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Sprint: iPad driving wireless hotspot demand

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By Jesse Hollington

Social Media & Software Editor, iLounge
Published: Friday, October 29, 2010
News Categories: iPad, iPhone

In an interview with GigaOM, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse indicated that despite not selling the iPad, his company has actually benefited from Apple’s tablet device in the form of increased demand for its Overdrive MiFi wireless hotspots. Hesse notes that most iPads being sold are Wi-Fi only models and many customers turn to MiFi devices to get online when away from traditional wireless access points. Sprint was one of the first carriers to promote the use of the iPad Wi-Fi with a portable wireless hotspot by releasing a 4G Case for iPad.

Hesse declined to comment on the iPhone or Sprint’s relationship with Apple, stating only that it is currently focusing on the BlackBerry and Android smartphone platforms and that it does not comment on any conversations it has with third parties. Hesse added that the majority of devices sold in the past quarter for use on Sprint’s CDMA network were smartphones and that 45 percent of Sprint customers now have a smartphone. Like Verizon, Sprint’s CDMA network is incompatible with current iPhone models, however a CDMA iPhone built for Verizon would technically also be compatible with Sprint’s network; although it’s almost inevitable that Verizon’s iPhone would be sold locked to the Verizon network, the creation of a CDMA-compatible iPhone by Apple would open the door to the possibility of other U.S. carriers such as Sprint eventually carrying the iPhone as well. [via AppleInsider]

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Comments

1

Just a note to let people know part of Verizon’s rollout of the iPad/MiFi package and the new tiered data plan options is a 90 day promo that allows existing MiFi users to switch to one of the cheaper data plans (I downgraded to the 3GB for $35 option). I tried to change it online but ended up having to go to the store to have it done.

To be honest though, if the smart phones with built-in hotspot feature work as well as the MiFi does, I’d prefer to go that route and eliminate having to carry an extra gadget everywhere.

Posted by Paul on October 29, 2010 at 3:27 PM (PDT)

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