Tag: Telecommunications

Verizon Wireless Network Expansion at Temple University

Amidst all the iPhone news from the past few days I just came across the following news release:

In a continuing effort to provide the best wireless service for local residents in Philadelphia, Verizon Wireless, the leading wireless company with the most reliable voice and data network, has expanded its network with a new cell site on Temple University’s campus. The new site increases coverage and capacity along N. Broad Street to W. Huntingdon and Master Streets, as well as Cecil B. Moore Avenue and North 8th Street.

Unfortunately, as a current Cingular AT & T subscriber, I’m still experiencing pretty bad coverage. Perhaps it’s time for a new phone.

Related Links:

Temple University, Residents to Benefit from Verizon Wireless Network Expansion

The iPhone

If you had a chance to follow Steve Jobs Macworld keynote, did you leave feeling like you just had to own an iPhone? Some of the specifications of the iPhone that stood out to me:

  • Will run OS X and other desktop-class applications
  • Single home button
  • Multi-touch interface ensuring you never have to buy a stylus again
  • 3.5 inch widescreen display
  • 2 megapixel camera and iPod dock connector probably to ensure that all your iPod accessories can be used with the iPhone and built in speaker and microphone
  • It’s got a proximity sensor to shut off the display when the iPhone is close to your ear, an ambient light sensor to adjust brightness and save power and also an accelerometer which apparently can tell whether you’re in landscape or portrait mode. (Not sure if it’s used for something else too)
  • 11.6 mm thick meaning it’s thinner than the Motorola Q and the Samsung BlackJack. Both devices I’ve recently been considering to replace my Audiovox SMT 5600.
  • Syncs with iTunes which isn’t a big selling point for me, but maybe after the pending lawsuits Apple will be forced to support other media formats
  • GSM and EDGE, WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Available on Cinglar only which is great since I almost switched to Verizon earlier this year to make use of some Temple University benefits
  • Visual voicemail is probably the best feature demonstrated. Essentially, you are presented with a list of your voicemails and can select which ones you want to listen to just like you a list of emails you can filter through.
  • Error correcting on-screen keyboard.
  • Mail, Safari, Google Maps, Yahoo Mail, Widgets
  • 5 hour video battery life
  • 16 hour audio battery life
  • The 4GB costs $499 and the 8GB $599 (includes a 2 year contract). It is shipping in June.
  • 100 + patents and parternships with Google and Yahoo to ensure that no existing players or new entrants can attempt to copy or relaunch a competing product.

Philly Wireless is Go

Mayor Street, signed a project that will make Philadelphia the nation’s largest WiFi hotspot with supposedly no cost to the taxpayer. If I’m not mistaken, Temple’s Fox School of Business and the eBusiness Institute worked with the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Information Services (MOIS) to assist the city with the wireless Philadelphia initiative.

According to the press release from from the Philadelphia Government site:

Mayor John F. Street announced today that four agreements have been signed allowing EarthLink and Wireless Philadelphia to bring wireless Internet service to every City neighborhood. When fully implemented, the initiative will turn Philadelphia into the nation’s largest WiFi hotspot and help to improve education, bridge the digital divide, enhance neighborhood development, and reduce the costs of government.

“When I first announced the plan to bring wireless Internet to every neighborhood, I said we would do so because we must prepare our citizens and businesses to face the challenges of the 21 st Century,” Mayor Street said. “Just as roads and transportation were keys to our past, wireless technology and digital infrastructure are keys to our future. With these agreements signed today, our original vision will be realized and every Philadelphian will benefit. This is a tremendous step forward for our City and our citizens.”

“EarthLink is excited to work with the City and Wireless Philadelphia to begin building the largest municipal wireless broadband network in the United States,” said Donald Berryman, executive vice president of EarthLink and president of its’ municipal networks unit. “This partnership is an important step in shrinking the digital divide and bringing low-cost, high-speed Internet service to the visitors, businesses and residents of Philadelphia.”

Under the agreements, EarthLink will build, manage and maintain a wireless network over the City’s 135 square miles at no cost to taxpayers. EarthLink will install transmittal devices on approximately 4,000 of the City’s street lamp pole arms for which it will pay the City. In addition, EarthLink will provide City residents and visitors with free hotspots in 22 locations around Philadelphia, and provide the City with 3,000 free or discounted WiFi accounts and 700 discounted T-1 accounts to be used at the City’s option.

Related Links:

The Wireless Philadelphia Initiative [PDF Document]

Reliance India

I generally stray away from recommending calling cards and now with the advent of companies like Vonage and products like Skype, gone are the days of relying on the long distance plans. However, with various connections in India I often find myself caught between not wanting to spend money on a long distance plan and regretting the choice of a cheap phone card. Enter Reliance India Call, a calling card service offered by Reliance Infocomm Limited (India’s largest cellular service provider) to residents in the United States and Canada. Reliance is India’s only private company in the Fortune 500. (You can read more about Reliance and the ongoing split in Aaman Lamba’s post.)

Thanks to a recommendation from a colleague at work, I now enjoy the luxury of no call drops, no lags and no echoes. Since Reliance owns their own global network you not only get instant connectivity but also superior voice clarity. Reliance has taken their service a step further by offering 12.9c/ minute charges and no extra charges for maintenance fees, connection fees or weekly service fees. Last but not least, their website allows you to setup the service to automatically recognize your telephone number so you don’t have to remember or write down that 11 digit PIN number. Now if only I could find a similar service to make calls to Zambia.

For more information about this phone card service visit Reliance India Call