Verizon Wireless on Monday announced a new prepaid plan that offers unlimited talk, text, and 1GB of data for $80. The monthly plan is only being offered on the 3G Samsung Illusion, which can be had for $169.99 and will be available at Best Buy, Target, RadioShack and Walmart. Verizon also announced three different prepaid plans for its Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot. The nation’s largest carrier is offering 250MB of data for usage for a week for $15, 3GB of data per month for $60, and 10GB a month for $90. The Verizon Jetpack 4510L will be available for $129.99. Verizon’s press release follows below.
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 →
Along with 4G LTE support, Apple’s new iPad will include a new personal hotspot feature that will vary from carrier to carrier. AT&T and Verizon Wireless are the exclusive carriers of the iPad in the U.S. and both carriers offer a mobile hotspot feature on their smartphones, however it was unknown if the feature would be offered on the new iPad as well. Verizon Wireless on Thursday supplied GottaBeMobile with confirmation that the feature will be included — for no additional charge — with each data plan. “The tablet data plans include the mobile hotspot just as they do today,” a Verizon spokeswoman said. “Data plans begin at 2GB for $30 and go to 10 GB for $80 and includes the mobile hot spot. The iPads have one additional option of 1GB for $20.” AT&T will not offer the feature at launch, but may enable it in the future. “We are working with Apple to enable this feature in the future, but we currently do not offer it,” an AT&T spokesman told 9To5Mac. More →
At the Consumer Electronics Show, Verizon Wireless and Motorola announced the much-anticipated DROID 4, the fourth installment of Verizon’s original flagship device. The DROID 4 comes in at only half an inch thick and includes the expected 5-row keyboard with a 4-inch qHD display. The device features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4G LTE connectivity, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, and an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p video. The DROID 4 will be released with Android 2.3.5 and receive an update to Ice Cream Sandwich in the future. Verizon’s popular DROID RAZR will be adding the color purple to the lineup of black and white models, and have its priced dropped to $199. Additionally, Verizon announced the DROID RAZR MAXX designed for customers who are looking to push things to the limit. The device features a larger battery with an estimated 21 hours on a single charge. As the longest-lasting smartphone available, the MAXX is still only 8.99 mm thick. The DROID RAZR MAXX comes equipped with 32 GB of total memory and will be $299.99 with a new two-year customer agreement.
Verizon, ZTE, and Novatel also announced Verizon Jetpacks, two global ready 4G LTE mobile hotspot. Both Jetpacks allow up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices to share Verizon’s blazing fast 4G LTE network and come with an OLED screen and interactive keypad to manage connection settings and to display data alerts. When using the Jetpack, international travelers will have access to the Web in more than 205 countries, including more than 125 with 3G speeds all from their Wi-Fi-connected devices. Verizon’s 4G LTE network reaches more than 200 million people in the United States covering a total of 190 markets. Pricing hasn’t be announced, however all announced devices will be available with in the “coming weeks.” Read on for Verizon’s press release. More →
Despite the proliferation of smartphones that include built-in mobile hotspot capabilities, the market for dedicated mobile hotspot routers like Novatel Wireless’s Mifi line of products is seen growing significantly over the next five years. According to a new report from market research and analysis firm ABI Research, 7.1 million dedicated mobile hotspot devices will ship in 2011 carrying an estimated end-user revenue value of $1 billion. In 2016, ABI expects annual shipments to reach 60 million units, representing more than $5 billion in end-user revenue value. Read on for more. 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 →
Sprint on Thursday confirmed that it will soon introduce a data cap tied to its mobile hotspot add-on for smartphone users. Currently, Sprint subscribers with compatible smartphones can pay an extra $29.99 per month for unlimited Wi-Fi tethering, which allows other devices to connect via Wi-Fi in order to utilize a Sprint phone’s 3G or 4G data connection. Beginning October 2nd, the mobile hotspot add-on will be capped at 5GB of data per month. Read on for more. More →
Sprint will reportedly introduce a 5GB cap on mobile hotspot data for smartphone users beginning October 2nd. A purported leaked document obtained by SprintFeed states that Sprint’s $29.99 Wi-Fi tethering add-on for smartphones will no longer be unlimited beginning early next month. Additional data above the 5GB cap will be billed at $0.05 per megabyte according to the document. The new policy would not impact standard smartphone data, nor would it affect the mobile hotspot function on tablets. This is a slippery slope, however, and it could indicate that Sprint’s unlimited data plans are eating too much the carrier’s margins to be sustainable. Sprint has told BGR on numerous occasions that it will continue to offer unlimited data plans for as long as it can, and the carrier is expected to launch Apple’s iPhone 5 next month with unlimited data. Sprint did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Following BGR’s exclusive report on Monday revealing that AT&T’s 4G LTE network has gone live in Chicago, we have received new images confirming that the network is alive and kicking in Atlanta as well. A source has provided BGR with multiple images of AT&T’s 4G LTE service in action, and we have verified that the tester is indeed located in Atlanta, Georgia. Our source in Chicago had trouble finding full service, but Atlanta seems to be blanketed a bit better at this pre-launch stage. Using an AT&T Elevate 4G LTE mobile hotspot, our tester in Atlanta saw download speeds approach 25Mbps and upload speeds in excess of 8Mbps — much faster than the already speedy tests we saw up north. Again, these pre-launch tests do not necessarily represent the data speeds AT&T subscribers will see when the 4G LTE network officially goes live this summer. And just as was the case in Chicago, it is unclear if AT&T’s 4G LTE network has been soft launched in Atlanta or if service will only appear intermittently while the network is being tested. Images showing AT&T 4G LTE speed tests in Atlanta can be seen in our photo gallery, which is linked below.
AT&T’s 4G LTE network went live this past weekend in the Chicago area, and initial speed tests reveal impressive download speeds. AT&T has yet to announce the availability of LTE service in Chicago or any other launch market, but BGR has obtained exclusive images and speed test results from a source who has tested the network there. Ahead of an official launch, AT&T 4G LTE service is likely to be available only intermittently during testing, though it is also possible that Chicago has been soft launched following the launch of AT&T’s first two 4G LTE devices last week. Read on for 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.
AT&T on Tuesday revealed the first two 4G LTE devices that will launch on its forthcoming LTE network later this summer. The AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G and AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G will christen the new cellular broadband network, which is set to launch in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio this summer before extending to at least 15 markets later this year. AT&T says 70 million Americans will be covered by its 4G LTE network before the end of 2011. Both the Momentum 4G USB modem and the Elevate 4G mobile hotspot will feature compatibility with AT&T’s HSPA+ 4G network as well, ensuring both coverage and confusion for customers across the country. “AT&T recognizes that customers want a consistent, responsive network performance from major cities to their neighborhood. Our deployment of 4G LTE technology backed by our nationwide HSPA+ network allows us to give customers a superior mobile broadband experience today and for years to come,” said AT&T Mobility SVP, Devices Jeff Bradley in a statement. ”As we begin to roll out our 4G LTE network this year, AT&T customers will be able to choose from several new LTE devices, starting with the AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G and AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G.” The Momentum 4G will cost $49.99 and the Elevate 4G will cost $69.99, each with a 2-year data contract. AT&T’s full press release follows below. More →