Happy Wednesday! Today we’re looking at an awesome visual from Visualizer extraordinaire Nickolay Lamm via @Gizmodo. Want to know what the world would look like if we could see cell phone signals? Keep reading.
At first glance, the visualization just looks like some sort of indeciperable honeycomb rave, but there’s a whole lot of science behind the hexagonal blanket of blinding colors.
Danilo Erricolo, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago and Fran Harackiewicz, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Southern Illinois University Carbondale—who consulted on the psychedelic project—explain:
“A regular, hexagonal grid of cellular base-station sites is conceptualized for Chicago [above], with stations at the corners of the hexagons. The area within each sector antenna radiation pattern has different users being assigned different frequencies and their signals combine to form a single perceived color in that instant. Different channel combinations from sector to sector are indicated by different colors. The channel combinations shown are not static, but rather change rapidly in time as different users are assigned different channels. But, if you were to take a photo of these rapid changes, you’d likely see a wide array of colors as seen in the illustration. Near the downtown area more users are likely to be found and the hexagonal cells are smaller to serve approximately the same numbers of users found in larger cells elsewhere. Antenna signals extending beyond the original cells provide coverage over part of Lake Michigan.”
Here’s New York City, with its myriad rooftop transmitters:
Hollywood, with a monolithic, long-distance tower:
And the blinding base station at the at the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington D.C.
They’re stunning images to imagine seeing in real life, sure, but the seizuriffic flashing would probably get a little annoying if you had the misfortune of seeing it all the time. Still, it’s fun to know about kind of craziness that’s pulsating around you at any given time; thousands of strobes flashing colors you’ll never see while you wander around with your phone in the air, trying to get a signal. Now that’s a party. [Nickolay Lamm]
What do you think of these images? Let us know in the comments section below, or on Facebook/Twitter.
Happy Monday! In honor of the holiday season and the end of the year quickly approaching, we’re taking a look at a list of products, strategies, and plans that misfired in 2013 from publication @FierceWireless. Last week we looked at “The iPhone 5c’s unsubsidized price point”, and today we’re looking at Facebook Home. Why is Facebook Home included in this list? Keep reading to find out–
After years of rumors over whether Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) would produce a “Facebook phone,” in early April the social networking giant introduced Home, an alternative homescreen for Android smartphones. HTC announced its “First” phone would have Home preloaded, and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) said it would sell the phone for $99.99 with a two-year contract.
Key Home features include Cover Feed, essentially a home page presenting apps and media. Home also includes Notifications and Chat Heads, which offers similar functionality to the social network’s standalone Facebook Messenger app.
“We’re going to turn your Android phone into a great, simple, social device,” said Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, explaining the company set out to flip the script on the traditional mobile user experience paradigm, designing around people first and then focusing on app-enabled interactions, instead of vice versa.
Android users downloaded Facebook Home more than 500,000 times during the app’s first week of worldwide commercial availability, though the app’s reach was limited to a handful of devices at first, including the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, HTC One X and HTC One X+, as well as the HTC First. However, the app received a user rating of just 2.2 stars out of five, with more than half of all customer reviews awarding the app a rating of just one star. (Currently, with more than 25,000 reviews, the app has an average rating of 2.5 stars.)
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in late May, despite the rocky reviews, that the company was optimistic about Home. “We believe that the phone will get reorganized around people–Home is the first iteration of that,” she said at AllThingsD‘s D11 conference.
Around that time, rumors circulated that AT&T had decided to discontinue the First because of weak sales. AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said the company has sold out of the First, but only after cutting its price to 99 cents with a contract (the gadget now goes for 49 cents). “We sold a bunch more when we lowered the price,” de la Vega told CNET. ”We sold everything we had on that.” AT&T declined to specify how many HTC First units it has sold.
Zuckerberg admitted in September that Home had failed to live up to expectations, but he declined to call the venture a failure. Cory Ondrejka, Facebook’s mobile engineering vice president, said in November that the company learned a lot from launching Home, which it will use to improve the app and in developing other mobile products. “We will keep iterating on Home,” he said during an interview with AllThingsD at the Techonomy conference near Tucson, Ariz. “We really have a better understanding of where to take Home in the future.”
Facebook’s Home app generally seemed limited in availability and usefulness. However, at least Facebook feels like it got something out of it.
Did you ever try the Facebook Home phone/app? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook
The time has come to announce yesterday’s #TBT winner! We had so many awesome, original guesses, but there can only be one winner…
Make sure and email us at email@example.com to claim your prize!
It’s Thursday! That means it’s time for a #TBT contest. Today’s is a bit tricky…Do you know what this is?
Let us know in the comments section below, (or on Facebook/Twitter), what this is, and what year it’s from. We will pick a random winner from the responses to get a free Sleek 4G cell phone signal booster! Get to guessing!
Happy Wednesday! Today we’re continuing our @FierceWireless “Wireless Turkeys” segment with “The iPhone 5c’s unsubsidized price point.” If you missed any of our previous articles, click here.
