Mike Kelly showed me the Novatell Wireless MiFi Mobile Hotspot, a 3G router that plays double duty as a WiFi router. It supports up to five WiFi devices at once and will be available via major wireless carriers in a few months. It will cost $200 before carrier subsidies.
Here’s a video about the MiFi:
I like the concept, but I hope there’s a way to keep it charged while mobile, such as a USB charger you can plug into your notebook.
Novatel Wireless Drives New Era of Mobile Broadband with Industry First MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot
Ultra Portable Stand-Alone Device Creates a Mobile Wi-Fi Cloud
Capable of Connecting Users and Devices
SAN DIEGO, Dec 09, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) —
Novatel Wireless, Inc., (Nasdaq:NVTL), today unveiled MiFi(TM), an unprecedented line of Intelligent Mobile Hotspots. Together with a rich applications environment for enterprises and consumers, MiFi drives a new ecosystem of broadband connectivity. Unlike existing router solutions that require an external broadband modem and serve only to provide connectivity, the MiFi line creates a personal cloud of high-speed Internet connectivity that can be easily shared between multiple users and Wi-Fi devices such as laptops, cameras, gaming devices and multimedia players. The MiFi products serve as an intelligent, open platform capable of hosting advanced software applications and flexible enough to address the continued evolution of mobile broadband.
“With the pocket-sized MiFi device, Novatel Wireless has invented a new category of mobile broadband solutions, pushing the envelope in design and performance and ushering in the next era of the mobile broadband experience,” said Peter Leparulo, chairman and CEO of Novatel Wireless. “Our carrier partners will now be able to provide new wireless solutions and bundles for consumer and enterprise users. This will contribute to the continued growth of the addressable broadband market and create a unique opportunity for carriers to generate additional revenue per user through the deployment of innovative value-add applications and services.”
“Mobile Broadband is evolving and with the large number of Wi-Fi enabled electronic devices coming to market, there is a growing consumer need for Internet-ready devices and applications to stay connected while on the go,” said Christopher Collins, senior analyst with The Yankee Group Research, Inc.
Next Generation in Mobile Broadband Connectivity
MiFi represents the industry’s first Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, a new category of mobile broadband that lets users put their world of content, services and connectivity in their pocket. Featuring an internal battery providing over forty hours standby and up to four hours of active use on a single charge, the MiFi product line enables users to access high-speed Internet from anywhere there is a cellular connection, including moving vehicles where multiple passengers may need Internet access.
Rich Applications Environment
The MiFi product line will offer enterprises, SMB and SOHO users a unique solution to secure, control and manage wireless connections. Certain MiFi configurations support applications such as auto VPN, automatic syncing of email and optional remote management capabilities for the enterprise IT manager. MiFi offers a robust platform capable of hosting third party applications that extend the reach and control of the enterprise when dealing with remote mobile assets.
With MiFi, consumers can consolidate and personalize their mobile Internet services through a convenient landing page whether they are at home, in the car or on the go. For the wireless operator, the MiFi landing page provides a window to the user to offer additional content and services. MiFi will continue to evolve in order to support applications and services for individuals and families leading a mobile lifestyle.
Unprecedented Ease of Use
Novatel Wireless has applied its expertise in human interface engineering to make MiFi the easiest to use broadband device ever. Users are one-click away from their personalized content and services, with no need for installing host applications or hardware drivers as part of the installation process.
Pricing and Availability
The MiFi line of Intelligent Mobile Hotspots will be commercially available in 1H09 through a variety of Novatel Wireless’ global tier-one operator customers and retail channels.