Verizon has its first 5G hotspot, the Inseego 5G MiFi M1000, promising to share out the speed of fifth-generation networks – assuming, that is, you can find one to use. The new MiFi supports up to fifteen devices connected via WiFi at any one time, though you’ll pay handsomely for the privilege.
The nondescript black puck is 3.48 x 4.85 inches, and supports both dual-band WiFi and cable options. You can plug in a USB-C or ethernet cable and use the MiFi M1000 for tethered browsing instead.
On the top is a 2.4-inch color touchscreen, which can show service status, whether you’re in a 5G network or not, and how much data you’ve used. It’s also where you can set up WiFi networks – including both primary and guest networks – and change the passwords for them. A 4,400 mAh battery with Quick Charge support is good for up to 24 hours of use, Verizon says, though it’s unclear how much of that is active streaming.
You’ll need a 5G network if you want 5G speeds, mind, and as of today Verizon is lighting up service in St. Paul, Minnesota. It brings the carrier’s 5G areas to five: there are more than 30 it plans to turn on in 2019.
If you’re in St. Paul, the Verizon 5G service is to be found in parts of Downtown, Lowertown, and West Seventh neighborhoods, the carrier says. Outside of 5G coverage, you’ll fall back onto 4G LTE networks, whether you’re using the new MiFi M1000 or a 5G-capable phone.
Verizon 5G mobile hotspot plans
Don’t go thinking this is a 5G data free-for-all, however. If you’ve got an existing Unlimited smartphone service plan, you can add the 5G MiFi M1000 to that for $30 per month (plus taxes and fees). That gets you 50 GB of 5G data and 15 GB of LTE data. Alternatively, standalone MiFi plans start at $85 per month.
Go over those 5G allowances, mind, and Verizon will start throttling you. It’ll cut the download rate to 3 Mbps at most. If you go past the LTE allowance, meanwhile, that’ll be throttled to 600 Kbps at most.
As for the MiFi M1000 itself, for consumers it’s priced at $649.99, or $27.08 per month on a 24 device payment plan, or $499.99 if you’re willing to sign a two-year contract. Business customers pay the same, but don’t get the payment plan option.