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'LTE' Articles

Apple Faces Yet Another Patent Lawsuit in East Texas Over LTE Standards

Last week, we reported on Apple's plans to close its retail stores in the Eastern District of Texas in April in an effort to avoid patent infringement lawsuits in the jurisdiction, perceived by many as being "patent troll friendly." Ahead of the closures, Apple faces yet more patent litigation in the district. A group of limited liability companies under the Optis Wireless Technology, LLC umbrella filed suit against Apple on Monday in East Texas, accusing the company of infringing on a portfolio of seven patents related to LTE standards. Optis Wireless and the other plaintiffs named in the complaint appear to be non-practicing entities that aim to generate revenue through patent litigation. These type of companies are commonly referred to as patent trolls. The complaint, seen by MacRumors, alleges that all LTE-enabled Apple products, including various iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch models, infringe on the LTE patents. Optis Wireless and the other plaintiffs acquired many of the patents from Ericsson, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic — read the full complaint [PDF] for the exact patents. The plaintiffs state that, not later than January 6, 2017, they sent Apple correspondence in an effort to license their essential patents to Apple on FRAND terms. The plaintiffs also allege meeting with Apple representatives on numerous occasions, but the parties did not reach a licensing agreement. The plaintiffs are seeking "recovery of damages at least in the form of reasonable royalties" and have demanded a jury trial. Last August, in the same court, a jury decided that

Study Finds iPhone XS Max Users Experience More Than Twice as Fast LTE Speeds as iPhone 5s Users on Average

iPhone XS Max users experience more than two times faster real-world LTE data speeds as iPhone 5s users on average in the United States, according to OpenSignal, although there are caveats to consider. OpenSignal says it measured speeds on hundreds of thousands of iPhones across the United States from October 26, 2018 to January 24, 2019 and found that ‌iPhone XS‌ Max users experienced an average LTE download speed of 21.7 Mbps compared to just 10.2 Mbps for iPhone 5s users. ‌iPhone XS‌ users saw an average LTE download speed of 17.6 Mbps, while iPhone 6 through iPhone 8 Plus users posted average LTE download speeds of between 15.6 Mbps and 17.1 Mbps, as measured by OpenSignal. OpenSignal attributes the faster data speeds on newer iPhones to improved modems and antenna designs in those devices, such as 4x4 MIMO support in the ‌iPhone XS‌ and ‌iPhone XS‌ Max compared to 2x2 MIMO on older iPhones, but the results are also likely influenced by socioeconomic factors. Someone who is still using an iPhone 5s in 2019 could be a price-conscious consumer who is unable to justify the cost of upgrading to a newer iPhone, for example, while relying on a discount carrier with inferior wireless coverage or capped data speeds compared to major carriers such as Verizon and AT&T. That said, while the results may be somewhat skewed, a newer iPhone should be able to achieve faster data speeds than an older iPhone, assuming it's connected to a cellular tower with the latest LTE

Apple Looking Into LTE Connectivity Issues Affecting Some iPhone XS and XS Max Owners

Apple is looking into reports that some customers are experiencing LTE connectivity issues with the newly released iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. According to one iPhone XS Max owner, Apple is conducting an outreach program with some customers who have a new device that is experiencing LTE problems. Apple has asked him to install a baseband logger to track his cellular connection, presumably to figure out if there are any serious issues that need to be resolved. We've heard similar reports from MacRumors readers who have been asked to provide device logs to engineers when troubleshooting the issue. @reneritchie Apple just reached out to me to see if I could answer some questions about my Xs Max reception issues they’re doing an outreach to some affected users and are asking to install a baseband logger to track my connection to the tower— Devin Meredith 🇺🇸🧐 (@Devmer11) October 3, 2018 iPhone XS and XS Max owners began complaining about LTE connectivity and signal problems shortly after the two devices launched on September 17. Many users have discovered noticeable differences in cellular reception between iPhone XS models and older iPhones like the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. Affected users have noticed fewer bars and poorer signal on iPhone XS and XS Max compared to older devices, but it doesn't appear to be a universal problem. While some people have complained of weak connectivity and slow speeds, others have noticed LTE improvements, which confuses the issue. Many of the early complaints came from Verizon users, suggesting there are perhaps carrier

Apple's 2018 iPhones Support T-Mobile's 600MHz LTE Spectrum for Improved LTE Performance

The iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR are the first iPhones to support T-Mobile's 600 MHz LTE spectrum (aka Band 71), according to T-Mobile CEO John Legere. Band 71 is listed as a supported option on the Tech Specs pages for both the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR. Apple additionally says its new devices support the most LTE bands ever in an iPhone. T-Mobile purchased the 600 MHz spectrum in an FCC auction in April 2017 and shortly after announced plans to use the spectrum to improve its network in rural America. By the time T-Mobile announced its plans for the rollout of the 600 MHz spectrum, the hardware for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and 8 Plus was already secured, giving Apple no time to build in support. T-Mobile in August 2017 activated the first 600 MHz site in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and has since expanded it to 1,254 cities across 36 states, including Puerto Rico, which means many T-Mobile customers who purchase the iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR will benefit from the improved coverage. According to T-Mobile, the 600 MHz spectrum adds increased building penetration and covers greater distances. When used in metro areas, it improves in-building coverage, and in rural areas, it improves the company's LTE footprint. Of course we’re going to carry the new iPhones!! BEST PART?! They are the first iPhones ever to INCLUDE our 600MHz Extended Range LTE!! That means your new #iPhone will have the best coverage and network experience of any @TMobile iPhone, EVER! #AppleEvent— John Legere (@JohnLegere) September 12, 2018 Other smartphones that offer 600 MHz support

Apple and AT&T Team Up to Improve Cellular Service in Puerto Rico With LTE Band 8 Activation

Apple and AT&T have been working together to improve cellular connectivity for iPhone users in Puerto Rico who have been largely without cellular service since Hurricane Maria hit a month ago. The two companies are enabling LTE Band 8, a provisional LTE band that's been approved but not activated or licensed in the United States or Puerto Rico, reports TechCrunch. LTE Band 8 will work with the iPhone 5c and up on iOS 10 or higher in Puerto Rico following a carrier update. Band 8 is a 900Mhz band with improved range to better reach cell towers that are located further away."We are working with AT&T to activate cellular service for iPhone users in Puerto Rico as the island recovers from Hurricane Maria," read an Apple statement. "Apple engineers have created a special carrier settings update which users connected to Wi-Fi or who are connected to a cellular network will automatically be prompted to download throughout the week. The update allows iPhone customers with iPhone 5c and later models running iOS 10 or higher, to connect to a provisional band on the AT&T network so they can be in touch with loved ones and get services in this time of need."iPhone owners in Puerto Rico will need to go to Settings --> General --> About when connected to Wi-Fi or cellular to download the carrier update. Once the new carrier data has been installed, iPhones will be able to use Band 8 where available to connect to cellular towers and Project Loon balloons being deployed by Google to improve cellular service in Puerto Rico. Project Loon balloons support basic communication

T-Mobile Offered Fastest LTE Speeds in the First Half of 2017

T-Mobile was the carrier with the fastest mobile network in the United States during the first half of 2017, according to a new U.S. Market Report for Mobile Broadband shared this morning by Ookla. The carrier scored a 23.17 using Ookla's new "Speed Score" metric that combines low-end, median, and top-end performance for both upload and download speeds. Ookla says this is a comprehensive metric combining all factors that "matter to a good network experience" into a single score. Coming in after T-Mobile was Verizon, with a Speed Score of 21.13, while AT&T came in third with a score of 20.05 and Sprint brought up the rear with a score of 15.39. According to Ookla, T-Mobile's "tightly-spaced cell site grid" and smaller subscriber base gave it an edge over Verizon and AT&T, both of whom are dealing with higher traffic loads since their unlimited plans were introduced last year. While Verizon has managed to deliver "consistent and reliable performance" across its network despite the unlimited plans, the rollout of AT&T's unlimited plans resulted in a "notable drop in performance." Sprint, unsurprisingly, had the slowest mobile network with a Speed Score of 15.39, despite improvements made over the course of the last year. From June of 2016 to June of 2017, Sprint LTE speeds improved by 23.7 percent, but the carrier still can't match the big three.T-Mobile comes out on top for overall speeds and acceptable speeds at a national level and provides the fastest service in 40% of the largest cities in the U.S. Verizon Wireless has the fastest service in many of the

