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ATT to launch MiFi mobile hotspot

first_imgLast week, we reported on the new Verizon Wireless campaign which touted the company’s packaging of MiFi, a roaming Wi-Fi hotspot, and the Wi-Fi version of the iPad. The MiFi is a small device with its own battery that can be used with a cellular data plan to offer Internet connectivity for up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices within 30 feet. In comparison, AT&T simply offers the 3G version of the iPad with customers wanting a MiFi option having to look elsewhere. At least, that is until later this week.The carrier has announced that it will offer the new MiFi 2372 beginning on November 21st. The Novatel manufactured mobile hotspot comes preloaded with the MiFi OS, widgets and application support. The MiFi OS allows for users to access the device using a browser to view data usage, SMS and access GPS enabled widgets including GeoSearch and GeoWeather. Additional features include the ability to add storage to the device with the built-in microSDHC slot capable of supporting up to 32GB.AT&T plans to offer the MiFi 2372 at AT&T company-owned stores and online for $49.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate. In other words, you will pay $149.99 to walk out the door with it, but you’ve got $100 coming back to you by mail. AT&T’s monthly data plans for the device will include 200MB of data for $35 per month and 5GB for $60 a month compared to Verizon Wireless’ plans which are 3GB for $35 and 5GB for $50.Read more at AT&T, via MobileCrunch.Brian’s OpinionIt’s a great competitive move by AT&T to get their own MiFi, but I am still disappointed that the carrier comes up short. Verizon Wireless still has cheaper data plans than AT&T so I wouldn’t call this recent development by AT&T a marketing strategy to attract customers away from Verizon. If anything, it does nothing more than keep AT&T current with the trend to carry the MiFi devices as demonstrated by Verizon and T-Mobile.Now I can almost hear an AT&T executive read my criticism and respond that the reason they can charge more is because they have a faster network. At the end of the day though many customers look at what their monthly bills are and if they can’t tell that their FarmVille game loads up any faster I think it is safe to assume they really don’t care if a network is faster on paper. I really think AT&T missed an opportunity here to strike back at Verizon Wireless and their campaign around the pairing of the iPad and MiFi. I think it’s great that AT&T now has a MiFi of their own, but they really should have heated things up more against Verizon in time for the holiday shopping season.With rumors circling about Verizon possible getting an iPhone early next quarter you would have thought that AT&T would have been ready to take the gloves off. It seem AT&T seems to be content to allow Verizon to take business away which will happen in droves once the iPhone is offered by them.last_img read more

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