Sierra Wireless is the first company to bring an HSPA+ USB modem to market. The USB 306 and 307 download up to 21 Mbps, three times the speed of regular HSPA, and upload at 5.8 Mbps–the upper end of the HSPA range. Both the 306 and 307 include a microSDHC slot for flash storage and support HSPA, EDGE and GPRS connections in areas that don’t support the HSPA+ 3G standard.
The USB modems are perfect for notebooks, including drivers inside the device so they automatically install when inserted in USB slot. With speedy download speeds approaching those of a good landline connection, watching streaming video and listening to tunes in a local coffee shop sans wires shouldn’t be a problem.
The USB 306 supports the 850 MHz band that will be used by AT&T for its HSPA+ rollout, as well as 1, 800 MHz and 2,100 MHz connections. The 306 will be sold by North American carriers. The USB 307, tailored to European frequencies, will support 900 MHz and 2, 100 MHz bands.
Both will ship in the first half of 2009 and pricing will be dictated by the respective carriers.