Facebook Data Usage, video ads over cellular?

Recently FaceBook has been testing out video ads on their web and mobile app platforms. This causes videos in your feed to automatically play as well as show video ads directly in your newsfeed. The ads won’t play audio unless you click or tap your finger on them, but they also don’t care if you’re on WiFi or cellular when they start to download. As dynamic as FaceBook is with pictures and other video it was hard to pinpoint exactly how much data is often used in our “Monthly Data Usage Calculator?” article, and introducing autoplay video will cause usage to increase drastically.

For users at home on wired broadband connections having a video autoplay isn’t a big deal with larger or no data caps, but wireless packages start at 2GB a month. For general web browsing and other activities like FaceBook won’t use a ton of data, but start autoplaying videos between every 5-10 news feeds and your consumption could grow exponentially. If you visit your Facebook app over cellular 3 times a day and encounter three autoplay 30 second videos at 1MB each (rough estimate) that’s approximately 9MB per day or 270MB a month. On a 2GB cellular starter package that accounts for about 13% of your data allotment from “AutoPlay” FaceBook video ads with no way to disable.

The numbers we used as an example, according to Mashable Smartphone users visit FaceBook an average of 14 times a day. Using the same 1MB example autoplay video ads would equate to a whopping 1.26GB per month if you encounter three autoplay video’s each time you launched the application. This means if you’re on a base 2GB cellular package you’d now be using roughly 61% of your cellular connection to watch autoplay video ads that you would otherwise completely avoid.

How to disable autoplay via cellular on your Smartphone?

iOS Users - Go to settings -> Facebook -> Settings -> Tap Auto-play on WiFi only

Android users - Open FaceBook -> Open Settings -> Check Auto-Play videos on WiFi only

Please Note - There is no way to completely disable autoplay ads. For users using cellular WiFi routers at home the applications won’t know the difference and it will eat into your monthly data consumption.

Disclaimer - Data Usage used in this article is based off a 30 second video using approximately 1MB of data. Depending on your connection speed this number could be more or less based on video quality. Usage will vary greatly depending on how often you visit FaceBook and how many video ads you’re forced to watch.

Sprint launches 70 new 4G LTE Markets

Over the last year Sprint has been playing catch up with Verizon and AT&T who already offer pretty impressive 4G LTE coverage throughout the country. Today Sprint announced that they’ve just added 70 new markets with 4G LTE. Major cities like Orlando, FL; San Diego, CA; and St. Louis, MO are featured press release with the full list of market coverage. The latest launch gives them LTE in 300 markets across the country and continues to grow as “Sprint Spark” gets deployed to more areas. Customers in areas upgraded with Sprint Spark could see speeds reach up to 60Mbps down across their Tri-Band enabled devices. For an in depth look at Sprint coverage visit http://3gstore.com/coverage

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Sprint may consider T-Mobile takeover in 2014

According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, Sprint might place a bid to acquire T-Mobile in 2014. Sources say that Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son is the one driving the possible acquisition, which will likely face backlash from regulators because it would reduce available major carriers down to three. Last year AT&T tried to acquire T-Mobile and were denied after the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission got involved to stop a potential duopoly from occurring. Lately T-Mobile has been disruptive in the eyes of major carriers by releasing free global data roaming and easy upgrade paths for customers that like to have the newest phone. Most of these moves were quickly picked up by Verizon and AT&T leading to better options for customers, if T-Mobile gets acquired there’s less of a chance that carriers will compete to offer better service.

T-Mobile LTE arrives to Dallas

According to All Things D T-Mobile has recently tapped into MetroPCS’s spectrum in order to boost LTE speeds in Dallas, Tx. T-Mobile was able to use a 20x20Mhz channel to give Dallas customers improved capacity and faster speeds. As of now North Dallas is where you’ll see the improved speeds, but T-Mobile plans to deploy network upgrades to 90 percent of the top 25 U.S. markets. At this time they don’t have a set timeframe for the upgrades but plan to combine their own spectrum with AWS spectrum acquired after their acquisition of MetroPCS. The race for the fastest 4G LTE network continues with Verizon already launching AWS LTE bands and Sprint talking about deploying more 2.5Ghz LTE markets to increase capacity and average throughput.

