4G Blog by 4Ginfo.com

News, info, reviews, and opinions on WiMAX, LTE, Clearwire, XOHM, and Sprint 4G

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Verizon Confirms VZ4G LTE Service to Launch in 38 Markets in 2010


At today's CTIA Press Conference, Verizon officially announced that they'll be launching their 4G LTE service (dubbed "VZ4G") in 38 markets by the end of 2010. They wouldn't comment directly on pricing, but to our surprise they stated that "there is a place for unlimited plans" as well as pay-per-use models (which is what recent rumors were indicating Verizon planned to use for their 4G service). We won't know until Verizon releases more information, but it sounds like there may be an unlimited option available at launch after all, which puts them on level ground with Sprint and CLEAR, who offer their 4G WiMAX service on an unlimited basis.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sprint Samsung Epic 4G Review

Sprint recently launched their second 4G phone, the Epic 4G from Samsung, which joined the super-popular HTC EVO 4G as the only 4G-capable phones on the market. The Epic 4G is capable of using Sprint's 3G & 4G networks, meaning that you can potentially get download speeds anywhere from 3 to 7mbps when you're in a 4G coverage area, and you can still expect up to 1-2mbps when you're in a nationwide 3G area. Since both the EVO & Epic are currently the only two phones capable of using Sprint's 4G network, many of our readers have been asking us which Sprint 4G phone is "better", but there really isn't a straight-forward answer. The EVO and Epic both have pro's & con's, and we think that each phone targets a slightly different audience. We've tested both phones extensively, and in this article we'll discuss the Epic's features and performance and how they compare to the EVO - and hopefully help you determine which 4G phone will be best for you!

Read the full review: Sprint Epic 4G Review

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Sprint 3G/4G USB U600

Sprint has just announced their newest 3G/4G hybrid device, the Sprint 3G/4G USB U600. There are several reasons why we think the U600 is currently the best choice for users looking to purchase a 3G/4G dual-mode device. Read our full review to find out why!

Continue Reading the Complete Sprint U600 3G/4G Review

3Gstore U600 Special Introductory Promotions!

You can Order the Sprint U600 from the mobile broadband experts at 3Gstore.com for FREE after $50 mail-in rebate with a new 2 year service agreement NOW (ships 9/12/10)!

3Gstore is also offering special introductory promotions for the U600. If you need a router for your Sprint U600, for a limited time you can add one of the below routers to your U600 order for an UNBEATABLE price:

  • Add the PHS300 + Car Charger & Spare Battery for $99.99 (save $130+ off MSRP!)
  • Add the MBR1000 for $129.99 (save $120 off MSRP!)
  • Add the MBR1200 for $189.99 (save $160 off MSRP!)

To take advantage of these router promotions, simply add the router of your choice to your U600 order.

All U600's ordered with Sprint service from 3Gstore are shipped pre-activated (so that they are ready to use when you receive your order!) and include our esteemed free technical support. Also, for your convenience, your CradlePoint Router will have the latest firmware installed ($15 Value) - which is required to support the U600.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3Gstore is Now Selling the NexAira Business Class II (BC2) 3G/4G Router

We are pleased to announce the addition of the NexAira BC2 enterprise router to the lineup of mobile broadband routers at 3Gstore! Like other mobile broadband routers, the BC2 allows you to share a 3G or 4G connection with multiple computers/devices, but it does much more than just that. The linux-based BC2 is specifically developed for enterprise and small business use, and includes a variety of advanced features that set it apart from any other mobile broadband router, including:

  • Failover with minimal downtime: NexAira's "failover with anti-flap" feature allows the router to switch between a primary connection and a backup connection in under 10 seconds!
  • Xtreme Speed Optimization: The BC2's optimization feature allows you to get the most out of your internet connection.
  • Status monitoring: The BC2 provides IT administrators with remote web administration, remote SSH access, and an SNMP server, as well as the option to automatically email multiple administrators for emergency events such as a connection failing.
  • Minimal Reboots: The BC2 rarely requires a full reboot when changing various settings on the router (on other routers, you have to reboot your equipment every time you make a change to one of the settings). This feature alone can save large corporations time & money as your entire workforce won't be without local network and internet connectivity for several minutes because you had to change a few settings on your network!
  • QOS: Allows you to prioritize certain devices, applications, or ports on the network, so that your most important services receive priority bandwidth over any other users on the network.

