In anticipation of the growing footprint of its WiMAX (4G) service, the beleaguered mobile operator Sprint (s S) 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 (s CLWR) & 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.