Future proof: Sprint's Tri-Fi wireless hotspot works with 3G, WiMax, and LTE

Future proof: Sprint's Tri-Fi wireless hotspot works with 3G, WiMax, and LTE

Summary: Compatible with 3G, WiMax, and LTE, Sprint's latest wireless hotspot is essentially future proof.


Mobile hotspots fall into a very particular subset of gadgets that only a very particular subset of people care about. This post is aimed at them.

Sprint on Wednesday announced the Tri-Fi, a wireless hotspot compatible with 3G, WiMax, and LTE connections. Sprint is in a big transition on the network front, and buying the Tri-Fi essentially ensures present and future compatibility with Sprint's current and future plans.

Sprint estimates that the device's 3,600 mAH battery will last eight hours on a single charge. The Tri-Fi also features a microSD card slot, allowing it to act as a file host.

The Tri-Fi lands on May 18th, when it will run for $99 after a two-year contract and $50 rebate.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Telcos, Wi-Fi

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  • Wow

    Very cool. That device should have you covered. Clearwire has some fairly extensive WiMax coverage, currently and once Sprint's LTE network is built out a device like this may look pretty attractive. Not sure what Clearwire's long term plans for WiMax are.
    • Clearwire

      Clear are transitioning to LTE, with an overlap of coverage areas with WiMAX for several years. They started with a trial in Phoenix with average D/L speeds of around 100-120Mbps. They are now bringing several other cities into the trial, including Pittsburgh in 2012, and larger metro areas like New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle in 2013.

      That said, their rates on WiMAX-only have shot up, and they have dropped their value service plans. They now only do month to month no-contract. But if you think that sounds good, Clear are notorious for continuing to charge your account after you cancel service, and their customer support is atrocious. Anything that is not in their script, they can't do, and they will screw you over if they can. I was leasing equipment which failed, in a way clearly covered by the lease warrantee, and they refused to cover it under the lease. Even when I read the lease language to them, all I got was the run around.
      So since i got grandfathered in under the old plans, I will keep them for now, but will add to their churn the moment a better offer comes around.
      That said, 100Mbps would sure be nice.
      • Sprint wasted a lot of time with WiMax

        The rest of the world settles on LTE but these guys launch WiFi...great thinkers there. Oh wait, they have a "network vision".

        Likewise, their LTE allocation is only in 5MHz BW channels so that means less throughput.

        On the other hand, they do have low rate data plans...