Qualcomm's and Intel's Latest LTE Modems for Smartphones Exceed Gigabit Speeds

Ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, Qualcomm and Intel have separately announced the latest LTE modems for smartphones with theoretical download speeds exceeding so-called "Gigabit LTE," aka 1 Gbps. Apple sources LTE modems for iPhones from both chipmakers. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X20 modem is the first-announced modem to support Category 18 download speeds up to an ultra fast 1.2 Gbps, with Category 13 upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps. That builds upon Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16, which has a peak download speed of 1 Gbps. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon X20, built on a leading-edge 10nm FinFET process, supports more combinations of LTE carriers and a higher number of total LTE spatial streams. This "vastly expanded flexibility" will for more operators around the world to deploy Gigabit LTE in the future. Qualcomm said the first products with the Snapdragon X20 modem are expected to be available in the first half of 2018. Intel's new XMM 7560 modem [PDF] supports LTE Advanced Pro for up to Category 16 download speeds "exceeding" 1 Gbps, and Category 13 upload speeds of up to 225 Mbps. The XMM 7560 modem is Intel's fifth-generation LTE modem, and the first to be manufactured based on its 14nm process. Intel said the XMM 7560 modem is expected to sample in the first half of this year and move into production soon afterward. Both modems support 5x carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO configurations, up to 256-QAM, and other technologies. Both chips also work with a number of cellular technologies, covering most LTE, CDMA, and GSM standards, meaning that

T-Mobile Rolls Out 4x4 MIMO for Faster LTE Speeds

T-Mobile announced today it has recently implemented 4x4 MIMO in 319 cities across the United States, effectively doubling the number of data paths between the network's cell towers and compatible smartphones. The carrier has also launched 256 QAM for downloads and 64 QAM for uploads across half of its network, with a nationwide rollout to be completed by the end of October. These new quadrature amplitude modulation technologies increase the number of bits delivered per transmission for even faster LTE speeds. Combined with 4x4 MIMO, 256 QAM delivers theoretical download speeds up to 400 Mbps. Meanwhile, T-Mobile said it now covers nearly 312 million customers in the United States, bringing it to within 99.7% of Verizon's coverage. Qualcomm's X12 modem, an appropriate candidate for iPhone 7, supports 4x4 MIMO, so it is possible that some models could benefit from the technology. However, Apple is expected to use Intel's XMM 7360 LTE modem for a portion of iPhone 7 models, including AT&T models, and 4x4 MIMO is not an advertised feature of that chipset. iPhone 6s and older models do not support 4x4 MIMO. T-Mobile customers with Samsung's Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge will be covered by 4x4 MIMO following a software update later this

Apple to Use Intel Modems in AT&T iPhone 7, Qualcomm Modems for Verizon and China

Multiple rumors have claimed that Intel will supply at least a portion of LTE and Wi-Fi modems for the iPhone 7 series, alongside existing supplier Qualcomm, and a new report offers a closer look at how the orders will be divided between the companies. Bloomberg reports that Intel modems will be reserved for AT&T iPhone 7 models, and some other versions of the smartphone sold in other countries, while Qualcomm is said to remain a supplier of modems for Verizon and all Chinese models. The wording suggests that Qualcomm may retain orders in some other regions as well.Choosing Intel’s part for an important role in the product that generates about two-thirds of Apple’s annual revenue may represent a calculated gamble by the company. Bringing in second-source suppliers is a long-established practice by device makers looking to make sure they’re in a better position to negotiate on price. However, analysts such as Stacy Rasgon at Sanford C. Bernstein have said that Qualcomm’s modems remain ahead of Intel’s offerings in performance when measured by how much data they can get from the network into the phone.Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf previously hinted that the chipmaker would be losing modem orders from one of its major customers to one of its leading competitors, although it is reportedly still "retaining a major chunk" of Apple's business rather than being dropped as a supplier entirely. Taiwanese website DigiTimes recently reported that Intel would supply "up to 50 percent" of modems for the iPhone 7 series, while CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri told investors in

