Verizon releases global mobile hotspot

Posted by Staff writer

Verizon's launched the first mobile hotspot to offer data service in more than 200 countries, 120 of those at 3G speeds.

The Fivespot comes with a built-in SIM card, and can handle up to five Wifi devices at a time. It links to GSM networks as well as Verizon's own Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) network. Supported standards include CDMA, WCDMA, HSDPA, HSUPA, GSM, GPRS and EDGE networks.

There are various different international price plans, and none of them comes cheap - although the prices still compare pretty favorably with those from Sprint and AT&T.

The lowest-cost gives a 5GB allowance in the US and Canada plus 100MB in 'select countries', and costs $129.99.The next price plan ups the international allowance to 200MB and costs $219.99. There's also a GlobalAccess Pay Per Use option for those who sign up for the company's $59.99 Mobile Broadband service plan in the US; data costs $0.002 per KB in Canada, $0.005 per KB in Mexico and $0.02 per KB in more than 200 other destinations.

There's also a domestic-only prepaid plan, costing $15 for 100MB over one day of use, $30 for 300MB (one week of use), $50 for 1GB (30 days of use) or $80 for 5GB (30 days of use).

The Fivespot itself will be on sale on Thursday for $99.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Manufactured by ZTE, it measures about four inches by two by half an inch thick, and weighs under three ounces.