In early October, we traveled to Baltimore to witness the launch of the first 4G network in the country: Sprint Nextel's
At that time, journalists were given glimpses of special test laptops and a home modem that provided super-fast data download speeds. What we witnessed was very impressive. But it was a hands-off demo. We could take pictures, but we couldn't take units and do our own testing.
All that has changed. Sprint Nextel has announced a new Xohm/WiMAX modem -- this one is a USB, plug-in 3G/4G dual mode model. We have tested the device in the New York City area (on Sprint's 3G EV-DO network) and we were very impressed. Then we drove back to Baltimore and ran our own unsupervised speed tests. We were blown away with the results.
The modem in question here is Sprint's new U300 modem. It is made for Sprint by Franklin Wireless. It's very easy to use. You install the software from the included mini-CD, plug the modem into any open USB port and you're on your way. The software, called Sprint SmartView, first looks for a 4G "WiMAX" signal, and if/when it doesn't find one, it connects to Sprint's 3G EVDO Rev A (or 2G in rare instances) "Mobile" network.
Using the U300 modem on the EVDO network is fast. Actually, it's faster than using a similar USB modem on AT&T's