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Boeing Uses Sacks of Spuds for In-Flight WiFi Tests
December 20, 2012
Using potatoes as an analog for humans, Boeing has come up with a new way to test for in-flight wireless signal strength. Signal strength is everything when it comes to effective wireless connectivity, whether it's on the ground or 35,000 feet up in the air. Passengers on board a wireless-enabled plane want to access the network whether they're in first class or the middle seat in the back of the plane.
Apple Pushes Out WiFi Fix for iOS 6
December 19, 2012
Apple on Tuesday began pushing a fix to a WiFi bug in iOS 6 that targets the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. Apple has released very little information about the fix. Its support site simply describes the 6.0.2 update as "fixes a bug that could impact WiFi." This latest fix for iOS 6 is the second since the software was released in September.
Sprint Chases Clearwire Buyout Deal
December 13, 2012
Sprint Nextel has made a $2.1 billion offer for the shares of Clearwire that it doesn't already own, according to a regulatory filing. The news comes after rumors surfaced earlier this week that the company was in talks with Intel and Comcast to buy out their stakes. The offer, which works out to $2.90 per share, also comes with interim financing of $800 million for Clearwire, if it agrees to the deal.
FreedomPop Dishes Up Free Data in Broadband Offensive
December 12, 2012
FreedomPop is looking to disrupt the cable and DSL business model by offering free wireless Internet service to home users. The startup on Wednesday began taking orders for an $89 modem that will provide online access to as many as 10 WiFi-enabled devices in the home, at speeds faster than digital subscriber lines.
The Skies Have It: Affordable Broadband Internet for All
December 05, 2012
The rural broadband delivery business is rapidly changing. When Dish Network's super-cheap broadband-via-satellite service, dishNET, went live in October, it prompted a satellite Internet price-war. dishNET download speeds reach 10 Mbps. Service starts at $39.99 a month for 10 GB of data at 5 Mbps if you bundle it with Dish Network's television service.
CR's Cellphone Service Rankings May Help Businesses More Than Consumers
December 03, 2012
It's that time of year again: Consumer Reports has published its annual list of best cellphone carriers. Verizon is at the top, having received the most favorable scores for voice and data service quality. It also scored well for staff knowledge and resolution of issues. Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T each got middle to low marks, especially in the voice and text service quality categories.
An All-Occasion Mobile Signal Booster in a Backpack
November 29, 2012
A simple AM radio can keep you abreast of events during a disaster. However, a smartphone is ideal for two-way communications, as well as for news and government messages via text message and social networks like Twitter. I've been using a signal booster kit while backpacking around network-sparse, sunny Southern California.
No-Sweat Windows 8 Networking
November 15, 2012
Easy sharing and streaming of media and other assets among computers at home or in the workplace is a good reason to get networked. Other benefits include sharing Internet connections. If you've been using email as a method for distributing files among family members or a small business, or are simply taking the Windows 8 plunge, Microsoft has never made it easier.
US Is King of the 4G World
November 08, 2012
Perhaps the United States was not the first to get into the 4G LTE wireless data game, but today it may be the most aggressive in rolling it out. The U.S. has more miles of network, more devices, and more subscribers than any other place on Earth. If you listen to the advertising, it seems every carrier offers 4G, and every customer uses it. Do you? If so, great. If not, when?
AT&T to Plow More Billions Into Spectrum Hunt
November 07, 2012
AT&T on Wednesday announced that it will boost capital spending by as much as 16 percent to $22 billion a year for the next three years to upgrade its wireless and wireline networks. The increase is necessary to compete with Verizon Communications, which is currently upgrading its own network.
FCC Draws mHealth Road Map, Part 2
November 02, 2012
The U.S. government's efforts to advance health technology include work taking place at two obvious agencies: the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, an unlikely player in the healthcare arena has emerged -- the Federal Communications Commission, which finds itself at the center of the mobile health, or mHealth, sector.
FCC Draws mHealth Road Map, Part 1
October 30, 2012
Smartphones can perform all kinds of neat tasks, such as instantly directing owners to the nearest sushi bar, or providing inning-by-inning updates of the World Series. Beyond these eye-catching consumer conveniences, the potential for more substantive uses for mobile telecom is enormous. One such area is healthcare, including a wide range of services.
Can Apple Get By With 'Nobody's Perfect' Defense?
October 02, 2012
The new iPhone 5 has a bigger screen, a faster chip and a thinner display. It also has a share of problems, including complaints about WiFi performance. However, this weekend Apple reportedly fixed an iPhone 5 bug that had caused the handset to use Verizon mobile data when the phone should have been connected to a WiFi network.
FCC Chips Away at Spectrum Problem With Incentive Auction Plan
October 01, 2012
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has approved a notice of proposed rulemaking that will lay the groundwork for the agency to auction television spectrum to mobile carriers. The NPRM establishes proposed rules and asks for public comment on the auctions. Under the proposal, U.S. television stations would give up spectrum in exchange for proceeds from an "incentive" auction -- a world first.
iOS 6 Triggers Wonky WiFi Woes
September 28, 2012
Maps aren't the only thing causing grumbling among the Apple faithful these days. Complaints are piling up about WiFi performance, too. Customer grousing about WiFi problems has filled 93 pages at one Apple forum with beefs about disabled options, failure to link to corporate networks and logy connections.
Bump Up Your Carrier's Lousy Signal With a Femtocell
September 27, 2012
If you've been experiencing choppy voice quality or dropped calls from your mobile provider at your home or workplace, there are steps you can take to correct the problem. Cellular phones use radio signals to communicate, and like any other radio, signal propagation issues -- including topography, obstructions, distance to tower and interference -- affect quality.
When iPhone 5 Lands, Samsung's Ready to Pounce
September 12, 2012
The long-awaited unveiling of the iPhone 5 may not be the only Apple news in circulation. Also expected to make headlines Wednesday will be the news that Samsung is filing suit against Apple in Europe and the United States for infringing on several patents it holds relating to LTE. Samsung reportedly has decided to take immediate legal action.
Sprint Steps on the Gas With 4G Expansion
September 11, 2012
Sprint plans to launch 4G LTE high-speed services in more than 100 cities in the U.S., it said Monday. Included are major cities such as Boston, Chicago, New York, Miami and Washington, D.C., as well as small to medium-sized markets -- e.g., Clarksville, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Lawrence, Kan. The service will go live in the coming months.
FAA Study May Loosen Restrictions on In-Flight Gadget Use
August 28, 2012
The Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday it will study the use of portable electronic devices on airliners, potentially opening the door to allowing greater use of smartphones, tablets or e-readers during flights. Currently, the FAA requires airlines to determine which devices can safely be used in-flight.
Sony Mobile Plans Exodus to Japan
August 23, 2012
Today in international tech news: Sony plans to move its headquarters and slash yet more staff. Also: An Israeli park designed to give visitors a taste of biblical times equips its donkeys with WiFi routers; Google heads to Canada to map the North Pole; Spotify launches in Canada; Google finally has some success in China.

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