Although Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) always positioned its long-rumored cheaper iPhone a “mid-tier” product, financial and industry analysts and the media speculated for months that the 5c would be a much cheaper unsubsidized device than it turned out to be.
According to AllThingsD, in May J.P. Morgan analysts Gokul Hariharan and Mark Moskowitz hypothesized that the cheaper iPhone would actually be a mid-tier iPhone at a cost of around $350 on an unsubsidized basis. ”Currently Samsung dominates this segment ($200-500 price range) with 35+ percent market share,” they wrote, adding later, “We believe Apple could take 20-25 percent of this market in the next 12 months (from almost no market share currently), if it prices a lower-priced product at $350-$400 levels.”
As speculation built through the summer that Apple would be unveiling two new iPhones for the fall, this theory about the price of the lower-cost iPhone continued to prevail. By early September, the unsubsidized price point on the cheaper iPhone, which everyone assumed would be dubbed the iPhone 5c, had climbed slightly, but was still in the $400-$500 range.
For instance, according to AllThingsD, after extrapolating from data from a survey of 2,000 Chinese mobile phone owners, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty reported that Chinese customers believed $486 to be an “acceptable” price point for the iPhone 5c.
On Sept. 10, Apple did indeed deliver a cheaper iPhone 5c, alongside a more expensive model, the iPhone 5s. However, the ultimate cost of the iPhone 5c was more expensive than analysts had expected.
Apple said it would sell the 16 GB iPhone 5c for $99 and the 32 GB version for $199 when coupled with a two-year contract. On a no-contract basis however, the phone sold for $549 for the 16 GB model and $649 for the 32 GB model. Those prices are only $100 less than the price of the 5s.
About a week later, Apple CEO Tim Cook dismissed pundits and analysts who said the price of the 5c as too high, arguing that Apple has never been in the business of making low-cost phones. “There’s always a large junk part of the market,” he said. “We’re not in the junk business.” Apple is still focused on the higher end of the market, where customers remain willing to pay a premium for value, he said.
“We never had an objective to sell a low-cost phone,” he said. “Our primary objective is to sell a great phone and provide a great experience, and we figured out a way to do it at a lower cost.” That was Apple’s strategy all along and it left a lot of people eating crow.
Check back on our blog throughout the weeks as we continue to post more “turkeys”. Got any “turkeys” of your own you want to add? Let us know on Facebook/Twitter. Happy holidays!
December is here, and that means that the end of 2013 is quickly approaching! Not only are we gearing up for the holiday season, but CES is right around the corner as well, and we all know the exciting things that entails! Make sure and stay tuned to our blog as we look at some of the cool, new, technology coming out at the CES show in January!
Now, for this month’s Tech Tip, we’re taking a closer look at the Wilson Tri-band 4G-V (805165). Have you ever had a specific question about this product? If so, see the question and answer provided below–
Q: Will this work with AT&T’s LTE (which I think also operates on 700MHz)?
A: This is an important question to ask, especially if you are considering purchasing a Wilson booster. The Wilson Tri-band 4G-V (805165) booster was designed for the Verizon LTE service on the 700MHz (Band 13) frequency. It does not operate the 700MHz (Band 12) used by AT&T’s LTE service. If this is something you are looking for, you will want to consider the AG Pro Quint booster (803470) instead. It works with all major service providers (including AT&T) for improved voice, 3G data, and 4G/LTE data.
If you have any other additional questions or comments, you are welcome to call us at (866) 294-1660, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will discuss your application, and will be happy to recommend the best system for your specific needs.
Got a question you want to see featured on our blog for Tech Tip Tuesday? Let us know in the comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter.
It’s Monday, and we’re all just getting back into the swing of the workweek. How was your Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments section below, or on Facebook/Twitter. Now back to business…
In honor of the holiday season, we’re taking a look at a list of products, strategies and plans that misfired in 2013 from publication @FierceWireless. Last week we looked at Verizon’s Nexus 7 support (or lack thereof), and today we’re looking at the nonexistent Amazon smartphone. See more below–
Rumors of an Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle-branded Android smartphone have been swirling for years but kicked into high gear in 2013. However as the year comes to a close there is still no Amazon-branded device.
According to a March DigiTimes report, which cited unnamed sources in the “flat panel supply chain,” the device was coming but would not reach consumers until at least the third quarter of 2013 due to production snafus.
In April, Amazon reportedly acquired voice recognition technology startup Evi, stoking more smartphone speculation. Then, in May, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was developing a high-end 3D smartphone as part of a wider push into mobile and hardware. That report offered more details and said Amazon was working on a lineup of devices, including two smartphones and an “audio-only streaming device.” The 3D smartphone would let users see 3D images without glasses, the report said, adding that by using retina-tracking technology, images on the smartphone would seem to hover above the screen like a hologram and appear 3D from all viewing angles.
Over the summer, reports emerged that Amazon conducted tests of a wireless network using spectrum controlled by satellite operator Globalstar for what could be a new broadband service and a way for Amazon to connect its Kindle devices and other gadgets to the Internet. TMF Associates analyst Tim Farrar, who first disclosed the tests, speculated that they could be part of Amazon’s plans for an in-home media hub. Still, there was no smartphone.
