Comcast Pops $25 Mobile Hotspot

Comcast launched a 4G/3G mobile "hotspot" router that lets mobile broadband subscribers connect up to five Wi-Fi devices to the Internet at once.

The MiFi 4082 from Novatel Wireless is $25 for users with the Xfinity Internet 2go Nationwide Preferred (4G/3G) plan, which starts at $40 per month for the first 12 months as part of a bundle.

Comcast's Xfinity Internet 2go services are provided through Clearwire's 4G WiMax network that reaches 119 million Americans and Sprint Nextel's nationwide 3G network. The 4G service provides download speeds of up to 6 Mbps, while Sprint's 3G is advertised as up to 1.4 Mbps.

The MiFi router, which measures about 3.5-by-2.4-by-0.5 inches, includes a rechargeable battery and provides access range of 30 feet. It also supports industry-standard Wi-Fi security, and requires users to enter their password before being able to connect.

Comcast offers 4G WiMax coverage through Clearwire in metro areas including: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Baltimore, Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington, D.C., Sacramento, Calif., Hartford, Conn., Wilmington, Del., Miami and Orlando, Fla.

"This new product gives customers the flexibility to instantly create their own secure hotspot everywhere they go," Tom Nagel, Comcast senior vice president and general manager of wireless services, said in a statement. "Consumers want mobile Internet access for Wi-Fi-enabled devices like iPads, laptops and smartphones, and with this offering they can share their connection with family, friends or colleagues and can even watch TV and movies on-the-go."

Comcast is in investor in Clearwire, which is majority owned by Sprint. In the first quarter of 2011, Clearwire added 1.6 million subscribers through wholesale partners including Sprint, Comcast and Time Warner Cable to stand at 6.15 million at the end of March.