Walking to the train tonight it suddenly hit me how awesome T-Mobile’s network announcement (Full HSPA+) was today. It’s unclear how long they knew the Nexus One was coming, but clearly they knew enough and had enough lead time to pump out the upgrades for launch day. Doing so takes the network issue largely off the table. By partnering with Google, they were able to ride the wave into what will hopefully be the start to how consumers consider their mobile purchase. AT&T … not quite so fast.
Google has confirmed that Nexus One, and all subsequent Google phones sold via the company’s online store, will be available unlocked for use on every participating carrier. If a particular Google-branded phone is not on a particular carrier, then that’s only because that phone doesn’t have the proper radio to support its network. In addition to being unlocked, the phones will also have bundled plan options where the pricing and details are up to the carrier.
By offering a lineup of phones that is essentially carrier-independent (with the radio compatibility caveat), Google has separated the two previously interlocked parts of the phone/plan-buying experience—phone selection and carrier selection—and has done so in a way that threatens one of the most important enablers of carrier lock-in.
In short, what Google announced today wasn’t just the Nexus One, but the world’s first carrier-independent smartphone store; the Google store is now the only smartphone store in the world where, for every phone on offer, you first pick which phone you want, and then you pick a network and a plan on that network. So you can comparison shop among networks based purely on plan price and network quality, because you already have your phone picked out. via Ars Technica
I’m intrigued by the Nexus One, but not buying anytime soon. I definitely like where Android is going and have a good deal of respect for what Google is trying to do. I’m just not compelled enough to pick up a second mobile bill (@ $80/mo+tax) especially since while the G phones run on GSM, it’s another network band meaning sadly I still do need to consider where I want my 3G.
$99 for the modem and then only $39.99 per month for unlimited 3G Access … sounds like a great deal! This is at leas $20 less a month than anything else on the market.
The DataJack USB modem costs $99.99 and unlimited, high speed, nationwide internet access costs only $39.99 per month. Because there are no activation or termination fees and no contract, you can turn the service on and off as you wish.
If you stay connected for 12 consecutive months, you will earn one FREE month of unlimited 3G Internet access!
Yes, DataJack Service is truly unlimited. You can leave it connected to the Internet 24 hours a day and not worry about any overage charges.
via Andy Abramson who also noticed this seems to be running on top of T-Mobile … so be sure to check you’ve got coverage if you want to go for it.
The Nokia Internet Stick CS-10 made a quiet appearance at Nokia World earlier this month and the news piqued my interest. Though after a quick check I saw it only supports the 850/2100MHz bands which is a real bummer unlike other higher end 3G modems which also add in 1900MHz for tri-band world compatibility this Nokia device will be hard to consider for purchase.
The 850MHz band is something that tends to appear in a more limited capacity here in the States, though this device should be just fine if you only travel in Europe.
Kevin Tofel brought a new 3G modem to my attention today and I got very excited about the possibilities as it supports Tri-band HSDPA (850, 1900 and 2100) which would work in my global travels.
It was impossible to tell from the AT&T site whether the device was locked so I picked up the phone and called it in. After confirming my identify multiple ways to the customer support agent, I was placed on hold while she checked things out. She reported that the modem was able to take additional SIM cards which was promising, but given it took a few tries to explain things to her, I was honestly not very confident with the information. Well, I just checked it out at an AT&T store on my way to the train and was told that in fact the device is locked.
With mail-in rebate the unit is free which is what made it so attractive, but there’s no way I’m paying international data roaming charges regularly. I would love to know why something like a USB modem is locked by ANY carrier. In this case I would potentially be signing up for a 2 year contract which includes a $60/mo plan. Whether I actually use the service or not I’m committed to the contract and they get the money.
Why would I also be required to use their SIM when traveling overseas … and actually how is this thing even locked? This policy just cost AT&T a sale and 2 years of data revenue.
So I’ve had some great comments and discussion since yesterday’s post on finding my likely netbook (the MSI Wind) and it seems the Samsung NC10 is clearly worth a serious look as well.
