Monday, August 31, 2009

Study: Cell service costs more in US

Six consumer-oriented organizations answered a forceful "yes" in a July federal filing with the Federal Communications Commission. Backing their assertions is an international study concluding Americans pay the world's highest cell phone rates. And a U.S. senator is examining whether text messaging is priced out of line.
U.S. residents pay the world's highest rate — about $53.30 per month — for a "medium-use package" including 780 minutes of outgoing voice calls, 600 text messages and eight multi-media messages per year, says an August report by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
In contrast, Finns, Swedes and the Dutch pay $11 to $12 per month for the same plan, according to the report, which covers 26 countries.
Americans also pay the most — about $22.50 a month — for what the group termed a "low-use package" including 360 minutes of outgoing voice calls, 396 text messages and eight multimedia messages per year. That compares with $4.16 a month in the least expensive country, Denmark, with Finland, Sweden and Norway just slightly more expensive.
But the OECD's data is misleading, said the Cellular Telephone Industry Association, the official voice of the cellular-service companies.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Verizon Wireless Set To Rollout 4G In 2010

Verizon Wireless completed its first successful Long Term Evolution (LTE) Fourth Generation (4G) data call in Boston based on the 3GPP Release 8 standard; the company also announced that it had earlier completed the first LTE 4G data call based on the 3GPP Release 8 standard in Seattle. While Verizon previously disclosed its intentions to test the 4G standard in the two cities, the carrier had not provided details on the trials until now.

The tests involved streaming video, file uploads and downloads, and Web browsing. Interestingly, Verizon also said it placed voice calls using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to enable voice transmissions over the LTE 4G network, though the carrier has said in the past that it plans to keep most voice traffic on its existing CDMA 1x network.

Technology partners helping to enable data calls in these initial markets include Alcatel-Lucent (Boston) and Ericsson (Seattle) for base station/radio access network, LG and Samsung for trial devices, and Starent Networks and Nokia Siemens Networks for network equipment. Devices from LG and Samsung will soon be supplemented by devices from ST Ericsson, Motorola and Qualcomm.

Boston and Seattle each now have 10 LTE 4G cell sites up and running on the 700 MHz spectrum. These LTE 4G markets were selected by network planners due to their geographic configuration of suburban and urban areas as well as the areas’ high-technology population. The trials will help Verizon Wireless and its LTE 4G network partners understand issues that include how to best prepare cell sites and how to add the new technology to the network.

Verizon Wireless expects to commercially launch its LTE 4G network in up to 30 markets in 2010, covering 100 million people. In subsequent years, an equally aggressive growth plan will result in full nationwide coverage in 2013.

For more information about Verizon Wireless’ LTE 4G network, visit
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