Sprint announced the Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot from Sierra Wireless on Friday, its latest WiMAX device. The Overdrive Pro allows Sprint users to connect up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices to share a 3G/4G connection. Sprint boasts that the Overdrive Pro is smaller than the original, offers a 35 percent improvement in power up and down time, and has a larger LCD display. Double pressing the power button will also display more detailed information about the device and its connection. The Overdrive Pro will be available on March 20th for $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year Sprint agreement. We assume the Overdrive Pro will be on display at CTIA next week, so stay tuned for a hands-on. The full press release is after the break. More →
AT&T has started to issue warnings to customers unofficially tethering their smartphones to its network. In an email to unauthorized tetherers, the company writes, “Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.” The correspondence goes on to note that users will be automatically enrolled in the $45 per month “DataPro for Smartphone Tethering” plan if they ignore the warning. “The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan,” the email continues. The standard DataPro offering is $25 per month and provides users with 2GB of monthly data, although some users are still clinging to a discontinued, $30 per month 5GB data plan. It is safe to assume that a large portion of the unofficial, tethering populous is jailbroken iPhone users and rooted Android users. “If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.” A copy of the email tethering-cheaters are receiving is after the break.
One of our sources has just let us know something pretty interesting. There has been a lot of talk surrounding Apple’s personal hotspot feature, specifically it’s capability of only supporting 3 wireless connections (as opposed to 5 like many other devices). Well, we have been told it’s all left to the carrier to decide. If a carrier requests it, five devices will be supported, but by default, it’s three.
Oh, and we’ve also been told iOS 4.3 will be available for download publicly at 10AM PT today. Fire up iTunes and get your update trigger-finger ready!
To Apple’s credit: it has consistently said that its Personal Hotspot feature would “support five connections.” It did this without ever actually specifying what type of connections those were. According to support documentation on the iPhone maker’s website, those utilizing the Personal Hotspot feature in iOS 4.3 will be allowed to share their phone’s internet connection with up to five devices, however, only three of them can be over Wi-Fi. Yes, it seems the other two connections will have to be made using Bluetooth and USB respectively. Most of the tech world assumed — present company included — that the five connected devices in question would all be suckling from the iPhone’s data connection via Wi-Fi. Which is, obviously, not the case. We can’t say we remember the last time (if there ever was a time) that we had five devices connected to a cellular hotspot device, but that’s just us. Is this a deal breaker for anyone? More →
While speaking with blog Phone Scoop, AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom acknowledged his company’s plans to support the mobile hotspot feature available in iOS 4.3. “To utilize this feature, customers will need to subscribe to the DataPro 4GB, $45 tethering data plan,” said Bloom. The $45, DataPro plan is currently required by iPhone customers looking to tether their device via USB or Bluetooth. Apple will make iOS 4.3 available to the public on March 11th. Bloom did not indicate whether the feature would be supported then, on day-one, but we can’t imagine too much lag time (especially since some iOS 4.3 beta users have it working now). How many of you AT&T users are going to shell out an extra $20 a month for some Wi-Fi hotspot action? More →
According to a tip received by TmoNews, the nation’s fourth largest carrier — T-Mobile — is readying a new, unlimited data-plan for launch later this year. The information comes courtesy of a training document, which reads:
Please note that a [sic] an unlimited plan for more than 5GB of monthly data use will launch sometime this year.