For starters it offers a considerably larger keyboard (93% vs. 80%) and battery life is well over 6 hours … possibly closer to 8 through conservation. Both of these features are well worth a pause over the Wind and believe me, I’ve spent some time researching again today. What I think is really driving me though is the option for a SIM slot. Apparently, the Samsung NC10 has a SIM slot hiding behind the battery (a 6-cell comes standard) though it’s unclear so far if the current model actually has a modem inside. The modem / SIM combo is what initially drew my attention towards the HP Mininote, but it seems the MSI wins on a few counts there – for now anyway. Netbooks are hot and the competitive nature of the various companies is bringing new features and enhancements pretty rapidly.
Back to the Samsung… I need to confirm the SIM slot is functional of I’ll be waiting for the next rev to arrive — or will just wait it our for that updated MSI model. You can get an Acer at Radioshack now for as low as $99 if you are willing to sign up for a 2-year data plan with AT&T though I’m quite certain I can get data for less than $60/mo. The Acer did feel quite solid though – especially compared to the ASUS systems I saw recently at Best Buy.
I believe I’d previously covered the announced rollout of Cablevision‘s metro wifi network and it seems to have actually gone live now. I see it along my Metro North commute as we pass through the various stations and while I have not had a chance to test the connection speed it feels quite peppy. As a Cablevision Optimum Online subscriber I get access for free which is a nice bonus. I think everyone else is SOL as Ii did not see any way to pay for the connection when I started browsing from my Nokia E71.
Before you get too excited about wifi on the train though, this service has been clearly designed for fixed mobile connectivity. It only works within range of the stations – not while the train is cruising along. I realize that’s considerably more challenging and expensive but it actually offers some real value as well. 3G from ATT, Sprint and Verizon is easily accisible and while it might be slow and victim to things like the dead spots we all deal with in our part of the woods, it works at 70 MPH from the comfort of your seat and was the only way I could connect and post this from the train.
I suppose the main beneficiaries of this service are the businesses near the stations who can suddenly offer wifi connectivity to their patrons. Of course you still need a login from your home connection unless someone wants to get more creative and re-stream things with a router…
I would like to suggest that Cablevision alter their authetication method a bit for mobile users. The page certainly rendered well for the handset, but keeping a browser window open to stay connected is ridiculous. I’ll have to try using devicescape one of these days to see if that makes things easier.
I was actually getting a much better connection in my room, though it was still less than 1MB down. Much better of course being quite relative.
Because we can is not a sufficient reason to charge for broadband. You need to provide something of substance and 1MB (if that!) is not acceptable when you are being asked to pay $15/day.
Oliver Starr rocking some sweet news via Blognation!!
To say the application isnâ€™t yet ready for prime time would be a pretty major understatement as it currently requires the use of terminal on the iPhone to tell the iPhone to use its on-board SIP stack to place the call over WiFi instead of via the SIM card. To use the terminal application, in turn requires that you first Jailbreak the phone using an application like iBrickr or iFuntastic.
This is not an application for the inexperienced or the faint of heart.That will all change however as the company tells me that it intends to finish development on the application which will include simplifying the activation and adding seamless switching back and forth between VoIP when open WiFi is available and the use of the SIM card when out of WiFi range. It is important to note that it is NOT NECESSARY to break the SIM lock to use TruPhoneâ€™s iPhone VoIP application. [blognation USA]
I have confidence (yes without seeing it in action) that this will be a very solid solution when it arrives and I welcome the opportunity to test it out. My previous experience with TruPhone on the Nokia N-Series has been excellent. Their software auto-switches easily between networks (not with an active call) but makes sure you can make the lowest cost call wherever you are. International travelers and people with limited cell coverage will rejoice at this. TruPhone just needs to wait out the pending iPhone software update to make sure they can still get apps installed without breaking things.
Andy Abramson has a video of this! Wish I cold figure out how to embed hipcast, but you can just click over to see it in action.
A quick sidenote… If you have a Grandcentral account, you can share that number linked to your Truphone and cell (and others) and be sure to receive a call wherever you happen to be on whatever network your devices happen to know about…