Qualcomm's Fast X12 LTE Modem is Appropriate Candidate for iPhone 7

While several rumors point towards Apple switching to Intel as its primary supplier of LTE modems for the iPhone 7 series, the consensus remains that longtime supplier Qualcomm will continue to share a portion of orders. Assuming at least a percentage of orders go to Qualcomm, which has been the exclusive provider of LTE modems in iPhones for over three years, its X12 modem is a likely candidate for LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity on iPhone 7. Qualcomm's X12 chipsets, announced in September 2015, feature theoretical LTE category 12 download speeds up to 600 Mbps and LTE category 13 upload speeds up to 150 Mbps. The lineup, including the MDM9x45 and MDM9x40 chipsets, also support LTE Advanced carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO, LTE-U small cells, and automatic LTE and Wi-Fi switching. LTE Advanced enables data transfer across multiple frequencies to allow for higher data rates with lower latency across the network, translating to faster speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. The MDM9x45 would be an appropriate successor to Qualcomm's MDM9635 modem in the iPhone 6s series, which provides theoretical downlink speeds up to 300 Mbps and uplink speeds up to 50 Mbps. The X12 has already been adopted in several flagship Android smartphones equipped with the Snapdragon 820 processor, including the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, and Xiaomi Mi5. Comparatively, Apple is rumored to use Intel's XMM 7360 LTE modem [PDF] with theoretical download speeds up to 450 Mbps and upload speeds up to 100 Mbps. The chip also features LTE

Intel to Supply Up to 50% of Faster LTE Chips for iPhone 7

Intel will supply up to 50 percent of faster LTE chips, manufactured by TSMC and KYEC, for the iPhone 7 series expected to launch in September, according to DigiTimes.Intel will itself package the modem chips for the upcoming new iPhones, but have contracted Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and tester King Yuan Electronics (KYEC) to manufacture the chips, the sources said.Apple's current LTE chip supplier Qualcomm previously hinted that it would be losing LTE modem orders from one of its major customers to one of its leading competitors, which increasingly points towards Apple and Intel respectively. Multiple rumors have hinted at the switch from Qualcomm to Intel since early 2015. CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri issued a research note in March that said Intel has secured a "significant portion" of the LTE chip orders, likely in the range of 30 to 40 percent of production. Qualcomm is expected to be tasked with the remaining orders, but it will no longer be the primary supplier. Intel reportedly has 1,000 or more employees working on preparing its 7360 LTE modem for the next-generation iPhone. Intel's 7360 LTE modem chip [PDF] features faster theoretical downlink speeds up to 450 Mbps, uplink speeds up to 100 Mbps, and support for LTE category 10 and 29 LTE bands overall. For customers, the switch to Intel modems means the iPhone 7 could have faster LTE speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. Apple already improved LTE speeds on the iPhone 6s series by adopting LTE-Advanced for downlink

Qualcomm Hints at Apple's Switch to Intel for LTE Modems in iPhone 7

Qualcomm shares are currently trading lower after the chip maker suggested during an earnings call Wednesday that it will be losing orders from one of its major customers to one of its leading competitors. Analysts believe that customer will be Apple, according to Bloomberg, following rumors that the Cupertino-based company will rely on Intel to supply the majority of LTE modems for the iPhone 7, which is expected to be announced at a media event this September.Qualcomm Chief Executive Officer Steve Mollenkopf told analysts he is “assuming” that a major customer will give orders to a rival, indicating a potential loss of business for the company. […] Samsung already uses multiple suppliers, leaving only Apple to make this change.In early March, CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri issued a research note claiming that Intel has secured a "significant portion" of LTE chip orders from Apple, likely in the range of 30 to 40 percent of production. Pajjuri believes Qualcomm will likely be tasked with at least a portion of the remaining orders. Intel reportedly has 1,000 or more employees working on preparing its 7360 LTE modem for the next-generation iPhone. Intel's 7360 LTE modem chip [PDF] features faster theoretical downlink speeds up to 450 Mbps, uplink speeds up to 100 Mbps, and support for LTE category 10 and 29 LTE bands overall. The switch to Intel LTE chips means the iPhone 7 could have even faster LTE speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. Apple already improved LTE speeds on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s

Intel to Produce 'Significant Portion' of LTE Modem Chips for iPhone 7

CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri has corroborated multiple reports claiming that Intel will supply LTE modems for the iPhone 7, according to a research note obtained by NDTV. Pajjuri said that Intel has secured a "significant portion" of the LTE chips, likely in the range of 30 to 40 percent of production. Qualcomm will likely be tasked with the remaining orders.While Apple is looking to cut some reliance on Qualcomm, the company doesn't plan to completely turn away from the chipmaker. On the contrary, the analyst believes that the company will "share shift back" to Qualcomm in 2017.Intel reportedly has 1,000 or more employees working on preparing the Intel 7360 LTE modem for the iPhone 7 lineup. The 7360 LTE modem chip [PDF] from Intel features faster theoretical downlink speeds up to 450 Mbps, uplink speeds up to 100 Mbps, and support for LTE category 10 and 29 LTE bands overall. In layman's terms, that means the iPhone 7 could have even faster LTE speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. Apple already improved LTE speeds on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus by adopting LTE-Advanced, which pushed downlink speeds up to a theoretical max of 300 Mbps. Apple currently sources all of its LTE modems for iPhones from Qualcomm, including the MDM9635 chipset in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which offers theoretical downlink speeds up to 300 Mbps and uplink speeds up to 50 Mbps. Qualcomm has been Apple's exclusive supplier of LTE modems for over three years. In the future, Apple may create a system-on-a-chip

