AT&T has recently announced two new modems, which allow users to hook up to the carrier’s LTE 4G network.
As reported by John Brownlee of Cult of Mac, two different modems were announced by AT&T. The first is a USB dongle that plugs right into a laptop, and is called the “AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G.” This dongle will be available to purchase for $50, provided users sign-up to a two year contract and send a $50 mail-in rebate.
The second modem has a little more to it: The “AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G” allows any Wi-Fi enabled device to connect to AT&T’s 4G network. Obviously, this includes a computer – but it also includes your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and any other Wi-Fi enabled mobile device you have lying around. As you can see in the above image, the device itself features an LCD screen that displays information on the connection, along with setup guides, too. The Mobile Hotspot Elevate is a little more expensive, with the device costing $70 along with a two year contract and a $50 mail-in rebate, but if you’re looking to access AT&T’s network on a mobile device, this modem is the answer.
AT&T will initially launch its LTE network in five U.S. cities, though 10 additional markets will roll out by the end of 2011. However, current iOS device owners will not be able to connect to this network. Just like the original iPhone was EDGE-only (and the iPhone 3G added support for 3G), current generation iOS devices (the iPhone 4 and iPads included) will be unable to connect to AT&T’s 4G LTE network by themselves.
Instead, users will have to purchase an LTE compatible mobile device. And in the world of iOS, such a device has not even been announced, let along released.
While the general consensus is that Apple will not release an LTE compatible iPhone this year, the company is expected to announce such a handset next year. Furthermore, we have heard that Apple’s third generation iPad will be LTE compatible, too (making it the first LTE compatible iOS device to be announced and released).
However, with AT&T’s new LTE modems, you can access the new network right now – even on an iOS device (provided you live in a supported city).
If you do, let us know if you’re considering grabbing one of these modems in the comments. For me, Personal Hotspot quenches my mobile broadband thirst, and 3G is good enough. For now.