Verizon releases global mobile hotspot

  • 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.