Mifi in Hong Kong

[/caption] This is my new “my-fi” It’s about the height of say 8 credit cards stacked atop one another and not much bigger than an iPhone. You may have heard of them as many first adopter geeks are starting to use them. This is wifi internet access from anywhere on the Earth, basically. The mifi devices connects to the 3G telephone networks just like a telephone. It has a SIM card inside it and you have to sign up either for a monthly data connection plan or some ‘pay as you’ go system (I have the latter). The device then takes the 3G internet signal and converts it to a ‘wifi’ network, allowing you to connect your laptop, iPad, iPhone, Playstation, or other wireless internet device to the net. The thing is pretty amazing. It has a battery life of only about 4 hours though, but it’s enough to browse from a remote location should you find yourself stuck without high speed internet. Basically I’m using it as a solution to my non-3G iPad. I can go remote with my iPad anywhere in the city without having to pay a monthly service charge. It’s also a backup for our home, when the Internet goes down I can still get online. I will also have high-speed Internet at hotels without having to pay ridiculous hotel Internet prices.  It also utilized the GPS from the 3G signal so you can check-in via your wifi iPad wherever you are. Here in Hong Kong you have a few different options for mifi devices.  PCCW will sell you a monthly plan, Smartphone / Vodafone will also. 3HK offered me the options I really wanted.  No monthly contract, and pay as you go as you need, basically.  My plan tops out at $28 HK a day ($2hk per MB upto $28).  It maxes at $298 a month.  If you want a non-contract monthly plan, you can pay $200 for unlimited data.  Or you can just sign up with a full formal plan and get a mifi device for basically nothing (they will use a different model, the Huawei 5830).  I bought my DLINK unlocked (i.e. no SIM lock) from the Wanchai Computer Center in Hong Kong and then walked into a nearby 3HK store for my SIM card. The only negative I got was a business decision by DLINK when I was commenting in another forum about mifi devices.

I liked the DLINK and was going to buy this. But if you look closely at the serial number of the device (also on the sticker on the box), I think you will see that it ends in “3GA”. This means that it is locked to the 2100mhz frequency. This is fine for Hong Kong, but not some other countries. DLINK also make other variations of the same model, such as the “3GC”, which is tri band 850/900/2100 (for most European countries), and the “3GF” which is tri band 900/1900/2100. I got in touch with the DLINK HK distributor but they told me only the single band 3GA is available in HK. This is why I went with the Novatel 2352 because it is tri band HSDPA and quad band GPRS/Edge. It is a truly international model. Right now the Novatel is sold out everywhere except maybe Smartphone, Netbook, Laptop and Accessory Store – eXpansys Hong Kong. I am also in touch with the distributor for this device and they have completely sold out in HK and waiting for another shipment. I want to buy 3 or 4 more of these for my company.
Most of Europe is supporting 2100 for 3G service, so I’m ok there.  If my World Bank work takes me to Africa though I’m probably out of luck as most of those systems, while GSM, are based on 900mhz signals. Pretty cool to think a device as big as a calculator from 1995 is now able to connect to the high speed Internet remotely. And 10 years ago we were all on dial-up modems.]]>

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