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Qualcomm Debuts 1st 5G Modem Chipset Solution

Qualcomm Technologies announced the Snapdragon X50 5G modem last week, which the company proudly hailed as the first commercial 5G modem chipset solution. Designed to support OEMs building next-gen cell devices — and aid operators with early 5G trials and deployments — the Snapdragon X50 5G modem will initially support operation in millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum in the 28GHz band.

It will employ MIMO antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beamtracking techniques, said the chipmaker, noting that this “facilitates robust and sustained mobile broadband communications in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments.”

With 800MHz bandwidth support, the Snapdragon X50 5G modem is designed to support peak download speeds of up to 5Gbps. It can be paired with a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor with an integrated Gigabit LTE modem and interwork cohesively via dual-connectivity. Gigabit LTE, said Qualcomm, will become an essential pillar for the 5G mobile experience because of its ability to provide a wide coverage layer for 5G networks.

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T-Mobile Gets Flogging From The Feds For Throttling

T-Mobile has agreed to pay a $48 million fine for failing to adequately disclose speed and data restrictions on its unlimited data plans.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), customers with unlimited plans complained that their data speeds were throttled after using more than 17GB in a given month, rendering data services unusable for many hours a day. T-Mobile considers such customers “heavy users,” and “deprioritizes” them during times of network congestion under its “Top 3 Percent Policy.” Customers contacting the FCC said they felt misled by the carrier’s advertised promise of unlimited data.

Under the settlement, the magenta carrier will pay a $7.5 million fine to the U.S. Treasury, and will provide $35.5 million in benefits to T-Mobile and MetroPCS subscribers with unlimited data plans. The benefits include a 20 percent discount (up to $20) on any in-stock accessories, and 4GB of additional data for those with tablet plans. T-Mo will also cough up another $5 million to provide free mobile devices and low- or no-cost mobile broadband access to low-income school districts, and must either end its Top 3 Percent Policy, make its disclosures clearer and more conspicuous, or drop the term “unlimited” from its data plans.

Forget Rice: Staples Teams With TekDry To Save Soaked Smartphones

Staples is expanding its partnership with TekDry, a water-damage recovery service for mobile phones, from 82 to 600 stores.

The $70 service employs a patented water-removal device that uses a combination of low pressure, controlled heat and proprietary metallic beads to vaporize 100 percent of the water in dunked phones in 30 minutes or the fee is refunded.

The process, which has a 75 percent success rate, preserves data, stays within common manufacturer specifications, doesn’t require device disassembly, and is more affordable than replacement costs, the partners said.

These Are World’s Most Valuable Tech Brands In 2016

The Interbrand consultancy has compiled its annual ranking of the 100 “Best Global Brands,” and tech companies, not surprisingly, are well represented.

Topping the list across all industries is Apple, with a “brand value” of $178.1 billion, while the badge with the fastest-growing value is Facebook, up 48 percent year over year.

Interbrand, a unit of advertising giant Omnicom, assigns dollar values to brands based on the financial performance of their products and/or services, the role they play in influencing consumer choice, and their ability to command a premium price. Requirements for consideration include operations on at least three major continents; a roadmap in emerging markets; at least 30 percent of revenues derived outside the home country; and no more than 50 percent of revenues from any one continent.

1. Apple, $178,119M, +5%
2. Google, $133,252M, +11%
4. Microsoft, $72,795M, +8%
7. Samsung, $51,808M, +14%
8. Amazon, $50,338M, +33%
14. Intel, $36,952M, +4%
15. Facebook, $32,593M, +48 %
32. eBay, $13,136M, -6%
41. Philips, $11,336M, +4%
42. Canon, $11,081M, -2%
48. HP, $10,386 (new to rankings)
58. Sony, $8,315M, +8%
63. Adobe, $7,586M, +21%
68. Panasonic, $6,365M, -1%
72. Huawei, $5,835M, +18%
99. Lenovo, $4,045M, -2%


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