San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Consumers will be able to bring their own personal Wi-Fi hot spot with them wherever they go with the launch of a pocket-size battery-powered Wi-Fi router equipped with embedded cellular data modem.
Sprint and Verizon Wireless have launched the $99 Novatel-made MiFi 2200, which incorporates CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A cellular-data modem and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g. With it, up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices can simultaneously access the Internet from inside a moving vehicle. Compatible Wi-Fi-equipped products include notebooks, netbooks, cameras and portable media players.
Both carriers have priced the device at $99.99 after $50 mail-in rebate with a two-year service agreement.
Verizon made it available through all its channels on May 17. Sprint plans availability in the first week of June in its retail stores and other select channels.
The MiFi 2200 measures 3.5 inches by 2.3 inches 0.4 inches and weighs 2.05 ounces. It’s the first of its kind to operate on batteries, enabling consumers to take it easily from car to car. The rechargeable battery provides up to four hours of active use and 40 hours of standby time on a single charge.
Recently, Autonet launched a transportable in-vehicle cellular hot spot, which consumers can move from car to car, but the device must be docked with an installed mounting kit. For its part, Kyocera continues to offer a KR2 Wi-Fi router that operates off AC, comes with car 12-volt adapter, and accepts a cellular EV-DO data card to connect to up to 20 Wi-Fi-equipped laptops to the Internet.
The MiFi’s $99 price is with two-year contract and after $50 rebate.