As 4G WiMax wireless continues to gather steam, Sprint this week unveiled a router that allows Wi-Fi devices to connect to its WiMax network, giving users the best of both worlds.
According to Sprint, the Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless will be available Jan. 10. The portable router connects to Sprint's 3G and 4G WiMax networks and allows up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices to connect simultaneously, meaning laptops, gaming devices, smartphones, cameras and any Wi-Fi device regardless of carrier can connect via Wi-Fi to WiMax and get a speed boost of up to 10 times.
"There's no need to wait for 4G devices to enjoy the benefits of 4G: Overdrive creates a connection between the Sprint 4G network and virtually all of the hundreds of millions of Wi-Fi-enabled electronics devices owned by or available to customers today," Sprint said in a statement.
The Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot can be used at home, in the office, in dorms or on the road to connect Wi-Fi devices to either Sprint's 3G Mobile Broadband Network or Sprint's 4G WiMax network. So far, Sprint 4G WiMax is available in 27 markets and continues to expand.
"This device delivers the connected lifestyle to our customers in 'overdrive,' " said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO, in a statement. "The fact that it connects up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices is especially meaningful because at 4G speeds, customers can download and upload more data --gigabytes, not megabytes -- in a matter of seconds. The Overdrive on the 4G network is made for the multitude of bandwidth-hungry applications customers want to access wirelessly, like video streaming. 4G beats 3G for speed and for value."
The Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot features an LCD that indicates battery life and Internet connection status and Web interface to customize settings. It also features GPS capabilities on 3G; a MicroSD slot for a memory card up to 16 GB, creating shared storage with up to five connecting devices; and a Wi-Fi range of up to 150 feet.
Sprint said starting Jan. 10 the Overdrive router will be available for $100 after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement. Monthly service will run roughly $60.