updated 03:45 pm EDT, Wed March 17, 2010
Sprint claims Overdrive could speed up iPhone
Sprint in an unusual marketing tactic is marketing its Sierra Wireless Overdrive router as a companion to the iPhone. A new commercial (viewable below) suggests the iPhone is "limited by AT&T's 3G speeds" and that the 4G-to-Wi-Fi hotspot could be used to speed up the smartphone. In this case, the router could give enough added speed to quickly finish streaming a video.
The speed boost is potentially accurate, as WiMAX on Sprint usually floats between 3Mbps and 6Mbps depending on quality; the figure is usually at least twice as fast as AT&T's typical HSPA-based 3G network, where peak speeds are about 1.7Mbps. However, the service would cost users a $60 monthly premium in addition to the cost of the Overdrive to get the added speeds.
Sprint's move is known not to be the only instance of rival carriers trying to ride on Apple devices despite a lack of support. An internal memo from Verizon has the company trying to sell MiFi routers to iPad buyers as a way of getting 3G for the iPad without needing the more expensive model.