Sprint Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot set to launch on March 20th

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: March 17, 2011

Sprint Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot

Earlier this month, we learned that Sprint would soon be replacing its aging Overdrive hotspot with a newer model, and today that's exactly what went down. You're looking at the all-new Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot, which will be launching this Sunday, March 20th, for $49.99 with a $50 mail-in rebate, two-year contract, and activation of a mobile broadband plan of at least $49.99/month. Sprint says that you'll be able to connect up to eight other WiFi-enabled devices to the Overdrive Pro at once, three more than the OG Overdrive. Other improvements include better power-up and power-down times and a larger LCD, now measuring 1.7-inches, on the Overdrive Pro's face. Sprint's full presser is below.

The new Overdrive Pro may not be a radical improvement over the original device, but Sprint and Sierra beefed it up where it really matters — the ability to connect to more devices and improved power on and off times — so the Pro seems like a good investment for folks that need 4G access on the go. With the proliferation of mobile hotspot capabilities in smartphones, though, one has to wonder if these types of devices could be on their way out soon. Of course, if you're a heavy smartphone user, using your handset to tether other devices could burn through your battery even quicker than normal. What do you make of the new Overdrive Pro? Is it something you'd consider picking up, or will you rely on a phone for your hotspot needs?

Overdrive™ Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless, Exclusively from Sprint, Delivers 4G Speeds to Millions of Wi-Fi Enabled Devices
Available March 20, Sprint’s 19th announced 4G-capable device is the next generation of the popular Overdrive mobile hotspot, with an increased number of shared users from five to eight, and a 45 percent larger LCD screen

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. and VANCOUVER, Canada (BUSINESS WIRE), March 17, 2011 - Sprint (NYSE:S) and Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ:SWIR) (TSX:SW) today announced upcoming availability of Overdrive™ Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless. As the second generation of the popular Overdrive device, Overdrive Pro allows users to connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices simultaneously – including laptops, tablets, eReaders, gaming devices, cameras and even smartphones from other carriers – through a single connection (via Wi-Fi) to a 4G network offering download speeds up to 10 times faster than today’s 3G service.1

Overdrive Pro creates a connection between the Sprint 4G network and virtually all of the hundreds of millions of Wi-Fi-enabled electronics devices owned by or available to customers today. Beginning on March 20, customers will be able to purchase Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot exclusively from Sprint for $49.99 (excluding taxes) after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement. Customers can purchase the device and sign up for 3G/4G plans at select Sprint retail stores, through business sales, Web (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1).

“There are endless possibilities for how our customers can take advantage of the easy wireless connection to Sprint 4G through this small device,” said Fared Adib, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. “Teams can travel and share access on-the-go, families can be connected in one household with tablets, game consoles and televisions, and shuttle buses can provide Internet access to their customers while en route to a destination. With Overdrive Pro, customers no longer have to look for mobile hotspots because they always have one with them.”

With Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot, the benefits to consumers and businesses are endless:

Stream a favorite TV show or movie from Hulu™ or Netflix® to your Netbook or tablet while simultaneously surfing the Web in another room
Wirelessly connect an Xbox 360 and game real-time with someone located across the country
Move pictures wirelessly from a camera to a digital picture frame and surf the Web on a laptop while streaming Pandora®
Work remotely anywhere in a 4G coverage area (or virtually anywhere with 3G) and easily connect a laptop, smartphone, tablet or wireless phone through a single connection
Teams that are travelling can share Internet access with each other at hotels, airports and conference centers
Taxis, limos and shuttle buses can provide Internet access for customer use while en route to their destination
Healthcare teams can rely on an easy, reliable, power-up-and-go solution to use in Emergency Response Team (ERT) Go Kits, or while treating patients bedside
Engineering, construction and insurance teams can instantly upload data, pictures of sites, accidents and images remotely
Reporters first on the scene of a breaking story can share access to upload stories and photos while at the scene, without missing a beat.
Overdrive Pro offers several enhancements over its predecessor, Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot, focused on performance and usability, including a 35 percent improvement in power-up and power-down times. Overdrive Pro’s integrated LCD screen, which provides valuable information like signal strength, battery life, and number of devices connected, is 45 percent larger than the previous version for a wider viewing angle, while the device itself is smaller for easier portability. The LCD display has also been made even more informative, with detailed connection and device information available through additional screens that can be accessed by double-pressing the power button.

Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless requires activation on a Sprint 3G/4G Mobile Broadband Plan starting as low as $49.99 per month.2 Device can be used on both the Sprint 3G and 4G networks. This flexibility allows customers to enjoy 4G performance in any of the 71 Sprint 4G markets or to use Sprint’s reliable, nationwide 3G network.

“Overdrive Pro, combined with the power of Sprint’s 4G network, is a valuable tool for both consumers and business users looking for the best way to stay connected on the go,” said Dan Schieler, senior vice president and general manager, Mobile Computing for Sierra Wireless. “It’s remarkably easy to get up and running, and with support for eight Wi-Fi connections and a range of up to 150 feet, it’s equally useful to a remote work team sending reports and presentations back to the office as it is to a varsity team posting highlights from their winning game.”

Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless offers an easy way to keep all of your Wi-Fi-enabled devices connected, even when you’re on the move:

Connects up to up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices
Provides all the information you need to connect and monitor your connection through a simple user interface with integrated LCD screen
Offers up to 150 foot range for Wi-Fi connections, providing flexibility in device placement and freedom of movement for users
Supports 802.11n for wider compatibility with new Wi-Fi devices
Shared microSD storage, GPS support and location-based services available to all connected devices
Integrated security out-of-the-box requires no additional setup and provides peace of mind when working in public areas.
External antenna ports, to be used with the separately sold docking station, coming soon
As the first national wireless carrier to test, launch and market 4G technology, Sprint made history by launching 4G in Baltimore in September 2008. Sprint currently offers 4G service in 71 markets in 28 states. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/4G.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 49.9 million customers at the end of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

About Sierra Wireless

Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR) (TSX: SW) offers industry-leading mobile computing and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications products and solutions that connect people, devices, and applications over cellular networks. Wireless service providers, equipment manufacturers, enterprises and government organizations around the world depend on us for reliable wireless technology. We offer 2G, 3G and 4G wireless modems, routers and gateways as well as a comprehensive suite of software, tools, and services that ensure our customers can successfully bring wireless applications to market. For more information about Sierra Wireless, visit www.sierrawireless.com.

Products mentioned