T-Mobile Plans to Buy Most of U.S. Cellular in $4.4 Billion Deal

T-Mobile has agreed to buy most of U.S. Cellular in a deal worth about $4.4 billion that would bring the self-proclaimed “un-carrier” more than 4 million new customers as well as its retail stores and about 30 percent of U.S. Cellular’s wireless spectrum. U.S. Cellular would hang on to 70 percent of its spectrum and towers and lease much of it back to T-Mobile, which was already leasing its infrastructure. T-Mobile says it plans to use the added spectrum to improve its service in rural areas, which constitute the bulk of U.S. Cellular’s footprint. Continue reading T-Mobile Plans to Buy Most of U.S. Cellular in $4.4 Billion Deal

Sonos Rolls Out Its First Headphones, the $450 Bluetooth Ace

Sonos, the company that helped launch the Wi-Fi speaker market is now branching into wireless over-ear headphones. The launch marks a much-anticipated and also inevitable move, considering the U.S. headset market was estimated to be almost $2.2 billion last year, nearly twice as large as the total for wireless speaker sales, according to market research firm Circana. Sonos Ace headphones have what is being called exceptional noise-cancellation and feature Bluetooth connectivity and a Wi-Fi chip so they can be used in conjunction with the Sonos soundbar for a personal home-theater experience. They ship June 5 for $449. Continue reading Sonos Rolls Out Its First Headphones, the $450 Bluetooth Ace

Pimax Intros VR Headset with Switchable QLED, OLED Panels

Virtual reality firm Pimax has unveiled two new headsets. The Crystal Super is a high-resolution performance model which starts at $1,800, while the Crystal Light will carry a base list of $700. The Crystal Super packs 29.5 million pixels and allows users to swap between QLED and micro-OLED panels, which Pimxax claims is a first. The Crystal Light offers the same 16.6 million pixels as its Crystal predecessor, but at a more affordable price. At its annual Frontier virtual event, Pimax also shared the specs for its 60G Airlink module, designed for high-fidelity wireless PCVR using WiGig technology. Continue reading Pimax Intros VR Headset with Switchable QLED, OLED Panels

CES: Conversation with Cybersecurity Expert Anne Neuberger

CTA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs David Grossman spoke on a range of security topics with Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Tech Anne Neuberger, principal adviser to President Biden on cyber affairs. During CES 2024, the two discussed the debut of the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark and its just-announced international reach, as well as spectrum policy and the reauthorization of the spectrum auction. Neuberger expressed her appreciation for partnerships in the private sector — and especially the Consumer Technology Association — in helping the government bring the Cyber Trust Mark program into being. Continue reading CES: Conversation with Cybersecurity Expert Anne Neuberger

CES: Alienware Intros Updated Laptops, Curved 4K Monitors

Dell’s Alienware has redesigned its gaming laptops with the debut of the m16 R2. It is also coming to market with Pro Line peripherals and two new QD-OLED curved gaming monitors, being showcased this week at CES 2024 in Las Vegas. The new m16 R2 laptop has a slimmed down look, with a reduced heat shelf and Stealth Mode that turns off the glitzy lighting and boisterous sound for gamers who want their portable hardware to perform double duty as a productivity device. The company also unveiled its first competitive gaming peripherals, the Alienware Pro wireless mouse and keyboard. Continue reading CES: Alienware Intros Updated Laptops, Curved 4K Monitors

CES: Ixana Transforms Human Body into Networked Receiver

Seattle-based tech firm Ixana is at CES 2024 demonstrating its Wi-R communication chip, which “reduces energy consumption by 100x compared to radiative wireless technologies like BLE, Wi-Fi, cellular, Zigbee and Z-Wave, enabling a paradigm shift in wearable technology,” according to the company, which nabbed a CES Innovation Award. The 4Mbps YR22 Wi-R chip offers “continuous charging-free body-worn health monitoring, video streaming for extended reality, and intuitive human-computer interaction,” Ixana says, explaining it works via algorithms that run via distributed computing on battery-powered devices. Continue reading CES: Ixana Transforms Human Body into Networked Receiver

Ergen Completes Dish Merger with EchoStar for 5G Moonshot

Satellite television pioneer Charlie Ergen has reunited his empire, having on December 31 completed the merger of Dish Network Corp. and EchoStar Corp. Ergen co-founded both companies and served as chairman of each prior to the merger. He now becomes executive chairman of the combined operation. Former EchoStar chief Hamid Akhavan was named president and CEO of the two companies in November and continues as operational head. Ergen feels his satellite infrastructure is well-situated for 5G. He plans to move the unified firm away from pay TV and into wireless services, competing with Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. Continue reading Ergen Completes Dish Merger with EchoStar for 5G Moonshot

