Mobile hotspots have not been moving that well, but new products and service offerings launched in Canada may change that.
Bell and Rogers, for example, are offering mobile hotspot services built around small, handheld devices from Novatel.
The handy device creates a mobile 3.5G Wi-Fi hotspot for broadband coverage and Internet access on the go.
It’s ideal for small businesses with one to five people or professionals with home and away offices who require easy Internet access and set up for impromptu team briefings, off-site client meetings or web conferencing.
Mobile hotspots (or smartphones that act like one) may be the best solution for those who want to carry around several wireless devices, too.
More bandwidth on the go is needed to keep multimedia apps and portable device users happy. More than just cellphones and laptops, wireless networks now have to support smartphones and e-readers and iPads, and mobile hotspots may be the best way to do so.
Bell began its Intelligent Mobile Hotspot offering late last year, about the same time as it launched its high speed HSPA/HSPA+ network.
“We’re excited to be the first wireless provider to introduce Canadians to the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2372 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot and the convenience of portable Wi-Fi access,” Adel Bazerghi, Senior Vice President of Products at Bell Mobility, said at the time.
Rogers has just announced it is offering mobile hotspot services using the same Novatel MiFi 2372 device, calling it the ‘Rocket Mobile Hotspot’.
John Boynton, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Rogers Communications, predicted that his customers, “whether small business, mobile workers, families or students, will take advantage of the unrivalled capabilities of the Rocket intelligent mobile hotspot and the seamless, reliable and easy to use, portable Wi-Fi access.”
Companies like Novatel, Sierra Wireless and Franklin Wireless all have mobile hotspot products, and more and more product and service packages are being offered by telecom providers across North America.
The Novatel portable wireless device can:
- Provide wireless access for up to five users or devices at a time, including printers and laptops
- Connect to a wireless network with speeds up to 7.2 Mbps
- Connect multiple team members to the Internet at the same time or multiple WiFi enabled devices
- Support GPS applications
- Synchronize files between connected users and enable shared access to up to 16 GB expandable microSD memory storage, password-protection and Wi-Fi encryption.
The device (it weighs just 81 grams, and measures around 62 mm x 98 mm x 15.3 mm) creates a Wi-Fi hotspot covering a 30 foot radius, and up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices can use the coverage simultaneously. Laptops, printers, cameras, music players and gaming devices can be connected to broadband Internet.
There’s also an expandable memory, if wireless sharing isn’t enough, with up to 16 gigabytes of microSD expandable memory storage capability to share files. It supports various GSM, HSPA, and Wi-Fi bands, and is GPS enabled.
The unit is powered by a removable, rechargeable Lithium Ion battery, said to last up to four hours.
Both providers offer different packages and mobile Internet data plans, and the device is available with or without contract.