I have to admit that when hearing the Sprint 4G network was lit up in Houston I started tripping. I am a big user of mobile 3G broadband, and the mere thought of upping that to 4G speeds was delightful. Sprint offers the Overdrive modem which is much like the 3G-only MiFi I have been using, and I immediately starting jonesing for an upgrade. Unfortunately, after a check around the web I am very hesitant to jump from the MiFi to the Overdrive, as I am seeing a lot of folks reporting problems with the Sprint modem.
The Overdrive is a combo 3G/4G modem that taps into the Sprint network. It uses the fastest network it detects in a given location, and auto-switches between the two. It seems this doesn’t always work the way it’s intended, and a lot of users are reporting problems with this network switching.
That’s not the only problem that is being reported — owners are complaining about charging issues, device lock-ups and random network disconnects. The folks at EVDOforum are tracking these issues and reporting when fixes become available. The issues are pretty disruptive to normal use of the Overdrive, and some owners are on their second or third unit after returning defective units.
The whole situation has me leery of the Overdrive. I am totally bummed out about this as the Overdrive is absolutely perfect for the way I work, and I expect will be even more so with the iPad. But I can’t live with lousy performance, and I don’t want to bring frustration into my day knowingly, so I’m going to hold off switching. My MiFi is safe for the foreseeable future.
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):