Sprint on Monday announced two new less expensive mobile broadband data plans that will replace the carrier’s existing plans. The changes apply to tablets, mobile hotspot devices, netbooks, notebooks and USB modems. Customers may choose between a $49.99 plan that provides 6GB of 3G or 4G data per month or a $79.99 plan that provides 12GB of data per month. Sprint’s plans offer an additional 1GB of data compared to Verizon Wireless’s competing plans, and it hopes that’s a draw for new customers. In addition to the aforementioned plans, Sprint is also introducing a new $19.99 data plan for tablets that provides 1GB of 3G/4G data per month as well as a new $34.99 plan for tablets and mobile hotspots that provides 3GB of data per month. The full press release from Sprint follows after the break. 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 →
Consumers will spend $2.1 trillion on digital information and entertainment products in 2011, Gartner says
According to a new research report from Gartner, consumers are on track to spend a record $2.1 trillion on digital information and entertainment products this year. That figure is expected to hit $2.8 trillion by 2015. $1.2 trillion — 62% — is spent on subscription-based communication services such as mobile, voice, and data services, broadband packages, video services, online gaming, and cable TV subscriptions. $600 billion, 28% of the total $2.1 trillion, is spent on devices themselves, and 10% is spent on content such as computer software, video on-demand, and pay-per-view services. “The three key technology areas that will offer the best opportunity for vendors during the next three years are: wireless broadband, which will enable constant connectivity; location-based services (LBS), which will personalize and take advantage of the constant connected state; and operating systems, which are the foundation for integration applications that can bring it all together,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal research analyst at Gartner, said. Read on for the full release. More →
Despite AT&T’s current lack of 4G branding, the carrier announced Monday that its mobile broadband network is currently the fastest in the U.S. The new claim comes on the back of a “comprehensive third-party drive test” performed by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS). The findings show that AT&T’s wireless network delivers the fastest average download speeds in the country compared to other major wireless carriers. According to a nice color-coded graph that helps AT&T dance around having to name its competition, we can see that Verizon Wireless’ network was found to be a whopping 60% slower, on average. Sprint had the next fastest network according to GWS, but it was 55% slower than AT&T. T-Mobile’s “4G” network fared better but it still delivered download speeds that were an average of 20% slower than AT&T. Hit the break for the nifty color-coded chart that helps illustrate GWS’ findings while also helping to keep AT&T out of hot water. More →
In April, Verizon Wireless took its new LTE network to the streets, publicly pimping their next-generation, 4G network in Boston, MA. In a three minute promotional video that hit Big Red’s official YouTube, Verizon showcases users canned spontaneous reactions to the 8.5 Mbps download and 2.2 MBps upload speeds offered by the carrier’s new network. Folks at the Sicilian Pizzeria in Beantown — where the video was mostly filmed — seemed thrilled with the mobile download speeds, repeatedly commenting that the connection was “fast” and items were downloading “almost immediately.” With Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G on the horizon, the timing of the video makes it pretty clear that Verizon is trying to keep its customers focused on the promise-land that is LTE — as opposed to the already available WiMAX from its competition. Hit the jump for the full video. More →
This month, we spent some time parading around Boston with the Overdrive mobile hotspot, Sprint’s first 3G/4G hybrid mobile router. And while we weren’t able to test out the 4G goodness in Boston, no WiMAX love yet — though we gave it a go in Las Vegas — that didn’t stop us from creating a quick video review of the device for your viewing pleasure. Here is a quick overview of what we thought:
- The LCD screen on the front of the device is great. Really addresses one of the large complaints about the MiFi device in general, you had no idea what it was doing. The LCD screen brings instant visibility to signal, data transfer, and network information.
- We loved how easy the setup is; you could guide your grandfather through it over the phone. Think of it as being slightly more refined than the MiFi set up process.
- 3G speeds were very good in Boston.
- The MicroSD card slot made file sharing easy with other users connected to the router and is a great added feature.
- Battery life at 3 hours isn’t the most amazing part of the Overdrive, and we wish it would have lasted a bit longer.
- While I personally didn’t mind the size of the Overdrive, it was larger than BG thought it would be and for that reason alone he prefers the MiFi. I would rather have the flexibility of having a 4G-enabled device and deal with the slightly larger physical size and extra 2.5 ounces.
Hit the break for the video! More →
To entice customers to jump on board the WiMAX bandwagon, Sprint has lowered the price of its 3G/4G mobile broadband plan by $10, bringing the final price down to a competitive $59.99 per month. The wireless includes unlimited 4G usage and 5GB of in-network 3G usage or 300MB of out-of-network 3G usage. The lowered plan launched alongside the Sierra Wireless 3G/4G Overdrive hotspot and is now available with any 3G/4G combo device. Anyone sitting on the WiMAX fence going to take the plunge now that that the price of Sprint’s combo 3G/4G mobile broadband plan is as low as its 3G-only plan?
