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Verizon launches a 4G home hub for some reason

US operator Verizon has launched SmartHub – a wireless router that is fed by your LTE connection rather than broadband.

The rationale behind the launch appears to partly to compensate for slow wifi speeds, which is somewhat counter-intuitive, and partly to act as a hub for a bunch of connected home devices via the Verizon Home smartphone app.

And that’s it really. The domestic IoT angle has some validity but it’s not clear how, if at all, the SmartHub does this better than the wifi router any potential customer will doubtless already have installed. The ‘better than wifi’ angle seems even harder to justify, but Verizon is giving it a go regardless.

“Slow wifi speeds got you down?” inquires the announcement. “Introducing the Verizon SmartHub, a 4G LTE router that gives you the bandwidth you need using the Verizon network. SmartHub is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to easily add high-speed internet and connected devices to their home.”

All of this apparent redundancy would be fine if Verizon was chucking it in for free with contracts but the company even wants its own customers to fork out an extra hundred bucks for the privilege, while anyone else is expected to part with double that. This seems like a classic example of a solution looking for a problem.

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