If you've been on the hunt for Sprint LTE devices that won't yet function on the carrier's latest 4G network (that, ahem, isn't even scheduled to go live until this summer), May 18th seems to be the day to call in sick. The company's first LTE/WiMAX/3G hotspot will be making its way from the Sierra Wireless manufacturing line to your door for the princely sum of $99.99 (after a $50 rebate and a two-year service agreement) on that date. Data plans range in price from $35 for 3GB to $80 for 12 gigs, on whichever network happens to be available in your area. There's a 3,600 mAh battery on board, which will reportedly keep you online for up to eight hours, along with an Overdrive Pro-like info screen for displaying key stats, like remaining power and your wireless key. You'll find a hearty list of suggested usage scenarios in the press release just past the break, if for some reason you need a PR push to discover just how such a device will fit into your life.
Sierra Wireless 4G LTE Tri-Fi Hotspot, Nation's First to Support 4G LTE, 4G WiMAX and 3G, Available May 18 Exclusively from Sprint
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BUSINESS WIRE), May 09, 2012 - Sprint (NYSE: S) and Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR) (TSX: SW) today announced the May 18 availability of the first-ever device to combine 4G connections over LTE and WiMAX networks, Sierra Wireless™ 4G LTE Tri-Fi Hotspot for the Sprint network. Sierra Wireless Tri-Fi Hotspot provides the best combination of speed and coverage to Sprint customers as the upcoming 4G LTE network expands and allows families, small businesses and traveling co-workers to easily share high-speed connections.
Beginning May 18, customers will be able to purchase a Sierra Wireless Tri-Fi Hotspot for $99.99 (excluding taxes) after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement. Customers can purchase the device and sign up for 3G/4G plans at select Sprint retail stores, www.sprint.com, 1-800-SPRINT1 and through business sales.
Sprint data plans for the device start at $34.99 for 3GB of combined 3G/4G data while on the Sprint network. Customers also can choose the $49.99 plan with 6GB of combined 3G/4G data or $79.99 for 12GB of 3G/4G data, which deliver 20 percent more data for the same price as AT&T and Verizon's similar plans.
With this versatile device, customers can extend their Sprint 3G/4G experience beyond their laptops to up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as cameras, music players, personal media players and portable game consoles. In addition, its microSD™ slot allows teams to share files and presentations with network storage, and it can be used as a digital media server. It is simple to set up and connect with no software required.
"Sprint and Sierra Wireless are once again giving customers the flexibility to enjoy 4G performance in any Sprint 4G WiMAX market along with our upcoming 4G LTE markets or Sprint's reliable 3G network when outside a 4G area," said David Owens, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. "Sierra Wireless Tri-Fi Hotspot combines simplicity with compact portability and security to make it ideal for both personal and business use in a variety of situations."
Powered by a 3600mAh battery, Sierra Wireless Tri-Fi Hotspot offers up to eight hours of use and up to eight weeks on standby, helping to ensure it is always ready when needed, even for power users who work away from their desks all day. Similar to Sierra Wireless' Overdrive Pro™ 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot, this device offers a highly informative display screen that provides all the information needed for daily use, including the hotspot name and access code, battery life, number of devices connected, and whether the current connection to the network is 3G or 4G.
"We are excited to be part of Sprint's 4G LTE network deployment and launch," said Dan Schieler, senior vice president, Mobile Computing for Sierra Wireless. "The Tri-Fi Hotspot ensures Sprint customers can reliably make use of the best network connection available to them in a given location and continue to enjoy the freedom of mobile broadband virtually anywhere they go."
With Sierra Wireless Tri-Fi Hotspot:
Consumers and businesses can work remotely anywhere in a 4G coverage area (or virtually anywhere with 3G) and easily connect a laptop, smartphone, tablet or wireless phone through a single connection.
Teams that are traveling can share Internet access with each other at hotels, airports and conference centers.
Taxis, limos and shuttle buses can provide Internet access for customer use while en route to their destination.
Health care teams can rely on an easy, reliable, power-up-and-go solution to use in Emergency Response Team (ERT) Go Kits or while treating patients bedside.
Engineering, construction and insurance teams can instantly upload data, pictures of sites, accidents and images remotely.
Reporters first on the scene of a breaking story can share access to upload stories and photos while at the scene, without missing a beat.
Sierra Wireless and Sprint have enjoyed a long collaboration in leading-edge technology deployments, including in the launch of the Sprint 4G WiMAX network. To assist in Sprint's LTE network deployment, Sierra Wireless developed the world's first LTE Band 25 devices for use in network testing and then provided these devices to Sprint and its network infrastructure partners to facilitate the network deployment.
The Sprint 4G LTE network is expected in mid-year 2012 in limited markets. For more information on Sprint 4G LTE, please visit www.sprint.com/4GLTE.