Sprint’s first 4G LTE device will be the Sierra Wireless Tri-Network mobile hotspot, SprintFeed reported on Tuesday. The device was originally announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, but was overshadowed by the Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper. The Tri-Network hotspot can support up to eight simultaneous data connections using 3G, WiMAX or LTE connectivity. SprintFeed’s sources were able to confirm that the hotspot is scheduled to be released on May 18th, although pricing and data plan information is not yet available. More →
NetZero burst onto the scene in 1998 as the first in a crop of Internet service providers that gave subscribers free access to the Web using an advertising-supported model. NetZero’s patented ad technology displayed highly targeted ads to users as they browsed the Internet at dial-up speeds, but it was forced into a freemium model when a number of other ISPs began offering free Web access as well. NetZero continues to offer basic paid dial-up and broadband services, but now the company is going back to its roots in an effort to disrupt the wireless industry as it did to the dial-up industry nearly 14 years ago. More →
Despite the increasing popularity Wi-Fi of integrated tethering functionality across a variety of smartphone platforms, sales of dedicated portable hotspots continue to remain strong. Novatel Wireless, a pioneer in personal mobile hotspots, on Monday announced that lifetime shipments of its MiFi mobile hotspot line has now surpassed 3 million units globally. Beyond the tried and true reliability of Novatel’s MiFi devices — anyone who follows BGR’s live coverage of press conferences knows we rely on them constantly — the milestone reaffirms the fact that many users aren’t willing to sacrifice smartphone battery life for the sake of convergence. “Three years ago we introduced the MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot and revolutionized the way people access the Internet, from anywhere, anytime,” Novatel Wireless CEO Peter Leparulo said in a statement. “The MiFi system architecture brought a new user-experience to mobile broadband consumers, with one click connect and no software to install. It also allows carriers to reach a wider, more diverse subscriber base with innovative service opportunities. We are very pleased to have achieved this milestone illustrating our significant market and product leadership for mobile hotspots.” Novatel’s full press release follows below. More →
Sprint confirmed last month that beginning October 2nd, unlimited mobile hotspot plans would become limited mobile hotspot plans, affording users of the optional smartphone add-on 5GB of tethering data per month. Now, Sprint has added a second service to the unlimited data cemetery: mobile broadband. “If you have a mobile broadband device such as a tablet, netbook, notebook, USB card, connection card or Mobile Hotspot device, effective beginning with your next bill following notification, your on-network monthly data allowance will no longer include unlimited 4G,” Sprint said on its website. Starting next month, Sprint will offer three new mobile broadband plans that cap users at 3GB, 5GB or 10GB of combined 3G and 4G data per billing period depending on their plans. Additional data will be charged at $0.05 per megabyte, and the same overage charge applies to mobile hotspot plans. A table outlining the new plans follows below. More →
Verizon Wireless is seemingly following AT&T’s lead and taking action against subscribers who make use of unauthorized tethering apps. ReadWriteWeb reports that one of its writers was using a “jailbroken tethered Verizon Motorola X” with an unauthorized third-party app, rather than paying for Verizon Wireless’ mobile hotspot solution as its contract terms require. According to the report, the writer was blocked from accessing webpages on devices tethered to her DROID X on Friday, and was instead redirected to a Verizon Wireless page outlining rates for authorized mobile hotspot usage. Last week, AT&T confirmed to BGR that it would soon begin to revoke unlimited smartphone data plans from users who used third-party apps to share their smartphone’s data connection with other devices. Verizon seems to have taken a slightly less abrasive approach, though the outcome is the same: carriers want customers to stop abusing their congested data networks, and AT&T and Verizon are apparently done asking politely. More →
AT&T confirmed to BGR that it will soon begin revoking unlimited data plans from jailbroken iPhone users and other smartphone users who utilize unauthorized tethering and mobile hotspot solutions. Following reports from earlier this year, AT&T on Thursday confirmed that it will remove grandfathered unlimited data plans from accounts belonging to users who tether or use unsanctioned mobile hotspot apps without a tethering plan, which is expressly prohibited by AT&T according to its terms and conditions. “Earlier this year, we began sending letters, emails, and text messages to a small number of smartphone customers who use their devices for tethering but aren’t on our required tethering plan. Our goal here is fairness for all of our customers,” an AT&T spokesperson told BGR via email. The letter outlines three choices for customers who had been making use of unauthorized tethering solutions, one of which is “Do nothing and we’ll go ahead and add the tethering plan on their behalf — after the dated noted in their customer notification.” According to earlier reports, offending users will automatically be bumped to AT&T’s more recent tiered data plan, which affords 2GB of smartphone data and 2GB of tethering data for $45 each month compared to AT&T’s old unlimited smartphone data plan, which costs $30 each month but does not include tethering. A new report from 9to5 Mac claims that users will begin losing unlimited plans as soon as August 11th, but AT&T stated that the policy enforcement date varies depending on when the offending subscriber was sent the notification letter. AT&T’s full statement follows below.
