NumberGarage™ News

Monthly Archives: May 2009

AT&T Network Upgrade

Cell Phone Tower

Following up a message from our Twitter account earlier today, it seems AT&T is upgrading their data network to what is called HSPA speed. HSPA, or High Speed Packet Access, will allow AT&T customers on smartphones (such as the iPhone) or with mobile broadband cards to access the web at a higher rate of speed than the current 3G speed. The technology for the speed upgrade already exists in the hardware that is on the market today, testing has begun on the technology in a few key AT&T markets.

According to the GSM Association, HSDPA can support download speeds of 7.2 Mbps, while HSPA+ can support speeds of up to 42 Mbps in the downlink and 11 Mbps in the uplink. CEO Ralph de la Vega says AT&T will likely skip upgrading its network to 14.4Mbps and jump directly from 7.2Mbps to 21Mbps using HSPA+ (also known as HSPA Evolution).

If you’re an AT&T mobile user, this is great news as we become more and more dependent on our mobile devices to keep us connected with the rest of the world.

Overseas Mobile Phone Technology

The mobile phone market is vastly competitive around the world, with Asia usually on the forefront of new and fantastic “toys” that the rest of us can’t wait to get our hands on.  The latest release from Hitachi Japan is the Hi-Vision Cam Woo, a mobile phone that will shoot 720p video right on the phone. Pretty amazing right? More specs on the new phone from AkihabaraNews.com:

Using the 3GPP2 video codec, this phone is surprisingly capable of recording in 720p. Franted you won’t get stunningly crisp video like with an average professional HD video camera, but you’ll get something superior to Flip HD. The Video Mode is perfect for simple shots with slow moving objects and people, but when panning like a maniac or recording fast moving objects you’ll get blurry video with some compression artifacts but… Just cool down a second and don’t forget we’re talking about a mobile phone, nothing else…

Those of us in the States who are mobile phone enthusiasts will just have to wait until someone decides to release some of these amazing Asian phones to our market.

SMS: A Scam?

Tech Crunch is reporting that rumors are running rampant in the mobile phone market over a price plan cut for the always popular iPhone on AT&T. As it stands now, an unlimited date package for the particular handset is $30, and a price cut to $20 may be in the cards. But as Tech Crunch highlights in their report, where mobile carriers seem to make the most money is on packages for the very popular text messaging technology. So would a price cut on unlimited data really be that much of a price cut?

Ever since the launch of the iPhone 3G, AT&T has been fleecing customers with text messaging fees. With the first version of the iPhone, users at least got to send 200 text messages for free with their unlimited data plans. With the iPhone 3G’s updated date plan (which was still just as “unlimited” but with faster download speeds), AT&T cut out all free texts and made users pay at least $5-a-month, unless they wanted to pay the utterly ridiculous $0.20 per text. So basically, that was AT&T jacking up the price of the iPhone plans by at least $5 right there. And many people, myself included, use way more than 200 messages, so it’s more like an extra $15-$20-a-month for either 1500 messages or unlimited messages. Again, a joke when we’re already paying for an “unlimited” data plan.

Wireless Households

The CDC just released a report saying that 20 percent of households in America are now strictly wireless. Are you in one of these families? Or is keeping your home phone number that you’ve had for years the only thing keeping you from becoming all wireless? Now is the best time to forward your well known home phone number to your cell phone and save money by cutting out an unneeded service. Here are some other stats from the CDC’s report:

-More than three in five adults living only with unrelated adult roommates (60.6%) were in households with only wireless telephones. This is the highest prevalence rate among the population subgroups examined.

-Adults living in the South (21.3%) and Midwest (20.8%) were more likely than adults living in the Northeast (11.4%) or West (17.2%) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.

-Nearly two in five adults renting their home (39.2%) had only wireless telephones. Adults renting their home were more likely than adults owning their home (9.9%) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.

There’s never been a better time to dump that landline and forward your number to your mobile device!

NumberGarage + Google Voice

Number Garage and Google Voice

Want to streamline your communications to just one device? As we become more mobile, it makes sense to have all of our communications come to just our cell phones. But what if you have a home or business number that you’ve had for years and that a large group of people already know and use? NumberGarage telephone number forwarding would be the perfect solution for you. Keep all of those numbers, but just one phone.

Forwarding your numbers to Google Voice would also be a great option. There are many great features that are going to be rolled out in Google Voice, including transcripts of your voicemails that can be sent to email, record calls and store them in your Google account, even specify a voicemail for different callers. A fantastic all in one service for those who have dynamic telecommunications needs.

So if you have multiple phone numbers and feel like you would be more productive if they were rolled into one, consider NumberGarage phone number forwarding. Coupled with a Google Voice account, it could solve all of your phone problems.

Telecom Solutions For You

There are a lot of options out there these days to assist you with your home or small business telecom needs, and Jeff Heeren at ChiefHomeOfficer.com explores many of those available to you. Included in his list:

PhoneTag, for transcribing voicemail
Google Voice, giving you one central number to provide for multiple devices
NumberGarage, to park or forward a phone number you already own
Tossable Digits, which provides you with a temporary phone number
Skype and Gizmo5, allowing international phone calls via the web
MagicJack, providing you with very affordable phone service

In the article, Jeff had this to say about NumberGarage:

What if you already have one number that people know you by? NumberGarage can forward callers to your Google Voice number, cell phone or other centralized telephone number. Where many companies pay Remote Call Forward fees to direct callers to centralized numbers, services like NumberGarage offers an affordable alternative. Users can own a number without forwarding calls, like owning a Web domain without a Web site.

If you have been curious about streamlining your telecommunications, these services provide a wide array of solutions, and would be a great place to start.

iPhone To Verizon?

Apple’s iPhone is up there in the top ranks of most coveted mobile phone device, and now it looks like Verizon Wireless may be getting a piece of that action. While Apple has an exclusive deal with carrier AT&T, a move to a CDMA carrier would be a good move for Apple, allowing them to grab an even larger piece of the mobile phone market. Earlier this year Verizon launched the Blackberry Storm, heralded as the best iPhone competitor out there, and this would give the mobile provider a heavy arsenal of handsets. And with the ability to port your phone number from any carrier, those who were wary of switching to AT&T in the past now may have another option if they want to become an iPhone user.

[R]umors are once again heating up that Apple and Verizon are actively discussing the possibility of creating an iPhone to work on Big Red’s airwaves, according to USA Today’s infamous “people familiar with the situation.” The juicy gossip claims that discussions kicked off a few months ago when Steve was still running the day-to-day show out in Cupertino, but that the conversation has continued in his absence — and they’d like to get a product on the shelves next year, likely much to AT&T’s chagrin.

New iPhones are set to launch in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference in California. Will there be a Verizon announcement there as well?