New 4G wi-fi hits Houston

HOUSTON It's called CLEAR and we have more on what it is and whether it can save money.

The little 4G device is essentially a wi-fi hot spot. It has the ability to connect to lightning fast internet speeds and allow everyone in the studio to jump on the network for free.

These days it's essential for many of us to be wired everywhere we go, whether it's for professional or personal use.

"Whenever I am at a coffee shop or not at home," said Kristen Petty.

"The wi-fi is definitely more useful to me, so anything that is on the go I tend to gravitate to," said Mira Haykal.

CLEAR is a 4G mobile broadband internet service, and 4G refers to the ability of how quickly you can download information online particularly pictures and video.

"What that enables our customers to do is to have live streaming video and have video Skype call on the go or mobile where they would only have it traditionally at home or on the office," said CLEAR representative John Smith.

Jay Lee with Technology Bites radio says 4G lives up to the hype. He recently test drove the service.

"This 4G is incredibly fast," said Lee. "We had five computers connected to it and we were downloading at blazing speeds. It was pretty amazing."

The device also serves as a wi-fi hot spot. For instance, if you have the device and you are sitting at Starbucks, you can allow as many users as you would like into your 4G wi-fi hot spot at no additional charge. In addition to the mobile broadband device, CLEAR also provides wi-fi for your home and home phone service. So what about the price?

"We are extremely affordable and the whole idea is to make it affordable," said Smith.

For mobile broadband service, the cost is $40 a month. If you want to include both mobile and home service, the cost is $55 a month. And if you want to include mobile broadband, home internet and home phone, all three services cost $75 a month.

"The best value is if you get the pick two," said Lee.

However, Lee says there really isn't a need to purchase the modem for your home when all you really need is the mobile broadband device for $40 a month.

"You can conceivable replace your home internet with the 4G from CLEAR and you can get rid of cable, get rid of DSL," Smith said. "So you can take it with you when you are on the road and enjoy it at your home as well."

With CLEAR, along with the monthly service charge, there is an initial investment for the devices. The mobile broadband device costs $49.99 and the modem for your home is $69.99.

There are other companies offering this personal wi-fi technology as well. Verizon has its own version, which they are calling 'mi-fi' which allows up to five wi-fi devices to connect, but it is only at 3G speeds. Sprint 4G uses the CLEAR technology, but you have to purchase an additional device to wire up to five people.

We posted a link to the CLEAR 4G coverage map of Houston here.

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