AT&T's LTE onslaught finally begins this summer in five markets, ramping up to "at least 15" by year's end — and that means they're going to need some hardware to get things started. To that end, the carrier's first two LTE devices are now official and on display in New York. First up, the Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G (quite a mouthful) is a dedicated mobile hotspot complete with a 1.77-inch color display, a microSD slot, GPS, and support for up to five simultaneous devices connected over 802.11b, g, or n Wi-Fi; if LTE service isn't available, you can fall back to HSPA+, standard HSPA, EDGE, or even GPRS. It'll run $70 on contract after rebate, which doesn't seem bad for a top-of-the-line mobile hotspot. It's got an 1800 mAh battery and quoted use time is about five hours (and more, of course, if you're not using LTE).
Next up, the USBConnect Momentum 4G is your obligatory standard-issue USB modem, supporting the full range of data services from GPRS up through LTE. Like the Elevate, it's got a microSD slot for up to 32GB of on-board storage along with a GPS receiver. Naturally, you won't be able to share a cloud of Wi-Fi with this one -- but if you're operating in an environment with an extremely dense population of Wi-Fi routers, a simple USB modem can be the best option (trust me, I speak from personal experience on this one). It's got a $50 price tag on contract after rebate.
Look for both of these modems in stores "this summer" -- and follow the break for some live shots (of non-functional units)!
Ross Miller and Joanna Stern contributed to this report.