Sprint launches 3G/4G dual-mode modem

Sprint Nextel launched a 3G/4G dual-mode modem that will be able to seamlessly switch between mobile WiMAX service and Sprint's 3G CDMA wireless service.

The device, which will be available in retail stores Dec. 21, connects into any laptop USB port. It then will search out for any mobile WiMAX network available, and when a customer goes out of range of WiMAX, will switch to CDMA. For the time being, Baltimore is the only city where this concept is practical, but Sprint foresees it becoming more widely used as the new Clearwire builds out its mobile WiMAX network.

The device, manufactured by Franklin Wireless, sells for  $149.99 with a two-year subscriber agreement, after a $50 mail-in-rebate. Sprint announced earlier this month that will offer dual-mode CDMA/WiMAX products and services as an MVNO of Clearwire under the brand "Sprint 4G."

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