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Sprint Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless

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3Gstore
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:23 am    Post subject: Sprint Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless Reply with quote



Quote:
Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless Can Bring Sprint's 4G Speeds to More Than 400 Million Wi-Fi-Enabled Devices
Available Jan. 10 exclusively from Sprint, Overdrive is the nation's first 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot, allowing multiple Wi-Fi-enabled devices to share a connection to Sprint's 4G network

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jan 06, 2010 -- Sprint (NYSE:S) announced today the upcoming availability of Overdrive(TM) 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless. Overdrive allows you to connect up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices simultaneously--including laptops, gaming devices, cameras and even smartphones from other carriers--through a single connection (via Wi-Fi), to a network that is up to 10 times faster than today's 3G speeds from any national wireless carrier.1 There's no need to wait for 4G devices to enjoy the benefits of 4G: Overdrive 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.

"This device delivers the connected lifestyle to our customers in overdrive," said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. "The fact that it connects up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices is especially meaningful because at 4G speeds, customers can download and upload more data--gigabytes, not megabytes--in a matter of seconds. The Overdrive on the 4G network is made for the multitude of bandwidth-hungry applications customers want to access wirelessly, like video streaming. 4G beats 3G for speed and for value."

Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot will benefit customers today

In the home:

Through a single connection, you can bypass your cable provider and stream HD movies from content distribution providers (such as Netflix, Amazon and Blockbuster) right to your TV; connect your Xbox 360 and game real-time with someone located across the globe; move pictures wirelessly from your camera to a digital picture frame and surf the Web on your laptop while streaming Pandora.

In the dorm:

Connect virtually anywhere on a campus with 4G coverage at 4G speeds: Turn your iPod Touch with Skype into a voice phone and make a call, or stream a live movie from Hulu or Netflix to your laptop.

On-the-go:

Whether you're on a long trip or running a busy day of errands, use Overdrive to keep passengers entertained in the car.2 Stream your favorite TV show from Hulu to your Netbook; use a PSP gaming device to access multiple games and content; download music to your Zune HD; and turn your 3G iPhone into a 4G device. It's all very simple with Overdrive.

Mobile office:

Join a video conference, download large files, conduct a virtual home tour and stay in constant contact with your office via unified communications.

Move Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot to the workplace and the benefits are even greater with enhanced Wi-Fi performance, increased productivity and improved cost savings. Set up and redeploy easily and quickly for a small workgroup; back-up or replace costly wireline connections to small branches, retail locations or home offices; cost-effectively share one connection on one plan when mobile with other employees and customers; use as excellent "power up and go" mobile solution to maintain connectivity for business/emergency continuity; and easily perform multiple functions with constant connectivity and real-time access to corporate data.

"At Best Buy, we see an amazing amount of new devices and products from mobile phones to televisions to gaming consoles that are designed to connect and interact with each other. This kind of connectivity is very exciting, but it can also be complicated to maximize unless you actually see it and understand it," said Brian Dunn, Best Buy CEO. "In combination with Best Buy's skilled and passionate associates, the Sprint Overdrive will allow us to showcase our in-store experience by demonstrating how various Wi-Fi- enabled products work and connect together, whether in the home, on-the-go or both."

As the first dual-mode device of its kind, Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot can be used on both the Sprint 4G network and Sprint's Mobile Broadband Network, America's most dependable 3G network.3 This flexibility allows customers to enjoy 4G performance in any Sprint 4G market or to use Sprint's reliable 3G mobile broadband network when outside a 4G area. Sprint 4G is already available in 27 markets and continues to expand to new cities, bringing wireless speeds up to 10 times faster than today's 3G from any other national wireless carrier.

"Sierra Wireless places a high priority on making our products simple to use, and we have put considerable time and effort into ensuring that Overdrive3G/4G Mobile Hotspotdelivers the easiest user experience of any mobile hotspot on the market," said Jason Cohenour, CEO of Sierra Wireless. "Its simplicity, combined with its compact portability, and security, makes Overdrive3G/4G Mobile Hotspotideal for both personal and business use in a variety of situations."

