NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- The business hot spot wars are getting ... eh, hot. Witness the Clear ( CLWR) Spot Voyager ($125, device only). Smartphones such as the Apple ( AAPL) iPhone, Motorola ( MOT) Droid and Samsung Galaxy will now and forever grab the media love. But the network behind these mobile objects of desire is becoming just as critical for businesses.
Up to eight users at a time can get work done on the Clear Spot Voyager mobile hot spot, for not much money or stress. But it all depends on whether you can find service.
And carriers know it. Verizon ( VZ), AT&T ( T), T-Mobile and Sprint ( S) are finally de-smoke-and-mirroring their fast data network offerings. Coverage maps are actually ... gasp! ... accurate. AT&T now offers true 4G so-called LTE access in a few dozen cities. Sprint offers a great-for-business unlimited data plan. Real value is also coming from unlikely places. Namely Clearwire and its line of Clear data modems and routers. Big note: There is much investor noise over Clearwire. They love it. They hate it. They love it again. This stock is a food fight. But I am finding, strictly as a business tech vendor, Clear does offers real choice. And this year it rolled out one of its more interesting ideas: the small, light, fascinatingly priced Clear Spot Voyager. The company sent over a demo and I gave it the once-over in the New York Metro area and through the Northeast for the past several weeks.
During a conference call with analysts, satellite TV tycoon expounds upon possibility of a merger with T-Mobile or DirectTV, his pursuit of Sprint and Clearwire, and allegations of fraud in LightSquared bankruptcy.