Sprint has unveiled the first device to combine LTE and WiMax networks, the Sierra Wireless 4G LTE Tri-Fi Hotspot. Available on May 18, the Tri-Fi Hotspot is just int time for the eventual launch of Sprint's 4G LTE network as the device will allow Sprint subscribers to receive the best combination of speed and coverage across the company's 3G and 4G networks.
The the 3.8 x 2.3 x 0.9-inch hotspot can connect up to eight devices. A 1.7-inch LCD display shows pertinent information such as battery life, network connection and the number of devices connected. A 32GB microSD slot has been added for easy content sharing with any DNLA-compatible device. The device can also be used as digital media server. Sprint claims that the Tri-Fi has a range of 150 feet outdoors and 115 feet indoors. The Tri-Fi's 3600mAh battery can get up to eight hours of use and a maximum eight weeks on standby.
Sprint is offering the device for $99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) with a two-year contract. Combined data plans (3G/4G) for the Tri-Fi include a $34.99 3GB plan, 6GB for $49.99 and $79.99 for 12GB. Oddly enough, Sprint makes no mention of an unlimited plan which is strange since that option is featured with other mobile hotspots.