Key features of Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot include a LCD that provides important information such as battery life and internet connection status, as well as an easy-to-use web interface for customizing settings. Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot also includes built-in GPS capability (on 3G), MicroSD slot for up to 16 GB memory cards creating shared storage with up to five connected devices, and an extended Wi-Fi range of up to 150 feet.

Beginning on Jan. 10, customers will be able to purchase Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot exclusively from Sprint for $99.99 (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 and select Best Buy stores; available through business sales, Web (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) in coming weeks. Also beginning Jan. 10, Sprint will offer simplified 3G/4G data plans for consumers and businesses at $59.99 monthly (price plans exclude surcharges and taxes).4

Sprint continues to blaze trails with 4G

Sprint is the first national wireless carrier to test, launch and market 4G technology. (View 4G coverage at www.sprint.com/4G)

Sprint made history by launching 4G in Baltimore in September 2008. Sprint currently offers 4G service in 27 markets, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., San Antonio and Seattle. Sprint 4G is also offered in Abilene, Texas; Amarillo, Texas; Austin, Texas; Bellingham, Wash.; Boise, Idaho; Charlotte, N.C.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Greensboro, N.C. (along with High Point and Winston-Salem); Honolulu; Killeen/Temple, Texas; Lubbock, Texas; Maui, Hawaii; Midland/Odessa, Texas; Milledgeville, Ga.; Raleigh, N.C. (along with Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham); Salem, Ore.; Waco, Texas and Wichita Falls, Texas.

In 2010, Sprint expects to launch service in multiple markets, including Boston, Houston, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
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3Gstore
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

according to a related release, the Overdrive is also known as the Sierra Wireless AirCard W801 Mobile Hotspot
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nschwen
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Joined: 15 Oct 2005
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Location: Hastings, MN

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Through a single connection, you can bypass your cable provider and stream HD movies from content distribution providers (such as Netflix, Amazon and Blockbuster) right to your TV; connect your Xbox 360 and game real-time with someone located across the globe; move pictures wirelessly from your camera to a digital picture frame and surf the Web on your laptop while streaming Pandora.


I was pretty surprised to see this. They're advertising it as a total replacement in the home for cable/DSL. And with encouraging the streaming of HD movies, they MUST be planning to remove or greatly increase the bandwidth caps (or is it never implement a cap, seems I may have read they don't have them for 4G...yet). Streaming an HD movie or two is going to eat the hell out of a 5GB/month cap.

While it would seem this must be what they are planning, if so, why push the 3G caps? Especially if they see 3G going away in a couple years (I'd assume 4G will be pretty widely available by then, enough that 3G is something used only in the remote areas).

Edit: Re-reading the press release, they're advertising this as a practical solution for both 4G AND 3G users. How does this make sense? I've never streamed a full length HD movie from Netflix, but I have to imagine it's a hefty download.
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waynefoutz
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nschwen wrote:
Quote:
Through a single connection, you can bypass your cable provider and stream HD movies from content distribution providers (such as Netflix, Amazon and Blockbuster) right to your TV; connect your Xbox 360 and game real-time with someone located across the globe; move pictures wirelessly from your camera to a digital picture frame and surf the Web on your laptop while streaming Pandora.


I was pretty surprised to see this. They're advertising it as a total replacement in the home for cable/DSL. And with encouraging the streaming of HD movies, they MUST be planning to remove or greatly increase the bandwidth caps (or is it never implement a cap, seems I may have read they don't have them for 4G...yet). Streaming an HD movie or two is going to eat the hell out of a 5GB/month cap.

While it would seem this must be what they are planning, if so, why push the 3G caps? Especially if they see 3G going away in a couple years (I'd assume 4G will be pretty widely available by then, enough that 3G is something used only in the remote areas).

Edit: Re-reading the press release, they're advertising this as a practical solution for both 4G AND 3G users. How does this make sense? I've never streamed a full length HD movie from Netflix, but I have to imagine it's a hefty download.



