We recently went hands on with the Sprint Overdrive to preview their new 4G WiMax network and we walked away impressed. When we tested the Overdrive on Sprint’s 4G (in Austin, TX) we were able to achieve download speeds over 5 Mbps (which is the fastest we have experienced on any carrier). Sprint just sent us a new firmware (1.07) for the Overdrive which is supposed to improve operation and throughput so we are eager to test it out around town and see how it performs.
As seen in the PC World 3G performance testing, handsets normally achieve lower speeds than laptop-based modems, so we will have to wait and see how fast the first Sprint 4G handset is. Sprint is still advertising their 4G WiMax peaks at 10 Mbps and typical speeds range from 3-6 Mbps.
The 4G network is currently available in 27 markets, but Sprint is expanding their coverage to 120 million people by the end of 2010. Sprint recently published a list of eight cities which they expect to have 4G service in soon.
New 4G cities coming soon:
- San Francisco, CA
- Denver, CO
- Washington, DC
- Boston, MA
- Minneapolis, MN
- Kansas City, MO
- New York, NY
- Houston, TX
If your city is not on the list stay tuned because more Sprint 4G markets will be announced at a later date.
For a complete listing of 4G markets please visit www.sprint.com/4G.
Sprint currently charges $59.99 for their stand alone 4G mobile broadband plan, which is the same price as their 3G plan. The major benefit to the 4G plan is it includes true unlimited usage (on 4G), while 3G data has a 5 GB cap.
Since Sprint is offering their 3G and 4G data plans at the same price, it will be interesting to see how they incorporate 4G in their Any Mobile, Anytime calling plans with Everything Data. I will go out on a limb and predict calling plans with 4G data will remain the same price.
The Sprint Mobile Broadband Connection Plan (3G/4G) includes:
- Unlimited 4G usage. Download mammoth files, watch streaming videos and video conferencing without the lag. More coverage locations coming soon!
- Peak download speeds of over 10 Mbps and average download speeds of 3-6 Mbps
- 3G coverage nationwide: 5GB/mo. in total or 300 MB/mo. while off-network roaming. Additional monthly usage over 5GB costs 5¢/MB. You may not use more than 300 MB/mo. while off-network roaming. You can check your usage online anytime. Log into www.sprint.com/mysprint and click on usage details.
- Sprint reserves the right to limit throughput speeds or amount of data transferred. See what you can do with 5GB or 300MB a month on a 3G connection plan.