Cellular routers are the rage these days: T-Mobile has one and Sprint recently released its own. But the advent of smart speakers that connect with your smart home for automation and remote activation has also put out players like Google and Amazon to fight for service provisions.
Between that and the “dumb pipes” is Verizon as it has debuted its new SmartHub. It doesn’t go as far as to provide a digital assistant, but it will pipe in internet from Verizon’s network to your location.
As LTE turns into Wi-Fi, you can connect your phones, thermostats, mesh relays, etc. to the device. An OLED display on top of the SmartHub and the Verizon Home app (for Android and iOS) will help users manage and automate actions on over 200 devices around the house. Users can also manage home phone message. There’s also a backup battery which should last up to 4 hours of use if the power gets cut.
The SmartHub is $199.99 on its own, but $99.99 on a two-year contract. The device requires a full suite of service, so plans start at $40 per month for 4GB and $110 for unlimited data (with throttling after 22GB).