Clearwire hopes to attract Apple users with new hotspot

Up to eight users can share a mobile broadband connection with the iSpot

Clearwire has expanded its portfolio of personal hotspots to include the iSpot, which has been designed to attract Apple users, the operator said on Wednesday.

Personal hotspots are becoming more common, either as stand-alone products or integrated into high-end smartphones. They are battery powered and users connect to the product using Wi-Fi, and the hotspot then connects to the Internet using HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) or, in the case of Clearwire, WiMax.

The white iSpot offers an average download speeds of 3 Mbps (bits per second) to 6 Mbps with bursts over 10 Mbps, according to Clearwire. The capacity can be shared by up to eight iPads, iPod touches or iPhones, within up to 150 feet, at the same time.

Clearwire has a map on its Web site where people can find out if the company has coverage there. The company operates the service in the U.S.

The hotspot weighs 130 grams and measures 110 x 62 x 18 millimeters. The battery life is up to four hours when used continuously on a single charge, according a Clearwire blog post.

Clearwire also took a jab at AT&T, saying that its subscribers don't have to sort through confusing service plans or worry about how much data they're using, according to a statement. Clearwire doesn't impose a data limit.

The iSpot costs US$99.99, but is now on offer for $29 at Clearwire's website. A mobile broadband subscription from Clearwire costs $25 per month.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Correction

The third paragraph of the story "Clearwire hopes to attract Apple users with new hotspot," has been clarified regarding what devices can connect to the iSpot.

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