Sprint expands 4G LTE to 225 million and 41 new cities

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), April 29, 2014 - Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced that its all-new network offers 4G LTE service in 41 more cities. Sprint 4G LTE now covers more than 225 million people and remains on track to cover 250 million by mid-year. Sprint Spark™, an enhanced LTE service delivering peak wireless speeds of 60Mbps, is available in six new cities, and is expected to cover 100 million people by year-end.

4G LTE data speeds are now available to more customers in such locations as Long Island, N.Y., Minneapolis, and Phoenix. Customers in Newark, N.J.; Oakland, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Tacoma, Wash.; Waukegan, Ill.; and West Palm Beach, Fla. will also now benefit from even faster data speeds with the availability of Sprint Spark.

“We’re making great progress on Network Vision and customers are pleased with the faster data speeds and crystal clear voice calls,” said John Saw, chief network officer at Sprint. “Today our network is delivering significantly better service. Furthermore, it’s a strong foundation for tomorrow – a time will ultimately come when customer demands for bandwidth, and technology changes with 4G and beyond, will require the kind of platform we now have in place.”

Sprint Spark is an enhanced LTE service that’s built for data and designed to deliver peak wireless speeds of 60Mbps today on capable devices, with the potential for speeds three times as fast by late next year.1 Sprint offers 14 Sprint Spark-enabled devices, including the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S® 5 and HTC One (M8). With its unique combination of network technologies, spectrum capacity and tri-band devices, Sprint Spark is designed to greatly improve the performance of video and other bandwidth-intensive applications. It enables stutter-free video chat on-the-go and mobile gaming that leaves lag behind.

Sprint’s all-new network also includes HD Voice in many cities today, with nationwide availability expected by mid-year. HD Voice is a new Sprint standard for crystal-clear voice calls. It provides a fuller, more natural-sounding voice, plus noise-cancelling technology that virtually eliminates background noise from places like a busy road or crowded restaurant.

Sprint 4G LTE is available in 443 cities. Sprint Spark is available in the following 24 cities: Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Chicago; Dallas; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Fort Worth, Texas; Houston; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Kan./Mo.; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Newark, N.J.; Oakland, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Provo, Utah; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; Tacoma, Wash.; Tampa, Fla.; Trenton, N.J.; Waukegan, Ill.; and West Palm Beach, Fla.

 

FCC provides email for Net Neutrality Complaints

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Last week the FCC took a lot of heat regarding their stance on the latest Net Neutrality rules to be discussed on May 15th. In Tom Wheelers original statement they didn’t plan to place any rules for interconnection feuds between ISP’s and content providers like Netflix. This would mean ISP’s can control service levels by forcing content companies to pay for specific interconnection services that primarily benefit the ISP by increasing revenue. After the news there was backlash by the public and Tom Wheeler has been releasing updated statements indicating the public misunderstood what he was trying to acheive.

Today they’ve decided to let customers voice their opinions by emailing the agency about their views on the proposed Net Neutrality rules. Users are able to email their opinions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it In addition to the email there is also a petition called “We the people Net Neutrality” that you can sign, which would require government review if 100,000 signatures are reached by May 24, 2014 here - http://1.usa.gov/1mHh7S0

 

FCC new Net Neutrality rules are around the corner

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Over the past few months the new FCC boss Tom Wheeler has been investigating Net Neutrality guidelines and is preparing a draft for an FCC meeting on May 15. Reports indicate that the agency may try the same rules used before, but cite them under a different part of the law. However, groups supporting Net Neutrality worry that the rules won’t hold up in court just like current laws being referenced. The FCC does have the ability to write in some new rules under Section 706 of the Communication Act, which is designed help with the deployment of advanced telecommunications to all Americans. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that ISP’s won’t be able to block websites outright, but there isn’t a rule in place for interconnection feuds between the ISP and content providers like Netflix.

Unless there are additional rules written for interconnections between content providers and ISP’s consumers could still see a broken Internet unless content providers cough up extra money for priority access. The FCC thinks that it’s okay for traffic preferential treatment as long as other websites aren’t blocked or discriminated against. This view means we could soon see specific content get priority access over other sites making it harder for companies to enter the content space if they can’t pay the transit fees for “preferred access”. Now we must wait until May 15th to see what develops on the new regulations, but it’s clear that we may soon see the Internet move towards a premium TV model where you’ll end up paying more to access various content across the web.
 

ATT considers taking a pass over 600Mhz spectrum rules

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Unlike previous FCC spectrum auctions the FCC is now considering a policy for next year’s 600Mhz spectrum auction. Their plan is to restrict a portion of the frequency band for smaller competitors to ensure AT&T and Verizon don’t grab all the 600Mhz spectrum and squat on it, which prevents smaller companies from entering the wireless market. This policy comes after the last few spectrum auctions where Verizon and AT&T gobbled up the majority of spectrum for sale and still haven’t used a lot of the spectrum they have available now. AT&T was the first carrier to complain to the FCC in a letter stating the following:

"AT&T has never declined to participate in a major spectrum auction and certainly did not intend to do so here, where capital contributions will be needed across the wireless industry for a successful outcome. But if the restrictions as proposed are adopted, AT&T will need to seriously consider whether its capital and resources are directed toward other spectrum opportunities that will better enable AT&T to continue to support high quality LTE network deployments to serve its customers."


From this statement it sounds like AT&T is only interested in the auction if they can buy the entire 600Mhz spectrum band. Just like the 700Mhz auctions a few years ago the 600Mhz bands are highly desirable because they have better in building penetration and require fewer cell towers for coverage in rural areas. This is why both T-Mobile and Sprint are less than successful in rural areas where their 1700/1900/2100/2500Mhz bands don’t cover as large an area. Verizon and AT&T’s 700Mhz requires substantially less towers in a rural setting to cover the same space and if Sprint or T-Mobile could snatch up the 600Mhz spectrum we could see them start to offer better rural coverage.
 

