This may already be old new but I noticed a new MiFi model is available from Verizon: 5501L.
Haven't had a chance to get my hands on one yet but should be able to soon. The one big difference that I look forward to is the ability to check your data consumption on the device instead of looking it up online or contacting the 1800 number.
Other than that it seems like the next model in the series. it will be interesting to see what limitations are built into it like the previous models when it comes to public IP addresses, blocked websites, port forwarding, etc.
If anyone has anything to add then please share with us your findings.
It has no provision for directly attaching an antenna only a "passive" connection. Without our RF booster and roof mounted external antenna we would not even get the 3 bars we now get in our Verizon 4G LTE area. This problem would extend to our use of the Novatel when traveling as unless you are in the midwest, Verizon cell tower coverage is very limited once you get 5 miles outside the city limits of major metro areas.
Good feedback, thanks for sharing this limitation of the new model with us. It would seem that VZW/Novatel is moving away from antenna ports on these devices. This makes me think that we will need to use a cradle instead of a directly attached external antenna as we move forward.
It doesn't seem to have an HSPA radio in it for global roaming either. Also the manual states that it cannot charge from a computer's USB port, though it can tether from it. Maybe a USB 3 port can charge it though or maybe one of those sleep-and-charge ports that might have a nominal 1 A output instead of 500 mA usb standard.
I'd find it hard to believe that Novatel will go through the USB charging issues again on a new device. The documentation must not want to publish the charging capabilities because as soon as you USB connect your MiFi the computer will try to install drivers (which can be messy and confusing). It will be interesting to see how the device behaves when not in tethered mode.
The community quickly figured out how to work around those issues by using dongles or power only USB cords in the past. Sounds like we may have to refer back to our oldschool techniques until Novatel will unlock that feature in a firmware update like they did on the 4510L.
You can download the 5510L User Guide which states that one can use a USB wall charger. So it can also be charged from a powered USB port (not all are on computers). It also means it can be charged with one of the cigarette lighter adapter charges in the same way as the 4620L ones do.
The real problem will be for people in fringe areas who need the signal gain of an external antenna. The passive antenna approach is like the cell phone antennas that are glued to the outside of a car window with an inside plate that is supposed to radiated the feeble signal inside the car. Not very efficient or effective.
If you check the Verizon cell tower locations you will find that they are all located along major highways. For residential users that is fine if there is flat land between the nearest highway and your house. Otherwise an external antenna and often a RF booster is needed. Now the telcos have pressured the FCC into creating a new rule that will force consumers to have any WiFi signal booster approved by their wireless ISP before it can be used. So much for the theory of a free market system.
Is it WiFi boosters that need to be approved or 3G/4G boosters? Anything on the WiFi frequency is public domain and free airspace, no one should have jurisdiction over those airwaves. Please share a link if you have one.
I have heard alot of talk about new partnerships between Cisco and Verizon where Cisco is going to move into the mobile broadband booster/hotstpot market. Cisco announced that around the same time as thier sale of the Linksys home router line to Belkin not too long ago. I would think if anything needed to be approved it would be in the area of a Verizon repeater or hotspot device so that Verizon can have more control over those locations.
I downloaded the entire ruling from the FCC website and it is extremely broad in terms of boosting any signal by any private user for any purpose. It would definitely apply to the 3G/4G data and cell phone devices that have an external unit to receive and boost the signal from the tower and then rebroadcast the signal inside a building. The concern is that such a device broadcasting one Verizon subscribers signal could interfere with other subscribers using Verizon. The biggest concern I have is in having to get permission from Verizon to use any device. Historically the telco's have been extremely reluctant to allow foreign devices to be used on their networks (took a lawsuit and judge to breakup AT&T originially) and they want to control and protect their subscriber base and lock them in. That is why the outrageous prices on cell phones and mandatory 2-year contracts and early termination charges. Now add in that a 4G device for Verizon will not work for AT&T and that includes any signal booster.
For families and small businesses it will be prohibitively expensive to switch from one telco to another. Large corporations have a lot more leverage to negotiate with the wireless service providers but for everyone else the already terrible situation in this country will only get much worse, and much more expensive.
What may not be covered is a RF booster sitting between the antenna and the 3G/4G device. It is not active in a network sense so doubt that Verizon or AT&T or Sprint would be able to detect their presence and create a stink.
This is an interesting subject but it differs too much from the subject of this thread (reviews for the new MiFi 5510L).
Please join me in a new discussion that I set up if you wish to explore anything else: