Dear Canada, you've been very patient but your MiFi wait is over. Having announced back in October that the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2372 "intelligent mobile hotspot" was coming to Bell Mobility in November 2009, the carrier has waited until the very end of the month to put the 3G-sharing battery powered router on sale. However, on sale it is, and as of today Canadians looking to share a single 3G HSDPA/HSUPA connection between up to five WiFi devices can do so for $99.95 with a new, three year agreement.
It packs all the grace of an FM radio, but the NEC Aterm WM3300R distinguishes itself not by aesthetics but by packing a WiMAX radio and WiFi router into a palm-sized device. Basically a MiFi but for WiMAX rather than 3G connections, the WM3300R offers up to 40Mbps downlinks and up to 10Mbps uplinks, together with a removable 1,880mAh Li-Ion battery.
Novatel Wireless have announced the first round of applications which will be offered on its MiFi Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, including photo uploads, NAS-style network drive functionality, and VPN support. The apps - which are produced by developer partners Eye-Fi, Nomadesk and Alcatel-Lucent respectively - will run on the applications processor found in the European MiFi 2352 (which we reviewed back in June) and the MiFi 2372 which will offer AT&T and Rogers Wireless HSPA.
Netgear makes all sorts of routers for wireless networks and has been offering products for a long time based on draft-n technology. Now that the IEEE has finally ratified the 802.11n specifications we are seeing new products come to market without that draft n caveat. Netgear announced today the new Rangemax Wireless-N Gigabit Router with USB WNR3500L.
WiFi-sharing enthusiasts FON have released their latest router, the Fonera 2.0n. As the name suggests, the Fonera 2.0n packs 802.11n support, but they've also packed it with social networking integration, hard-drive sharing, Twitter status updates (for when someone connects to your router), BitTorrent downloading and webcam hosting.
We mentioned yesterday that the IEEE had finally ratified the 802.11n specification. The ratification meant that manufacturers could finally stop slapping their 802.11n hardware with the "draft N" caveat. Almost as soon as the specification was ratified, Belkin announced that its N gear was already compliant.
Motorola has announced two new WiMAX products, a desktop base-station which shares WiMAX over WiFi and supports VoIP - the Motorola CPEi 725 - and a USB dongle, the USBw 200. The two products - which will go on sale via WiMAX carriers, rather than directly to consumers - enable both deskbound and mobile workers to take advantage of the next-gen high speed networks slowly spreading across the US.
The CPEi 725 is perhaps the most interesting of the two new products, and has twin WiMAX antennas to support the 2.5GHz band. As well as WiFi it has an analog voice adapter port for plugging in a handset and using the WiMAX connection for VoIP calls. As for the WiFi side of the equation, there are MIMO antennas for improved coverage.
Alternatively, the Motorola USBw 200 is a USB dongle intended for a single user. It will be available in 2.3, 2.5 and 3.5GHz versions, and has a "power boost" system for better connectivity with reduced draw; in fact, it requires just 1.5W, which means the notebook you're using it with should last even longer.
ViewSonic have outed a couple of new projector systems, the PJD2121 pico-projector and the WPG-350 presentation gateway. The former is a 720p/1080i capable mini-projector which can throw a 60-inch image, while the latter hooks up to any projector or display with a VGA port and funnels presentations (up to 1024 x 768) or 1080p video via WiFi b/g/n from a nearby laptop or PC.
If you need to share storage, scanners, or printers across your wireless network at home or in the office, you have a few options for doing so. You can use a plain router along with a wireless print server, but that makes for extra clutter.
Each year when I travel to CES in Las Vegas I end up wishing that I had a router with me to share an Internet connection with coworkers and shed the wire in the room. The problem is that most routers are too big to carry easily with you on an airline if you pack light as I do.