Home

iPhone 4G

Sprint has been running commercials recently demonstrating how to take advantage of their super-fast 4G WiMAX network on an iPhone, by connecting it to the Overdrive 3G/4G hotspot. Check out the commercial below:


Right now, AT&T does not have a 4G network built - they only offer 3G service (the "G" in 3G and 4G stands for "Generation" - so 4G is simply the "4th Generation" of mobile broadband. As you'd expect, 4G is much faster than 3G!).  4G is available, though, through CLEAR and Sprint. CLEAR, which is 51% owned by Sprint, has been deploying a 4G WiMAX network that is in 30 major markets right now, with service in new cities launching every quarter; Sprint and CLEAR use the same network, but offer different plans and devices. As the Sprint commercial explains, just because the iPhone doesn't have 4G capabilities built into it doesn't mean you can't take advantage of 4G. The Overdrive is one option to accomplish this, but it's not the only one:


#1  Purchase CLEAR Internet USB Modem and add a Battery-Powered Router.


This will work in any of the 4G/WiMax supported markets*.  This method gives you the ability to not only have an iPhone on a 4G network, BUT also creates a WiFi hotspot FROM the 4G network.  Multiple devices can be sharing the network at the same time, such as iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry (w/WiFi) and any other device that supports WiFi. If you have an ethernet-only device, you can add a Pepwave Surf Mini to get those to hook up. Plus, CLEAR's service is super-affordable and unlike 3G service, it's unlimited (so no need to worry about using too much data and incurring overage charges!).

If you are only using this in a 4G area, you are good to go.  But, what if you are not always going to be in a 4G area?  That is where a solution from Sprint will do the trick.


#2  Purchase Sprint U301 3G/4G USB Modem and add a Battery-Powered Router.

This works exactly like #1, except that it also fails back to 3G when you are not in a 4G area. This option works best if you travel a lot one of the areas you frequent is not yet on 4G.  The same rules apply - you can easily share multiple WiFi devices. It also gives you the most for being "future proofed", meaning you can get a device today and not have to worry about it becoming outdated when a whole new faster 4G network comes into town - you would have everything you need for 3G now and 4G tomorrow. Sprint's 3G/4G service is a great deal right now, too: they charge just $59.99/mo (the SAME price that AT&T/Verizon/Sprint charge for their 3G-only plans!) and you get unlimited 4G access and 5GB of 3G access.

sprint overdrive


#3  Purchase Sprint Overdrive 3G/4G Hotspot.

This is the works similarly to #2, but instead of being two separate devices (an aircard and a router), the Overdrive is an all-in-one unit. Like the U301, the Overdrive also fails back to 3G when you are not in a 4G area. This option works best if you travel a lot one of the areas you frequent is not yet on 4G.  The same rules apply - you can easily share multiple WiFi devices. It also gives you the most for being "future proofed", meaning you can get a device today and not have to worry about it becoming outdated when a whole new faster 4G network comes into town - you would have everything you need for 3G now and 4G tomorrow. Sprint's 3G/4G service is a great deal right now, too: they charge just $59.99/mo (the SAME price that AT&T/Verizon/Sprint charge for their 3G-only plans!) and you get unlimited 4G access and 5GB of 3G access.

There are a plethora of benefits to opting for a 4G or 3G/4G modem in a router for your iPhone instead of relying on WiFi from other sources or AT&T's 3G service:
  • 4G WiMAX service from Sprint or CLEAR is much faster than AT&T's 3G service (WiMAX can provide average download speeds of 3 to 6 Mbps and bursts over 10 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1Mbps; AT&T's 3G service provides real-world speeds of 700-1700kbps download and 500-1200kbps upload)
  • Unlike relying on other WiFi sources and only being able to use your iPhone when you're near a hotspot, you can be your OWN hotspot
  • These options all allow you to share the 3G or 4G connection with other devices, too - not just your iPhone! Get your other devices online, too!
  • Multiple router options - the PHS300 is certainly the most portable option (since it has a built-in battery), but other routers are also available if other features are desired (the other routers don't have built-in batteries, but external batteries are available)
  • Flexibility - if you ever replace your iPhone for any reason, you won't have to also worry about replacing or transferring your internet service. Your CLEAR or Sprint USB modem and router will work with any computer or WiFi device you get!
* For a complete list of US cities with CLEAR or Sprint 4G WiMAX, see 4Ginfo.com/wimaxmarkets. To view 3G or 4G coverage by zip code or address, visit 3Gstore.com/coverage

Related Links: