Tag: umts

Free MobileVoIP App Supports A Number of VoIP Services and Countries

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BlackBerry users are still waiting on a decent Skype app available for all smartphones and tablet but until then there’s a wide range of VoIP apps you can try in the meantime. MobileVoIP is a free app in App World that’s definitely worth checking out. The app supports a wide variety of VoIP brands so you need to check the available services and then check the supported country list. You may find a good fit that will save you money on long distance calls.
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100 million new UMTS subscribers in past year

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3G Americas, a wireless industry trade association, is reporting that UMTS/HSPA technology has grown in a big way over the past year, adding over 100 million subscriptions in the twelve months ending in Q3 2008.

“As evidenced by the subscriber growth numbers, the GSM family of technologies continues to provide the four key ingredients for mobile wireless success: Coverage, Technology Performance, Devices and Applications,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. “The UMTS/HSPA mobile broadband technology achieved a total of 262 million subscriptions at the end of September 2008, continuing in its ranking as the leader in high speed mobile broadband technology worldwide.”

To date, there are 39 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks in the Americas region in 19 countries. Worldwide, there are more than 256 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks in over 100 countries. Without these networks, our BlackBerry Bolds Around the Word map (which is in sore need of an update) would be a lot less full.

|via CN|

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)

BlackBerry Thunder Update: tons of network support, no hope for N.A. unlocking

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Verizon BlackBerry Thunder

The Boy Genius continues to filter through the black swamp of tech rumors to deliver us the goods, this time with an update for the BlackBerry Thunder, the exclusive touch screen BlackBerry for Verizon he broke news of during WES.

A few things stand out: first, the Thunder will not have an external microSD slot, meaning you’re going to have to pop the battery to access it, as if it were a BlackBerry Curve. Once you’ve popped that battery, however, you’ll see a SIM card sitting next to it. BG has also heard that the BlackBerry will support CDMA 1x, EV-DO, GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS and HSPA, making it a very slick hybrid device. Of course, North American readers can forget about unlocking it for use on, say, AT&T: like the BlackBerry 8830, the Thunder will only use CDMA coverage while inside the great US of A — which doesn’t matter much seeing as the BlackBerry will only support the international 900/1800MHz bands with 2100MHz WCDMA band anyways.

BG is still saying Q3 release this year for the Thunder. We keep you in the know as more information develops.

(via Boy Genius Report)

RIM and 3 launch 8707g in Sweden

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Sweden’s flag3 and RIM have announced the launch of the BlackBerry 8707g for customers in Sweden. That area hasn’t seen a lot of BlackBerry devices before so it’s good to see RIM expanding like this. The UMTS-enabled 8707g has a full QWERTY keyboard, and Cognos has modified their Go business intelligence system to work for the device. Additionally, 3 has pledged that they will collaborate with VM-data when customers need assistance integrating with existing business systems.

OS 5.0 due by year’s end, 8900 at WES?

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BlackBerry 8/9XXX In addition to tacking UMTS on the new BlackBerry’s feature list and adding further confusion to whether we’ll call it the BlackBerry 8900 or 9000, Jibi has let loose news that work has begun on OS 5.0 and could be out by the end of the year. No word on features, but considering it’s a fairly hefty generational jump from 4.3, we can either expect big changes in the new OS or a lot of incremental upgrades over the course of the year. As for naming conventions, it doesn’t look like it really deserves a class on its own (being so similar to the 8800 and all), but most BlackBerry series are based more on chassis than anything else, so a 9000 designation is still in the cards. Hopefully we can get a clearer idea before the Wireless Enterprise Symposium in May. If you’ve got any other ideas on what else is going to happen this year, you should check out our Weekly Contest