An awesome new little device has been introduced by Clearwire, which is the largest WiMax carrier, otherwise knows as 4G.
The Rover Puck is a pay-as-you-go WiFi broadcasting device which runs off Clearwire’s 4G signal anywhere the service is available.
The device is 4-1/4″ in diameter, and chargeable.
You can charge it up and take it anywhere with you and have your own hot spot. Since this device uses 4G it can even be used in a car.
The best part about the Rover Puck is that there is NO CONTRACT REQUIRED!
When you charge the device, and connect it to a 4G network, it automatically takes you to a website which allows you to purchase as much internet time as you need.
The device sells for $149.99, and data plans are available for $5/day, $20/week, or $50/month.
Gigaom.com introduced me to the Puck. They also mention the Sprint 4G Overdrive.
The Overdrive is very similar to the puck, but the price is higher: $100 – $225, plus $45 to $60 per month.
Since both Sprint and Clearwire use the same 4G network, the major difference between the Overdrive and the Puck is that the Overdrive can also fall back to 3G if 4G is not available. That’s a pretty big advantage.
The Real Point: a Carrierless Phone
Regardless, the most exciting part of this device is that it brings us one step closer to the Carrierless Phone.
Recently I introduced my idea to cancel my cell phone data plan, and fall back to either an HTC Evo or an iPod Touch.
I purchased an iPod, and after 2 weeks sold it on Craigslist.
November will allow me to get an Evo with my Sprint upgrade, and then cancel my data plan, take the Evo off the plan and leave an old flip phone on instead.
This sounds nuts to some people, but the point is to pay as little as possible, but retain the greatest functionality.
Due to the fact that I am immersed in a WiFi connection 9 hours a day at my desk job, and everywhere I go has a WiFi connection (Church, Each Relative’s house, Work, Gym, Hotels, etc…), I do not need a data plan.
When I’m between WiFi spots, driving, I don’t need to be using my smartphone anyway!
In the near future I’ll be writing more about my idea of the Carrierless Phone.
The Puck Could be a Contract-less Carrierless Phone
With the Puck (or Overdrive), I can cancel my contract based cell phone data plan and use only WiFi on my Evo, while also providing fast WiFi speeds for several other devices.
It would not be hard to fathom someone who cancels both their phone data plan, and their home internet connection in favor of only using a Puck, or other 4G hotspot device, to power their home internet.
At a cost of $30-$70 / month for home internet, and $30-$50 / month for cell data, that’s a savings of between $60 – $130 / month!
For light users, that would be relatively simple.
Hopefully I can write an article in the near future about how to setup a system like this…