By Alexandra Burlacu | May 19, 2012 06:43 PM EDT
Samsung's mobile router, the SCH-LC11 mobile hotspot previously launched on Verizon, is now available on U.S. Cellular, as part of the carrier's efforts to expand its LTE lineup.
U.S. Cellular announced on Thursday, May 17, the launch of the same tiny mobile router on its own network, a.k.a. the same unit working with Verizon and the same unit Google gave away at Google I/O 2011. For a limited time, the unit will cost only $50, after a $50 mail-in rebate, in cities where U.S. Cellular has 4G LTE coverage or will have by the end of the year, said the company.
U.S. Cellular's 4G LTE Coverage
For now, U.S. Cellular's 4G LTE coverage includes Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin. The coverage will be expanded in the second half of this year to Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. According to U.S. Cellular, 54 percent of its customers will be able to use its faster 4G LTE service by the end of 2012.
"U.S. Cellular is expanding its 4G LTE line-up with the launch of the Samsung SCH-LC11 Mobile Hotspot. This lightweight device gives you high-speed connectivity and is available on uscellular.com now and will be in stores by May 21," reads the company's press release as published by GlobeNewswire. "When on the 4G LTE network, the Samsung Mobile Hotspot allows users to simultaneously connect up to five Wi-Fi devices to the Internet at speeds up to ten times faster than 3G. It's easy to connect to laptops, tablets, home computers and smartphones so customers can access news, weather, email, entertainment and social networks whenever they need it."
Fast and Reliable
"Customers can depend on the 4G LTE Samsung Mobile Hotspot for fast and reliable Internet connectivity wherever they are," said Edward Perez, U.S. Cellular's vice president of sales and marketing operations. "This pocket-sized device can help simplify and organize your life and provides multiple devices with one speedy Internet connection."
The SCH-LC11 mobile hotspot is indeed and very fast device, as well as very compact. It works good and supports up to five Wi-Fi clients at once, but it has a rather short battery life and lacks a clear battery gauge, at least the Verizon version. It is not yet certain whether the U.S. Cellular version of the unit features the same flaws.
Prices & Data Plans
As previously mentioned, the mobile hotspot will cost $50 in areas with U.S. Cellular 4G LTE coverage or areas that will get coverage by the end of the year. In all other markets, the Samsung SCH-LC11 will cost $199.99, and that price is after a $50 mail-in rebate. "Purchase of a data plan is required and a new two-year agreement and activation fee may apply for new customers," adds the press release. "Additional terms, conditions and/or charges may apply." The mobile hotspot will come with three data plans: $25 for 2GB, $50 for $5GB, and $90 per month for 10GB, according to U.S. Cellular's Web site.
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