After having launched the first touchscreen mobile hotspot unit in the form of the Novatel MiFi Liberate, U.S. carrier is back again with the second touchscreen mobile hotspot in the form of the AT&T Unite. The Unite is made by Sierra Wireless and will connect to AT&T’s HSPA+ and LTE networks for fast mobile broadband connectivity where available. The unit was announced earlier this year at around the time of the Consumer Electronics Show, and now AT&T has more specifics regarding pricing and availability.
Consumers will be able to start purchasing the AT&T Unit from all AT&T channels starting this Friday, February 8. The Unite will be priced at just under $1 with a two-year contract and qualifying data plan–customers can even add the Unite to an AT&T Mobile Share plan, which allows the Unite to share an existing bucket of data per month with an add-on fee of $20 per month.
The Unite will be able to connect up to 10 WiFi-enabled devices to the Internet and will have a battery life of up to 10 hours while in use and can last up to 10 days in standby mode.
We’ll have to wait for our unit to come in and see if Sierra Wireless enabled more functionality into the touchscreen than on the competing Liberate hotspot unit, but for now, here’s what you can do via touch:
Unite is easy to use with a 2.4” touchscreen display featuring data usage status and Wi-Fi network information right on the home screen. Customers can also manage connected devices, change network and device settings and block unwanted devices from joining the network – directly from the touchscreen.
With the ability to tether on most smartphones, mobile hotspot units may not be as appealing to consumers as they once were, but these units are still an important function for business travelers and road warriors. Mobile hotspots are more reliable, don’t deplete your phone battery, and with long battery life and the ability to share the connection with more devices, these gizmos allow you to leave the hotspots on for about a working day’s worth of use and not have to worry about turning on and off tethering for battery saving.