Portable Router, Anyone?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When I had to choose between connecting two computers to the local network using a router, or paying two subscription fees to my ISP, I chose the second solution. No, I am not swimming in a pool full of dollars each morning, only that I like taking the easy way, and the router was a no-go for me.

Anyway, I was talking about two desktop computers there, but if we think about laptops, things are changing a bit. After all, laptops are all about being mobile, and peripherals should also be mobile. The funny part arrives when various CDMA carriers release the same product... as it happens with the Novatel MiFi 2200 portable router.

You probably missed the news about it, I guess I also missed it, and if you're not a Verizon Wireless user, probably heard about it and simply forgot it the next second. It's enough to say that Verizon launched this portable EV-DO router last week, and now Sprint is doing the same.

According to Sprint, the MiFi 2200 will be sold as the Sprint Mobile Hotspot, and is expected to become the first in the US to support the GPS capabilities of the MiFi. What's so special about it? Location-dependent and mapping apps will make the difference, that's it!

Pricing and conditions? Well, the up front cost is just one dollar below $100, but that only happens after a $50 mail-in rebate, on a two-year agreement. Unfortunately, there are only two options for going online with it:

1. $59.99 per month mobile broadband only plan (excluding taxes and surcharges)
2. $149.99 per month Simply Everything Plan + Mobile Broadband (phone plus device connectivity - excluding taxes and surcharges)

The bad part is that both plans include up to 5 GB per month, while 5 cents per megabyte overage is simply madness! I guess this still leaves some hope to those writing bandwidth monitoring software...

Oh, yeah, one more thing - the MiFi 2200 coming under the Sprint banner is expected to become available in early June. That's it, folks!


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