Other features on the BC2 include:

You can learn more about all of the features the BC2 offers and how it might benefit your business or home office in our review: NexAira BC2 Hands-On Review

The NexAira BC2 is now available at 3Gstore for $189.99 (MSRP $209.99). Save an additional $20 if you're also signing up for a Sprint, Verizon, or CLEAR 2-year contract!

All routers purchased from 3Gstore include our exclusive support CD as well as our esteemed technical support.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

EVO 4G Android 2.2 Review

Sprint has become the first carrier to offer Android 2.2 by providing the update to HTC EVO 4G users. While Android 2.2 is available on Google's Nexus One phone, the update was provided by Google and not any of the carriers that offer the discontinued Nexus One. This makes the EVO 4G the only current Android 2.2 device that is being sold by any carrier. So what exactly will this upgrade offer EVO users?

Read the full review including our video review: EVO 4G Android 2.2 Review

Thursday, July 29, 2010

3Gstore's Exclusive HTC EVO 4G Tipsheet and EVO 4G Resource Center

All customers who purchase the EVO from 3Gstore will get our 10-page HTC Evo Tipsheet FREE!

There are many reasons why people buy from 3Gstore - helpful pre-sales support, a great variety of products, competitive pricing, a solid reputation - but the technical support that 3Gstore provides their customers is what really makes 3Gstore stand out. While many of our competitors claim they offer tech support, when you call them, they will forward you to the manufacturer (which, depending on the manufacturer, can be a nightmare!); others do offer their own support but from inexperienced or poorly-trained reps who have never even used the products they're supporting. 3Gstore provides top-of-the-line tech support from our own 3G experts who use the equipment we sell on a daily basis (and live here in the US!). Our techs are able to troubleshoot issues and resolve the problem from experience, not by reading from a script!

In addition to the support we offer over the phone or email, the mobile broadband experts at 3Gstore also include exclusive resources with many of the products we sell (such as the 3Gstore Support CD we include with Cradlepoint routers, the Pepwave Surf Mini, and IP Switch). Our latest addition to our lineup of exclusive tipsheets for 3Gstore customers is our Sprint HTC EVO Tipsheet. This valuable resource makes setting up your HTC EVO smartphone as easy as possible, and includes lots of valuable guides for getting the most out of your phone. These guides are particularly helpful for new smartphone users who are unfamiliar with the Android platform, but are also helpful for seasoned smartphone users!

The EVO Tipsheet includes Step-by-Step guides on:
  • Activation
  • Backup/Syncing
  • Mac Syncing
  • Music Syncing
  • Mobile Hotspot Setup
  • Changing maximum allowed hotspot clients
  • Managing authorized hotspot clients
  • Checking RSSI (Signal Strength)

All customers who order the EVO from 3Gstore will be emailed this tipsheet when their order ships. If you already purchased your EVO from 3Gstore and would like to receive this tipsheet, email support "at" 3gstore.com with "EVO Tipsheet" in the subject line and include your order number in the body of the email.

3Gstore provides tipsheets like this to our customers for free. We have received countless emails from people that purchased elsewhere requesting to purchase our tipsheets to help them solve an issue that had caused them a lot of frustration and wasted time. With the horror stories we've heard of people purchasing from a company that didn't provide any help when they had a problem, it's a no-brainer that 3Gstore is the place to go for all of your mobile broadband needs!

