Sprint About to Release a 3G/4G Portable WiFi Hotspot? (UPDATE: It's Official)
The Sprint Overdrive 4G hotspot shown in a Sprint online ad
With CES only 2 days away, the news and rumors flying out of Vegas are crazy.
Among the older ones is that Sprint is releasing a 3G/4G portable WiFi hotspot — basically a 4G-capable version similar to the MiFi 2200 we saw last year. For those unfamiliar with the MiFi, it takes the 3G/4G Sprint signal and turns it into a WiFi network, where any other device with the ability to connect to WiFi (iTouch, Zune HD, laptop– heck even iPhones) can get internet connection. In other words, let’s say you got your iTouch or laptop and want to get an update on the Jets-Bengals game this Saturday, but you don’t have any WiFi networks to connect to. With this new device attached, all you got to do is turn it on and you’ve got all the latest updates streaming down to you on Sprint’s fast 3G and really fast 4G network (think speeds close to the ones you get on your home broadband network, and much faster than the current 3G networks).
The device, called the Sprint Overdrive, does all that and is also quite compact, so it should be no problem for you to carry this in your pocket. Other specs on the device are said to include a microSD card slot (perhaps for sharing files over your portable network), support for location services (like a GPS), and has an 100 150 foot range (which is definitely not bad for such a small device).
Now while Sprint hasn’t yet confirmed any of this, some of their 4G ads online just so happen to be showing this off (that’s how we were tipped off on it), and going to sprint.com/overdrive takes you too a Coming Soon page, so an announcement and official details (like price and release date) can’t be too far off now.
UPDATE (1/06): With CES now really starting to get underway, Sprint has come out and made this official. Updated specs include sharing your 3G/4G connection with up to 5 WiFi devices– like the MiFi– a built in GPS, and support for up to a 16 GB microSD card which can be used as shared storage over your network. The Overdrive will be available online and in Sprint and Best Buy stores starting January 10th for $99.99 after a $50 mail in rebate and a new 2 year contract (with a $59.99 a month 3G/4G data plan).