Verizon Wireless is set to introduce a device that allows the company’s mobile data subscribers to set up an impromptu Wi-Fi hotspot.
The MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot is essentially a Wi-Fi router that connects to Verizon Wireless’ 3G mobile broadband network.
The device, developed by Novatel Wireless, is due to hit the market on May 17. It allows connections by up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices, such as notebooks, netbooks, cameras, gaming devices or portable media/MP3 players.
The MiFi 2200 measures 3.5” x 2.3” x 0.4” and weighs a smidge over 2 ounces. It integrates internal CDMA and Wi-Fi antennas and a rechargeable battery that provides up to four hours of active use and 40 hours of standby time on a single charge.
The MiFi 2200 will be available online and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement.
There are two price plans. The first is $39.99 monthly, with a 250 MB allowance, with 10 cents per megabyte overage. The other is $59.99 monthly for 5 GB, with 5 cents per megabyte overage. Verizon Wireless is also offering a $15 day pass, available to those who buy the device at full retail without a monthly service plan.
One of the use cases for the device is family road trips. One person in the car can be connected to Verizon’s 3G network, while others use Wi-Fi to connect a notebook or other device to the Internet.
Verizon Wireless, for some time now, has been selling several phones with Wi-Fi connectivity built in.
– Wireless Week’s Monica Alleven contributed to this report