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2008 Top Ten: Wireless Stories

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
12/31/2008

Touchscreens! WiMax! Femtos!

These hot tech tickets are all well represented in our top 10 stories of the year. Some we picked because you liked 'em, dear readers, some we liked, and a couple got in just for hell of it.

So, what are you waiting for? Read on:

10. T-Mobile's LTE leapfrog
A major Euro-scoop [ed. note: Less comfortable to drive but way better mileage] kicks off our roundup. European editor Michelle Donegan buttonholed T-Mobile International AG CTO Joachim Horn back in November, who revealed that operator is bucking carrier trends and leap-frogging faster 3G in favor of proto-4G Long Term Evolution technology.

T-Mobile Beefs Up LTE Plans

9. Open up and say, 'ankle braclet'
We wondered whatever happened to Verizon Wireless 's open networks plans this year; then we found out: The machines are taking over, at least for now. Be afraid.

Verizon Wireless: Rise of the Machines

8. Bringing sexy back(haul)
Only your pals at Unstrung could make microwave backhaul radios a hot topic this year. We shone a spotlight on the problems that potential 4G operators could face as Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) anounnced its first WiMax delay in April, blaming a backhaul bottleneck for its problems

Sprint's Backhaul Bottleneck

7. The 700MHz question
The early days of 2008 were all "open access" this, "wireless broadband" that, as the auctions for this prime slice of spectrum continued. In 2009, the $16.9 billion question will be: How easily and cheaply can these networks be deployed?

AT&T & Verizon to Use 700 MHz for 4G

6. Apple in 3G
The big story of the year in many people's eyes, a faster smartphone from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) Top 5 3G iPhone Launch Moments

5. Clearwire does it
We wrote about Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) so much in 2008 they even got their own top 10. (See 2008 Top Ten: Clearwire Craziness.) Here's the Cliff Notes version if you don't want to be bothered with all that jibber-jabber.

Sprint, Clearwire Create $14.5B WiMax Giant

4. VRZN FMTO
And wherever Verizon goes femto-wise it seems that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) will follow. (See AT&T Targets Q2 Femto Launch.) Verizon Eyes Femtos for 2009

And watch this video for more on femtos:

3. Touching alternatives to Apple
The BlackBerry Storm finally arrived in November, but we were writing about a BlackBerry touch-screen way before that.

RIM's Four Aces

2. Comcast's WiMax secret is out
A tasty little scoop from what we at Unstrung will fondly remember as the "summer of femtos." Then-new Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) wireless SVP Dave Williams let it slip that the firm was planning to deploy WiMax mini base stations in the home sometime in 2009. Whoopsy!

Comcast Goes for WiMax Femtocells

1. The Android hordes Readers just couldn't get enough of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s initial foray into cellphone software in 2008. So, in that spirit, we've picked the slideshow that introduced the G1 to the masses along with an Unstrung exclusive that points toward future routes that Android could take as our top of the pops for '08. Have our cake and eat it too? You betcha!

Slideshow: Switching On Android
CTIA: Clearwire Talks Android & More
— The Staff, Unstrung

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