Sprint Launches Two 3G/4G Hot Spot Routers
Sprint today announced two of its latest WiMax (Sprint 4G) devices, the Sprint Personal Hotspot PHS300S and the Cradlepoint MBR-1000. Like a MiFi (but with WiMAX support), these devices take existing broadband connections–be it a 3G or 4G one–and create a Wi-Fi hotspot for any device to hook up to. The larger 7 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches Cradlepoint MBR-1000 is particularly attractive because it supports up to 32 device at once, so you can literally create a hotspot for your work-group with just one 4G connection. Based on our hands-on with CLEAR’s WiMAX speeds in Las Vegas recently (4.36Mbps down, 571Kbps up), though, the downlink data rates aren’t anything you’d want to share if everyone plans on streaming videos or bouncing around in World of Warcraft. The smaller 4.7 x 2.8 x .8 inches Personal Hotspot PHS300S allows up to four people to share the connection at once. Sprint’s data plans range from $39.99 to $79.99 per month, depending if you want 4G and 3G together or just a 4G connection. The Personal HotSpot PHS300S will set you back $149.99 while the Cradlepoint MBR1000 will cost $249.99. Both are available on Sprint’s Web site or in select Sprint stores where a 3G network is available. Currently, that means you have to live in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Portland, and Seattle. Oddly, Sprint 4G is called CLEAR in Las Vegas and WiMAX is still called XOHM in Baltimore. Devices for both of those networks still require provisioning between the two, a problem CLEAR and Sprint 4G are going to have to settle soon. Think customers are confused enough yet?