Verizon has confirmed to FierceWireless that it will move to tiered data plans on July 7th, and the new plans are in line with earlier reports for the most part. If you’re worried about losing your existing unlimited plan, fear not; only new customers will be required to subscribe to one of three new data plans: $30 for 2GB of data per month, $50 for 5GB, or $80 for 10GB. Verizon Wireless will then charge $10 per GB of data past the monthly allotment. Mobile hotspot users will need to start paying a monthly fee starting on July 7th, too. Current 4G hotspot owners will be charged $30 for unlimited use and new customers will have to pay $20 per 2GB of data consumed. The good news? Verizon confirmed that existing customers can upgrade on or after July 7th and still hang on to their unlimited data plans — for now, at least. More →
We’re big fans of Verizon Wireless’ Novatel Mi-Fi 4510L 4G LTE hotspot, and now you can pick one up for just $49.99 with a new two-year contract — a $50 savings over the original launch price. If a hotspot isn’t quite your style, Verizon is also offering Novatel’s USB551L 4G LTE USB modem for just $19.99 with a new two-year contract. We’ve been blown away by Verizon’s 4G speeds, and we’re told the sale will only last until July 18th, so be sure to check these out if you’re in the market for a new mobile broadband product. More →
Here’s some good news for DROID Charge, LG Revolution, and HTC ThunderBolt owners: BGR has independently confirmed with Verizon Wireless that the carrier is extending its free 4G LTE mobile hotspot offer on those devices from June 15th to July 6th. Verizon Wireless will issue a software update on July 6th that deactivates the free promotion. Users will then need to pay for the service, and Verizon says 4G phone owners do not qualify for the 1GB $20 monthly option. While the carrier hasn’t yet confirmed new hotspot pricing, the next tier data plan is the $35 3GB monthly hotspot data plan, so that may be the new requirement.
While we’ve been testing out Samsung’s 4G LTE mobile hotspot for a couple weeks, there’s just something about Novatel that we can’t shake. After all, they were the first with a MiFi device. If you have been holding on to the thought of a 4G LTE MiFi ever since CES, today is the day. The Verizon Wireless MiFi 4510L 4G LTE mobile hotspot is now available for purchase from Verizon online, and will be available in stores on April 21st for $99 after a two year service agreement and rebate. Verizon’s $50 monthly service plan gets you 5GB of data usage, with additional usage billed per gigabyte. The new MiFi, in addition to obviously supporting Verizon’s 4G LTE network, features the ability to share a microSD card over your mini wireless-network and offers an eInk display which conveniently shows network status and battery life at all times on the front of the unit. Verizon has also noted — via Twitter — that it has “a mess of new cities and towns” launching with LTE this Thursday, April 21st. The full press release is after the break. More →
Intel gathered by blog TmoNews suggests that T-Mobile’s HSPA+, 4G mobile hotspot will be released this Wednesday, April 13th. First seen at CTIA last month, the hostspot will provide connectivity for up to five Wi-Fi enabled device’s on the company’s wireless network. While we don’t know which HSPA+ radio the device will be packing — 21Mbps or 42Mbps — we do know that it will have a built-in VPN client and “optional SMS” support. We snapped a few images of the little, partially-green, Internet throwing machine (that wouldn’t power on) on the CTIA showroom floor. Have a look for yourself.More →
Recently, Sprint took to its community forums to let customers know that its new Novatel 3G/4G MiFi mobile hotspot is now available. “Sprint is the first carrier to launch a 4G MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot preloaded with MiFi OS™, widgets and application support, adding capabilities beyond just pure Internet connectivity and ensuring customers a reliable device that can easily be upgraded with the newest widgets and applications,” reads the press release. The device, which will allow up to five users to connect to Sprint’s CDMA or WiMAX networks, will retail for $79.99 with a signed two-year contract. The device became available via Sprint’s Direct Ship channel on April 3rd, and it will be available in all retail channels beginning April 17th. The full announcement is after the break. More →
Looking to lasso yourself some of those sweet, sweet LTE airwaves being emitted by Verizon Wireless towers? Don’t really need a new smartphone? You’re in luck. In a pair of press releases today, Verizon announced two, new LTE-enabled network devices, the Verizon USB551L modem (made by Novatel) and the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot. The USB551L is a standard USB data-stick modem capable of connecting your Windows or Mac-based machine to Verizon’s ultra-fast, LTE network. The Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is a MiFi-like device that supports up to five simultaneous, Wi-Fi connections. Both devices will retail for $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and 2-year contract signing, are backwards compatible with Verizon’s CDMA network, and promise LTE download speeds between 5Mbps and 12Mbps. The Samsung hotspot is available immediately and the Novatel USB511L will be available beginning on March 31st. Both press releases are after the break. More →