3Gstore has also created the 3Gstore HTC EVO 4G Resource Center where you can find all of the content that we have published about the EVO 4G. Whenever we post any new EVO 4G content, it will still continue to show up on EVDOinfo as usual, but we will also update the EVO 4G Resource Center to include all of our EVO 4G related content.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CLEAR Spot 4G Infomark Biscuit Review

The CLEAR Spot 4G (AKA the Infomark Biscuit) is an all-in-one unit creates a mobile WiFi hotspot to provide 4G WiMAX internet access for up to 8 users anywhere CLEAR has 4G coverage. The CLEAR Spot 4G is very similar in features to the 3G/4G Sprint Overdrive or CLEAR Spot 4G+, except it can only be used on CLEAR's 4G network (whereas those other devices can also connect to Sprint's 3G network if 4G coverage isn't available). Since it is for 4G use only, the CLEAR Spot 4G is mainly targeted towards users live or work in CLEAR coverage areas and are looking for an alternative to cable, DSL, or dial-up internet. For users who only need 4G coverage and want to share the connection with multiple users, the CLEAR Spot 4G is an excellent choice since CLEAR's 4G monthly service plan is only $40/mo!

Read the full review on 4Ginfo:

CLEAR Spot 4G Infomark Biscuit Review

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

4G WiMAX and LTE Latest Updates

The race for 4G technology is really starting to heat up as CLEAR and Sprint continue to expand coverage, Sprint released their much anticipated HTC EVO, Verizon announced LTE test markets and reports LTE capable phones are in the works! Below are the latest updates in the world of 4G:

WiMAX Coverage News:

Both Sprint and CLEAR have been working hard to bring 4G WiMAX to the following new markets, Richmond, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Kansas City and expanding coverage in Baltimore. CLEAR has also expanded coverage to Merced and Visalia, California; Eugene, Oregon; and Rochester and Syracuse, New York. Throughout the summer they plan to have coverage in 20 more major cities. On a more unofficial note, there have also been reports from customers in parts of New York and California that they are seeing 4G on their devices, despite the fact that 4G has not yet launched there.

WiMAX Equipment:

On June 4th, 2010 was the date that the HTC EVO was released, the worlds first 3G/4G capable phone! This phone is all about changing the way people use their phones with features such as the mobile hotspot (allowing you to use your EVO's 3G/4G connection to share with up to 8 devices via wireless). The device has been so popular, you currently can't find it in any stores as we all wait anxiously for another shipment. If touchscreen only devices aren't your style, Samsung has come to the rescue with the announcement of the Samsung Epic. This device will be the first 3G/4G phone with a full QWERTY keyboard.

As for WiMAX aircards, Sprint's Overdrive had gotten off to a rocky start because of some firmware issues, however, they have released a new firmware version 2.06.06 which has fixed the issue's users were complaining about. When ordering the Overdrive from 3Gstore, we make sure that every Overdrive shipped has version 2.06.06 pre-installed for you! Sprint has also released the new 250U 3G/4G aircard, which is the first device that includes the option for both a 3G and 4G antenna port (antennas currently work on 3G only). CLEAR announced that they'll be releasing 3G/4G portable hot-spots in July, which have been demanded ever since the popularity of the MiFi2200 3G devices.

LTE News:

As Sprint and CLEAR continue to expand coverage, Verizon has been focusing on their final testing phases (user trials in 5 markets - Boston, Seattle and 3 other unnamed cities). In early May, Verizon showed off their LTE network for the first time in Boston and the results were impressive. During the demonstrations they managed to get an 8.55Mbps download speed and a 2.8Mbps upload speed. Rural users can also start getting excited because they plan to partner with local companies that already have towers and backhaul available - Verizon will provide the LTE equipment and let the local providers manage the towers and backhaul. This strategy is planned to help them meet their goal of covering their entire 3G footprint with full 4G LTE coverage by 2013. Tips are also rolling in, rumoring that Verizon will be launching their 4G LTE service in 25 markets on 11/15/10, with several LTE handsets to follow on "Black Friday", which this year falls on 11/26.

LTE Equipment:

With the rumored LTE release date of 11/15, reports of various handset manufactures developing LTE handsets continue to roll in. RIM (manufacturers of Blackberry) is currently working one of the first LTE handsets for Verizon's LTE! This phone is being dubbed the BlackBerry Storm 3 has some impressive rumored spec's. The phone supposedly will feature a 1Ghz Processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. Aside from the storm there might be up to five other LTE phones by next May, from manufacturers such as Motorola, HTC, LG and BlackBerry.

