Not satisfied with AT&T’s 3G network and want more than Wi-Fi? A company known as Clear has released an iDevice-specific version of their Spot portable wireless 4G hotspot products, appropriately named iSpot. The iSpot allows up to eight iDevices to connect to Clear’s nationwide 4G wireless WiMax network.
The iSpot features an 1,830 mAh internal rechargeable battery that allows about 4 to 5 hours of runtime. The device even sports an Apple look, similar to the Mighty Mouse, but a bit smaller and notably thinner. The iSpot charges via the included mini-USB cable and wall charger, which gives you a completely wireless solution. Some may wonder if they could use this with their MacBooks or other non-iOS Wi-Fi equipped devices and, well, Engadget was able to provide a little clarity beyond the basic tech specs listings.
We followed up with Clearwire regarding authenticating with the iSpot. We’re told that “the device is configured to filter based on MAC address which allows it to ID the Apple mobile devices,” which explicitly means iPhones, iPads and iPod touches only.
Let’s get down to the availability of the Clear 4G WiMax network and the service fees, as that’s what really matters. The 4G network has been deployed in 55 major markets thus far, including places like Jacksonville, Atlanta, Honolulu, St. Louis, Boise, Chicago, Kansas City, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Washington D.C. Feel free to check for coverage in your area using your specific address. Download performance is quoted as “up to 6Mbps” with uploads transferring at “up to 1Mbps.” The iSpot On-the-Go is a no-contract, month-to-month service plan where “users can enjoy unlimited 4G data usage for an initial low monthly service offering of $25.” We were not able to verify whether that means early adopters get an incentive or if after a set number of months the plan price will change to the standard On-the-Go plan for $40 per month.
The device is on-sale directly through Clear’s web site only until the end of today for an introductory price of $29. After that, the regular suggested retail price of $99 kicks in and the device will be available at authorized resellers.
Even though you aren’t required to sign a long term contract, it’s still a good idea to read over all of the fine print. With somewhat limited coverage and iDevice only compatibility, are you one of those to find this an option?