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Novatel "MiFi" - First Intelligent Mobile Hotspot

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3Gstore
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:00 am    Post subject: Novatel "MiFi" - First Intelligent Mobile Hotspot Reply with quote

Quote:
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. 9, 2008 - Novatel Wireless Inc. today unveiled MiFi, 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, Novatel's unprecedented 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. Novatel's 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."

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 entire 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
Novatel's MiFi product line will offer enterprises, SMB and SOHO users a unique solution to secure, control and manage wireless connections. Various MiFi configurations support applications such as Auto VPN, Automatic syncing of email and optional remote management capabilities for the enterprise IT manager. Novatel's MiFi product line 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 Internet services through a convenient landing page whether they are at home, in the car or on the go. For the 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 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 Q109 through a variety of Novatel Wireless's global tier-one operator customers and retail channels.


Last edited by 3Gstore on Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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3Gstore
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've already been in contact with Novatel about their new MiFi device and expect to receive one for review/testing in January.

We asked a series of questions as soon as we saw a pre-release photo of it, and already know that it likely uses a mini-usb port for recharging.

Via private email, Novatel PR rep has said they do not see the MiFi as "just a portable cellular router" that provides functionality similar to what a Cradlepoint PHS300 with an attached USB modem would provide.

How so? they say that their MiFi "has an onboard Linux processor capable of hosting software applications and additional content storage capabilities via MicroSD"

The description has us envisioning the functionality of iPhone apps, but without the phone and/or its useful touchscreen LCD interface.

We'll see how cool that is, when we get our MiFi for testing/review.
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mhtyler
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be watching this Alex, because frankly I've no idea from their press release what this thing does, except that apparently its unprecedented.
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3Gstore
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah. i'm watching and waiting too.

i'm certain that the device is more hype than reality...
but i'll enjoy being surprised by something nobody is doing yet.

if in fact, thats the case with this device.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

more answers, straight from some novatel engineers:
  • Does the manufacturer plan on providing an upgrade path for future technologies? Novatel has a history of following new technologies and will provide an upgrade path in the future.
  • Is there an RF/antenna jack to allow for attaching high gain cellular antennas and etc? No, there is no high gain antenna jack. However, although it is small and fits in the palm of your hand, with a footprint not much bigger than a credit card, there is more room for optimizing antenna performance than say a USB product allows.
  • Is it WiFi G or N? Is there a wifi antenna jack to extend range? WiFi B and G is supported. There is no antenna jack.
  • Is there some means to visually check available battery level? Yes. There are two ways. If MiFi is connected to a notebook, the battery level is displayed in a Web UI. The on button also flashes red when the battery is running low as a visual indicator on MiFi.
  • What levels of WiFi security are supported? WPA2, WEP as well as others which we have not elaborated on at this time.
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mhtyler
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so this thing will support wifi from EVDO without connecting your phone, but somehow using your EVDO phone account???

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mhtyler wrote:
so this thing will support wifi from EVDO without connecting your phone, but somehow using your EVDO phone account???

eh? what?

i don't see anything that implied it requires or uses a cell phone.

am sure you already knew EVDO is cellular technology.

this MiFi thingy is a portable hotspot with an embedded cellular modem/module.

in a sense, it would work the same as a Cradlepoint PHS300 with like a sprint or verizon usb modem attached...

but novatel says MiFi will also have an app environment similar to that of iphone apps. (thats actually my interpretation of novatel's pr, not a quote from novatel)
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mhtyler
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's exactly what I was trying to say. I have a CTR350, and I connect my phone to it, but with this baby, you program it, and your phone doesn't need to connect to it.

Doesn't that mean that you can get around the restriction of being able to use your phone and EVDO at the same time?

Or am I still missing the point?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mhtyler wrote:
I have a CTR350, and I connect my phone to it, but with this baby, you program it, and your phone doesn't need to connect to it.

the mifi has an embedded evdo or hsdpa module depending on version you buy... there is no need or ability to attach any external modem or phone. the mifi IS the modem (because its embedded/inside).

you would pay a carrier fee (like 60/mo) to use the mifi
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mhtyler
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay now I get it: its a data card/wifi router combo. Very clever. You get this thing, pay your fee, and you're done, at least as long as your download requirements aren't too heavy.

You know, it occurs to me that this is a natural progression. At home, most of us have DSL or cable right now, and we attach our own wifi routers to them to connect multiple devices.

This is a very natural extension to the EVDO/HSDPA world.

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Sapricot
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:49 am    Post subject: Re: Reply with quote

What I would like to know is, what frequencies will it support? Here in Mongolia we have EVDO Rev. A on the 450 MHz band, which I don't think any of the U.S. operators use.

I have actually been searching for a device like this. It's the PERFECT companion to an iPod touch (which you can't tether to or use with a usb modem).
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...neat gizmo ... but, you can do the same thing with a smartphone, wmwifirouter or walkinghotspot, plus have voice and the capability to attach an external antenna (with the right phone). So, if you got say a Mogul from 3gstore you'd have it all and then some Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GPS?

Will it handle the PRL updates automatically (or at least a web page saying so)?

Does it have a way to indicate signal strength? (Why I still prefer the physically larger UM150).

WDS? (So I can link it in with my existing PHS to extend the range).

Any other ports? Is the USB not just for charging and maybe an OTG version?

Which processor (MIPS/ARM/PPC/x86)?
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mhtyler
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I have a mogul with Wmwifirouter, and it works great. I also have a cradlepoint, which is the better way to go if you're using it more than occasionally, although wmwifirouter does let you circumvent the need to pay the extra fee they charge for...forget what you call it...phone to modem.

That doesn't take away from the fact, that this is a pretty cool device, and should find a market.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bazillions of websites are repeating info from engadget about verizon selling the MiFi, possibly as early as 2nd quarter 2009

of course, we can't deny or acknowledge that we know or don't know anything official or even unofficial about it. Shocked
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