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 →
Sprint on Thursday confirmed that it will soon introduce a data cap tied to its mobile hotspot add-on for smartphone users. Currently, Sprint subscribers with compatible smartphones can pay an extra $29.99 per month for unlimited Wi-Fi tethering, which allows other devices to connect via Wi-Fi in order to utilize a Sprint phone’s 3G or 4G data connection. Beginning October 2nd, the mobile hotspot add-on will be capped at 5GB of data per month. Read on for more. More →
Sprint will reportedly introduce a 5GB cap on mobile hotspot data for smartphone users beginning October 2nd. A purported leaked document obtained by SprintFeed states that Sprint’s $29.99 Wi-Fi tethering add-on for smartphones will no longer be unlimited beginning early next month. Additional data above the 5GB cap will be billed at $0.05 per megabyte according to the document. The new policy would not impact standard smartphone data, nor would it affect the mobile hotspot function on tablets. This is a slippery slope, however, and it could indicate that Sprint’s unlimited data plans are eating too much the carrier’s margins to be sustainable. Sprint has told BGR on numerous occasions that it will continue to offer unlimited data plans for as long as it can, and the carrier is expected to launch Apple’s iPhone 5 next month with unlimited data. Sprint did not immediately respond to a request for comment.