Don't know about Netflix, but I've done it on Hulu. If it's flash, it's about 750 megabytes for a full length movie.
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orbitalcomp
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw the Overdrive at CES over the weekend, and it is impressive device. Definitely improves on some of the issues with the MiFi (battery status, handles more users, tethering and WiFi at the same time, to name a few)

I'm wondering if these will eventually be supported to work on the CP routers, and if I had to guess I would say yes. The only thing I didn't like about the Overdrive is that horrible glossy black finish that so many companies think they need to use on all their products. It's OK if it's something that will stay stationary, but for something mobile like a portable router, it makes no sense since they end up getting all beat up looking.

My local store has them in stock today, so I plan on going over after work to see how my grandfathered 3G plan would work with this, if at all.

Also, i currently have Clear 4G service, and it can be considered a replacement for home broadband, no question. Netflix, Hulu, NBA League Pass...i have used them all, and there are no problems at all.
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AMA
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Might be time to issue chargebacks if paying for 4g via credit card. Maybe then Sprint will start getting the message.

I ran into something similar starting up my USB combo 3g/4g modem recently. Called Cust. Service, was told Sprint was working on it. Day or two later, the modem did an auto download of new Sprint code, and the problem has pretty much gone away. I can connect to 4g no problemo now.

Maybe something similar is in the works for the Overdrive?
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Billf383
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Joined: 24 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought the Overdrive the day it was released. The thing is very buggy. I have found the speeds of 4G in the Las Vegas area to be lower in many areas than the 3G network. I noted that they have a speed test on here that shows 1.27 Mb/s. I can get better with 3G. I do not know if they have just not rolled out a higher speed or they throttled it back so to limit usage. I find that this thing is no replacement for true broadband. Downloading anything from iTunes is dead slow and I would not be surprised if Sprint is intentionally slowing speeds in regards to downloading from iTunes. 5 hours to download a video? Are they kidding?

It was funny. I went to post the first review of the Overdrive on the Sprint site. They would not put it on their site. I guess they do not like bad news. I also found it interesting that the U301 is only available by direct purchase. Apparently they are pushing the Overdrive more than the U301.

I have only reached 2.5 Mb/sec a few times in the area, so I am not sure how many milliseconds that the device actually ever gets to 3-6 Mb/s as they claim, or even 10 Mb/s as they have also claimed.

Other bugs include the tendency for the unit to hang on reboot when you use their browser feature to reconfigure the device in any way.

I also tried the unit out with an iPhone 3GS. The throughput under wifi was lousy.

It is a shame that Sprint cannot seem to get it right.
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orbitalcomp
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billf383 wrote:
I bought the Overdrive the day it was released. The thing is very buggy. I have found the speeds of 4G in the Las Vegas area to be lower in many areas than the 3G network. I noted that they have a speed test on here that shows 1.27 Mb/s. I can get better with 3G. I do not know if they have just not rolled out a higher speed or they throttled it back so to limit usage. I find that this thing is no replacement for true broadband. Downloading anything from iTunes is dead slow and I would not be surprised if Sprint is intentionally slowing speeds in regards to downloading from iTunes. 5 hours to download a video? Are they kidding?

It was funny. I went to post the first review of the Overdrive on the Sprint site. They would not put it on their site. I guess they do not like bad news. I also found it interesting that the U301 is only available by direct purchase. Apparently they are pushing the Overdrive more than the U301.

I have only reached 2.5 Mb/sec a few times in the area, so I am not sure how many milliseconds that the device actually ever gets to 3-6 Mb/s as they claim, or even 10 Mb/s as they have also claimed.

Other bugs include the tendency for the unit to hang on reboot when you use their browser feature to reconfigure the device in any way.

I also tried the unit out with an iPhone 3GS. The throughput under wifi was lousy.

It is a shame that Sprint cannot seem to get it right.


The Overdrive has so much potential, but I agree it is not ready. Or maybe Sprint's 4g network is not ready, or it could be a combination of the two. I purchased an Overdrive about 10 days ago, but returned it for a refund a few days ago and just went back to my Sprint MiFi and my Clear 4G USB modems with Cradlepoint routers.

I just could not get a good 4g signal with the Overdrive, yet I could with the Clear modem in the exact same location. Everywhere I needed the Overdrive to work, it had zero signal while the Clear setup had about 40% or greater. It's pretty evident that even though Sprint and Clear use the same towers, there is something different with their individual networks. I could tell this by running tests through Speedtest.net, where the speeds and the IP locations were never even close or similar.

