Sierra Wireless has announced its smallest USB 3G modem, the Compass 597. This new modem will utilize the EV-DO Rev. A networks with speeds up to 3.1 Mbps and 1.8 Mbps for downloads and uploads respectively. It features a microSD card slot, a built-in GPS receiver and a connector for an external antenna for boosting the signal strength.
The Compass 597 is largely viewed as an answer to Novatel’s U727 mobile broadband card. Sierra’s previous offering were bested by the U727’s better GPS integration and flip-out antenna, as well as its ability to double as a microSD card reader.
The Compass 597 is due to be released in the second quarter of 2008.