Despite the increasing popularity Wi-Fi of integrated tethering functionality across a variety of smartphone platforms, sales of dedicated portable hotspots continue to remain strong. Novatel Wireless, a pioneer in personal mobile hotspots, on Monday announced that lifetime shipments of its MiFi mobile hotspot line has now surpassed 3 million units globally. Beyond the tried and true reliability of Novatel’s MiFi devices — anyone who follows BGR’s live coverage of press conferences knows we rely on them constantly — the milestone reaffirms the fact that many users aren’t willing to sacrifice smartphone battery life for the sake of convergence. “Three years ago we introduced the MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot and revolutionized the way people access the Internet, from anywhere, anytime,” Novatel Wireless CEO Peter Leparulo said in a statement. “The MiFi system architecture brought a new user-experience to mobile broadband consumers, with one click connect and no software to install. It also allows carriers to reach a wider, more diverse subscriber base with innovative service opportunities. We are very pleased to have achieved this milestone illustrating our significant market and product leadership for mobile hotspots.” Novatel’s full press release follows below. More →
We’re big fans of Verizon Wireless’ Novatel Mi-Fi 4510L 4G LTE hotspot, and now you can pick one up for just $49.99 with a new two-year contract — a $50 savings over the original launch price. If a hotspot isn’t quite your style, Verizon is also offering Novatel’s USB551L 4G LTE USB modem for just $19.99 with a new two-year contract. We’ve been blown away by Verizon’s 4G speeds, and we’re told the sale will only last until July 18th, so be sure to check these out if you’re in the market for a new mobile broadband product. More →
In the mobile space there are leaders and followers, and our friends over at Novatel Wireless are clear leaders. The company’s MiFi devices set the market abuzz as people rushed to replace their older mobile broadband devices with portable mobile hotspots capable of connecting multiple devices to cellular data networks via Wi-Fi. Now, Novatel is extending its lead in the space by updating the AT&T MiFi 2372 with DLNA streaming media support. We’re big fans of making good gear even better, and by adding wireless media server capabilities to AT&T’s MiFi, that’s exactly what Novatel did. We tested the MiFi 2372′s new DLNA functionality and it indeed works exactly as expected — by simply connecting to the device over Wi-Fi, users can stream media stored on the MiFi’s microSD card to computers, smartphones, tablets, televisions or anything else that supports DLNA. We were able to stream movies, music and even browse photos from an iPhone, a laptop and an LCD TV as well. We had no problems whatsoever, and — surprisingly — battery life doesn’t seem to take too much of a hit. If you own an AT&T MiFi 2372 and haven’t updated the software yet, consider this your motivation. A video showcasing the MiFi’s DLNA capabilities follows below. More →
Sprint was nice enough to shoot us over its brand new Sprint Novatel 3G/4G MiFi, and while we saw it at CES, there’s just nothing like getting one in your hands (or paws) and taking it for a spin. We’re huge fans of Novatel Wireless, and we definitely prefer its MiFi products to USB data sticks or tethering our phones when we need mobile internet — so we’re extremely glad the company introduced a 4G WiMAX version of its popular MiFi device. Our quick impressions: it’s a tad thicker than the original MiFi, though it makes up for that by not only offering 4G speeds, but also by running a stripped down version of Linux that includes a splashy dashboard to monitor signal strength, GPS status, and network connectivity status in real-time. Additionally, we’re absolutely loving the eReader-like display on the MiFi that shows signal, GPS, and connectivity status. It’s extremely valuable and something we’re not sure how we lived without before. As for performance, we’re getting pretty decent speeds at 5Mbps down and 950Kbps up in and around New York City. We haven’t been able to judge battery life in our usage just yet, but it seems to be at least as good as the original MiFI workhouse we use all the time. Make sure to check out the rest of our photos in our gallery!
In the week or so that I have been testing the AT&T MiFi 2372 by Novatel Wireless, it has already saved no less than three lives.
First, it saved my cable guy’s life. You see, Time Warner Cable provides the worst home Internet service I have ever experienced. I can’t even think of a close second. If providing terrible home Internet service was a sport, Time Warner Cable would be on its tenth consecutive undefeated season. Forget the fact that my upload speed is capped at 60Kbps and I’m lucky if I can get half that — it has been months since I’ve gone through a full day without at least one service interruption. Months. Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable has an exclusive contract with my building so I have no choice but to endure its abysmal service. Last week, as a Time Warner Cable technician entered my home for the sixth time in two months, I realized that this certainly would have spelled serious trouble had it not been for my trusty new back up device. More →
Following Bell’s lead, Canada’s Rogers Wireless has issued a recall notice for the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2372 Rocket mobile hotspot on account of its faulty battery. Novatel will be sending Rogers MiFi owners a pre-addressed and pre-paid envelope so they can send in their device to have it replaced. According to Rogers, Novatel will have the MiFi back in the customers hands within 7 to 10 business days of receiving the device. It doesn’t look like Rogers will be giving their customers a Rocket stick to make up for the temporary loss of mobile data, although credits will be given for the time the MiFi is out of action. Anyone with questions or comments is asked to call 1-866-511-5311.
We were a bit taken back the other day when trying to locate the Novatel MiFi 2372 on Bell’s website to no avail, and now we know why — it’s been recalled. According to Bell, the MiFi’s battery is prone to swelling and, not surprisingly, this poses not only a safety risk but may also “[cause] the device to malfunction.” Bell is planning to get MiFi’s back in the hands of its customers just as soon as they can get them replaced by Novatel, but in the meantime every affected customer will be sent a U998 Turbo Stick to tide them over. Just in case you’re the type to throw caution to the wind and want to keep using your MiFi until the replacements are shipped out (which just so happens to be 6 to 8 weeks away), Bell has taken the precaution of remotely deactivating your kit. More →
It only took them four months, but Rogers has finally followed in Bell’s footsteps with the release of the Novatel Wireless 2372 Rocket Mobile Hotspot. Better known to consumers as a MiFi device, the Rocket Mobile Hotspot connects to Rogers’ 3G network and acts as a portable hotspot for up to 5 computers, mobile phones, or anything else with 802.11b/g Wi-Fi capabilities. Compatible with both Windows and OS X, it also supports microSD cards up to 16GB for easy file access and has a battery that is rated for four hours. The Rocket Mobile Hotspot is available on a 3-year contract for $49.99 or just by itself for $249.99. More →