Novatel Wireless has just announced that their MiFi 2200 device, a personal portable wireless network that goes with you everywhere. It runs on Verizon’s 3G high-speed network, so your internet is fast (unless there’s no 3G where you are, of course). Should be available May 17, if their press release is to be believed.
It’s the size of a “cigarette case” as per PC World magazine (an antiquated reference by now, no? Does anybody carry those old-time metal cases anymore? Couldn’t he have said it’s the same size as, say, a laptop hard drive or something?). It weighs 2 ounces. The battery gives 40 hours of standby, and 4 hours of active use–and is rechargeable.
As with a cell phone, you need to purchase a plan. Right now they are pricing it at $100 for the unit, with a 2-year plan, plus a monthly fee ($40 or $60, depending on how much data you plan to upload and download).
However they’re also talking about a higher up-front purchase fee and then a “daypass” rate of $15/day, that you pay only when you actually use it. This part is genius as it means I can plan to use it only when I know I’ll be somewhere without wifi for awhile. Hmm, that afternoon in Central Park? That weekend trip to a friend’s place upstate? Just $15/day!
And the other great thing is that multiple people can use it at once–so if you travel with a spouse, a co-worker, or a friend, you can both use the same MiFi signal (still at that $15/day, one would hope).
New York Times writer and tech geek David Pogue tried it out on a recent trip, and he raved about it in yesterday’s article, which can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/07/technology/personaltech/07pogue.html?ref=personaltech
He says, “The MiFi is remarkable for its tiny size, its sleek good looks, its 30-foot range (it easily filled a large airport gate area with four-bar signal) — and the fact that it’s cordless and rechargeable. How is this amazing? Let us count the ways….It’s always exciting when someone invents a new product category, and this one is a jaw-dropper.”
And let’s leave it at that!