Saul Hansell of the New York Times questions the need for a MiFi in our connected (maybe overconnected) world.
My rebuttal comment is replicated here:
I have three of these. Two for the USA on different carriers that run CDMA (Sprint and Verizon Wireless) and one that is unlocked and works with any GSM carrier (i.e. AT&T) which pretty much means I have 3G connectivity wherever I go.
How good are they? Well at a recent hotel stay in San Francisco the hotel’s network went down. Rather than be disconnected (my business is very Internet centric) I just fired up the MiFi and never missed an email or a Tweet.
Right now I’m in Europe and while I roam around the various countries I just change the SIM card and connect. There’s no need to “find” a hot spot. I just power up the MiFi and connect away.
A few years back I bought a CradlePoint, which while larger does the same thing. That said, these new PocketSpots are indeed game changing, if you need to be connected more than the average person.
Okay. So three of these connote an investment of some $400 in hardware, two contracts at $120 per month and various Pay As You Go SIMs in various countries. And you know what. I'm very happy being on the road, and staying CONNECTED!!!!
Between my MiFi and Boingo, plus the occasional use of T-Mobile in a few hotels and airports, I'm finding it easier and easier to get work done and be in touch with those that I need to be. Speeds have gotten to the point where everything we need to stay in touch is just about there.
Update-Michael Graves shares his VoIP over 3G experience in the UK.