Things are certainly heating up as we move through the summer months! We're sure there will be plenty of new devices in the upcoming months and can't wait to see Verizon's network first hand. That's all for now, 4G-lovers, but keep coming back for the latest updates at 4ginfo.com, and join in the 4G discussion on the 4G Forums!

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

iPad WiFi Issues With Sprint OverDrive

Since the release of the iPad on April 3rd, many iPad owners have been having issues with connecting to WiFi networks that use WEP security. Since the Sprint OverDrive uses WEP security by default, it has been a problem for some Sprint Overdrive owners who use the device to provide a 3G/4G mobile hotspot for the iPad. If you are having problems connecting your iPad to your OverDrive via WiFi, then we have a solution that will fix the problem! Since the problem is only related to WEP security, you will simply need to change the OverDrive's wireless security mode to WPA instead of using WEP.

For info on how to fix this issue, see the full article: iPad WiFi Issues With Sprint OverDrive

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

3G/4G Devices Require 3G/4G Plans - Be Careful, Unlimited Users!

Now that Sprint's 4G service is available in a number of cities across the US, many Sprint 3G users are interested in switching to a new 3G/4G device like the U301 (left) or Overdrive, even if they don't currently need 4G - simply so they can have the latest device and be prepared for when 4G becomes available to them. This is understandable, but for customers who currently have a grandfathered "unlimited" 3G account with Sprint, swapping to a 3G/4G device may not always be the best idea. 3G/4G devices must be activated on Sprint's 3G/4G plan, which is $59.99 and provides unlimited 4G use but only 5GB of 3G use, with overage charges thereafter. This is the ONLY plan that you can activate Sprint's 3G/4G devices with - you CANNOT activate a 3G/4G device on a 3G-only plan.

This may come as a surprise to some, since Sprint does allow customers to do "ESN (Electronic Serial Number) Swaps" from one 3G device to another without changing your contract. Many people assume that they will be able to do an ESN swap from their 3G device to a 3G/4G device, continue using their unlimited 3G service for the time being, and be ready for 4G when it becomes available. This is NOT the case. You cannot do a simple ESN swap from a 3G device to a 3G/4G device. You can do a swap and not extend your contract, but you must change the plan to the 3G/4G plan (also, the swap can't be done online; to swap from a 3G to a 3G/4G device, you have to call Sprint).

For people that live in a 4G area, this isn't a problem since the 3G/4G plan provides unlimited 4G access, but for people that will mainly be relying on the 3G side, giving up your unlimited 3G service might not be worth making the switch just yet. If you have a 3G device with an unlimited Sprint plan and are considering doing a swap to a 3G/4G device, you should only do so if you actually have access to 4G and plan to use it; otherwise, you may want to wait until 4G is available in your area. You can keep up to date with the latest news on 4G, including coverage rollouts, by visiting our sister site 4ginfo.com.

For those that are ready to upgrade, you can purchase the U301 and the Sprint Overdrive both with and without contract from 3Gstore. Click here to purchase with no contract; if you're looking to purchase with a new two-year contract please use the 3gstore Sprint Order Form.

For more info on Sprint's 3G vs 3G/4G service and devices, check out our video debate: 3Gstore Mobile Break.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cradlepoint Releases Firmware 1.6.12 for MBR1200

CradlePoint Firmware 1.6.12 for MBR1200 Adds Support for New Devices and Bug Fixes

Firmware 1.6.12 allows you to use your U301 in an MBR1200!

CradlePoint has released Firmware Version 1.6.12 that provides the MBR1200 with official support for the new Sprint 3G/4G U301 modem, as well as support for other modems and long-awaited fixes for stability and bugs.

After last month's firmware updates for the PHS300/CTR500/MBR1000/MBR900, the MBR1200 was Cradlepoint's only 4G-capable router that was not compatible with Sprint's 3G/4G U301. With this firmware update, U301 users can now use their modem with the MBR1200, too!

