As expected, Sprint announced a 3G/WiMAX mobile hotspot from Sierra Wireless called the Overdrive during this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Beginning Jan. 10, customers will be able to purchase the device from Sprint or Best Buy for $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year service agreement.
The device connects up to five WiFi-enabled devices--including smartphones operating on other carrier networks--at the same time. Sprint is hoping the device serves as a viable substitute to WiMAX phones that aren't likely to hit the market until the end of the year.
"There's no need to wait for 4G devices to enjoy the benefits of 4G: Overdrive creates a connection between the Sprint 4G network and virtually all of the hundreds of millions of WiFi-enabled electronics devices owned by or available to customers today," Sprint said in a release.
Sprint outlined a number of potential uses for the Overdrive, including using the device as a way to bypass cable providers and stream HD movies from Internet distribution providers to a television. Other suggestions include turning an iPod Touch with Skype into a voice phone, in-vehicle entertainment and mobile office capabilities.
The device includes built-in GPS capability (on 3G), MicroSD slot for up to 16 GB memory cards creating shared storage with up to five connected devices, and an extended WiFi range of up to 150 feet.
- see this release