New AT&T USB Modems Bring Upgraded Network Options

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ATT USB Modem Devices

Communications giant AT&T is planning for the future, today, with the debut of some of their latest USB devices. The AT&T USBConnect Shockwave and USBConnect Adrenaline are firsts for the carrier in that they have the capacity to upgrade to LTE and HSPA+ networks.

For those of you unfamiliar with these terms, HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) is a type of wireless broadband with theoretical data rates of 56 megabits per second and 22 megabits per second for downlinking and uplinking respectively. LTE (Long Term Evolution) is a radio technology that enables higher bandwidth and throughputs than HSPA+. Simply translated, these technologies will help to better utilize mobile data applications that are becoming greater in numbers and increasingly complex in their demands.

According to one VP at AT&T, “”We have purposefully planned our path to LTE to create a wireless network where the transition from 3G does not give customers wireless whiplash.”

These devices, which in physical appearance resemble a heavyweight version of a flash drive, can plug into laptops and netbooks.

The Adrenaline and Shockwave offer some distinct user features. The LTE-upgradeable USBConnect Adrenaline will have mobile plug-and-play capabilities that can support multiple operating systems. It will connect to Wi-Fi and AT&T hotspots while also including a memory card slot and built-in GPS. As for the USBConnect Shockwave, it’s made ready for HPSA+ upgrades and the fastest speeds available. It can install or run in less than a minute. (The speed of the Shockwave will make it faster than the LTE-capable Adrenaline, which is odd since LTE is built for greater bandwidth).

Although these USB devices are built for tomorrow’s networks, AT&T is providing a reason to buy them now: Shockwave is free after a two-year service agreement and Adrenaline is just around $50 after a two-year plan. Adrenaline will be available on October 17th; Shockwave has yet to have a specific release date, but it will debut before the holiday season.

We will have to wait and see how or if these devices will edge out mobile broadband competition from Sprint or T-Mobile.

While broadband technologies are changing it’s interesting to see how USB is serving as a bridge to that next innovative step beyond 3G.

What do you think about USB technology’s role in future networking?

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One Response to New AT&T USB Modems Bring Upgraded Network Options

  1. Naomi Farber says:

    I am unhappy with AT&T’s decision to charge extra for mobile signal. This directly penalizes people in rural areas for no reason. Most people who live in urban areas can get broadband for cheaper. People in rural areas have very few choices so they are charges higher prices and their connections are limited by their ability to pay, not the availability of these choices. Most of all I am upset that my husband and I pay AT&T over $200 a month and still cannot sit at home and both be on the computer at the same time.

    My husband was looking for a device so that we could connect a desktop with a wireless adapter and a laptop to the same internet connection. He plays Eve and I go to college online, we use data, but nothing in the scheme of things.

    We live in a very rural area where they don’t guarantee even dial-up connections. We were paying for a house phone we don’t use plus dial-up that would be out so much that we canceled the service. When we went to satellite we cancelled the first month because we got charged for any data usage outside of the free 3-6am time period (how generous). T-mobile offered us free tethering but weaned us off their connection slowly when they were no longer authorized to use AT&T’s tower (directly across the hwy from my house) and although we have broadband cables buried along the edge of our property, we are not authorized to use them because we don’t have enough neighbors.

    So, we currently have two blackberry 8520s with $30 AT&T 2G data plans each but no tether because it costs twice as much. My husband was told by an AT&T representative that we could connect up to five computers easily with USBconnect Adrenaline. Well, after trying any and every way possible, and having to undo it when it didn’t work, we have come to the conclusion that was misleading. The key word here is “simultaneously”.

    Why is it that we are paying $180 for two phones (700 min talk, unlimited txt, cumulative 4G of data) plus whatever this connect device cost to buy and for another 5G of Data, and we still can’t sit 2 ft away from each other in the livingroom and both use our computers online. This is ridiculous and I would like a solution. We have paid for it. The absurdity of this amazes me.

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