Shark Week Clear Week continues… the 4G WiMax service provider got an early start yesterday by announcing their new Apple-centric mobile hotspot, which was followed later in the day with reports of solid subscriber growth and LTE trials. The iSpot’s low monthly fee ($25) combined with access restrictions tempted me to make a purchase — and the fine folks at Clear delivered my new gadget posthaste.
As you can see from the pics, the elongated puck is attractive in a shiny white minimalist way and relatively small, covering about the same surface area as my iPhone 3GS. With zero configuration, I was able to immediately connect my iPhone to the iSpot over WiFi, using the default SSID and WPA encryption key, and start pulling webpages down over the ethereal 4G network – despite marginal WiMax coverage at my home location. (Don’t worry, I’ll hit some speed tests while on the road at a later date.)
As far as device restrictions go and based on conversations with Clear’s press rep, it appears they enforce their ‘mobile Apple device only’ policy via MAC address. Which is presumably a relatively trivial barrier. Of course, using the iSpot in ways it was not intended could be a violation of your terms of service, and I offer this info merely as a technical backgrounder. Having said that, I’ll conduct some testing in the next day or so and provide a definitive answer.
Click to enlarge: