AT&T introduces USB modems upgradeable to HSPA Plus and LTE

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: October 5, 2010

USBConnect Adrenaline Shockwave

AT&T took another step in the move toward 4G by announcing two new USB modems that will work with HSPA+, one of which can be upgraded to work with LTE.  First up is the AT&T USBConnect Adrenaline, manufactured by LG.  The Adrenaline will cost $49.99 with a two-year contract and $100 mail-in rebate, will be launching in select markets sometime in 2011, and will be capable of accessing an LTE network after being upgraded by the customer using either AT&T's Communication Manager or AT&T Global Network Clients on a laptop.  It comes packed with an internal antenna, support for multiple OSes, a built-in GPS, a multi-color LED status indicator, and a micro SD card slot capable of support cards up to 32 GB in size.

Next up is the AT&T USBConnect Shockwave, made by Sierra Wireless.  The Shockwave can be upgraded like the Adrenaline, but it will only be able to support HSPA+.  When it's released, the Shockwave will end up being free with a two-year contract and $100 mail-in rebate.  AT&T will be launching its HSPA+ network by the end of 2010.  Also, both the Shockwave and Adrenaline will be able to access AT&T's HSPA network if you don't have access to HSPA+ or LTE.  You can check out the full press release below.

We already knew that AT&T would be upgrading its network to 14.4 Mbps HSPA+ before making the jump to LTE some time in mid-2011.  While it's disappointing that we won't be seeing AT&T 4G until the middle of next year, at least we'll have speedy HSPA+ to keep us warm in the mean time, right?

AT&T Introduces Its First LTE and HSPA+ LaptopConnect Devices

Company to also make available its first LaptopConnect Device that supports a pre-paid data plan option

Customer Benefits

With the introduction of the AT&T USBConnect Shockwave and Adrenaline, AT&T is introducing two devices that will not only operate on AT&T's HSPA mobile broadband network today, but also the company's upgraded network in the future. The Adrenaline will be AT&T's first LTE-upgradeable device and the Shockwave the first HSPA+-capable device from the company.

"With the planned deployment of HSPA+ technology later this year, combined with the continued rollout of expanded backhaul, AT&T will have increased our 3G download or upload speeds multiple times in five years," said Michael Woodward, vice president, Mobile Phone Portfolio, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "We have purposefully planned our path to LTE to create a wireless network where the transition from 3G does not give customers wireless whiplash."

AT&T has the nation's fastest mobile broadband network. And with plans to make it even faster, the upgrades when complete are expected to be two to three times faster than most other 3G networks.

The AT&T USBConnect Adrenaline from LG will be AT&T's first LTE-upgradeable device. While it can take advantage of the nation's fastest mobile broadband network today, a simple software upgrade via AT&T Communication Manager or AT&T Global Network Client will be all that is required to enable it to work on the LTE network when available. Featuring a sleek casing and smooth finish, Adrenaline is equipped with an internal antenna, plug and play functionality and multiple OS support that will keep users connected and on-the-go. Adrenaline also features built-in GPS for enterprise applications, a multi-color LED status indicator and a MicroSD memory card slot supporting cards up to 32 GB of storage. Like all of AT&T's LaptopConnect devices, the device can be used to access Wi-Fi hotspots, including access to AT&T's more than 23,000 hotspots, a benefit of a corresponding DataConnect and/or DataConnect Pass plan.

Built ready to run on AT&T's planned HSPA+ network upgrade, the AT&T USBConnect Shockwave from Sierra Wireless is the first LaptopConnect device from AT&T to do so. AT&T expects to upgrade to this next evolution of 3G network technology by the end of 2010.

In addition to allowing cutting edge speeds, the Shockwave will get users off to a quick start, installing in about 60 seconds, and the Shockwave will be available at a cutting-edge price – free with a two-year contract, data plan and mail-in-rebate.

For customers who want the flexibility of a LaptopConnect device without a contract, the AT&T USBConnect 900 from Huawei is compatible with the AT&T DataConnect Pass pre-paid service – the pay-as-you-need it data service that does not require a long-term contract.

Pricing and Availability

* AT&T USBConnect Shockwave – Free after a two-year service agreement, minimum data plan and mail-in-rebate
* AT&T USBConnect Adrenaline – $49.99 after a two-year service agreement, minimum data plan and mail-in-rebate
* AT&T USBConnect 900 – $79.99 without a contract. Users select one of AT&T's DataConnect Pass options to access mobile broadband data.

AT&T DataConnect Pass Options:

* DataConnect Day Pass (100 MB) - $15
* DataConnect Week Pass (300 MB) - $30
* DataConnect Month Pass (1GB) - $50

(1) Limited 4G availability planned in select markets beginning 2011.

(2) AT&T DataConnect Pass. Can only be used on AT&T's wireless network and cannot be used on another carrier's network, either domestic or international. Requires laptop or netbook with an embedded modem or external USB modem capable of working on AT&T's wireless network; internet access to sign-up; and a new SIM card. AT&T DataConnect Pass supports data usage only, and does not support SMS, MMS, or voice calls. Actual speed and coverage may vary. Time begins expiring immediately upon purchase/activation of PIN for the initial session, whether or not you are using the service. Once your time expires or you consume the allotted data, whichever occurs first, your data access will cease. DataConnect Pass session fees are non-refundable. Not Compatible with Apple Mac. For complete terms and conditions see Session Based Wireless Data Services Agreement at

(3) AT&T Wi-Fi Service. Access includes AT&T Wi-Fi Basic. A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See for details and locations.

(4) Shockwave software installs in about 60 seconds on Windows 7 PC under normal circumstances.

(5) Prices above for the Shockwave and Adrenaline require a 2-year service agreement and a DataConnect Plan. DataConnect Plan is not unlimited and substantial charges may be incurred if included allowance is exceeded.

(6) Mobile Broadband/3G coverage not available in all areas.

(7) Limited-time offer. Other conditions & restrictions apply. See contract & rate plan brochure for details. Subscriber must live & have a mailing addr. within AT&T's owned wireless network coverage area. Up to $36 activ. fee applies. Equipment price & avail may vary by mrk & may not be available from independent retailers. Early Termination Fee: None if cancelled in the first 30 days, but up to $35 restocking fee may apply to equipment returns; thereafter up to $175. Some agents impose add'l fees. Offnet Usage: If your mins of data use on other carrier's networks ("offnet usage") during any month exceeds your offnet usage allowance, AT&T may at its option terminate your svc, deny your contd use of other carriers' coverage, or change your plan to one imposing usage charges for offnet usage. Your data offnet usage allowance is the lesser of 24 MB or 20% of the KB incl'd with your plan). Sales tax calculated based on price of unactivated equipment.

(8) Price before AT&T Promotion Card & with 2-year contract is $99.99 for Shockwave and $149.99 for Adrenaline. Allow 60 days for fulfillment. Card may be used only in the U.S. is valid for 120 days after issuance date but is not redeemable for cash & cannot be used for cash withdrawal at ATMs or automated gasoline pumps. Card request must be postmarked by Dec. 6 & you must be a customer for 30 consecutive days to receive card. See terms at store or at Offer expires Nov. 6, 2010.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Information set forth in this news release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update or revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.