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AT&T launches USBConnect Mercury 3G stick

updated 09:50 am EDT, Tue September 2, 2008

USBConnect Mercury at ATT

AT&T upgraded its data devices this morning with the USBConnect Mercury. The company's latest USB adapter lets modern Macs and Windows PCs with a free USB port connect to the carrier's full HSPA network. AT&T has upped its estimated speeds and now says the adapter should download as quickly as 1.7Mbps in real-world conditions and can upload as quickly as 1.2Mbps in those areas with fully updated networks. It also tucks away a microSD slot to turn the modem into a makeshift storage drive.

The Mercury also supports quad-band EDGE and GPRS data in fringe areas and comes with both Mac and Windows software preloaded on the stick itself to streamline the setup process. AT&T plans to spur sales by offering the new USBConnect adapter for free to anyone who signs up for a $60 or higher data plan. Lesser plans can have the adapter for $100 on contract, while the obligation-free price is set at $250.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    ATT Lies

    Don't trust them. ATT LIES about the performance of their network(s). They advertise UPTO 1.4 Mbps for their 3G network. I have been testing it for two weeks now, logging my speeds.

    I average about 130kbps. Top speed, ONCE was 640. I have run as low as 56 k.

    They may as well say that their network is as fast as 8Gbps, since the values I have experienced are significantly under the "upper" limit.

    Normally, I do not like being litigious, but ATT's approach is absurd.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Network overload...

    I sure hope the iPhone 3G's problems with the power chip is getting sorted out with the software update. If the towers were getting overloaded before, adding these devices to the 3G network isn't going to help.

  1. BDLatimer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not lies; depends on area

    While I can understand dynsight's frustration, AT&T's HSPA network is capable of the advertised speeds. I have the USBConnect 881u, and routinely get 1.2 Mbps downstream, and often close to the same upstream.

    AT&T is in the process of building out their network to support faster speeds in more areas. Take them to task for completing that effort sooner - but don't get litigious for the wrong reasons.

  1. gbrandt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    speed vs. tether?

    Rumors are that ATT/Apple is working on a tether setup with the iPhone. Owning an iPhone already would make getting a Mercury redundant assuming the rumor is true.

    Anyone know the theoretical top download speed of an iPhone/tether combo? I'm assuming it something less than the Mercury solution?

  1. MacAssemble

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MBs vs Mbs

    I am not sure if this is the case, but remember there are 8 bits in a byte so if you are reporting 130KBs (Bytes) than that would be 1040Kbs (Bits) or 1.04Mbs.Boy that was lot of numbers, I hope I got it correct :)

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