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Entries in 4G (3)

Wednesday
Mar212012

NetZero Reinvents Itself with Free 4G Service

Photos.com/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Say NetZero to anyone who started playing around on the Internet in 1998 and they'll likely know exactly what you're talking about. The company was the first to provide free dial-up Internet service.

Fourteen years later, the California-based company is now entering the world of modern Internet services with 4G mobile cellular offerings. And it's not dropping that memorable "free" aspect.

"We have always been a company that has been designed to serve the masses of America," CEO and president of NetZero Mark Goldston said. "We are now doing that with mobile broadband, in what amounts to one fifth the price that the big boys are charging. We have no contracts, no commitments, no overage charges."

NetZero has announced two mobile wireless devices -- a $99.95 NetZero Hotspot, which allows you to connect via Wi-Fi to the 4G connection, and a $40.95 NetZero 4G Stick, which plugs into your laptop to provide 4G service. Purchase the devices and you get 200MB of free data every month.

However, while the promise of free sounds alluring, 200MB isn't all that much. In fact, you'd burn through that before you hit two minutes of streaming video. According to Verizon's data usage calculator, visiting 25 webpages a day is equal to about 750MB.

NetZero's paid offerings are competitive with ones you'd find from Verizon or AT&T. It offers 500MB for $9.95 a month, 1GB for $19.95, 2GB for $34.95, and 4GB for $49.95. In comparison, AT&T and Verizon charge $50 a month for 5GB of LTE service.

However, while Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all require you sign a two-year contract -- so you are locked into paying for data every month for two years -- NetZero lets users pay month to month. If users don't want to pay after their free 200MB of data is depleted they don't have to; they can just wait until next month. Virgin Mobile provides similar no-contract plans. NetZero's free 200MB offer will only last for a year.

However, NetZero's speeds will be slower than Verizon or AT&T's LTE. Its devices use Clearwires's WiMAX network, not the faster LTE networks used by Verizon and AT&T. WiMAX is still considered to be a fourth-generation or 4G cellular network.

NetZero still has an active dial-up business, which serves rural areas, but Goldston says this is just the start of the company's reinvention. "This is our initial foray. We will be looking to find ways to expand. We will continue to forge partnerships."

The new 4G devices are available now from NetZero's website.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar082012

AT&T iPhone 4S Now Has 4G…Kinda Sorta

Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Amongst all the new iPad details revealed Wednesday, Apple also released an update to its iOS software for the current iPhone and iPad. And while there’s a laundry list of new features, it brings "4G" to AT&T iPhone 4S owners...sort of.

Those that updated their AT&T iPhone 4S with the newest software may notice that a 4G indicator has now taken the place of the 3G logo in the top left corner.

However, that doesn’t mean iPhone users will be getting faster speeds on their iPhones. Apple and AT&T have simply changed the naming to reflect AT&T’s new name for its HSPA+ network.

“AT&T iPhone 4S customers have been getting 4G speeds since day one,” AT&T’s Director of Corporate Communications Emily J. Edmonds told ABC News.

Apple maintains that this is simply a name change on its part as well.  "AT&T has rolled out a nationwide HSPA+ network and they refer to this high-speed network as 4G. With iOS 5.1, iPhone 4S users will now see this reflected in the status bar,” Apple’s Natalie Harrison told us.

AT&T has faced a lot of criticism from technology experts on its 4G nomenclature. Although the network is technically faster than traditional 3G networks from Verizon or Sprint, it isn’t as fast as LTE, which many consumers have come to associate with the “4G” term. AT&T has been calling its HSPA+ network “4G” for the last year and many smartphones available from the carrier, such as the Galaxy Note, etc. are marketed as 4G.

The new iPad, however, will have true 4G or LTE service from both AT&T and Verizon.

It’s all a tad confusing, but the point is: not all 4G is equal and AT&T’s 4G status on the iPhone 4S certainly doesn’t mean you will see any difference in speed compared with when it said “3G” just yesterday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul012011

FCC Freezes Company's Plan for Nationwide 4G Network

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- LightSquared, a new startup that promises to bring 4G service anywhere within the United States thanks to a satellite network, has hit a roadblock.

The Federal Communications Commission has put the service on hold while it investigates a report that the company’s technology would knock out 500 million GPS devices.

 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio