Clearwire reaches out to the no-nonsense Internet generation with Rover, a portable 4G wireless networking device in Puck (with up to eight connections) and Stick (for a single notebook or desktop) configurations.
Wireless broadband services provider Clearwire announced the debut of Rover,
a pay-as-you-go 4G mobile broadband service the company is marketing as ideal
for "digitally addicted youth" who are tired of slow speeds, binding
contracts and overpriced service. Rover is priced at $5 a day, $20 a week or
$50 a month for unlimited 4G Internet usage. New users receive two free days of
service, and the company is also offering a 14-day return policy for any device
purchases made via the Rover Website or in Clear stores.
Rover's flagship device is the Rover Puck, an ergonomically designed
portable WiFi hot spot that lets users share broadband access, or "Puck,"
with up to eight devices at home or on the go. The Puck serves as an access
point for devices such as laptops, netbooks, Apple's iPad and iPod Touch,
smartphones, PSP systems, game consoles, and WiFi-enabled digital cameras,
among others. The company said the Puck, which retails for $149.99, features
mobile download speeds of 3M to 6M bps, with bursts over 10M bps (up to 4x
faster than conventional 3G), using Clearwire's 4G network.
The Rover Stick is a personal 4G USB
modem that connects any notebook, laptop or desktop to the Rover 4G Service.
The Rover Stick is compatible with MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops using Mac OS
X, as well as netbooks and notebooks running Windows XP, Windows Vista and
Windows 7. Offering the same Internet speed as the Puck, the Stick is available
"Simple, commitment-free wireless services are wildly popular with the
Gen Y crowd, and Rover provides them with the first pay-as-you-go unlimited
mobile Internet offering at 4G speeds," said Mike Sievert, chief
commercial officer for Clearwire. "We've built Rover from the ground up
with products, pricing and features designed specifically to serve a younger
market who knows how you get connected is just as important as where. Expanding
our offers to meet this underserved segment is an important new business
opportunity for Clearwire as we continue to extend our leadership in mobile
Depending on the retail channel, Clearwire said customers will
be able to purchase a Rover Re-Up PIN code or physical Re-Up card in $20 or $50
denominations. Re-Up is available online, at all retail outlets carrying the
Puck or Stick, as well as at Re-Up specific retail locations, according to a
company release. Clearwire noted Rover does not require a credit card to
"The opportunity for pay-as-you-go mobile broadband should not be
underestimated," said Carrie MacGillvray, program manager and wireless
analyst at IT research firm IDC.
"Prepaid-or pay-as-you-go-data provides an option for consumers to
experiment with the power of mobile broadband without being saddled with a
two-year commitment. A prepaid mobile broadband service can offer consumers the
ability to access and share Internet service, at home or on the go, in an
Seth Cummings, general manager of Rover, said their target audience has
never known life without Internet. "They love their devices, and they want
as much speed and capacity as possible, without the limits and commitments of
most mobile options," he said. "Rover offers iconic devices along
with straight-forward pricing, and plans where unlimited truly means unlimited.
It is not in Rover's DNA to be constraining,
confusing or complex."