U.S. mobile operator Sprint is continuing its charge into the 4G mobile broadband game, rolling out WiMax services in a slew of new markets, including Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and a bunch of locations in North Carolina including Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Chapel Hill, and Cary, plus Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point.
“Sprint continues to lead the charge in rolling out wireless 4G in cities across America and the momentum continues to build,” said Spring 4G VP Todd Rowley, in a statement. “Our aggressive expansion of Sprint 4G will include many new devices and capabilities that create increased performance and productivity while enhancing personal lifestyles on the go.”
WiMax is currently the only 4G technology actually deployed to consumers in the United States, although Verizon and other carriers are working hard to bring LTE 4G technologies to market. Sprint’s WiMax service typically offers about 10 times the bandwidth of the carrier’s 3G network in markets where it’s available. If customers go where WiMax isn’t lit up, the devices fall back to Sprint’s 3G service.
Speaking of Sprint’s 3G service, the carrier has just announced it will be offering a subsidized version of Dell’s Mini 10 netbook with integrated 3G connectivity. The Dell Mini 10 packs an Intel Atom processor, a 1,024 by 600-pixel screen, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, a 160 GB hard drive, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless networking, and runs Windows XP. The unit connects to Sprint’s 3G EV-DO Rev. A. wireless service for on-the-go connectivity, enabling users to tap into the Internet anywhere on Sprint’s 3G network. The Dell Mini 10 runs $199 after a $100 mail-in rebate…but as with other carrier-subsidized netbooks, the real money in the deal is not in the netbook, but in the service plans, which start at $59.99 per month with a two-year service agreement: customers aren’t saving much on the netbook, and might be better off getting a 3G card for use with a full-fledged notebook computer.