Thursday, January 14, 2010

WiMax $10 Cheaper (If You Can Get It)

For many of us, 4G is still a pipe dream.  Okay, no need for pipes but you understand what I mean.  LTE is still a year or two away while WiMax is coming, just not really to places near you or me.  However, Sprint is already dropping prices.

According to Fierce Wireless, Sprint is offer its 2nd $10 drop in the last 5 months.  So, now, it's $60 while it was $80 last summer.  So I ask you this.  Are you ready to go wireless for your exclusive wireless needs?

Let's take a look at this for a sec.  I've been going G1-tethering for my mobile wireless needs at a fast clip in the last couple of weeks.  With the Holidays and all and a trip last weekend, I was on the move quite a bit.  The G1 is great and all but it's no iPhone or not all that useful when I was trying to help a friend wrestle away his Facebook account from a hacker.

Well, I'm getting there as far as trying to go all wireless.  My needs are simple.  I use Hulu a couple of hours a day if that much.  Mostly, I'm writing or researching on the Web.  Occasionally, I download videos, music, and podcasts from iTunes.  I find myself more and more on the the i-devices.  So there really is no need for any 20mbps connections.

Now, I'm not saying I don't want that kind of speed.  I'm just saying I don't need that kind of speed most of the time.

Back to Sprint.  For $59.99 (plus the various hidden taxes/fees), you get "unlimited" 3G or 4G mobile use.  Not bad considering, right?  Way a sec.  There is some ambiguity with what "unlimited" is just like with all the other carriers.  There is a regular 3G plan that goes up to 5GB.

But it's really the 3G/4G plan we're talking about here.  4G offer unlimited usage, giving you 10Mbps and an wide average of 3-6Mbps.  But if you venture out of the WiMax coverage area, you're covered by up to 5GB of 3G use (which still gives you 7 700mb movies, 1,667 songs, 1.7 million emails).  All that information is on the broadband page.

What you will need is a modem.  Sprint offers the USB Modem U300 for free after instant savings and a $50 rebate (retail cost is $350).  Excellent deal if you ask me.  Sprint, in my book, has always been out there when it comes to offering good deals and experimenting with pricing schemes.  It also offers GPS navigation as well but I don't know if you have to pay extra.  I wager that you do.

Oh, and if you want to connect multiple devices, you'll have to get a Sprint-sanctioned routers that Sprint provides you the option of buying as you move along the check-out process.

So, how is Sprint doing this?  Because it loves us.  Or because Clearwire, its WiMax partner, has recently raised hundreds of millions for added expansion and it is moving into more lucrative cities.  Furthermore, Sprint is looking to lock up as many enterprise customers as possible.

Plus, there are two reasons why I'm excited about this.  When the Palm V came out, Palm offered  GPRS modem with a slow wireless Internet connection that had no reason to excite other than for mobile fanatics like myself.  It was also $59.99 a month as I recall.  And this is freakin' 4G, baby!  So, I'm thinking there's gonna be a lot of folks who will jump on this.  Also, Sprint is looking to ship out phones with WiMax support in 2010.  Oh, it's already 2010.  So soon.

Plus, there are rumblings about a certain deal that Sprint might strike with a certain large retail...alright, I'll come out and say it.  It's Walmart.  There's talk that Sprint and Walmart might set up WiMax towers to facilitate the 4G expansion.  That means more cities covered.  That means I might eventually get 4G in my area.

So, if you're fortunate enough to be living in an area with WiMax service, definitely give this deal a look.  I'm also betting that once LTE competition from Verizon and ATT becomes available in 2011, Sprint will likely grace us with additional price drops.

More at Sprint 4G, Fierce Wireless, Evdo Info

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