Monday, August 16, 2010

One place where the US is behind

There are a new series of devices available that allow up to five users connect to the Internet from anywhere using a WIFI signal.  The most common device in the US is called a MIFI.   The device is about half the thickness of a deck of cards.   On Friday night, a friend in Mexico pulled his out, which is offered by USA Cell.   We used it to surf the web on my iPad and to look up a video of him practicing law.

From that one test the device could be very helpful.  It would, for example, allow a person to have a laptop and an iPad with WIFI only capabilities and still be able to surf the web from almost anywhere.  

In Mexico the device costs about $40 per month.  But in the US, where Verizon is the dealer (this is a Novatel device) the subscription is $60 per month.   Most users are probably under the maximum usage that is allowed under the new AT&T limits (which is 2 Gigs per month) - but $60 per month is outrageous.   I wonder why some other cellular carrier has not tried to get business away.

AT&T offers a tethering option where you can connect another device to your iPhone or iPad using WIFI but the cost of the change is an additional $20 per month (in my mind a reasonable add) - at the same time you then lose your unlimited 3G usage.  I suspect that as the technology continues to develop that there were be more competition and more pricing options.

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