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Verizon to Woo iPad Buyers with MiFi

Engadget posted a leaked photo of a Verizon Wireless marketing campaign that's being prepared to lure early iPad buyers into choosing Verizon over AT&T for 3G service. How so? Verizon offers the MiFi, a wireless router that connects to the Internet over Verizon's 3G network, and then allows up to five devices to piggyback over Wi-Fi.

The MiFi is a nifty device, fitting in a shirt pocket, working off a fully charged internal battery for four hours or indefinitely via an AC adapter.

The problem is the service plan. Verizon requires a two-year commitment from MiFi buyers for either a $39.99 per month plan for 250 MB of combined upstream and downstream usage (and 10 cents per MB above that), or $59.99 per month for 5 GB of combined usage (and 5 cents per MB for overages).

That's far more expensive than the 3G-enabled iPad, which requires no contract commitment, and offers two monthly plans: $14.99 for 250 MB usage per month and $29.99 for unlimited usage. There are no overage charges; instead, the iPad pops up alerts when the 250 MB limit is coming up and offers the user the option of upgrading to the unlimited plan for the rest of that month, a thoroughly rational approach.

Still, it's smart of Verizon to seize the opportunity to show alternatives. I've heard great things about the MiFi because of its flexibility and portability, and the way it gives users a single 3G data plan and hardware device that works with all Wi-Fi-capable laptops and handhelds.


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Comments about Verizon to Woo iPad Buyers with MiFi
(Comments are closed.)

I can't see why anyone would choose the MiFi for an iPad considering the long-term contract and the very high cost.

If you were using it for access for multiple devices, then fine, I can see the MiFi could be useful. Otherwise, not so much.
David R Webb  2010-03-12 10:53
My company was about to purchase a USB Cell device for me and I had them change the order to a MiFi. I'm covered!
Czarembo  2010-03-11 13:14
Hopefully, T-Mobile will get a Mi-Fi for its data service plans.
I have a MI-Fi contract with Verizon and I plan to cancel it once the iPad 3G hits the shelf. The reason is twofold. The no contract, much cheaper rate offered by AT&T and the possibility of getting cheap data connection once I am traveling abroad with it. It is a win win situation and I think a clear winner for the iPad model.
yea, i have a mifi and yes, the device is great. and, yes, the service plan sucks. Verizon has gone regressive in its allowance compared to the current internet reality. they get tons of complaints, but so far, no increase in the data plan. such a great device, such a shitty plan. Wake up Verizon, get hip to the current usage of the web. 5Gs is nothing in the modern innertubes.
Garry Margolis  2010-03-15 22:15
I just bought a Sprint Overdrive instead of a mifi. The Overdrive is both 3G and 4G enabled, and while there are no 4G towers where I live now, they're expected to be operational later this year. The mifi doesn't have 4G capability.

The Overdrive allows up to 5 WiFi connections plus a tethered one via USB. It's also GPS enabled, and its internal browser has location services.

The data costs are the same for Sprint and Verizon, but Verizon charges $50 for the mifi and Sprint charges $100 (after a $50 rebate) for the Overdrive. If you want a mifi, Sprint offers it for free. All of the above prices include 2 year contracts, of course.

Sprint says that 4G data is the same price as 3G and is not capped at 5 GB/month, but that's what their 3G data plan was when I first signed up two years ago, before they downgraded their service to meet the competition from Verizon ... <>