Apple has yet to release a MacBook with an integrated 3G modem, but that doesn’t mean the company hasn’t toyed with the idea. A 2007 15-inch MacBook Pro has surfaced on eBay with a built-in 3G antenna and a SIM-card slot. The seller says he or she originally purchased the 3G-capable MacBook Pro “for parts,” from a former Apple engineer and said “it was immediately clear this was no normal MacBook Pro.” The machine’s SIM card slot is still recognized by OS X 10.6.8 Leopard but the seller has been unable to get the data connection working properly, and noted that “it’s entirely possible it never worked.” The high bid for the one-of-a-kind MacBook Pro was $11,211.11 at the time of this writing. Read on for a few more images. More →
Earlier this week T-Mobile announced the Rocket 3.0, a new USB data stick built by ZTE that’s capable of running on T-Mobile’s new upgraded 42Mbps HSPA+ 4G network. As our luck would have it, the friendly FedEx guy just dropped off the Rocket 3.0. T-Mobile’s newly upgraded 42Mbps network is available in new markets 55 markets, as well as in New York City, Orlando, and Las Vegas. In our office we averaged 1.17Mbps on the downlink, and 1.07Mbps on the uplink. That’s slow, and in New York City and that throughput is a far cry from what we get with Verizon’s 4G LTE network — but again, we’re not in the 42Mbps coverage area. However, there are parts of New York City that offer optimal data connections, and we’ll be sure to visit them in our full review. The build design of the device is nearly identical to earlier webConnect Rocket products, and we definitely prefer less bulky MiFi devices to USB sticks. The Rocket 3.0 is available for $99.99 from T-Mobile now with a new two year contract. T-Mobile hopes to cover 150 million people with its 4G network this year. Check out our hands-on gallery and hit the jump to see if you’re in one of T-Mobile’s 42Mbps markets.
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 →
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 →
PC World has published a report that compares the 4G data speeds of both smartphones and laptop modems. As we’ve said in the past, we realize that you’re an AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon Wireless customer because that particular carrier provides the services you want, need, and/or like in your area at a price you can afford. Nonetheless, hit the jump to see who was declared the winner! More →
According to a spokesperson, Verizon Wireless is working on a fix for a hand-off delay that some users are experiencing on the company’s new Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. The delay, which can last up to two minutes, occurs when the USB data stick attempts to switch from CDMA to LTE — the modem is not responsive during that time. The issue has been reported by several members of the press and early device testers.
In the same breath, Verizon also noted that it is actively working on Mac drivers for its LTE hardware. Although no specific timetable was given, the spokesperson did say that the software would be available “relatively soon.” More →
Today, Sprint announced the U1901 4G USB WiMax modem. The device is, “compatible with both PC and Mac computers, connecting laptops or netbooks to blazing-fast 4G speeds.” The USB device weighs in at a meager 0.9 ounces, has a Beceem BCSM250 chipset, and has two external antenna ports for a docking cradle (sold separately). Here’s the full release:
Sprint 4G USB Device U1901
High-speed Internet access on the go
Built to work specifically with the Sprint 4G Network, Sprint 4G USB Device U1901 is a small, easy-to-use modem compatible with both PC and Mac computers, connecting laptops or netbooks to blazing-fast 4G speeds. It is compatible with Windows® Vista, Windows® XP, Windows® 7, MAC OS® 10.5 and 10.6. U1901 provides access to Sprint 4G wireless speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G1 in those metropolitan areas across the country enabled with the new 4G mobile broadband service. Visit http://www.sprint.com/4G for a list of Sprint 4G cities launched to date. U1901 is ideally suited for companies wanting to deliver high-bandwidth solutions to workers on-the-go or for remote offices looking to provide basic DSL-like speeds2 to workers in the metro area. U1901 is also an affordable option for value-conscious, highly-mobile Internet users, such as high school and college students who want to browse the Web, send and receive e-mail, access information, and explore social networking and multimedia entertainment.
The device is billed as “affordable” although no price was listed in the announcement. The real deal-breaker is the device only works on 4G… there is no 3G connectivity at all. Better not leave the confines of WiMax covered areas! Hit up the read link to check out the little 4G-packin’ fella. More →
A new connect just dropped some interesting images in our inbox. What you are looking at is Verizon Wireless’ first LTE USB modem that VZW is currently testing. As you can see from our images, the manufacturer is
Samsung LG and the unit contains the much anticipated LTE SIM card. We don’t have much else to report on this one other than the hardware looks to be pretty polished… hopefully it will be released to the masses soon. We’ve got a couple more images for your scrutiny after the break. More →
The NYT reports that Nokia plans to sell its wireless modem business to Japanese company Renesas for $200 million. The NYT cites falling prices (the average cost of a modem is down to 30€ from 120€) and competition from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE. In an official statement, Nokia wrote:
“The planned transfer of Nokia’s wireless modem business enables Renesas Electronics to maximize the value of Nokia’s technology assets and engineering expertise in delivering advanced mobile platform solutions to the market by combining them with Renesas Electronics’ market-proven multimedia processing and RF technologies.”
Most European wireless ISPs give away mobile wireless modems to their customers, making the margins in the wireless modem business extremely small. Nokia did emphasize that it would stay committed and focused on wireless LTE and HSPA+ technologies, which account for “17% of all broadband connection in Europe,” after the sale. More →
CES attendees are in for a bit of a treat from LG which will be demonstrating the growing prowess of LTE. With its USB LTE modem in hand, LG will demonstrate 100Mbps downloads speeds that promise to deliver an entire movie to your mobile phone in under a minute. The Korean manufacturer will also be demonstrating a CDMA to LTE handover, a feat that was first documented last August and unveiled to the public for the first time at CES. Last but not least, LG will be teaming up with Verizon Wireless to display several practical applications of LTE technology including multi-user video conferencing over LTE and remote home security monitoring that can be controlled via a 4G-enabled handset. More →
Nokia’s first LTE modem now available; lifespan projected to be slightly longer than N810 WiMAX Edition
Having theoretically learned something from the N810 WiMAX Edition debacle, Nokia now seems to be letting the market dictate where wireless technology is headed as opposed to trying to cut competition off at the pass. The result: a focus on future-ready products as opposed to tablets no one wants with a broadband connectivity option no one has. This morning Nokia announced the successful trials and partner availability of its RD-3 internet modem. The RD-3 is a modem component that supports an array of GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA and of course LTE bands, making it an ideal development tool for network vendors, OEMs and operators. Nokia, paving the way for LTE development and adoption… We like it.
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.
While light mobile broadband users are busy eying Virgin Mobile’s new prepaid offering, those of you who travel constantly might be interested in Verizon Wireless’ latest USB stick. Dubbed the USB1000, Big Red’s new mobile broadband dongle packs all the connectivity you can handle — CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A, GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band HSPA are all accounted for. As for pricing, the stick itself will run $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. Global data plans on the other hand, are a bit less attractive: $129.99 per month for 100MB of data and $219.99 per month for 200MB. Both plans will run you $0.005 per KB over the allotment and they include 5GB of data in the US and Canada ($0.05 per MB overage). You can also opt for the standard 5GB/$60 plan and pay $0.002 per KB in Canada, $0.005 per KB in Mexico, and $0.02 per KB for international roaming in over 175 other countries. If you’re a true international man of mystery, you should be able to warrant the expense of VZW’s global plans. Occasional travelers on the other hand, might be wise to examine other options. The USB1000 will be available online starting tomorrow.