Tag: 3gPage 4 of 12

GSA says UMTS900 provides better and cheaper 3G coverage

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osciloscope

The average BlackBerry user likely doesn’t think much about technology behind the networks that provide their daily communication fix, but it plays an important role in both the cost and coverage of their BlackBerry. The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has published an operator case study on Finland’s Elisa network which it says shows significant cost and coverage benefits of deploying 3G services in the 900 MHz spectrum band.

According to Dr. Eetu Prieur, Head of Access Networks for Elisa, “3G coverage with UMTS900 can save 50 to 70% of our mobile network costs versus UMTS2100. And that includes both CAPEX and OPEX.”

While the majority of 3G/HSPA networks operate in the 2100 MHz band, lower frequencies provide a much larger coverage area when compared to 2100 MHz. In Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, carriers use the 900 Mhz band, which cuts the number of cell sites needed to cover rural and suburban areas in half, providing major CAPEX and OPEX savings for 3G deployments. In North America, we rely upon the 850 MHz band, which provides the same coverage and savings benefits.

So what does this all mean? The next time you’re in a rural area reading BBCool on your BlackBerry with 3G coverage, thank low frequency bands like 850/900. Of course, because of the lack of international standardization, if you have a North American Bold, good luck getting the same coverage in, say, rural France (the Charente region is lovely this time of year). Oh well.

Download the GSA 3G report

(via CN)

T-Mobile expands 3G coverage to 13 cities

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t-mobile

Good news today for T-Mobile subscribers hoping that one day their carrier will support 3G BlackBerrys. T-Mobile has announced the expansion of its 3G coverage to 13 major markets as well as the signing of backhaul agreements to cope with the increased traffic across its network. T-Mobile’s 3G network is currently available across 13 major metropolitan markets: Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, New York (including northern New Jersey and Long Island), Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio and San Diego.

T-Mobile also confirmed that it was on track to expand its 3G service to 27 major markets in the United States by the end of 2008, with Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Francisco and Seattle coming by mid-October and n additional six markets — Birmingham, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis and Tampa — available before the end of the year. This would expand T-Mobile 3G services to more than two-thirds of T-Mobile’s current data customers, with meaningful expansion to additional customers and markets through 2009.

So what do you think, folks? Do you think 2009 in a reasonable time line to see 3G BlackBerrys like the Bold on T-Mobile? Post a comment and let us know.

(via CN)

Updated: The Definitive BlackBerry Bold versus iPhone 3G Browser Comparison (video)

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iPhone 3G BlackBerry Bold Browser Speed test Screenshot

Update: Just got talking to a couple of our friends at RIM, who said they weren’t surprised by the results of our test. It turns out that the focus of RIM’s development for the new rendering engine in OS 4.6 was in stability, not performance, and the Waterloo crew is still working on speed optimization. What this means is that future OS updates from RIM will require additional speed tests.

While previous results had been contested, we hope to put the BlackBerry Bold versus iPhone 3G browser debate to bed. Taking some time with our brand-spanking-new Bold and QuicklyBored EIC, Kyle McInnes’ iPhone 3G, we put the two beasts through some browsing hoops to see who can get through the fastest. We tested on Wi-Fi only, 3G-only, both with and without JavaScript enabled. Sadly, our results are pretty conclusive – the iPhone’s browser is faster.

To be fair, it’s not by much – maybe a two to three second delay, depending on the site, but it’s enough to notice the difference. We’re also running on BIS, so don’t have enterprise servers doing a lot of the compression for us. The Bold’s browser is still a huge upgrade for BlackBerry, and definitely more enjoyable than what I was using on the Pearl. While we’re calling this test definitive (we ran a series of five tests using multiple sites each time), your mileage may vary – if you’ve got both devices in hand, take some time to wipe the caches and run a few tests. We’d love to hear if our results match up, and love even more to hear if they don’t.

Click here to see the iPhone 3G and BlackBerry Bold Browser speed test

HSPA users hit 50 million from 11 million last year

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Radio TowerWith RIM’s first HSPA (the BlackBerry Bold’s flavour of 3G) device now available internationally, and so many worries about coverage arising, it’s time to take a look at some subscriber numbers. Last year, 11 million cell phones were running on the 3G technology, but now we’re looking at 50 million handsets cruising on HSPA networks. That substantial increase is supported by 191 service providers and over 740 devices.

“These figures highlight the global success of Mobile Broadband and the fact that we are continuing to see greater and greater economies of scale,” said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA. “This is driving down the cost of devices and equipment and enabling more and more users across the world to enjoy easy access to media-rich services anywhere at anytime.”

This gives us a lot of hope for better connectivity on the BlackBerry Bold and future 3G devices, but by the looks of the BlackBerry Javelin and BlackBerry Kickstart, the 9000 may be the only HSPA BlackBerry until the BlackBerry Thunder in mid-October.

(via cellular-news)

Early BlackBerry Bold reports of poor 3G reception

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Radio TowerWe’ve heard from scattered sources that the BlackBerry Bold isn’t picking up 3G quite as well as it should be. The delayed Rogers and AT&T launch could be possibly be a result of the rough performance.

“We had a few occasional 3G signal dropping troubles at some locations especially on high-rises building streets & on our 34th floor (EDGE picked up immediately but slower internet speeds),” writes [Citigroup analyst Jim Suva].

While Suva’s opinion on the BlackBerry 9000 is generally positive, the 3G issue is still pretty big – we’ve even been hearing that the Hong Kong versions will be incompatible with the 3G networks over there. Did carriers drop the ball on this one, or is it their prerogative to expand their service as they see fit? Did RIM work closely enough with carriers when developing the Bold to make sure they could make the most out of the handset, or are they just taking the long view for when 3G coverage is more widespread? T-Mobile’s 3G rollout is seeing plenty of progress, and it’s entirely possible that your personal BlackBerry Bold experience will dependent on the same kind of forward momentum.

(via Barron’s)

UPDATE: Rogers BlackBerry Bold coming August 19th, but launching without UMA

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Rogers BlackBerry Bold Sales Sheet

UPDATE: Woah! Just got an update from our friend Fake Ted Rogers, who tells us that the Rogers BlackBerry Bold will be out on August 19th. So it looks like Canadians are a lucky 13 days away from Bold goodness.

More news on BlackBerry releases keeps flowing out of Rogers today. In addition to the BlackBerry Kickstart BlackBerry Pearl 8220 sales info, we were also able to get our hands on some BlackBerry Bold copy. While both pricing and release date are still unconfirmed, leading us to stick to our claim of $250 on a 3 year contract, we can tell you that the Bold will be released on Rogers without UMA support – initially.

Theses are exciting times for the BlackBerry Nation! So many new devices, coming out so soon! Check a handy BlackBerry Bold/8820/8310 comparison chart after the jump.

Special thanks to Mike for the shout out!

Click here to see the BlackBerry Bold comparison chart