Alongside its new HTC EVO Shift 4G, Sprint announced Tuesday the upcoming release of the MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot. The name is a bit of a mouthful but the device is compact and portable, allowing users to carry a powerful WiMAX-ready hotspot with them at all times. Like Sprint’s Overdrive mobile hotspot, the MiFi 3G/4G connects to Sprint’s CDMA or WiMAX networks and provides data connectivity to up to five devices via Wi-Fi. It allows for up to four hours of usage or up to 60 hours of standby time on a single charge, and also supports microSDHC storage for easy file sharing among connected devices. The MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot will be available starting February 27th for $49.99 on contract, and service will cost $59.99 per month. Hit the jump for an excerpt from Sprint’s press release.

Sprint’s 4G Leadership Extends into 2011 with Introduction of Second Generation of Industry-Leading 4G-Capable Devices

HTC EVO Shift 4G with slide-out QWERTY available exclusively from Sprint on Jan. 9 for $149.99; MiFi® 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot by Novatel Wireless debuts on Feb. 27 for $49.99, bringing Sprint 4G connectivity to up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices

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With the unveiling of Novatel Wireless’ (NASDAQ: NVTL) ultra-compact MiFi® 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot, Sprint brings customers the portability of the MiFi design with one-touch connectivity for up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices, including tablets, eReaders, laptops or gaming consoles. Delivering a true wireless experience with no cables or software installation required, MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot has battery life of up to four hours of usage and 60 hours of standby time. MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot easily supports all the needs of a family household, a frequent traveler who wants to avoid Wi-Fi charges, or even a small business team with a form factor about the size of a credit card.

MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot’s predecessor, 3G MiFi® wireless hotspot by Novatel Wireless, was one of the industry’s most popular intelligent mobile hotspots. MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot adds 4G accessibility, an external display with status indicators for battery, signal strength and number of connected devices, and shared storage capability through a MicroSD slot for up to a 32GB memory card. It supports Windows, Macintosh and Linuz operating systems.

As the 17th 4G-capable device from Sprint, MiFi 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot will be just $49.99 (excluding taxes) after a $50 mail-in rebate activation on a new two-year service agreement (or eligible upgrade). It will be available nationwide on Feb. 27 at all Sprint retail channels, including www.sprint.com and 1-800-Sprint1. Visit www.sprint.com/4gmifi for more information.

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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.