CTIA 2013 Las Vegas – Sprint came to the CTIA show to announce its first three mobile data devices that will tap into three Sprint LTE bands to provide improved performance and stronger in-building coverage as the carrier deploys LTE service.
The three data devices will be available sometime in the summer. The carrier also expects tri-band LTE smartphones from Samsung and LG to be available to Sprint subscribers before the end of the year.
The devices and phones will access 4G LTE service in the 1.9GHz and 800MHz bands as well as in Clearwire’s planned 2.5GHz LTE band.
Sprint’s 1.9GHz spectrum is the company’s primary 4G LTE band, with LTE service available in 88 markets nationwide. Another 170 additional markets will go online “in the coming months.”
Sprint will bring LTE to its 800MHz spectrum starting later this year, using spectrum obtained by turning off its 2G Nextel network on June 30.
The carrier said 2.5GHz spectrum in which Clearwire is planning to deploy LTE will be used to provide increased speeds and capacity in densely populated cities, Sprint said without mentioning a timetable for Clearwire’s rollout.
The new tri-band data devices are the MiFi 500 LTE mobile hotspot from Novatel Wireless, the international-capable NETGEAR Zing Mobile Hotspot, and the plug-in NETGEAR 341U USB Modem. Pricing and exact availability dates weren’t provided. All also connect to Sprint’s 3G CDMA network.
Novatel’s hot spot connects to up to 10 Wi-Fi devices and features 1,800 mAh battery with an average of up to 10 hours of use on a single charge. It also features GPS functionality over Wi-Fi.
Sierra Wireless’ NETGEAR Zing Mobile Hotspot is Sprint’s first CDMA/LTE mobile hotspot with international roaming capabilities via GSM. It is also Sprint’s first LCD touchscreen hotspot. It connects to up to 10 Wi-Fi users and features 2,500 mAh battery for up to 10 hours of typical use.
The NETGEAR 341U USB modem features 3G CDMA and built-in LCD screen display to monitor connection status, signal strength and data usage with a quick glance. No software needs to be installed on mobile devices to use it.