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Summary:

In anticipation of the growing footprint of its WiMAX (4G) service, the beleaguered mobile operator Sprint launched a 3G/4G dual-mode device, likely to go on sale on Dec. 21. The Sprint 3G/4G USB Modem U300, made by Franklin Wireless will cost $150 and will work with […]

In anticipation of the growing footprint of its WiMAX (4G) service, the beleaguered mobile operator Sprint launched a 3G/4G dual-mode device, likely to go on sale on Dec. 21. The Sprint 3G/4G USB Modem U300, made by Franklin Wireless will cost $150 and will work with Sprint’s EVDO network and on Sprint’s Baltimore WiMAX network. The service will launch in Portland very soon. Other cities are likely to follow next year as Clearwire (the combo company that includes Clearwire & Sprint’s 4G efforts and has liberal funding from others) will roll out its Clear service next year. Sprint claims that folks can get average downlink speeds of 2-4 Mbps within Baltimore 4G service areas and 600 Kbps – 1.4 Mbps on their EVDO network.

Bottomline: Just because the device is available doesn’t mean you need to buy it. As Stacey pointed out earlier that the credit crunch can slow down the Clear rollout and the device well might not be useful in many places. You are better off going for a cheaper 3G-only card for now.

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  1. Portland is lanching Janu 6th. Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Las Vegas should follow shortly after. Those launches should help.

  2. Yes that should be of much help. It is not clear though when they are going to launch those cities — soon I hope.

  3. I think some would argue that WiMax is not 4G. What comes to mind, from what I have read, is that 4G will come in the form of LTE or some other standards.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4G

    WiMax is considered sort of 3G+.

    Hey, maybe I am wrong but that was my understanding.

  4. Hold the press – has anyone seen Gary Krakow’s interesting article on this today –
    http://www.thestreet.com/story/10453612/1/amazing-4g-speeds-from-a-usb-modem.html

  5. @Dee

    What is your point? That it works as advertised in a small footprint of Baltimore? If yes then you are right Gary’s article is great – though how it is interesting I don’t get. Sprint EVDO is better than AT&T 3G — we know that. That’s why we love Sprint EVDO.

  6. Yes, but how much better? You have to see Gary’s video, which is better than the article –
    http://www.thestreet.com/video/10453676/sprints-new-4g-speed-demon.html

    He actually took it out in the field.

  7. Om,
    I was primarily replying to Rolf, to point out the super fast speed that Gary pulled up in Baltimore. Indeed, real 4G speed.

  8. No, Rolf is right. Real 4G is 100Mbps. Right now WiMAX as deployed doesn’t offer that, but it is theoretically capable of it — just like LTE. So, it is as fair to list WiMAX as 4G as it is LTE. The same thing happened with 3G. People were calling their CDMA variants 3G long before they achieved the required 2Mbps speeds.

  9. @ Dee

    I would take those result by Gary with a grain of salt. Real world speed will depends on number of people being supported by the sector. Also, speed offered by Wimax will not hold under mobile condition, like driving in a car or riding a bus. Since Xohm network is new in Baltimore, there aren’t as many subscribers as compared to 3G in the sector. Once the network is loaded, we can compare the speeds. 3G networks like HSPA/EVDO are designed for utmost mobility and wont cringe under hard conditions.

  10. In my country we still using 3G-3.5G hopefully this 4G technology will coming in shortly. It’s nice to have high speed internet connection.

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