5G refers to the fifth generation of cellular network technology that will eventually replace 4G, which is what most smartphones use today. Data transfer rates are many times faster on 5G, with the potential to be many, many times faster, so much so that it could possibly replace your home cable internet at some point. While 4G LTE supports peak download speeds of around 300 megabits per second (Mbps), average download speeds vary by carrier and are generally under 100 Mbps.
Just like the iPhone 4S, Apple is giving the iPhone 5 a wider appeal by allowing regional United States carriers to offer the device. Cricket Communications and C Spire both announced they will be carrying the iPhone 5 in select markets in the U.S. beginning Friday, September 28. That's one week after the iPhone 5 is set to land at the big three, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. GCI of Alaska and Appalachian Wireless will also offer the iPhone 5 on September 28.
The iPhone 5 will launch in United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Singapore on September 21. Apple will then rollout the iPhone 5 in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland on September 28.
Verizon has announced that their "Share Everything Plan" will go live on June 28th. The plan gives users unlimited talk and text with the ability to share data on up to 10 devices. The plans start at $50 per month for 1GB of data and work their way up to $100 for 10GB of data. Each additional device will cost you between $10 to $40: $10 for tablets, $20 for hotspots, $30 for basic phones and $40 for smartphones. Mobile hotspot is included at no additional cost.
The Share Everything Plan makes Verizon the first U.S. carrier to offer the ability to share a lot of data across multiple devices. However, as Ina Fried of AllThingsD pointed out, it may put single smartphone users at a disadvantage.
With the release of the 4G LTE iPad an LTE iPhone seems imminent, and new iPad owners are quickly learning about the pitfalls of fast wireless connections. The Wall Street Journal published a report about the responsibility that comes with 4G connectivity by profiling one man who blew through 2GB of his Verizon data plan while watching March Madness games.
"Two hours of college basketball—which he viewed mounted to his car dashboard and live at tournament games—had burned through his monthly wireless data allotment of two gigabytes. Now, to keep surfing the Web or watch more NCAA hoops over Verizon Wireless's 4G network, Mr. Wells will have to pay an extra $10 for every gigabyte above his current $30 subscription."
25-year-old Trevor Eckhart discovered a "rootkit" hidden in various Android handsets that logs information like text messages, location and encrypted web searches. The company behind the software, Carrier IQ, claims their technology is an innocent diagnostics tool that doesn't record keystrokes or illegally track users. However, Eckhart's YouTube video below seems to suggest otherwise. On Thursday, Apple joined several other carriers and manufacturers in coming clean about using the software. Here is their statement in full (via All Things D):
“We stopped supporting Carrier IQ with iOS 5 in most of our products and will remove it completely in a future software update. With any diagnostic data sent to Apple, customers must actively opt-in to share this information, and if they do, the data is sent in an anonymous and encrypted form and does not include any personal information. We never recorded keystrokes, messages or any other personal information for diagnostic data and have no plans to ever do so.”