Traditional Phone Companies, Cable Companies, and Wireless focused companies are all staking claims on spectrum and coverage areas trying to position themselves to be the dominant nationwide player in wireless broadband internet access. This intense competition should provide consumers with an ongoing improvement in Quality of Service, pricing and bandwidth. One of the most creative offerings is the nearly free Netbook AT&T is providing in an Atlanta test trial for signing up for their cable and wireless mobile broadband packages using their 3G network.
AT&T has never been content being the plain old telephone company. They have aggresively pursued internet opportunities from AT&T worldnet to their 3G network and multitude of wireless internet offerings. Currently they have the following wireless broadband connection offers:
AT&T BroadbandConnect Network
- Uses 3G Wireless
- Focused on Business consumers
- Available in most major US Markets. Offering high speeds of
- 700 kbps to 1.7 Mbps download speeds
- 500 kbps to 1.2 Mbps upload speeds
AT&T EDGE Network
- North American's largest broadband wireless data network.
- Download speeds up to 135kbps
- Covers over 17,000 cities in the USA
AT&T International Coverage
- 152 countries covered for data.
- Built on the GSM network
View the AT&T Coverage detector
AT&T Internet at Home and On the Go - Atlanta Only
AT&T has announced a package including netbooks with built in AT&T 3G hardware as low as $49.99 when purchasing the AT&T "Internet at Home and On the Go". No word on when (if?) this package will be released nationwide.
Sprint is yet to make the big splash in LTE and has focused on being first in 4G. The Sprint 4G Network is primarily Wimax based.
Clearwire is a specialized broadband wireless internet provider. Clearwire merged with Sprint's WiMAX network 4G in 2008, and includes backers such as Time-Warner.
Clearwire offers the following packages with varying speeds with its WiMAX service:
- 768 kbit/s
- 1.5 Mbit/s
- 2.0 Mbit/s
Uplink speeds are up to 256 kbit/s.
Clear Mobile is a Clearwire company that has launched its initial product in Portland, Oregon and is considered a prototype of their plans for future metropolitan areas. They offer 4G services. They offering the following packages:
|Plan||Transfer limit||Costs||Additional Bandwidth costs||Activation Fee|
|Occasional||200MB||$30 a month||$10 per additional GB||$35|
|Frequent||2GB||$40 a month||$10 per additional GB||$35|
|Unlimited||Unlimited||$50 a month||None||$35|
|24 Hour Pass||Unlimited||$10 a day||None|
Comcast has begun launching its own mobile wireless internet service using Clearwire's Wimex network to being providing internet access throughout major metropolitan areas. Portland, Oregon is targeted as the first city Comcast plans to offer the service in. Comcast plans to resale Clearwire's service under their brand name. Currently Clearwire charges between $20 and $50 for wireless internet service.
Qwest offers mobile broadband internet service for business consumers using the Qwest mobile laptop card.
- Laptop card is $79.99 with a 2 year agreement, $129.99 with a one year agreement, and has a $239.99 no contract purchase price
- Nationwide coverage
- Monthly charge is $79.99, or $59.99 for customers who are also high speed internet subsribers.
- Uses laptop Type A USB slots
Time Warner Internet / Roadrunner
Time Warner / Roadrunner provides broadband access from the cable TV powerhouse. Time Warner has invested in Clearwire a major WiMAX player.