By Evan Blass | March 7, 2011 8:17 AM
Both T-Mobile and Sprint look prepared to release next-generation 4G mobile hotspots, although the ZTE-built model headed to Magenta will also be the carrier’s premiere entry into this category. First spotted passing through the FCC late last year, followed by a spy shot of training material published last week by TmoNews, the microSD-equipped “Lil’ Wayne” device promises to rebroadcast 21Mbps HSPA+ data over 802.11b/g to up to five clients. A 41Mbps, international version codenamed Wayne is expected in the second quarter; one or both of these devices may end up with the “G-Surf” branding, a trademark filing T-Mobile sent through the USPTO along with its “G-Slate” Optimus Pad by LG.
Sprint, meanwhile, has an Overdrive Pro on the horizon, followup to its previous 3G/4G mobile hotspot. This version’s form factor appears nearly identical to its predecessor’s, although now eight devices can connect simultaneously, up from five. The new model passed the FCC in early February, carrying model number MHS-802.
Expected to launch at CTIA later this month, both mobile hotspots will face a similar product from Samsung on Verizon’s nascent LTE network. AT&T currently offers 4G hotspot capability only through a pair of handsets, the HTC Inspire 4G and Motorola Atrix 4G.