Time to get your world traveling on, Verizon Wireless subscribers. Big Red has just announced the latest addition to its global roaming-ready mobile broadband lineup and as long as you can handle the rather loud choice of coloring, it’s not a bad option at all. The ZTE AD3700 USB modem packs just about every type of connectivity you could possibly need at the moment — EV-DO, GSM, GPRS, EDGE and UMTS are all covered in a single, relatively small package. The modem also features a USB connector that swivels to suit any and all laptop designs. As far as pricing and availability, the ZTE AD3700 will hit stores starting tomorrow for $79.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate on a new 2-year mobile broadband contract.
If the thought of browsing the internet on your laptop while hurtling down the Trans-Canada Highway at speeds in excess of 90 km/h gets you all excited (while someone else is driving, of course), perhaps it’s time you head on over to your nearest Bell dealer and take a look at the newly released Novatel Wireless U760 USB Modem. Free on a 3-year contract or $174.95 contract-free, the EV-DO Rev. A-capable U760 is meant to be used in conjunction with Bell’s Mobile Internet plans starting at $30 for 500MB and topping out at $85 for up to 5GB. Just a warning, however: if you plan to take a trip south of the border you might want to leave your U760 at home as roaming will set you back $3 per MB.
Just one day after we scooped fresh product shots of Virgin Mobile USA’s first mobile broadband device, the Novatel Wireless MC760, the company has announced the availability of its contract-free Broadband2Go service. Touted as a 3G nationwide wireless Internet service, the MVNO’s new offering is sure to pique the interest of infrequent travelers and light mobile broadband users who simply can’t justify a $60 per month service for sporadic usage. Out of the gate, the pricing structure is a bit different than we had believed back when we first broke news of the coming broadband offering. Users will be able to purchase Broadband2Go Top-Up cards in the following denominations:
- $10 — 100MB usable for 10 days
- $20 — 250MB usable for 30 days
- $40 — 600MB usable for 30 days
- $60 — 1GB usable for 30 days
On the surface these options appear to be a bit pricey but again, postpaid options from other carriers can cost $720 per year or more. For users who only need mobile broadband access a few months out of each year, spending a total of $60, $120 or even $180 for Top-Up cards that will get them through a full year translates into massive savings.
As we weigh our options in seeking out an alternative to the USB modem that completely and utterly failed us in Vegas, a new option has just presented itself in the form of a nifty little hybrid broadband card from Sprint. Announced this morning, the Sierra Wireless AirCard 402 features a unique design that allows Sprint to cover users with PC Card slots and ExpressCard slots in one swing. The design places a broadband ExpressCard within a PC Card shell — as you can see in the image above, the two pieces join when a PC Card is required, but they can also be separated to support newer, smaller notebooks and netbooks requiring an ExpressCard. Very clever. The AirCard 402 supports EV-DO Rev. A of course, giving users access to “typical upload speeds of 350-500 Kbps with peak speeds of 1.8 Mbps and typical download speeds of 600 Kbps – 1.4 Mbps with peak speeds of 3.1 Mbps where EV-DO Revision A is available.”
This little guy is definitely a nice solution for users with both a notebook and a netbook where one type of card might not fit in both. It’s also great for those of you sporting an older notebook with a PC Card slot, but who will likely be upgrading to a newer laptop in the future. The Sierra Wireless AirCard 402 is available right now and will set you back a pretty reasonable $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate.
[Via Press Release]
Alltel has reportedly launched a new $40 wireless broadband add-on option, a $20 drop from the regular $60 per month price tag. Customers must subscribe to a Smart Choice voice plan to be eligible for this $40 wireless broadband add-on, but it’s still not too shabby for a truly unlimited (read: no usage cap) EV-DO mobile broadband connection. Sorry Alltel-Verizon Wireless customers as this feature is reportedly available for divested customers only. Doh!
Following in the footsteps of Acer and its $99 Radioshack Aspire One, Dell announced on Friday that it will be selling its Inspiron Mini 9 netbook with integrated mobile broadband for a mere $99 with a two-year AT&T LaptopConnect agreement ($60/month). Unfortunately, the $99 price tag comes after a $350 Dell Mail-in-Rebate which may scare away more than a few prospective buyers. The $99 price ends January 31st, 2009 so you have only three weeks to jump on this offer. As with the Acer deal, it really only makes sense if a LaptopConnect contract was already in your future as a $99 Mini 9 is hardly worth $720/year otherwise.