In addition to adding support for the U301, firmware 1.6.12 also adds support for the following devices:
  • Pantech UMW190 for Verizon
  • Pantech UM185 for Cricket
  • Sierra Wireless 305 USB (AKA "Lightning") for AT&T
  • Sierra Wireless 306 USB for AT&T and Telus
  • Ubee PXU1900 for CLEAR
  • ZTE MF668 for Rogers
  • ZTE MF637 for T-Mobile
  • Option GE442 for T-Mobile
  • Additional newly-added international devices can be viewed in the release notes (PDF)

This latest firmware version also provides fixes for a few bugs:

  • WiFi Multimedia (WMM) problem, which prevented iPod Touch and iPhone users from connecting to the MBR1200
  • Blackberry Bold incompatibility issue
  • Blackberry Curve incompatibility issue
  • Blackberry Storm OS 5.0 incompatibility issues
  • Fixes to make WiMAX (4G) connection more reliable
  • U300 reset issue

Finally, firmware 1.6.12 added a couple new features:

  • "Agressive Modem Reset" causes the router to attempt various reset techniques to attempt to re-establish connection if the modem becomes unresponsive
  • "4G auto-reconnect feature" allows you to configure whether you want to connect to 3G or 4G based on various conditions
  • "Make-before-Break"is a nice feature for dual-mode 3G/4G modem users - if you're connected to 3G and 4G becomes available, the router will connect to 4G before breaking the 3G connection

For full details on what this firmware release provides, view the release notes (PDF)

Important note about upgrading your MBR1200 to firmware version 1.6.12: Due to a bug in the 1.6.3 firmware (the version installed on all current MBR1200's by default), firmware upgrades must be done by using the automatic firmware upgrade option within the router's web administration page (an active internet connection is required) - you cannot upgrade the firmware by saving the file to your computer and then browsing for it. For those ordering the MBR1200 from 3Gstore.com, we can upgrade the firmware for you before shipping your router for a $15 fee.

If you plan to upgrade the firmware yourself, check out this article that demonstrates how to perform the upgrade from 1.6.3 to 1.6.12: MBR1200 Firmware Upgrade Issues

Pricing Note: The MBR1200's retail price is going UP on 4/1/2010 by $50 (MSRP to become $349.99). Also, the current $50 Mail-In Rebate on the MBR1200 ENDS on 3/31/2010. If you are thinking about getting an MBR1200, do so on or before 3/31/2010 to take advantage of the low pricing!

Related Links:

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sprint Announces 4G-Capable HTC EVO

After months of speculation, Sprint has finally officially announced that they will be offering their first ever 4G-capable phone this summer, the HTC EVO!

The HTC EVO is Android-based and will include such features as 4G WiMAX capability (obviously), an 8.0MP camera, integrated HD video capture, the ability to use it as a wifi hotspot, and more.

You can read the official announcement via this link: Sprint Announces HTC EVO, or read about the HTC EVO Features

The HTC EVO should be available on Sprint's network in the summer of 2010. If you'd like to be notified when the HTC EVO is available, send an email to futureitems "at" 3gstore.com.

Sprint Announces 4G Expansion to LA, Miami, St Louis, and More!

Sprint 4G Expansion Plans to Stretch Coast-to-Coast from Los Angeles to Miami

Sprint extends its lead in making 4G technology a reality for millions of customers by announcing more planned coverage across the country

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Mar 23, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- On a path to equip an expected 120 million Americans by end of the year with a mobile Internet experience that is turbo-charged, Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced plans to bring 4G technology to several additional markets, including Los Angeles and Miami. With 27 markets already equipped with 4G and more being planned for this year, Sprint is fulfilling its promise to light up major metropolitan areas with speeds that are up to 10 times faster1 than 3G.

Newly announced markets that will see 4G in 2010 are Cincinnati, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City and St. Louis. Earlier this year Sprint announced that it planned to launch 4G in Boston, Denver, Kansas City, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in 2010.

Continue reading about Sprint's 4G Expansion plans on 4Ginfo.com

Tuesday, March 16, 2010