LG’s New OLED TVs Tap AI Superchip for Enhanced Features

On the eve of CES 2024 taking place January 9-12 in Las Vegas, LG Electronics has unveiled this year’s lineup of OLED TVs powered by the company’s new A11 AI Processor. LG’s high-end G4 OLED and wireless M4 OLED models leverage what is being called an artificial intelligence “superchip” to enable features such as adjusting the image based on scene context and enhancing the distinction between foreground and background objects. Both series will be showcased at CES. Two lower priced new models, the C4 and the B4 OLEDs, utilize the company’s A9 and A8 AI chips. Continue reading LG’s New OLED TVs Tap AI Superchip for Enhanced Features

White House Launches New Spectrum Strategy, 3 GHz Study

Following extensive public outreach, the White House has released a National Spectrum Strategy that includes a study of uses for the lower 3 GHz band and identifies 2,786 MHz of airwaves that will be studied for new uses. Near term, the strategy proposes five spectrum bands for further in-depth study. President Biden has called wireless frequencies one of “our Nation’s most important national resources.” The FCC collaborated on the approach, which was marshalled by the Secretary of Commerce through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Continue reading White House Launches New Spectrum Strategy, 3 GHz Study

Lenovo’s Premium Mobile Gamer Has Detachable Controllers

Lenovo marks its entry in the Windows handheld gaming space with the Legion Go. Combining mobility with high performance, the Legion Go joins an expanding Lenovo Legion ecosystem for immersive gaming that includes new micro OLED-equipped Lenovo Legion Glasses for a big-screen experience anywhere, the Legion 9i gaming laptop, and Legion E510 7.1 RGB Gaming In-Ear Headphones for high-quality audio. With Nintendo Switch-like detachable controllers, the Legion Go is a handheld device that accommodates multiplayer gaming. The Legion Space game hub allows users to access cloud platforms as well as locally stored games in a central location. Continue reading Lenovo’s Premium Mobile Gamer Has Detachable Controllers

Dolby Atmos FlexConnect Intelligently Optimizes TV Speakers

Dolby Laboratories wants to make it easier for viewers to experience immersive TV sound with Dolby Atmos FlexConnect, a new product that enables seamless pairing of accessory wireless speakers with the TV’s onboard sound system to heighten the Dolby Atmos surround-sound technology. TCL is the first to announce it is adding Dolby Atmos FlexConnect to its 2024 television lineup and says it will also launch a line of purpose-made accessory wireless speakers to complement its FlexConnect TV offerings. With FlexConnect, a soundbar isn’t mandatory to optimize TV sound. Continue reading Dolby Atmos FlexConnect Intelligently Optimizes TV Speakers

Sony’s Wireless PlayStation Portal Coming to Market This Fall

Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced its new wireless gaming device, the PlayStation Portal remote player, will debut in time for the holiday season. The handheld unit streams PlayStation 5 games over Wi-Fi, displaying the action on an eight-inch LCD screen in 1080p resolution at 60 fps. The player will be priced at $199.99. Sony is positioning the PlayStation Portal as ideal for multigame households where players share a TV or want to play PS5 games in another room of the house. Since the Portal operates by mirroring the PS5, it can also display other media. Continue reading Sony’s Wireless PlayStation Portal Coming to Market This Fall

Dish, EchoStar to Merge in Play for Next-Gen Wireless Market

Charlie Ergen, founder and chairman of the Dish and EchoStar satellite broadband companies is merging the two units in an all-stock deal he says will better position his empire to compete with AT&T and Verizon in the market for next-generation wireless services. Dish, which operates Boost Mobile, currently has a deal with T-Mobile for 5G. FactSet places Dish’s current market value at just above $4 billion and EchoStar at nearly $2 billion. “This is a strategically and financially compelling combination that is all about growth and building a long-term sustainable business,” said Ergen. Continue reading Dish, EchoStar to Merge in Play for Next-Gen Wireless Market

Sony Offers Affordable Phone-Based MoCap System in U.S.

Sony Electronics is launching its Mocopi mobile motion capture system in the United States. Using a dedicated smartphone app for iOS and Android, the wireless system enables full-body motion tracking, captured by six small, lightweight sensors. Sony has been marketing Mocopi in Japan where virtual streamers (also called “VTubers”) have been using the system to drive avatars and fictional animated characters. Mocopi allows users to go mobile with virtual reality, loosening time and location constraints. Sony is now taking preorders for the $499 Mocopi system, which ships July 14. Continue reading Sony Offers Affordable Phone-Based MoCap System in U.S.

Apple’s 5G Broadcom Extension Valued More Than $15 Billion

Despite moving a significant portion of its chip work in-house, Apple is extending its chip-supply contract with Broadcom in a deal estimated to be worth more than $15 billion with plans to run through 2026. The chip manufacturer will provide Apple with components for wireless connectivity, including 5G radio-frequency. There had been speculation that Apple planned to phase out Broadcom. Some see the deal as Apple’s capitulation to political pressure to source more U.S. manufacturing. Broadcom’s 5G-capable manufacturing hubs are located in U.S. cities including Fort Collins, Colorado, where Broadcom has a major facility. Continue reading Apple’s 5G Broadcom Extension Valued More Than $15 Billion