OpenSSL Heartbleed Vulnerability discovered

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On April 7th there was a serious security flaw discovered with OpenSSL and the problem is being called “Heartbleed”. Some major companies have been affected by the security flaw including Google, AWS and Rackspace, which plan to release patches quickly to fix the issue. Any company that uses OpenSSL to terminate SSL connections could find themselves facing issues with Heartbleed. To be proactive to the growing news we’ve received statements from Peplink to inform customers that their routing platforms aren’t affected by the Heartbleed OpenSSL Flaw:

Peplink/Pepwave Statement:

“On April 7th, a serious security issue called "Heartbleed" in OpenSSL was made public. We have since reviewed our products and online services for the impact.

Peplink has verified and confirmed that all of our products are not affected by this vulnerability - including Balance, MAX, FusionHub, AP One/Pro, Surf, Device Connector families.

As for the online services, they are either unaffected or we have been able to apply mitigation to fully resolve the issue.

There is no customer action required on your part.

Thank you for your attention.

The Peplink Team“   

3Gstore.com Statement:

We have ran internal tests to check for the OpenSSL security vulnerability and passed the check. 3Gstore remains PCI Compliant and is unaffacted by the security flaw! When you shop with 3Gstore you can ensure that your data is safe and you'll experience a smooth transaction and speedy delivery of equipment. 

Cradlepoint Statement:

In response to the critical security vulnerability discovered in the OpenSSL cryptography software library (CVE-2014-0160), nicknamed “Heartbleed,” CradlePoint has taken steps to incorporate the OpenSSL version 1.0.1g into its latest firmware and Enterprise Cloud Manager. The purpose of this email is to inform you of the vulnerabilities and the steps necessary to remediate this issue.

If exploited, this vulnerability could allow attackers to monitor all information passed between a user and a web service or decrypt past traffic they’ve collected. More details can be found here: http://heartbleed.com.

Affected Products

CradlePoint recommends immediately upgrading products to the upcoming firmware versions (available 4/14/14) in order to mitigate this vulnerability. The following are affected products (with firmware versions 4.2.0 and later):

  • AER 2100

  • ARC MBR1400

  • MBR1400

  • MBR1200B

  • ARC CBA750B

  • CBA750B

  • COR IBR600

  • COR IBR650

  • CBR400

  • CBR450

  • MBR95

WAN INTERFACES

On WAN interfaces routers were only exposed to risk under the following conditions:

1) Remote access is enabled (setting disabled by default)

2) AND remote administration access control is not enabled (setting disabled by default).

LAN INTERFACES

On LAN interfaces routers were only exposed under the following conditions:

If the network allows Admin Access, which is the default for the Primary LAN. Guest LAN default settings do not allow Admin Access and are not exposed to this vulnerability. Admin Access can be checked using the Network Settings / WiFi / Local Networks tab, listed for each network in the “Access Control” section.

PLEASE NOTE: Product firmware is still affected by this bug and CradlePoint recommends firmware upgrades for all affected products.

Products Not Affected

  • CBA750 (prior version to CBA750B)

  • CTR35

  • CTR250

  • CTR350

  • CTR500

  • CX111 (Juniper)

  • MBR90

  • MBR800

  • MBR900

  • MBR1000

  • MBR1100

  • MBR1200 (prior version to CBA1200B

  • PHS300

  • PHS2000W

Firmware Patch Available 4/14/2014

  • 5.1.1 – AER 2100, ARC MBR1400, MBR1400, MBR1200B, ARC CBA750B, CBA750B, COR IBR600, COR IBR650

  • 5.0.4 – MBR95

Download the latest firmware (new versions available 4/14/14).

Sierra Wireless Statement: 

This bulletin provides information about the impact of CVE-2014-01601 on AirLink gateways.

 

AirLink gateways running ALEOS are not affected by the issue described in CVE-2014-0160. Known as 'Heartbleed'.

 

Update: You can use this website to check any server to see if they were inpacted by Heartbleed - http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/

 

 

Sprint to shut down WiMAX network by end of 2015

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Sprint was the first official carrier to launch 4G service but opted to go with WiMAX instead of LTE. Unfortunately for Sprint WiMAX ultimately failed due to poor in building coverage and LTE on lower frequency bands took preference by the majority of consumers. Recently Sprint filed a 10G form with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating they’ll shut down 4G WiMAX by the end of 2015. “As a result of the Clearwire Acquisition, we expect to continue to migrate from Clearwire’s wireless broadband technology to LTE technology through the deployment of Network Vision utilizing the 2.5GHz spectrum acquired,” Sprint said in the paperwork, also mentioning they’ll be shutting down 4,300 cell sites that won’t be needed after the switch to 4G LTE.

 

T-Mobile offers top 4G LTE speeds according to RootMetric Study

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Recently OpenSignal released a study to test the latest LTE speeds by carriers and T-Mobile has taken the lead as the fastest network available. Previously T-Mobile complained to RootMetric stating their study was out of date and the report didn’t show the results after their latest network upgrades. The OpenSignal study confirms that RootMetric’s report was out of date and shows that T-Mobile has the fastest LTE average speeds at 11.5Mbps. This doesn’t change the fact that Verizon and AT&T still have larger LTE footprints, but carriers like T-Mobile are upping the ante by giving customers faster speed and trying to improve coverage across the country. The OpenSignal report was generated from real world data across 103,025 users that use their Android and iOS speed test apps to get overall speed averages.

Want T-Mobile 4G LTE? Get a Rocket 3.0 USB Modem
 


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