Sprint is working quickly to distinguish itself as the first carrier in the US to privide 4G. What is 4G? It’s the next step after 3G, which in the case of Sprint, provided 400kbps-1.4mbps download speeds and 350-500kbps upload speeds. Sprint’s 3G network was built form the EVDO protocol, and is currently integrated into many of its mobile device, plus they make it available for laptops with a USB card.
Their 4G network, which is only available in select cities (to name a few, we have: Philadelphia, Austin, Atlanta, Dallas, Portland, and Chicago), is built off of the WiMax standard (known as 802.16e for those keeping track). Translation? In its current form, 4G can provide download speed from 3-6mbps (equivalent to plugging into a standard cable model) with upload speeds of around 1.0mbps. Yeah, that’s fast. To be able to grab speeds this high from inside your moving automobile or from a bench in the park is fantastic. What do all of these numbers mean? Check out our post on internet connection speed for further explanation.
As mentioned in the video, the card is free after rebate. Service will cost you around $60 for up to 5GB of data download, which may not seem like a lot, but it will take you far. If you’re in an area that doesn’t have 4G, the card will go into 3G mode.
Coming up soon we’ll do speed tests of the 4G card and talk about the set up experience. We’ll also take a look at the neat Wipipe device that turns the 4G card into a WiFi hotspot.