What is a hot spot not? Portable, that’s what. Until now. 3 and T-Mobile have announced new mobile Wi-Fi services which allow you to take your own personal Wi-Fi hotspot with you. Mobile Wi-Fi works in a similar way to mobile broadband. You get a small portable device containing a SIM card which acts as a mini Wi-Fi point with a range of 10 metres. This allows Wi-Fi enabled devices – phones, netbooks, laptops, iPod Touches – to connect to the net pretty much wherever there’s signal.
Both the 3 and T-Mobile offerings allows you to connect up to 5 devices at any one time. The 3 mobile Wi-Fi service is available now on contract and PAYG. On contract the 3 Mobile Wi-Fi device (right) costs £69.99 and gives you 5GB of Wi-Fi usage for £15 per month. The contract option is on a rolling monthly basis, so there’s no long term commitment. On its own, the device costs £99.99 with top ups available at £10 for 1GB, £15 for 3GB and £25 for 7GB.
The T-Mobile deal, not available until early October, gives you just 3GB of usage for £20 a month, but there is no initial cost for the hardware, made by Novatel (left). You are also required to sign up for an 18-month contract, unlike 3’s more flexible rolling contract option.
As there’s a slew of social networking phones coming out soon, we think that mobile Wi-Fi is a great idea but can see some customers put off by the prices. Hopefully these will drop if mobile Wi-Fi proves to be popular.