Sprint today announced their new combined 3G and 4G Overdrive Mobile Hotspot. Similar to the MiFi, it's a pocketable device that routes Sprint's data connection over WiFi to up to 5 laptops, PCs, smartphones and most anything else with WiFi. It has 3G EVDO Rev. A and 4G WiMAX. The Overdrive is made by Sierra Wireless. Claimed WiMAX speeds are 3-6 Mbps.
Key features of Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot include a LCD that provides important information such as battery life and internet connection status, as well as an easy-to-use web interface for customizing settings. Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot also includes built-in GPS capability (on 3G), MicroSD slot for up to 16 GB memory cards creating shared storage with up to five connected devices, and an extended Wi-Fi range of up to 150 feet.
Beginning on Jan. 10, customers will be able to purchase Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot exclusively from Sprint for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement. Customers can purchase the device and sign up for 3G/4G plans at select Sprint retail stores and select Best Buy stores; available through business sales, Web (www.sprint.com), Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) in coming weeks. Also beginning Jan. 10, Sprint will offer simplified 3G/4G data plans for consumers and businesses at $59.99 monthly.
* Universal Wi-Fi capability: Up to 5 Wi-Fi enabled device sharing one connection * Compatible with Universal Wi-Fi devices : works with all Operating Systems * MicroSD slot for shared storage up to 5 connected devices; can support memory cards up to 16GB * LCD view communicates device information such as internet connection status, number of people sharing and battery life * GPS capable: Built-in Wi-Fi GPS capability (on 3G) allows you to pinpoint and map your location * Easy to use: compact, portable device requires no connector, activation or installation, enabling easy re-deployment * Extended Wi-Fi range up to 150 feet * 4G data speeds (WiMAX) ? Peak download speeds of more than 10 Mbps; peak upload speeds of 4 Mbps; average download speeds of 3-6 Mbps. * 3G data speeds (EVDO Rev A.) ? Peak download speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps; peak upload speeds of 1.8 Mbps; average download speeds of 600 kbps-1.4 Mbps. * Backwards compatible to the EVDO Rev. 0 and 1xRTT Networks * Seamlessly supports transition from 4G to 3G and vice versa * Device can be tethered via USB extension cable that comes with it to a computer in order to charge the battery, connect to the network as well as share up to 5 devices/users
* Dimensions: 3.14 inches (h) x 3.14 inches (w) x 0.61 inch (d) * Weight: 4.51 oz. * Frequency: 1xEVDO Rev. A, Rev. 0 and 1X (850/1900 MHz); WiMAX 2500MHz and GPS MHz * Main Display Size and Type: 1.4? LCD * Main Display Total Pixel Count: 128 x228 pixel * Connector: Wireless or Micro USB for tethering * Chipset: Beceem 250 (WiMax) & MC5728 (CDMA module with QSC6085) * Battery mAh: 1830 mAh with access time of 3 hours and 36 hours standby
Sprint currently offers 4G service in 27 markets, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., San Antonio and Seattle. Sprint 4G is also offered in Abilene, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; Austin, Texas; Bellingham, Wash.; Boise, Idaho; Charlotte, N.C.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Greensboro, N.C. (along with High Point and Winston-Salem); Honolulu; Killeen/Temple, Texas; Lubbock, Texas; Maui, Hawaii; Midland/Odessa, Texas; Milledgeville, Ga.; Raleigh, N.C. (along with Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham); Salem, Ore.; Waco, Texas and Wichita Falls, Texas.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview