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3 Unveils Mobile WiFi 3G Router

Gordon Kelly

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3 Unveils Mobile WiFi 3G Router

Remember the 3 mobile broadband WiFi router? Wouldn't it be nice if it didn't require a power socket?

That's what you get with the network's swanky new wireless modem for a service it is dubbing 'Mobile WiFi' or 'MiFi'. Yes, this is another term for consumers to get confused about, but it's actually really straightforward.

In short, MiFi works by using the wireless modem to harness 3's 3G signal to create your own mini WiFi hotspot. From this you can connect numerous devices so, for example, while you're reading a webpage on your laptop/netbook you can be downloading an album on your iPod touch. One data subscription, but multiple products benefiting from it.

Setup in practice should be easy with each device simply asked to input an eight digit network key just once when you connect and it also encourages a communal aspect if your friends turn up (and you don't mind them hogging all your precious bandwidth!).

"There are millions of Wi-Fi devices out there, but they can only be used in fixed locations," said 3's sales and marketing director Marc Allera. "Consumer demand for easy and affordable internet access on the go is growing fast and we're responding to that by announcing the UK's first wireless modem."

The 3 will offer the Mobile WiFi/MiFi service in time for Christmas with pricing coming closer to launch. I've registered a query with 3 regarding the battery life of the router (it's obviously dependent on the number of connected devices, data usage, etc) so hopefully we'll get some feedback on that soon.

Ultimately this is likely to be niche offering, but for those who do need it I suspect it will be a godsend…

Link:

3 UK

xbrumster

August 5, 2009, 8:08 pm

If it can be usb powered and fairly small in size, then it's the sibling of 'usb dongle' and 'wifi router'. Nice marriage I would say

Daniel 2

August 5, 2009, 8:31 pm

I do like the idea. However, I'm not sure where I would use such a product. I don't really carry more than one laptop around when I'm out and about. At home, I have my 'normal' broadband with its own router.


Mobile broadband is just far to expensive to be the one and only option. However, this device suggests that it sh/could be. Maybe 3 have some more competitve (i.e. chaper) price plans up their sleeve?

Manni

August 5, 2009, 8:57 pm

You can do that with most WM 3G phone with a data plan (don't know about the iPhone and Symbian) using a great little program called WMWifiRouter (not free but pretty cheap). It turns your 3G phone into a Wifi hotspot accessible by your laptop or any friend/colleague in need to share your connection.


I use this all the time on my Touch Pro, I find it easier than using BT.

deecee

August 5, 2009, 9:40 pm

There is a little program called Joikuspot that I use to turn wifi enabled symbian phones into WiFi hotspots. Useful for linking your iPod Touch to your mobiles data plan.

MrGodfrey

August 5, 2009, 10:05 pm

While I doubt I'd have a use for it myself, this is undoubtedly pretty cool.





P.s. thanks deecee, I will give Joikuspot a try.

Dirk

August 5, 2009, 10:36 pm

For the general user, who understand the general concept of WiFi hotspots but not necessarily the use of 3G Phone apps, this simple device approach will make mobile wifi more readily accessible. That has got to be a good thing.

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