LAS VEGAS—Given the hoopla surrounding Sprint’s Wednesday night press event at CES, no one was surprised when it actually released a new product. Comedian and NFL Sunday personality Frank Caliendo opened the show with impersonations of everyone from Terry Bradshaw to former President George Bush.
All jokes aside, Sprint couldn’t let the night slip by without spotlighting its 4G WiMAX service, as well as the first portable 4G hot spot, the Sprint Overdrive. The Overdrive is similar to the 3G MiFi hot spots currently available in North America. The device allows up to five devices to simultaneously connect to one hot spot.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse took the stage after Calliendo. As usual, Hesse used the opportunity to stress the fact that Sprint is the only national carrier to have actualized 4G.
Brian Dunn, CEO of Best Buy, joined the party as well. Best Buy will be the flagship retail outlet for the new technology. Also in attendance was Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer. Hot off a keynote for CES, Ballmer delivered brief remarks, applauding the advantages that a device like the Overdrive presents for Microsoft’s consumer technologies, such as the Microsoft Zune and the XBox.
Demos following the remarks featured various settings that demand simultaneous connections. For instance, one demo are was set up like a college dorm and was supporting an iPod Touch, an Xbox a Microsoft Zune and a netbook, all at 4G speeds.