Interesting product review from the NYTimes of Virgin's MiFi product in the US. Now we don't get the same deal in Australia, but it's more the implications that fascinate me ...
Now we all knw about wireless broadband, and how it seems to have taken off with the young and rootless.
However, one of the problems with 3G USB data sticks is that they're really only fully supported on Windows, and it's one box one connection. And even a year ago you would have said, fine that works, only dorky salesmen use 3G regularly for internet connections, and even if you're not a dork, you've probably got a single windows based laptop.
But that's so 2009. We now live in a changed ecology of iPads, WiFi enabled e-book readers and the rest, not to mention Linux netbooks - and doubtless Android powered tablet computers real soon now. So the question is - are you going to get a 3G contract for each internet based device?
The answer of course is no, much more sensible to get a single connection and share, so that if you're in your motel room you can not only use your computer, but your other devices as well - for example I've already taken to loading meeting papers on my ebook reader to read rather than carting dead tree material around.
The other thing is that its ideal for students and other people living in share houses, or indeed as in some areas outside of Canberra - people living anywhere out of reach of ADSL but with 3G coverage.
Strangely, I think MiFi boxes might be about to change the rules, just the same way that cheap home wifi has and push 3G data into being a carrier service that enables other things ...