Sprint Launches MiFi 2200 Mobile EV-DO Router

Verizon Wireless already announced that Novatel Wireless' MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot would soon be sold and operable on its network, and now that company's main US competitor is doing the same. Today, Sprint came forward to announce that the very same device -- albeit with a new, shiny aluminum shell and a Sprint logo -- is coming to its network. Essentially, this pocket sized device enables any Wi-Fi device to connect to Sprint's cellular data network, and that includes portable media players (like Apple's iPod touch), notebooks and any other random device that happens to have a Wi-Fi radio within.

In case that's not clear enough, here's the bottom line: up to five devices with a Wi-Fi module can simultaneously use this to tap into Sprint's network, essentially giving users the ability to create a Wi-Fi hotspot at any place where a Sprint signal is within range. If an EV-DO Rev A signal is within range, devices can really surf quickly, though it will work on slower signals found in more rural locations. The device will be labeled the 'Sprint Mobile Hotspot' when it hits Sprint retail stores during the first week of June, and unlike Verizon's, this one will become the first in the US to support the MiFi's GPS capabilities. Best of all, the unit has a built-in battery, which enables users to have a truly mobile hotspot for up to four hours without a charge.

The only major hang-up here is Sprint's unwavering data cap. Even with this device allowing lots of devices to use Sprint's data network, the $59.99 monthly plan only includes 5GB of throughput, and running over that will cost you $0.05 per megabyte. Ouch! Hope you don't plan on taking advantage of an otherwise awesome device...

How MiFi works

MiFi creates a personal cloud of high-speed Internet connectivity that can be easily shared among up to five users and a variety of WiFi-enabled devices through its connection to America’s most dependable 3G network,* the EVDO Rev A Sprint Mobile Broadband Network. For example:

  • College student: a college student tucks her MiFi 2200 in her backpack to study with friends at the park and uses it to listen to streaming radio on her MP3 player while she connects to the school’s Intranet on her laptop to get details on a class assignment. She takes a break to take pictures of her pals with her Wi-Fi enabled digital camera, and the camera uses the MiFi’s signal to upload the photos to Facebook while she emails her completed report to her professor, then uses the device’s GPS capability to find a nearby pizza place for lunch.
  • Business travelers: Two business travelers share a cab to the airport, then wait for their flight. Sharing the signal of one MiFi 2200 device that is safely tucked away in a briefcase, they download emails and surf the Internet on their notebooks and stream music to their MP3 players.
  • Portable retail: Five vendors at a local art fair have kiosks in close proximity. Accessing one MiFi 2200 device’s signal, they each run a credit card point-of-sale device over WiFi and have secure backhaul.

Key Features of the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot

  • Easily fits in the palm of your hand -- dimensions: 3.50”x 2.32” x 0.35” and weight: 2.05 oz.
  • Brushed aluminum finish
  • Provides mobile broadband Rev A Internet access wirelessly
  • Supports up to five WiFi-enabled devices
  • Simple to connect with Hands-Free Activation (OMA-DM). No software installation required
  • Universal Wi-Fi compatibility
  • Advanced security through WPA2-PSK, WEP and SPI Firewall
  • MiFi GPS capabilities to take advantage of select location and mapping applications, such as getting driving or walking directions or finding the best restaurant nearby
  • Battery provides four hours of user time, 40 hours standby on single charge