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Jun 19, 2009

Verizon's Global Modem

Verizon Wireless today launched their first truly global USB modem, the USB1000. Designed by Novatel Wireless, the USB1000 combines - get this - CDMA EVDO Rev A on 850/1900 MHz, HSDPA/HSUPA on 850/1900/2100 MHz, and GSM/EDGE on 850/900/1800/1900 MHz. In English, that means it can access high-speed networks here and abroad; it comes with a special SIM built in for when travelers leave the US. All that network switching comes thanks to a Qualcomm MDM1000 Gobi chip set.

The USB1000 works with Windows XP and Vista, but not Macs or Linux machines. It will cost $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a two-year contract once it goes on sale on Friday, June 19.

To use the global modem, you'll need a global service plan. Verizon's $129.99 monthly plan gives you 5 GB at home and 100 MB in 31 countries. Raising the fee to $219.99/month raises the international data limit to 200 MB. Otherwise, you're paying a harsh $20/MB - yes, that's per megabyte - when you go abroad.

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