Verizon Offering Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, Novatel USB 4G Modem
Verizon Wireless will begin taking orders for a Novatel USB-style 4G LTE Modem March 31, in addition to the Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot subscribers can already pre-order.Verizon Wireless is hard at work building out its 4G capabilities. After beginning to take orders March 29 for the Samsung 4G Long-Term Evolution Mobile Hotspot, the wireless company announced it will also accept orders for a new Novatel Wireless USB-based 4G LTE wireless modem, starting March 31. The Samsung Hotspot, which can act as a WiFi hotspot for five devices, measures 2.32 by 3.54 by 0.45 inches, weighs 2.7 ounces and offers 216 minutes of use per charge. It's compatible with enterprise VPNs and 4G SIM cards. With a two-year contract, and after an online $50 discount, Verizon has priced it at $100. (Without the discount or contract, expect to pay $270.)
The Samsung Hotspot, which can act as a WiFi hotspot for five devices, measures 2.32 by 3.54 by 0.45 inches, weighs 2.7 ounces and offers 216 minutes of use per charge. It's compatible with enterprise VPNs (virtual private networks) and 4G SIM cards. With a two-year contract, and after an online $50 discount, Verizon has priced it at $100. (Without the discount or contract, expect to pay $270.) Similarly, the Novatel Wireless USB will sell for $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate and with a new two-year agreement on a 4G Mobile Broadband plan - which begins at $50 a month for 5GB. It supports Windows XP 32-bit, Vista 32/64-bit and Windows 7 32/64-bit operating systems, as well as Mac OS X 10.4 or higher. On Verizon's 4G network, users can expect download speeds of 5 to 12Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5Mbps. Launched in December 2010, it covers 38 cities and 60 airports - an area, according to Verizon, that reaches one-third of all Americans. By 2013 the carrier plans to expand it its 4G offering across its full 3G footprint - which users of the modem, in non-4G areas, would revert to.
Verizon, releasing details of its planned LTE launch in December, also offered 4G LTE USB modems from LG Electronics and Pantech, along with monthly data plans starting at $50 for 5GB of data or $80 for $10GB, with each additional GB coming at a cost of $10. Announcing that the 4G network would be "10 times" faster than Verizon's 3G network, Verizon CTO Tony Melone said that to prevent bill shock - the terrible moment of discovering one's monthly fee is far more than expected - Verizon has "a system in place that proactively [lets] users know when they've hit different percentages." On March 17 Verizon began selling its first 4G-enabled smartphone, the HTC ThunderBolt, which features a 4.3-inch capacitive touch screen, a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video calling. It runs Android 2.2, HTC's Sense 2.0 user interface, can act as a WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices and, as a DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) device, can wirelessly send content to other DLNA devices - for example, stream an HD movie to an HDTV. At $250, it also has a higher price tag than most smartphones. "[Verizon] justifies the higher price not only with LTE, but also with 32 GB of storage - equivalent to the $299 iPhone 4," Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart told eWEEK at the time of the phone's launch. "The user experience is also different. HTC Sense provides widgets and customizability, while the iPhone" - ever the phone to beat - "is deliberately simple."