It may be called the Land Down Under, but when it comes to 5G tech, Australia has come out on top. The sixth biggest country in the world can now also claim to being the first to roll out 5G compatible Wi-Fi hotspots (an idea that Verizon Wireless and AT&T are also exploring). This is made possible through the efforts of Aussie wireless service provider Telstra, which recently installed the hotspots at its 5G Innovation Centre located in the South Port district of Gold Coast City in Queensland.
AT&T is officially unveiling the Netgear Nighthawk, a mobile hotspot router that is capable of connecting to the major US wireless carrier’s 5G Evolution network, which delivers connection speeds of up to two times that of regular 4G LTE networks. According to the company’s press release, the Netgear Nighthawk mobile hotspot router will be made exclusively available from AT&T for a limited time only.
Mobile virtual network operator US Mobile has recently debuted its Unlimited WiFi offering, which is basically a WiFi plan that delivers unlimited access to WiFi on 20 premiere airlines like American Airlines, Delta, and Virgin America. On top of that, this plan lets mobile users enjoy access to at least 35 million hotspots in the United States and more than 60 million WiFi hotspots in over 120 countries across the globe, for a flat fee of $10 a month, with customers allowed to connect one handset for each plan.
Back in February earlier this year, T-Mobile had decided to add HD video to its One unlimited data plan, as well as 10 gigabytes of high speed hotspot data. The move was considered by many as a direct counter to Verizon Wireless' launching of its Unlimited plan, which also came with unlimited HD video streaming and 10 gigabytes of LTE mobile hotspot.
The unlimited plan offered by AT&T’s prepaid brand, Cricket Wireless, offers better than average coverage, a reliable network, affordable pricing, and pretty adequate connection speeds at 8 mbps. But because it does not come with mobile hotspot tethering, it might have trouble distancing itself from what other competitors are selling.
Mobile virtual network operator FreedomPop has apparently inked a collaboration with the second biggest wireless carrier in America. This week, the MVNO is launching SIM cards and an LTE mobile hotspot that will work on AT&T’s network. According to FreedomPop, the new SIM card only costs $10 and can be used on any certified GSM handset in order to gain access to AT&T’s LTE network. On top of that, FreedomPop also took the opportunity to unveil an LTE mobile hotspot that is priced at $30 and already comes with 2 gigabytes of free data.
In its newest Visual Networking Index Forecast report, Cisco is predicting that the total number of public Wi-Fi hotspots around the world will reach 432 million by the year 2020. For context, the 432 million will represent a seven fold improvement over the last year’s numbers, which are around 64 million public Wi-Fi hotspots across the globe.
Charter Communications’ mega-acquisition of rival cable operators Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Bright House Networks has been given the go signal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In its rather long filing detailing the approval of the deal, the FCC addressed the possibility that this trio of business entities may look to venture into wireless service territory, including introducing a new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). On top of that, the FCC also gave a rough idea of the companies’ plans to further expand their public Wi-Fi coverage, which could potentially affect other players in the wireless industry.
FreedomPop, the United States based wireless carrier primarily known for offering free voice and data services, has launched new international features, including a new free global data hotspot that allows mobile users to enjoy free data in 25 locations around the world, plus a SIM card that will let customers have access to free voice calls and data on their devices across various countries. On top of all this, FreedomPop has also managed to raise $50 million in funding in its bid to expand its services beyond its homeland to international markets.
This should come as welcome news for subscribers of MetroPCS, a prepaid subsidiary of T-Mobile. The prepaid wireless service provider will basically be allowing its customers to enjoy as much music streaming as they like without ever having to worry about it affecting the data allotment of their plan.
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