AT&T to Begin Testing 5G, 10-100 Times Faster Than 4G LTE

AT&T has announced that it will begin trialing 5G wireless technologies this year, including lab tests in the second quarter and outdoor tests over the summer. The carrier anticipates 5G speeds to be 10-100 times faster than today's average 4G LTE connections, with reduced latency.Customers will see speeds measured in gigabits per second, not megabits. For reference, at one gigabit per second, you can download a TV show in less than 3 seconds. Customers will also see much lower latency with 5G. Latency, for example, is how long it takes after you press play on a video app for the video to start streaming on your device. We expect 5G latency in the range of 1 to 5 milliseconds.Worldwide standards are still lacking for 5G technologies, but the 3GPP group aims to complete the first phase of that process in 2018. The widespread rollout of AT&T's 5G network will likely take until 2020, but the carrier plans to provide wireless connectivity to fixed locations in Austin before the end of this year. The carrier joins Verizon, who will also be field testing 5G solutions this year. AT&T's 5G network will be based on technologies such as millimeter waves, network function virtualization (NFV), and software-defined networking (SDN). The carrier has already migrated 14 million wireless customers to its virtualized network, and it says millions more will be added this year. AT&T plans to virtualize 75% of its network over the next four years in the lead up to 5G. It remains too early to predict Apple's roadmap for 5G connectivity. Apple was quick to support LTE-Advanced, a faster

T-Mobile's New Family Plan Offers 4 Lines of Unlimited LTE for $150

T-Mobile has introduced a new Family Match promotion that offers families four lines of unlimited talk, text and LTE data for $150 per month. The carrier is also offering families four lines with unlimited talk and text, plus 10GB of LTE data per line, for $120 per month. For a limited time, we are amping up our Family Match data plans so you get more data for the same price. Now get 2 or more lines of Unlimited 4G LTE for the price of a 10GB plan, or 10GB for the price of 6GB. PLUS, customers loved our 4th Line Free promotion so much that we brought it back! For a limited time, customers on a Simple Choice Family plan can get a 4th line free.The limited time offers are available for new and existing Simple Choice and T-Mobile@Work customers with 2-12 lines, and the promotion can be combined with T-Mobile's other offers, including Binge On, Data Stash, JUMP! On Demand, Mobile Without Borders, and Music Freedom. T-Mobile will also pay up to $650 of your early termination fees if you switch to their carrier from AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. The new Family Match plans are available at T-Mobile stores across the U.S., online, or by calling

iPhone 6s Supports T-Mobile Extended Range LTE on 700MHz Spectrum

T-Mobile customers should notice an improved LTE experience in the United States with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, as Apple has included support for LTE band 12 on the new smartphones. Both GSM and CDMA models of the new iPhones support the 700MHz spectrum.Model A1633 and Model A1634 LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30) Model A1688 and Model A1687 LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29)T-Mobile uses the 700MHz spectrum to offer what it calls T-Mobile Extended Range LTE across the U.S., which it says extends the network's LTE signal twice as far from its cellular towers and works four times better in buildings. T-Mobile Extended Range LTE is live in 170 markets and covers more than half of the American population. T-Mobile plans to cover another 600,000 square miles with Extended Range LTE over the next three months, expanding coverage to over 260,000 homes each week to reach over 350 markets across the U.S. T-Mobile shared a map of its projected cellular coverage in the U.S. through the end of the year to highlight its progress. T-Mobile's projected LTE coverage in the U.S. by the end of 2015 T-Mobile is confident enough that customers will be satisfied with their network coverage that it has announced a Lifetime Coverage Guarantee for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus purchased through JUMP! On Demand. The carrier will unlock your iPhone and offer partial refunds to customers that are unhappy with their coverage.For as long as you use your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus on T-Mobile,