in your product, there’s an opportunity for the bad guys to find and use the open door. He believes that everyone, including government agencies, are coming around to the idea that a „back door“ is a nonstarter and that encryption „is a must in today’s world.“

When asked whether Apple’s emphasis on privacy is a dig to competitors like Google or whether it would exist if Apple wasn’t a hardware company, Cook maintains that Apple’s views on privacy are born out of the company’s values.

Our values are that we do think that people have a right to privacy. And that our customers are not our products. We don’t collect a lot of your data and understand every detail about your life. That’s just not the business that we are in.

Cook also talked about how Apple uses user data, noting that he believes its fine for the company to know your purchasing history in iTunes or the App Store to recommend music and apps to customers. However, Cook draws the line at sharing data between apps, saying that he doesn’t believe the News app should know what music you buy, or whether the content of your emails should be used to sell a different product.

This marks the third major occurrence in which the Apple CEO has addressed the company’s stance on user privacy this summer. Two weeks ago, Cook spoke about privacy concerns regarding the new „Hey Siri“ feature in the iPhone 6s during a ride to Apple’s flagship 5th Avenue location in Manhattan. In June, Cook spoke about the importance of encryption and privacy at the Champions of Freedom event in Washington.

The entire interview can be listened to at NPR’s website.



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Apple Expanding R&D Center in Sweden to Work on ‘Advanced Mapping Technology’

A new report today from Swedish news service Rapidus (via Tech.eu) claims that Apple has been quietly increasing its presence in Lund, Sweden with a focus on an „advanced mapping technology“ that aims to further improve Apple Maps . The company is reportedly working out of a new R&D center in the city said to have launched last November.

Now, a report from news agency Rapidus claims Apple has been quietly ramping up its operations in Lund, a city near Malmö in Sweden, where it is apparently working on ‘advanced mapping technology’. Reports that Apple had set up a relatively secretive R&D center in Lund first surfaced in November last year, but it’s always been unclear what was being worked on over there.

The news today points toward continued improvements for Apple Maps, which is currently seeing a significant amount of investment from Apple. The company has in recent months expanded its fleet of vans surveying streets around the United States and other countries with a variety of sensors. Apple confirmed over the summer that the data collected from the vehicles will be used to improve Apple Maps in the future, likely with street-level imagery similar to Google’s Street View.



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Take to the skies with a batwing drone of your very own, for 65% off [Deals]

If you went to Wayne Manor’s back yard on a weekend there’s a chance you’d find Batman playing around with this drone. The limited edition Code Black is a palm-sized drone that manages to pack in a ton of features to satisfy pros and beginners alike — even Alfred could get the hang of it. […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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