Novatel MiFi- credit card-sized 3G router

Nvtl_mifi

I have long dreamed of a router that uses a 3G connection and creates a WiFi hotspot where I need one.  It would eliminate the need for paying for Internet connectivity in hotels and make it easy to share a 3G connection.  The key to make this palatable would be a size small enough to make it very easy to use.

We’ve just received word from Novatel Wireless that they are introducing a product in the first quarter of 2009 that is just such a device.  The MiFi is a router the size of a credit card that makes it a one-click proposition to share a 3G connection via WiFi.  It is battery operated and Novatel states is gets over 40 hours on standby and up to four hours of active usage.  The portable nature of this tiny router makes it possible to leverage connectivity in a vehicle on trips.  No word on pricing from Novatel but they intend to distribute the MiFi via enterprise and retail channels through partners.  Novatel Wireless is the maker of many of the 3G modems in use by carriers such as Verizon, Sprint and others.  Press release after the jump.

SAN DIEGO – Dec. 9, 2008 – Novatel Wireless Inc., (Nasdaq:NVTL), 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.

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