CES Stories: I'm ready for WiMax overdrive. Is Sprint?

Noah Kravitz
 from  Oakland, CA
| Published: January 13, 2010

CES 2010 Wrap-Up: Noah's Top 5 Mobile Stories

4. I'm ready for WiMax overdrive. Is Sprint?


Aaron and I both attended Sprint's way-over-the-top press event launching their Overdrive 3G/4G mobile hotspot. "Iron Chef" Mario Batali cooked at the event, and signed copies of his Italian Grill cookbook were handed out. I'm still not sure why he was there (okay, I am - to get people like me to write about the event), but that dude loves him some chili flakes in his arrabiata. Seriously, I love heat in my food, but his spicy tomato sauce was too much for me.

But I digress. Overdrive is Sprint's first WiMax product for the mass market. Since Aaron lives in an area - Charlotte, NC - that actually gets Sprint 4G service, he got our review loaner. Since Las Vegas also gets Sprint WiMax, Aaron tried Overdrive out while at CES:

"Utilizing the 4G service in Las Vegas, I found that while the connection was incredibly fast (a noticeable difference over 3G), it disconnected on a regular basis.  I was told that the issue was a result of the CES cell site traffic - we'll see when I put it through its paces here in Charlotte."

I love the idea of 4G. I want me some 4G I want to ditch my home cable modem and my 3G USB data stick in favor of an Overdrive I can use at home, on the road, and everywhere in between. At $69.99/month, Sprint's WiMax is pricier than a home Cable line, but cheaper than Cable plus cellular data. But we ain't there yet - not when the service is only available in a few dozen locals, not including New York, LA, or (selfishly) the San Francisco Bay Area. Later this year we'll get us some WiMax coverage, I hope. Though it remains to be seen if Sprint's WiMax can maintain the early mover advantage it currently holds over Verizon's forthcoming LTE rollout.

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