MiFi, unlike traditional
router offerings that need an external broadband modem, creates a cloud
of high-speed connectivity that can be shared by multiple users and
WiFi devices, such as laptops, cameras, gaming devices and multimedia
players, said Novatel.
The device also acts as an intelligent open platform able to host advanced software applications.
"This is an intelligent mobile hotspot. It's not just a dumb pipe
for connectivity. It's something that is really the all-in-one device
you'll want to have if you're leading a mobile lifestyle on the go,"
said Mike Kelly, a Novatel Wireless (Nasdaq: NVTL) spokesperson.
WiFi Where You Are
A pocket-sized device, MiFi uses current third-generation (3G) cellular networks -- EVDO and Rev-A in the U.S. and HSPA
in Europe -- to create a WiFi cloud that extends roughly 30 feet.
Within that range, the device will provide connectivity for any
"Devices such as a portable gaming device, your iPhone, your laptop,
your Kindle, anything of that nature, and a great deal of the
WiFi-enabled devices coming to market, that's what this is designed to
power," Kelly told TechNewsWorld.
Novatel has not released details on upload or download speeds;
however, according to Kelly, users can expect to receive broadband
speeds similar to those available via a PC card or USB modem.
"There's no software download, no third-party applications to
install on your computer. It's going to create a cloud, and your
computer will recognize it, just like if you were using a wireless
router at home and your notebook. It will identify the network and ask
you if you want to join that network. Same thing with MiFi, except it's
portable," he explained.
As carriers continue to roll out fourth generation (4G) networks such as WiMAX and LTE
that require different radio technology than current WiFi networks,
Kelly said that Novatel would release MiFi devices in the future
enabled to take advantage of these faster networks.
Payment models will be based on data connectivity rates from
different carriers. However, Kelly said Novatel anticipates that data
rates will shrink.
MiFi products will be available in the first quarter of 2009 through
Novatel Wireless' global tier-one operator customers and at retail
Life in a Cloud
Mobile hotspots solutions like Novatel's offer a valuable service to consumer and enterprise users, Christopher Collins, a Yankee Group analyst, told TechNewsWorld.
"Free hotspots, where they are available, and WiMax, also where it
is available, do offer an alternative, but there are enough areas where
those alternatives will be inconsistent or unavailable that Novatel and
others can still provide significant value," he explained.
"Cellular data cards likewise are a compelling alternative, but only
for laptop PCs -- not for a much wider range of connected devices,
including cameras, gaming devices, Chumbys and so on," he continued.
Questions surrounding the payment model are the most critical, according to Collins.
"I am assuming that most pricing decisions will be made by mobile
operators, and they have a history of pricing services to protect and
sustain high ARPUs [average revenue per user], rather than to drive
adoption and use. But we have seen more willingness on behalf of the
operators to experiment with different approaches. I'm thinking, for
example, of how Sprint (NYSE: S) bundles the cost of network access into the price of a book bought from Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN)
via the Kindle reader. So I am optimistic that there will be some
similar creativity employed when pricing mobile hotspot solutions," he
source : http://www.technewsworld.com