PCMag Lead Mobile Analyst Sascha Segan - TMO Background Mode Interview

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Sascha Segan on Background Mode

Sascha Segan is PCMag.com’s Lead Mobile Analyst. He has reviewed more than 1,100 smartphones, tablets and other gadgets in more than 15 years with PCMag. Sascha is also a multiple award-winning travel writer.

We chatted about how he got started in computing, and it was a familiar story. “…published the high school newspaper, literary magazine and foreign language magazine on an SE/30.” Along the way, Sascha discovered that he loved helping people and showing them how tech works. We talked about the future of foldable smartphones, how the butterfly MBP keyboard drove him to Windows, a (presumed) Apple iPhone/iPad event on March 31, and what’s in store for the 5G iPhone 12. Sascha understands 5G and phones deeply, and so this was a very informative show.

Here’s What the ‘Race to 5G’ Really Means

· Andrew Orr · Link

Karl Bode writes about corporations talking about the “race to 5G”, saying that it’s more like a race to bigger profits.

The “race” rhetoric is largely an illusion created by companies eager to do the bare minimum in exchange for as many subsidies, regulatory favors and tax breaks they can grab. This mindless regulatory capture has resulted in a US Telecom sector that routinely ranks in the middle of the pack in every metric that matters. While 5G will be a good thing when deployed at scale, it’s foolish to think the new wireless technical standard will address the deeper rot that plagues the sector.

New iPhone May Have Faster 5G Than we Thought

· Charlotte Henry · News

Well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that some models of the next iPhone could offer faster 5G speeds than we expected.

T-Mobile Switches on its 600MHz 5G Network

· Andrew Orr · Link

T-Mobile turned its 600MHz 5G network on, but no one can use it until 5G-capable smartphones are released, like two this Friday.

The “nationwide” 5G deployment relies on a slower form of 5G, using T-Mobile’s 600MHz spectrum. This “low-band” 5G essentially takes airwaves like the ones used for LTE and bundles them together with some new technology to deliver faster speeds.

T-Mobile doesn’t offer specifics on what kind of speeds you’ll see on the new network, and the actual improvements will vary a lot by location. “In some places, 600 MHz 5G will be a lot faster than LTE. In others, customers won’t see as much difference.”

Apple's New Services Are Fueling iPad Growth

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

The more hardware Apple sells, the more people sign up for services. But the opposite may also be happening. Services also drive iPad sales in new ways.

Custom 5G Apple Modem has Goal of 2022 Release

· Andrew Orr · Link

Reports say that Apple has moved its timeline for a custom 5G Apple modem to 2022.

It won’t be easy. In fact, bringing a new modem to the finish line in two years is really pushing it, my source said. After all the design work is done, and the fabrication of the chips themselves is underway, an arduous testing and certification process still awaits.

Right now I think 5G is overhyped and even the previous rumor of a 5G iPhone in 2020 didn’t make sense.

The 5G 'Health Hazard' Was a Misinterpretation

· Andrew Orr · Link

In 2000 a physicist was asked to study the health risks of wireless networks. He found [PDF] that there “was likely to be a serious health hazard.” Except he was wrong.

In his research, Dr. Curry looked at studies on how radio waves affect tissues isolated in the lab, and misinterpreted the results as applying to cells deep inside the human body. His analysis failed to recognize the protective effect of human skin. At higher radio frequencies, the skin acts as a barrier, shielding the internal organs, including the brain, from exposure. Human skin blocks the even higher frequencies of sunlight.

Despite all the studies showing a link between smartphones and cancer being debunked, I don’t think this idea will ever go away.

U.S. Might Ban 5G Tech Made in China

· John Martellaro · Link

5G graphic (mesh)

It could be a political move, a ploy, amidst tariff tensions between the U.S. and China. Or it could be something else. USA Today reports:

The U.S. is considering a requirement that next-generation 5G cellular technology for domestic use be made outside of China, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing sources.