Monday, March 18, 2013

C Spire's new 4G LTE mobile hotspot packing power, speed

The mobile hotspot devices just keep getting better and better. It was only in November that I wrote about a wireless USB modem and said it was good and very handy to have around. Earlier in May, another review of a mobile hotspot also left me with a favorable impression of reliable Wi-Fi signals from these small devices.

This latest 4G LTE, or Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution, Mobile Hotspot from C Spire Wireless is even better. The design has changed from a flip-like device that plugged into an electrical outlet via a USB port to a digital device that can be placed on a desk or simply stays in your pocket or purse.

This new hotspot, manufactured by Franklin Wireless, looks like a smartphone without a keypad, with a round LCD digital display that shows your signal strength, battery status, the number of connections, any alerts or messages, and most important of all in my mind, whether or not you're connected to a 4G LTE or 3G network. Another indicator shows when you are roaming.

During my time with the device, the 4G LTE blue status light was always showing, backed up by four bars of network connectivity and a signal strength of excellent.

There are three buttons on the side for power, messages and data usage. A removable 1800 mAh battery is rated at five hours of continuous use and 18 hours of standby time. When it's time for charge, just connect the included USB cable to the travel charger and to a mini USB port on the hotspot device.

At only 3.6 ounces, this mobile hotspot does not weigh down your shirt pocket. It's well-designed, user friendly and ready for on-the-go wireless broadband connections.

The maximum number of connections to the hotspot has been bumped up from five to 10, for devices such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and even desktops not using a wired connection. As a matter of fact, it went way beyond the number of devices I have available and I could envisioned the C Spire 4G hotspot being used in a work-group or club-meeting environment. It would be a snap to set up a Wi-Fi security password in the Web user interface that could be shared with others.

This device joins C Spire's other 4G LTE-capable devices that have been available since a mobile broadband network upgrade in September.

I'm thumbs up on this one and it's worth a look at $29.99 under contract in all C Spire retail stores and more information is available on their website. After choosing a data plan, your mobile broadband needs will be in good hands at home, in the office or on the go.

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