If you own one of those MiFi devices, you are probably not a stranger to some of the frustrations that I will mention in this article. If you don’t know what MiFi is, I probably need to define what MIFi is first. It is a mobile WiFi device. Yes; your own WiFi hotspot that you can carry anywhere with you and share your internet access with up to (usually) 5 WiFi enabled devices . It uses a mobile operator’s internet service to generate a hotspot, so you either get one that uses GSM technology or CDMA technology.
What are the improvements that I think need to come to MiFi devices?
First on my list is the ability to subscribe to a data plan right on the device. That means SMS and USSD functionality. At the moment, you either have to take out the SIM to put in a phone or plug in to a PC in order to do that. Same goes for checking your usage, which is the second item on my list. Yes; it is a brief list, but adding the ability to carry out these two tasks on the device itself will take MiFi devices to a whole new level of user friendliness.
This requires some means of text entry too, of course. In today’s world of touchscreen technology, perhaps it won’t be so difficult? But then, consider that the average MiFi device has only a tiny screen for essential info and there’s a potential problem. A bigger screen with touchscreen technology is also likely to mean greater power consumption, though if the user doesn’t go stabbing at the screen every few minutes, that shouldn’t be a big issue. And why would anyone want to keep playing with the display? Perhaps during periods of perennial network/service issues? That’s a possibility.
So, can we expect text entry and limited phone functionality (USSD) on MiFi devices soon? Perhaps some models have these features already? If you use a MiFi, how do you load airtime and how do you check your usage?