With the onset of MiFis, smartphone hotspots and other methods of tethering your computer to the 'net, USB modems aren't exactly the most popular devices on the block anymore. It doesn't mean they're not desirable to business folk, however, so most carriers keep at least one or two in their lineup. AT&T just introduced the Beam, its latest dongle from Sierra Wireless, which offers the usual LTE domestically (700/AWS) along with tri-band HSPA+ (850/1900/2100) and quad-band GSM / EDGE.
The key feature here is its built-in 96x64 black-and-white LCD panel, which displays signal strength, data usage and other stats. Finally, it offers mobile hotspot capability, GPS and microSD card support (up to 32GB), and will work on Win 8 / RT laptops and tablets. Dimension-wise, it weighs 1.91 ounces and measures a stout 1.97 x 2.58 x 0.46 inches (50 x 65.5 x 11.7mm). If that fits your purposes, the Beam can be all yours starting May 10th for $20 and a two-year commitment.
AT&T Introduces USB Modem with On-Device LCD Screen on the Nation's Fastest 4G LTE Network
Dallas, Texas, May 06, 2013
On-the-go customers who want to stay connected with their laptop wherever they are have a new option with the AT&T* Beam from Sierra Wireless,** a 4G LTE*** USB modem with a built-in LCD screen. Beginning May 10th, customers can pick-up the AT&T Beam from AT&T stores and online for $19.99 with a two-year commitment.
The AT&T Beam runs on AT&T 4G LTE, the nation's fastest 4G LTE network.*** AT&T 4G LTE cover nearly 200 million people, and AT&T plans to cover 300 million people by the end of 2014. AT&T's 4G LTE network was called "blazing fast" in a report by RootMetrics®, an independent testing organization. The report found AT&T's 4G LTE network delivered the fastest pure LTE speeds in markets where AT&T provided 4G LTE.****
The AT&T Beam is a USB modem with an on-device LCD screen, giving customers access to helpful information - such as network indicator, signal strength, and data usage - with just a glance. The AT&T Beam includes an expandable memory slot that supports microSDTM cards up to 32 GB in size, another great option for storing and transferring documents quickly and easily. With its global roaming capabilities, you can travel internationally and stay connected in more than 210 countries.
"The LCD screen on the AT&T Beam really makes it stands out from traditional USB modems," said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, devices and developer services, AT&T. "This added feature provides real-time information with just a glance. With the support of the nation's fastest 4G network, our customers have even more flexibility to stay productive wherever they are, giving them more control of their mobile experience."
AT&T Beam offers quick and easy setup with plug and play software installation. And in addition to Windows 7 support, AT&T Beam is certified for Windows 8 and Windows RT laptops and tablets, making it easy to stay productive on the go. The connectivity software, AT&T AllAccess, also provides Windows 7 laptop users the ability to create a mobile hotspot that can share the nation's fastest 4G network with up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices.