updated 12:40 pm EDT, Mon August 30, 2010
Rover 4G and Puck hotspot open prepaid 4G
Clearwire today kickstarted prepaid data today by launching a new service, Rover, and launching a new hotspot to match. The approach is based solely on time rather than data and gives unlimited WiMAX within a given period: users can pay as little as $5 for a single day, $20 for a week or $50 for a whole month. Rover is built with a younger audience in mind and can be activated or extended with Re-Up prepaid cards rather than having to use a credit card.
Typical speeds are the same 3-6Mbps seen on the Clear and Sprint 4G networks, and coverage shares an identical map.
Multiple devices are launching at the same time and center on the Rover Puck. The pocketable router shares its 4G with up to eight devices over 802.11n Wi-Fi and can create two separate networks to give both a limited guest network and one for known users. It lasts for four hours on a charge and costs $150 by itself. Rover is also running a special promo that gives the Puck and a year's worth of access for $500.
A traditional USB modem, the Rover Stick, gives a connection for a Mac or Windows PC for $100.