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Sprint CEO promises 150-180Mbps from LTE upgrades

Recently Sprint CEO DAN Hesse has decided to set their LTE network apart from Verizon and AT&T. In Chicago they’ve already combined their 800/1900 and 2.5Ghz bands to help give more capacity and speed to users. The real world speeds on these devices claim around 50-60Mbps throughput and Sprint could eventually use 60Mhz of the 2.5Ghz channel to further increase speed. If they applied carrier aggregation and implemented the full 120Mhz of their 2.5Ghz spectrum real world speeds could average 150-180Mbps. This push by Sprint is likely caused by Verizon and AT&T who have recently started using larger 20x20 LTE channels to compensate for increased user load giving customers faster average speeds.

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Sprint improves 3G and 4G LTE coverage in Chicago

CHICAGO (BUSINESS WIRE), December 10, 2013 - Sprint (NYSE: S) invites Chicagoland wireless users to try its improved 3G and all-new 4G LTE network, which now includes Sprint Spark™ – a unique combination of network technologies that can deliver super-fast wireless speeds with the potential to surpass speeds of any other U.S. wireless carrier. As part of Sprint’s Network Vision program, the company undertook a massive initiative to “rip and replace” equipment from its 38,000 cell sites across the country. This campaign has largely been completed in Chicago and the company expects Chicagoans to experience the benefits of a much more robust, reliable network.

The new and improved network is expected to deliver a better voice and data wireless experience where calls, texting, uploading photos and surfing the Web occur most -- sports arenas, major thoroughfares, shopping destinations and business districts throughout the area.

The new network allows Sprint’s residential and commercial customers to take advantage of a huge array of benefits and a seemingly unlimited supply of smartphone apps with what the company calls the Sprint Unlimited Guarantee. The Sprint Unlimited Guarantee is available with either the company’s Unlimited, My WaySM or its My All-inSM plan, two plans which give customers unlimited talk, text and data while on the Sprint network, guaranteed for the life of the line of service1.

“Sprint’s investment in upgrading our network infrastructure has required a massive team of dedicated engineers and technicians to systematically install new, modern 3G and 4G LTE-capable equipment,” said Bob Azzi, Sprint chief network officer. “This process involved equipping Sprint cell towers in the Chicago area with state-of-the-art network technology. It took us more than a year to complete and, although there have been some service interruptions, we expect our customers will find the improved Sprint wireless experience worth it.”

Sprint Spark available in Chicago:

Sprint is also prepared going forward to allow its Chicago customers to take full advantage of wireless video and many of today’s other cutting-edge technologies in Chicagoland with Sprint Spark. Introduced on Oct. 30, Sprint Spark combines spectrum capacity and advanced network technologies and is expected to deliver a seamless tri-band LTE experience, including wireless peak speeds of 50-60 Megabits per second today on capable devices, with increasing speed potential over time. Given Sprint’s spectrum and technology assets, it is technically feasible to deliver more than 2Gbps per sector of over-the-air speed.2 Sprint Spark enhanced LTE greatly improves today’s wireless experience while paving the way for countless next-generation wireless applications on capable tri-band LTE devices.

Today, wireless networks and smartphones allow customers to book flights, locate children, store photos and music, video chat and so much more. Sprint Spark has the potential to make possible not only those increasingly common uses of network technology, but also high-end gaming, virtual reality, advanced cloud services and those kinds of applications that are going to require higher and even more concentrated levels of wireless bandwidth in the future.

Sprint plans to deploy Sprint Spark in about 100 of America’s largest cities during the next three years, with availability today in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami. For 4G LTE maps, visit http://3gstore.com/coverage. Customers, consumers and members of the media are encouraged to check back regularly as all maps will be updated and revised as the network’s coverage expands.

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Verizon launches more 4G AWS LTE upgrades

Earlier this year Verizon Wireless quietly launched 4G LTE on their 1700/2100Mhz AWS bands in New York City and Los Angeles California. With an unloaded network reports quickly came in as AWS enabled devices were hitting as high as 80Mbps download and 15Mbps upload. Recently Verizon has launched AWS LTE in “dozens” of major cities like Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Washington D.C. to help improve capacity. In larger cities they don’t have enough 700Mhz frequency available and deploying additional AWS LTE helps offset the load so speeds will continue to average 5-12Mbps down and 2-5Mbps for all customers. Verizon is also nearing in on their goal of covering their entire 3G network with 4G LTE and now has over 96% of their network covered with 4G LTE.

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