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Verizon Launches Battery-Powered Hot Spot

Basking Ridge, N.J. — Consumers will be able to bring their own personal Wi-Fi hot spot with them wherever they go, with the May 17 launch by  Verizon Wireless of a pocket-size battery-powered Wi-Fi router with embedded cellular data modem.

The $99 Novatel-made MiFi 2200 incorporates CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A cellular-data modem and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, enabling up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices to access the Internet from places where fixed hot spots

or Wi-Fi networks are unavailable. Compatible Wi-Fi-equipped products include notebooks, netbooks, cameras and portable media players. The MiFi’s rechargeable battery provides up to four hours of active use and 40 hours of standby time on a single charge.

The device is the first of its kind to operate on batteries, enabling consumers to take it easily from car to car. 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 cigarette-lighter adapter, and accepts a cellular EV-DO data card to connect to up to 20 Wi-Fi-equipped laptops to the Internet. It’s a little bulkier than the Verizon unit, however.

The MiFi’s $99 price is with two-year contract and after $50 rebate. Eligible price plans include $39.99 monthly access for 250MB monthly allowance and 10 cents per megabyte overage. A $59.99 monthly plan comes with 5GB monthly allowance and 5 cents per megabyte overage. Consumers can pay a higher price if they don’t commit to a monthly plan. In that case, the user must get a $15 Mobile Broadband DayPass to access the service for a single 24-hour period.

The MiFi 2200 measures 3.5 inches by 2.3 inches 0.4 inches and weighs 2.05 ounces. It’s available through all Verizon Wireless channels.