Sprint, Alcatel OneTouch Team For In-Car Wi-Fi Hot Spot

LTE-equipped Ride-Fi plugs into a car’s 12-volt power socket
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Alcatel OneTouch’s Ride-Fi for Sprint

Sprint is turning cars into mobile hot spots with the launch of the Alcatel OneTouch Ride-fi, which plugs into a vehicle’s 12-volt power socket.

The device incorporates Wi-Fi b/g/n, Sprint’s triband LTE, and CDMA to connect up to eight Wi-Fi devices at a time to the Internet. It also features USB 2.0 port for device charging.

Without contract, the Ride-fi is available at $168 up front or with a 24-month installment-payment plan. It’s free with two-year contract.

The Ride-Fi is the first device of its kind for Sprint. Similar devices are available from AT&T and Verizon, although those models get power by plugging into a car’s OBD-II databus port. AT&T, for example, offers the ZTE Mobley hot spot and the Audiovox Car Connect, which also offers telematics services.  Verizon offers the Delphi Connect, which plugs into an OBDII port to deliver hot spot and telematics service.

Also available is Zubie’s Zubie + In-Car Wi-Fi module, which plugs into an OBDII port to create a Wi-Fi hot spot and deliver telematics services. It features Verizon LTE.

The Ride-Fi comes with Alcatel OneTouch Link app, which lets users set up and manage network passwords, manage connected devices and permissions, monitor data usage and connection speeds, and set usage limits.

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