Mobile operator AT&T has announced its first 4G LTE-powered devices for consumers in the form of a USB modem for notebook computers and a Wi-Fi mobile hotspot that can let multiple devices share the devices 4G broadband capabilities. So far, AT&T has announced 34G LTE service in five regional markets—Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio—and the company plans to have LTE service up and running in at least 15 markets by the end of the year. Both devices drop back to AT&T’s existing nationwide HSPA+ network when they’re outside of LTE coverage areas.
“AT&T recognizes that customers want a consistent, responsive network performance from major cities to their neighborhood,” said AT&T Mobility senior VP Jeff Bradley, in a statement. “As we begin to roll out our 4G LTE network this year, AT&T customers will be able to choose from several new LTE devices.”
The AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G modem is GPS-capable, sports a microSD slot for access to up to 32 GB of data, and also provides access to AT&T’s national Wi-Fi hotspot network via AT&T connection manager software. The device will be available in black or silver, and is plug-and-play simple for Windows XP SP3 or newer or Mac OS X 10.5 or newer.
The AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G enables up to five Wi-Fi devices to share a mobile broadband connection—the device also features a 1.77 inch 160 by 128-pixel color LCD to keep track of the device’s operation, and a Web-based UI for setting and advanced features. The hotspot is GPS-capable, and sports WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) so you don’t have to worry about someone hijacking your hotspot. The hotspot runs on a rechargeable battery, but AT&T doesn’t offer any info on battery lifetime.
Both devices are made by Sierra Wireless, and support connectivity in more than 200 countries with appropriate service plans and international roaming fees.
AT&T says both devices will be available this summer, with the USBConnect Momentum 4G going for $49.99 with a two-year contract and a $50 mail-in rebate, and the Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G running $69.99 on the same terms.