Two AT&T devices =- both USB connectable - will operate on AT&T's HSPA mobile broadband network today, but also on the company's LTE network when it debuts next year. The devices will be able to be upgraded via simple software upgrades.
The USBConnect Adrenaline from LG is available today for use on the carrier's current HSPA network and is available for purchase for $50 with a two-year service plan. The Adrenaline has GPS functionality and a MicroSD memory card slot.
"With the planned deployment of HSPA+ technology later this year, combined with the continued rollout of expanded backhaul, AT&T will have increased our 3G download or upload speeds multiple times in five years," said AT&T's Michael Woodward in a statement. "We have purposefully planned our path to LTE to create a wireless network where the transition from 3G does not give customers wireless whiplash." Woodward is vice president, Mobile Phone Portfolio, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.
The price of the LTE-capable Shockwave device is even better -- it is free (with a two-year contract, of course.) The USBConnect Shockwave will operate on AT&T's HSPA+, which is slated to debut later this year on AT&T's 14.4 network. The Shockwave is made by Sierra Wireless.
The third AT&T-capable device -- the USBConnect 900 from Huawei -- is aimed at prepaid customers. It is available for $80.
AT&T's prepaid DataConnect Pass Options range from $15 for a day pass with 100 MB of data to $50 for a month pass with 1 GB.
LTE has begun to be offered in recent days in Las Vegas and Dallas by prepaid carrier MetroPCS, which has plans to offer the service in remaining cities in its service area. Samsung built MetroPCS' infrastructure and is supplying the sole consumer device currently available for the service.