14 Comments

Summary:

For those of you who are just unimpressed with sub-4G speeds on your iPhones (or those who do not wish to upgrade to a new device), consider the Sierra Wireless Overdrive 4G WiFi hotspot by Sprint. Though coverage is not the best at the moment, Sprint […]

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For those of you who are just unimpressed with sub-4G speeds on your iPhones (or those who do not wish to upgrade to a new device), consider the Sierra Wireless Overdrive 4G WiFi hotspot by Sprint. Though coverage is not the best at the moment, Sprint continues to make inroads in expanding its network and the device is an interesting alternative to those who are frustrated with AT&T’s congested network.

Basically, this is a mobile router that taps into Sprint’s network and creates a local Wi-Fi hotspot for your device, thereby surpassing the technical limitations of the 3G chipset (or lack there of if you happen to have an older iPhone). The tradeoff is that you would still need an AT&T plan for phone features as the Wi-Fi merely supplements the data side. It’s also pricey, weighing in at $99.99 after $250 in discounts and rebates. The monthly plan at $59.99 per month includes unlimited 4G usage (with an ever increasing network) and 3G coverage at 5GB per month.

It’s also interesting to note that Sprint’s iteration of 4G is based on WiMax, which translates to a peak download speed of 10 megabits per second and an average speed of 3-6 megabits per second.

The great news is that this technology is also compatible with the iPad. Though it’s still a $30 premium over AT&T’s unlimited data plan (theirs at $29.99 a month), the speed difference may be of enough value to users. The Overdrive Mobile Hotspot also supports up to five simultaneous users, providing additional benefit and potential cost savings to users with multiple devices.

Look below for a commercial of Sprint advertising this as a great way to get 4G on the iPhone. Had a chance to check it out? Would you prefer Sprint over AT&T? Do you think these companies charge too much for subpar service?

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  1. So if I get bad 3G coverage where I use my phone, will this help boost my signal? If not, it won’t help me.

  2. I would switch in a heart beat! I used to be a Sprint customer and only left it because of the iPhone. Sprint does not nickel and dime as AT&T does. What I’m curious, though, is whether Apple will do something to prevent this. Can Apple stop Sprint from making the iPhone work on its network?

  3. I live in Las Vegas and I just purchased the Sprint Overdrive at a Best Buy here! My plan is to pay one broadband access for home and to go on the road. So far I am not completely satisfied with both Sprint or the Overdrive. I have been using my Verizon EVDO revA card for over 2 years but the reception kept getting worst from little to no signal strenght where I live! I think all those ads about great coverage from Verizon is a joke! Coverage doesn’t equal signal strength. It is all based on the power equation. Increase coverage will decrease signal strength, unless you can install more towers or increase power. I have my AT&T iPhone 3GS and it’s consistently more reliable than both of my Verizon and Sprint 4G data services. The speed I get is not even close to what Sprint advertises for it’s 4G service. Many times 4G service gets cut off and reverts back to 3G with a 5gig cap! Boot up time for Overdrive is Slow…to answer your question I often revert from using the 4G wifi Overdrive connection back to my trusty AT&T iPhone 3G connection.

  4. I don’t see myself carrying that around everywhere

  5. While that seems cool, it would be yet another device I’d have to carry around and make sure is charged. I’d probably use that for my DS, but not my iPhone.

  6. It’s a cool device but seems to make more sense to just get the Sprint HTC EVO 4G Android due out this summer. It smokes all carriers from a speed perspective and can act as a hotspot for your DS and other wireless enabled devices – plus the 8MP camera, HD video, etc. Truly one device in the pocket. I’m happy my contract is up with ATT/iphone and will jump on that when available.

    1. good luck getting coverage, wimax isn’t everywhere! lol

      1. I know right i like att but waiting almost a year for 4g now thats a long time to wait

  7. jolie styvers Thursday, March 25, 2010

    This seems to be a cool device however this would be a bit hassle to carry around every time. Yet, it won’t be that bad after all if this means that it could boost up your internet service.

  8. Is this guy a shill for sprint? Funny how he left out that you can’t have an iphone without the $30 data package required by at&t. Also, he left out the bad customer service you will have to deal with when you go with sprint. The reason sprint is cheaper is because their service is inferior.

  9. att needs to start doing 4G now on their phones

  10. Help!!! I am from Russia. Sorry for my so bad english. I want to buy iphone 4G for my husband. But in Russsia it will be price 1000$. Ii is not so good for me.
    Can u ask me, please , may i by iphone in USA without AT&T, & how to do this if i am situated in Russia?

    Great thanks for your help))))

    1. Sveta if you understand computers well then you can buy an iPhone from AT&T and use it if you UNLOCK THE IPHONE and maybe even JAILBREAK it. In the USA an iPhone will only work on AT&T’s service unless you modify the phones software. It would be easier to buy an iPhone online that is already UNLOCKED. To purchase things online you will need a credit card or if you do not have a credit card you can Buy a prepaid cars with cash at stores like Walmart. Go online and search on eBay or use google and type purchase unlocked iPhone. Goodluck Sveta

    2. Also Sveta the newest iPhone the iPhone 4 is not 4G no 4G it is called the iPhone 4 because it is the 4th iPhone made. iPhone 4 = 3G ONLY. The iPhone 4 only has 3G. Even if you have read somewhere that it is the iPhone 4G they were wrong

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