The few times I did have a decent signal, the speeds were OK and averaged about 3.5Mbps down, but most of the time it was slower than my 3g speeds that I am used to from the MiFi.

I had the Overdrive locked to "4G only" mode to prevent it from constantly dropping back to 3g service and using my capped bandwidth, but by doing this I got very little use out of it. For now, I'll stick with my MiFi and it's quirky charging and indicator lights, since I am on an uncapped 3G plan. For the rest, the Clear setup with two USB modems for only $50/mo. can't be beat. I was hoping to drop my Sprint and Clear plans and just go with the Overdrive and save about $40 a month, but I can't do that yet.

Hopefully Sierra Wireless can get the bugs figured out. Little things, like not turning back on automatically after a restart due to a configuration change. Plus, the boot-up time is way too long at over one minute, which is about twice as long as the MiFi.
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Mammalian04
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

orbitalcomp wrote:

I'm wondering if these will eventually be supported to work on the CP routers, and if I had to guess I would say yes.


Does not work on my Cradlepoint MBR-1000 yet. Cradlepoint tech support said they don't have approval from Sprint to write drivers yet. Bunch of hockeymaju if you ask me.

...And the POOR iphone speeds have just disappointed me all around.

Oh, and boot times for the Overdrive are ridiculous. Close to a minute!
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Billf383
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is nothing like watching your iTunes tell you it will take 48 hours to download the episode. Thank goodness for 4G. Sadly, the folks at Sprint are not listening about this.
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Billf383
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the now network...Yes the time is now to leave Sprint. I went to a Clear store (Clearwire WiMax store). I tried the overdrive. It underdrove the network to 2.5 Mbs/sec. The Clear unit proceeded to come in around 10+ Mbp/s. No contest. The Clear unit can pick up signal much better than the Overdrive unit can. This is in the greater Las Vegas area.
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orbitalcomp
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billf383 wrote:
Welcome to the now network...Yes the time is now to leave Sprint. I went to a Clear store (Clearwire WiMax store). I tried the overdrive. It underdrove the network to 2.5 Mbs/sec. The Clear unit proceeded to come in around 10+ Mbp/s. No contest. The Clear unit can pick up signal much better than the Overdrive unit can. This is in the greater Las Vegas area.


I had the same experience here in San Antonio, my Clear USB modem and Cradlepoint combo was always faster than the Overdrive, and it always had a much better signal.
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Michael
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those having OverDrive problems, have you upgraded to the latest OverDrive firmware that Sprint recently posted?
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8wheels
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Location: DFW

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
For those having OverDrive problems, have you upgraded to the latest OverDrive firmware that Sprint recently posted?

No change installing 1.06 in any way I can see. No ipod usability, very flaky charging, resets, unstable.

That said, I'll probably be signing up and keeping one by end of month. It's at least twice the performance of evdo worst case, even if I use it as nothing more than a tethered modem, with a few other occasional benefits.

But Michael just said tests & possible fixes are in the works, so I'm looking forward to the results excitedly!
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wdswong
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:41 am    Post subject: No Go in Seattle Reply with quote

I bought the OverDrive in mid-January and live in Seattle which Sprint shows as having very extensive 4G coverage. However it would see and connect to 4G with an excellent signal BUT not allow any communication... Sprint was non-supportive with responses such as "something wrong with your computer" or "you probably are in a bad spot, no one should believe the coverage maps". Sierra Wireless was willing to at least research whether there was an issue.

Firmware update 1.06 FINALLY allows me to use 4G in Seattle (after more than 2 weeks) but despite saying I have an excellent signal, the connection is slow and not any better than with my 3 year old EVDO Merlin Card.

I see that there is confirmation that there is a performance problem with the iTouch chipset so that explains the slowness for that device. But I am also seeing slowness when connected with my Mac Book Pro laptop and also with my Dell Win XP laptop.

BTW, I have submitted two Overdrive reviews with my issues and neither have been approved so they are definitely only putting up the five star reviews to make the device seem much better.
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