Sprint Overdrive Pro 3G/4G hotspot due March 20

Sprint has updated its portable WiMAX hotspot, in the shape of the Sprint Overdrive Pro. Offering both 3G and 4G connectivity, the Overdrive Pro boosts the number of simultaneous supported clients to eight (up from five on the original Overdrive) as well as coming in at a lower price.

There's WiFi b/g/n connectivity, a microSD card slot which can be accessed by any WiFi client, GPS and an integrated LCD display (45-percent larger than before) for status updates like power, signal and whether you're on 3G or 4G. Battery life is still around four hours of use.

The Sprint Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot will go on sale from March 20, priced at $49.99 (following a $50 mail-in rebate) with a new, two-year data agreement. Plans kick off at $49.99 per month. A new docking station is also in the works, complete with external antennas.

Press Release:

Overdrive™ Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless, Exclusively from Sprint, Delivers 4G Speeds to Millions of Wi-Fi Enabled Devices

Available March 20, Sprint's 19th announced 4G-capable device is the next generation of the popular Overdrive mobile hotspot, with an increased number of shared users from five to eight, and a 45 percent larger LCD screen

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. and VANCOUVER, Canada (BUSINESS WIRE), March 17, 2011 – Sprint (NYSE:S) and Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ:SWIR) (TSX:SW) today announced upcoming availability of Overdrive™ Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless. As the second generation of the popular Overdrive device, Overdrive Pro allows users to connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices simultaneously – including laptops, tablets, eReaders, gaming devices, cameras and even smartphones from other carriers – through a single connection (via Wi-Fi) to a 4G network offering download speeds up to 10 times faster than today's 3G service.1

Overdrive Pro 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. Beginning on March 20, customers will be able to purchase Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot exclusively from Sprint for $49.99 (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, through business sales, Web (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1).

"There are endless possibilities for how our customers can take advantage of the easy wireless connection to Sprint 4G through this small device," said Fared Adib, vice president-Product Development, Sprint. "Teams can travel and share access on-the-go, families can be connected in one household with tablets, game consoles and televisions, and shuttle buses can provide Internet access to their customers while en route to a destination. With Overdrive Pro, customers no longer have to look for mobile hotspots because they always have one with them."

With Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot, the benefits to consumers and businesses are endless:

Stream a favorite TV show or movie from Hulu™ or Netflix® to your Netbook or tablet while simultaneously surfing the Web in another room

Wirelessly connect an Xbox 360 and game real-time with someone located across the country

Move pictures wirelessly from a camera to a digital picture frame and surf the Web on a laptop while streaming Pandora®

Work remotely anywhere in a 4G coverage area (or virtually anywhere with 3G) and easily connect a laptop, smartphone, tablet or wireless phone through a single connection

Teams that are travelling can share Internet access with each other at hotels, airports and conference centers

Taxis, limos and shuttle buses can provide Internet access for customer use while en route to their destination

Healthcare teams can rely on an easy, reliable, power-up-and-go solution to use in Emergency Response Team (ERT) Go Kits, or while treating patients bedside

Engineering, construction and insurance teams can instantly upload data, pictures of sites, accidents and images remotely

Reporters first on the scene of a breaking story can share access to upload stories and photos while at the scene, without missing a beat.

Overdrive Pro offers several enhancements over its predecessor, Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot, focused on performance and usability, including a 35 percent improvement in power-up and power-down times. Overdrive Pro's integrated LCD screen, which provides valuable information like signal strength, battery life, and number of devices connected, is 45 percent larger than the previous version for a wider viewing angle, while the device itself is smaller for easier portability. The LCD display has also been made even more informative, with detailed connection and device information available through additional screens that can be accessed by double-pressing the power button.

Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless requires activation on a Sprint 3G/4G Mobile Broadband Plan starting as low as $49.99 per month.2 Device can be used on both the Sprint 3G and 4G networks. This flexibility allows customers to enjoy 4G performance in any of the 71 Sprint 4G markets or to use Sprint's reliable, nationwide 3G network.

"Overdrive Pro, combined with the power of Sprint's 4G network, is a valuable tool for both consumers and business users looking for the best way to stay connected on the go," said Dan Schieler, senior vice president and general manager, Mobile Computing for Sierra Wireless. "It's remarkably easy to get up and running, and with support for eight Wi-Fi connections and a range of up to 150 feet, it's equally useful to a remote work team sending reports and presentations back to the office as it is to a varsity team posting highlights from their winning game."

Overdrive Pro 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Sierra Wireless offers an easy way to keep all of your Wi-Fi-enabled devices connected, even when you're on the move:

Connects up to up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices

Provides all the information you need to connect and monitor your connection through a simple user interface with integrated LCD screen

Offers up to 150 foot range for Wi-Fi connections, providing flexibility in device placement and freedom of movement for users

Supports 802.11n for wider compatibility with new Wi-Fi devices

Shared microSD storage, GPS support and location-based services available to all connected devices

Integrated security out-of-the-box requires no additional setup and provides peace of mind when working in public areas.

External antenna ports, to be used with the separately sold docking station, coming soon

As the first national wireless carrier to test, launch and market 4G technology, Sprint made history by launching 4G in Baltimore in September 2008. Sprint currently offers 4G service in 71 markets in 28 states. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/4G.