Currently, users on T-Mobile’s unlimited, monthly data plan are subject to throttled downlink speeds after 5GB of use; presumably the new plan would up or remove the full-speed quota. The title of said document is “T-Mobile 4G Mobile Hotspot” and it’s purpose is to educate T-Mo reps on how to prevent “third-degree bill-shock.” Nice. More →
According to fresh intel acquired by blog Droid-Life, Verizon Wireless has delayed the release of the HTC Thunderbolt from February 14th to a future date listed as to-be-determined. The memo, which was presumably sent out to retail employees, does not indicate why the handset’s go-live date has changed. The communication goes on to note that the LTE mobile hotspot feature will also be delayed. Originally set to launch on the 17th of February, the feature’s date is now also listed as TBD. Not great news for Verizon fans. Feel free to vent your frustrations in the comments. More →
Today, via a press release, AT&T announced one addition and one change to its smartphone data plan offerings. First, the addition. AT&T will now offer a mobile hotspot plan that will provide users with 4GB of monthly data to use via their handset or while connected to their handset as a hotspot. The plan will be available February 13th and will retail for $45 per month. Second, AT&T is revising the data allowance on its smartphone tethering offering. Previously, users could pay $20 per month for the ability to tether their smartphone to their computer; no additional data was provided for this fee, you simply shared your 2GB monthly allowance with your computer. Now, those who pony up the $20 will be given an additional 2GB of bandwidth (for a total of 4GB monthly) to play with. Not bad AT&T, not bad at all. Customers who are already enrolled in the tethering plan will receive a text message from AT&T around February 13th alerting them of their newly increased data pool. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Planning to get yourself an HTC ThunderBolt from Verizon Wireless? Good news: a Verizon branded training document, bearing today’s date, indicates that the LTE handset will ship with hotspot-creation capabilities and the ability to simultaneously use voice and data while on Verizon’s 3G network. The memo does have a rather ominous statement that reads:
There is functionality in the Thunderbolt that allows simultaneous voice and data while on the VZW 3G network, however, we cannot promise the experience will be one that is consistent with our brand. As a result, do not reference this functionality as a benefit during your conversations with customers.
Not sure what that means, but we’ll take our chances. A similar training document surfaced last week and stated that the device would not be shipping with the popular hotspot feature. It is unclear whether the prior document was erroneous or if a technical hurdle was overcome in the past few days.
There you have it, simultaneous voice and data and the ability to create your very own mobile hotspot. Did this just seal the ThunderBolt-deal for anyone? More →
We just spent some more time with the Verizon iPhone’s one added feature — a feature that is sure to make GSM iPhone owners jealous — the personal hotspot. The mobile hotspot implementation on the CDMA iPhone is, like all things Apple, pretty simple and takes little effort to get up and running. There’s a blue notification bar that appears on the top of the device’s screen that shows you how many clients are connected and a simple interface to toggle the hotspot on and off and set the password. Mobile hotspot functionality will be available on the Verizon iPhone at launch for an extra monthly fee — likely $20 to line up with other similar services.
Has the addition of the mobile hotspot pushed any of you current iPhone owners over the edge? Ready to switch?
We’ve taken a few more candids for you to take a look at.
Check it, check it — we just went all up close and personal with HTC’s Thunderbolt for Verizon Wireless, the device we first showed to the world, and have a deluge of photos and hands-on video for you to enjoy. The handset is, of course, LTE 4G compatible on Big Red’s network and features the latest HTC Sense UI with built-in Skype video calling, 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 4.3-inch display, Android 2.2 and MiFi hotspot mode. The screen looks beautiful, and we’re told it’s a Super LCD display. As far as feel goes, it feels good though a tad bit… hollow? Not the end of the world for such a lustworthy handset, right? Our gallery and video are all after the break!
In the week or so that I have been testing the AT&T MiFi 2372 by Novatel Wireless, it has already saved no less than three lives.
First, it saved my cable guy’s life. You see, Time Warner Cable provides the worst home Internet service I have ever experienced. I can’t even think of a close second. If providing terrible home Internet service was a sport, Time Warner Cable would be on its tenth consecutive undefeated season. Forget the fact that my upload speed is capped at 60Kbps and I’m lucky if I can get half that — it has been months since I’ve gone through a full day without at least one service interruption. Months. Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable has an exclusive contract with my building so I have no choice but to endure its abysmal service. Last week, as a Time Warner Cable technician entered my home for the sixth time in two months, I realized that this certainly would have spelled serious trouble had it not been for my trusty new back up device. More →
It took long enough, but AT&T has finally announced the addition of a portable hotspot device to its lineup of mobile broadband products. The HSPA+ compatible MiFi 2370 connects to AT&T’s cellular data network and then allows up to five devices to share the data connection via Wi-Fi. The 2372 is powered by Novatel’s MiFi operating system, which features support for widgets and apps. It also features microSDHC support up to 32GB and integrated GPS. AT&T will offer two data plans alongside its new MiFi — a 200MB option for $35 per month and a 5GB option for $60 per month.
The MiFi 2372 will become available online and in AT&T stores nationwide on November 21st for $49.99 after $100 mail-in rebate with a two-year agreement. Hit the break for the full press announcement. More →