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Mobile Hotspots

Novatel MiFi 2200

A Hotspot, as defined in Wikipedia, is a site that offers Internet access over a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) through the use of a router connected to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Hotspots typically use Wi-Fi technology for the wireless network.

A Mobile Hotspot is a hotspot that uses a mobile link to connect to the ISP. This mobile link could be of any technology, for example GSM, CDMA, 3G and 4G. Using 2G technologies for this purpose makes little sense, as the achievable speed is too slow. Therefore, mobile hotspots typically use faster technologies, i.e. 1xRTT/EVDO, EDGE/UMTS/HSPA, WiMAX and LTE.

With the announcement of Sprint in this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, there are now already a few very interesting mobile hotspot products.

Novatel MiFi 2352

The product category of mobile hotspots was practically created in December 2008 with the announcement of MiFi by Novatel Wireless. During 2009 Novatel released too MiFi products – the┬áMiFi 2200 for the CDMA/1xRTT/EVDO mobile technology, and the┬áMiFi 2352/2372 for GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSPA. The newly announced Overdrive product from Sierra Wireless is for CDMA/1xRTT/EVDO and WiMAX.

All these products are very elegant, light and small, and are equipped with internal batteries that provide around 40 hours of standby and 3-4 hours of active use on a single charge. They weight between 59-128 grams, and the dimensions are 60-80 mm (length) x 80-100 mm (width) x 9-15 mm (hight). They can all support up to 5 Wi-Fi devices simultaneously, and provide high speed connection to the Internet over their broadband mobile link, with peak rates of 3.1 Mbps / 1.8 Mbps (Download / upload) over EVDO, 7.2 Mbps / 5.76 Mbps over HDPA, and 10 Mbps / 4 Mbps over WiMAX.

Sierra Wireless Overdrive

These are extremely portable devices. They are designed to provide Internet connectivity to any Wi-Fi enabled device practically everywhere, removing the need for dedicated USB/PC-Card mobile modems, and supporting also devices that cannot be equipped with such modems, e.g. connected portable game consoles. It can be used as the Internet connection at home or temporary accommodation, with no cabling or installation necessary. Just turn it on, and all your Wi-Fi enabled devices connect to the Internet automatically. It can be used while travelling by car or train to surf the web and connect portable game consoles for online gaming. It can be used to setup a connected mobile office in a hotel room or airport lounge.

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