AT&T today announced a new 3G LaptopConnect device from Sierra Wireless, the AT&T USBConnect Lightning, will launch in retail stores, business channels and online nationwide beginning November 22. The Lightning delivers enhanced mobile broadband performance on the nation's fastest 3G network for quick and easy Internet access while on the go. It will be compatible with AT&T's High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology, which provides a considerable speed boost to the 3G mobile broadband network where deployed.
For customers with the need to access email, the Internet and business applications from their laptop while away from home or work, the Lightning offers the perfect solution. AT&T 3G mobile broadband speed built into a small and elegant design that includes an illuminated face plate and USB hinge for use with different laptop designs provides an ideal mix of form and function. Connecting in more places is now even easier with AT&T's global network compatibility and access to AT&T's more than 20,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.
"The Lightning is a high-performing device compatible with our latest HSPA technology," said Michael Woodward, vice president, Mobile Phone Portfolio, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "As we continue our 3G network evolution, we are building a solid portfolio of HSPA 7.2 devices to meet the future needs of our customers."
With the upgrade to HSPA 7.2 technology, AT&T continues investments to deliver the nation's fastest 3G network. AT&T plans for initial deployment of HSPA 7.2 in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami by the end of the year. The company plans to deploy HSPA 7.2 in 25 of the nation's 30 largest markets by the end of 2010, and to reach about 90 percent of its existing 3G network footprint with HSPA 7.2 by the end of 2011.
"The USBConnect Lightning offers an innovative, eye-catching lighted design with a swivel hinge for flexible use in horizontally or vertically oriented USB ports, and we are pleased to offer it exclusively to AT&T customers as the company deploys HSPA 7.2 coverage," said Dan Schieler, senior vice president of Worldwide Sales for Sierra Wireless. "People continue to expand their use of mobile broadband in their everyday routines wherever they are, and the evolution of the AT&T 3G network and devices like the USBConnect Lightning provide them with the flexibility and freedom to do so."
The Lightning comes pre-loaded with AT&T Communication Manager (ACM) 7.0 software to help customers manage their connections. The newly revamped Communication Manager will automatically connect users to an AT&T Hot Spot at no cost on eligible rate plans when the application is running. Customers can also download the latest version of AT&T Communication Manager at www.att.com/communicationmanager. ACM 7.0 is compatible with Microsoft Windows 7.
AT&T DataConnect plans offer consumer, small business, and enterprise subscribers access to the nation's fastest 3G mobile broadband network, along with access to more than 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots nationwide with eligible rate plans and Wi-Fi equipped laptops. Options include a 200 MB plan option for a newly reduced price of $35 per month or a 5GB plan for $60 per month.
The Lightning will be available at no cost after a $100 mail-in rebate with a DataConnect Plan of at least $35 a month. Pay $99.99 after two year agreement and receive a $100 AT&T Promotion Card. The device will be sold at AT&T retail stores nationwide, online and at http://www.wireless.att.com/.