In September, the speculation reached a fever pitch, and Amazon finally weighed in, saying it would not be introducing a smartphone this year. Amazon made the statement in response to an article written by former Wall Street Journal reporters Jessica Lessin and Amir Efrati and published on Lessin’s website. They reported that Amazon was considering introducing a free smartphone. After the story went viral, Amazon responded with a statement, saying, “We have no plans to offer a phone this year, and if we were to launch a phone in the future, it would not be free.”
But after Amazon’s statement, the Financial Times still reported yet another account of a potential Amazon smartphone, this time with HTC. The report said that one of the three devices was in the advanced stage of development but that the timeline of the launch of that device could change and that Amazon may decide not to release it all. And so the saga continues.
Check back on our blog throughout the weeks as we continue to post more “turkeys”. Can you think of any other “turkeys of 2013” that you want to add to the list? Let us know on Facebook
. Happy holidays!
Happy Wednesday! Can you believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving?… Neither can we! In honor of the holiday, we’re taking a look at a list of products, strategies and plans that misfired in 2013 from publication @FierceWireless. Check it out below–
Thanksgiving is all about tradition. Think of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or presidents pardoning turkeys. Every family has its own rituals over where everyone gathers for the meal, which family members make what side dishes, how the turkey is prepared and so on. Here at FierceWireless, we are also big on tradition, and one of our longest-running ones also involves turkeys, though not the kind you can eat.
Now in its sixth annual edition (check out our lists from 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012), our FierceWireless Top Wireless Turkeys list of 2013 includes reflections on the products, strategies and plans that misfired in 2013. More so than in years past, this year’s list includes corporate strategies that were either misunderstood, poorly executed or just didn’t pan out. (Also, don’t forget to check out the Top Wireline Turkeys of 2013 list over at FierceTelecom.)
Some of these turkeys are bigger than others, which is why we have ranked them on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the biggest turkey.
We know it’s never nice to point out the faults and failures of others, but, as in years past, we believe that the wireless industry can learn from the foibles of those on this year’s list. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it does include some of what we believe were the biggest flops of 2013. As always, we welcome your comments and criticisms.
The first out of the 8 turkeys that we will look at throughout the weeks is Verizon’s Nexus 7 support (or lack thereof)…
In late July, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) unveiled a new version of its Nexus 7 Android tablet, including an unlocked version supporting the LTE networks of Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS). Previous Nexus-branded tablets, including the original Nexus 7 and the larger Nexus 10, did not support LTE.
However, as of mid-September, the Nexus 7 could not be used on Verizon’s LTE network. “The Google Nexus 7 is not yet a Verizon 4G LTE certified device, though it entered our process in August and we expect it will be certified shortly,” Verizon said on Sept. 18. “Once the device is certified, we will work with Google to enable the device to be activated on our 4G LTE network.”
Then, in early November, after Google announced Android 4.4 Kit Kat, Verizon produced another twist in the story. Verizon essentially said it could not certify the Nexus 7 until its software got updated to Kit Kat from the older Android Jelly Bean software. Verizon said that the certification process would be delayed because it, along with Google and Asus had “uncovered a systems issue that required Google and Asus to undertake additional work with the Jelly Bean OS running on the device.”
“Since Google was about to launch its new Kit Kat OS, rather than undertake this work, Google and Asus asked Verizon to suspend its certification process until Google’s new OS was available on the Nexus 7,” Verizon said.
Four months after the Nexus 7 was introduced with the intention of being supported by Verizon’s LTE network, the gadget is still not certified to run on it.
Check back on our blog throughout the weeks as we continue to post more “turkeys”. Got any “turkeys” of your own you want to add? Let us know on Facebook/Twitter. Happy holidays!
Happy Tuesday! How is your week going? Are you excited for Thanksgiving and the long holiday weekend that follows? We are! Make sure and check out last week’s Tech Tip post here if you haven’t seen it yet. This week we’re talking about simultaneous connections. See more below–
Q: I am considering installing a Wilson 4G booster because cell reception in my office building is terrible for all carriers. There are about 30 people on my floor. How many simultaneous connections can a booster support?
A: Wilson does not limit the number of simultaneous connections a booster can support. So there is no artificial cap on the number of connections. However, there are factors that affect the number of cellular devices that can operate simultaneously.First, strength of the signal outside the building; the stronger the signal outside, the more devices inside can be supported simultaneously. Second, the output power of the booster unit; a booster with higher output power can support more simultaneous connections.
If you have other questions about using or installing Wilson boosters or antennas, contact our Technical Support group toll free at1-866-294-1660, or email us at email@example.com.
Got a technical question of your own? Want to see it featured on our blog? Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know on Facebook, or Twitter.
Great job guessing everyone on our #TBT last week! Did you figure out what it was? Here it is again–
The answer is…the Sony CDP-101 from 1982! It was the first CD player. Did you get the right answer?
And now for the winner…congrats to…JAMES ALLEN! You are our winner, and have won a Sleek 4G cell phone signal booster! Just comment below to claim, and then email us at email@example.com