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  1. Which 3G and 4G Networks are the Fastest?

    Because we can't help incite enough wireless network flame wars, we're going to start the morning with what we'll call an "update" to the usual comparison between wireless network speeds in the United States. PC World performed a little test between major carriers, and the results are actually a little more surprising than what you might've guessed.

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  2. SNL Lambastes the Baffling World of Cellular Phone Advertisements [Video]

    The venerable comedy show Saturday Night Live turned its satiric eye to the confusing, brand name and acronym laden world of cellular phone advertising with their satire of Verizon LTE ads last night. In it, a hapless customer endures a barrage of meaningless comparisons, buzzwords, and bewildering stats before reaching a rather inevitable conclusion. Oh, and even if you think you know what all those words meant, it's far more confusing than you might think.

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  3. Verizon Rolls Out Throttling Plan for Top Data Users

    Starting this past Thursday, unlimited data plan users on the Verizon network who use huge amounts of data will see their speeds dropping. The new policy will only affect those people on 3G smartphones with an unlimited data plan, and only those who are within the top 5% of data consumers while they move through areas of data congestion. The company's 4G LTE service will not be included in the data restriction plan. In their statement, Verizon apparently claims that this policy is not really throttling. The company points out that other data providers, namely AT&T, restrict connection speeds for an entire billing cycle. Verizon, on the other hand, says it uses a "smart" approach by only restricting speeds when heavy data users are in particularly congested zones. High-volume users looking to avoid speed reductions are advised by Verizon to switch to a 4G LTE plan, use WiFi more often, or opt out of the unlimited data plans and switch to a tiered plan. Users who fall into the top data consumption category and are included in the speed reduction plan will be informed via their monthly bill, though it's likely that they'll notice on their own. (Verizon via DroidLife)

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  4. Mount Everest Gets 3G Mobile Network

    Airplanes have Wi-Fi nowadays, so why shouldn't the world's tallest mountain be 3G-capable? A Nepali telecom company called Ncell announced yesterday that Mount Everest now has a live GSM 3G network following Ncell's installation of a 3G base station. The company inaugurated the new network by making "the world's highest video call" from 17,388 feet, where climbers begin the ascent to the peak of Mount Everest. While the nascent 3G network might sound like a mere plaything for Everest mountaineers, it's actually meant to serve an important function: Bringing mobile phone service and mobile Internet service to Nepal. Currently, only a third of Nepal gets any mobile signal, and only two percent of the population is connected to the Internet.

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  5. iPad 3G U.S. Release Date Confirmed as April 30th: Apple

    Given the iPad's surprise success, the U.S. release date of the iPad 3G has been the subject of some confusion: Yesterday, when Apple posted an update to its store to the effect that the 3G would be available "by May 7th," some analysts took it to mean that Apple had experienced a "production bottleneck" due to demand, and that the U.S. release of the tablets were effectively being pushed back from its previous late April target, just as the European release of the iPad has been delayed.

    Well, Apple has just cleared things up, and its initial target still holds: The iPad 3G with Wi-Fi will be delivered to preorder customers on April 30th, and will be available in stores at 5:00pm on April 30th.

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  6. From Triple Play to Home Run: Why Your Cable Company Should Offer Cellphone Service

    Recently, a number of cable companies have been dropping hints about offering cellphone / wireless Internet service. So far they’ve just been baby steps, with a small test rollout here, or a limited test deployment there. But thus far, none of the CableCos really have much to show for all their talk.

    But the cable companies need to think bigger, much bigger: If they do, both you and they will end up winners. Here's why:

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  7. Verizon and Skype Make a Deal: Unlimited Skype on 3G Smartphones

    It looks like last week's rumors are true: Verizon and Skype have announced an earth-shattering deal that will bring unlimited Skype calling to users on its 3G network. For the Skype uninitiated, this is a huge deal because by connecting with Skype, Verizon is letting its customers make free calls to other Skype users and very cheap voice over IP calls to local and international numbers, all without using up minutes -- a reversal of wireless carriers' traditional priorities, to say the least. According to Reuters, this makes Verizon the first U.S. operator to allow Skype apps. Update: an AT&T rep has reached out to Geekosystem with the following clarification disputing the "first" from the Reuters article: "This development is really nothing new. AT&T doesn’t prohibit or block customers from downloading any VoIP application from the Internet, nor do we prohibit or block VoIP calls on our 2G, 3G, or Wi-Fi networks. Last fall, we advised Apple that we had no objection to its approval of a VoIP app on the iPhone."

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