Sprint Unveils 3G/4G Hot Spot

By Joseph Palenchar On Jan 18 2010 - 8:00am

Sprint went to International CES to launch the U.S. market's first 3G/4G mobile hot spot, a battery-operated pocket-size device that connects up to five Wi-Fi devices at a time to the Internet via Sprint's 3G and 4G networks.

Other mobile hot spots operate only in 3G networks.

The Sierra Wireless-made device, called the Overdrive, will retail for $99 beginning Jan. 10 after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement. It will be available through select Sprint-owned stores and other Sprint direct channels, and Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn said 182 Best Buy stores in 10 markets will carry it beginning Jan. 10.

Sprint's 4G network is operating in 27 markets reaching 30 million people, and by year's end, the network will expand to reach 120 million people, Sprint CES Dan Hesse said.

The Overdrive operates for three to four hours on its batteries and is robust enough to replace a wired broadband modem in the home, the carrier said, given average 4G speeds of 3Mbps to 6Mbps compared with average 3G speeds of 600kbps to 1.7Mbps.

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