For all those who have WI-fi-enabled phones but stay away from 4G or 3G because of its high cost, here’s some good news for you: Many Indian 4G operators are planning to offer pocket-sized Wi-Fi routers for around Rs 2,500 which would enable existing EDGE or 3G-enabled smartphones to use high-speed internet, Business Standard reported today.
Despite the availability of 3G in the country, most Indians continue to operate on 2G because it is still quite expensive to buy 3G-enabled versions of each device, as well as maintain separate data plans for them. With a mini-wireless router it is cheaper to buy one plan and share the connection between your iPad, tablet, notebook, phone and laptop through the router to a 4G network.
In India, BSNL, Tata Telel, Micromax and Tata Docomo have already launched pocket wi-fi routers.
BSNL, which has 3G network in more than 850 cities, launched the Winknet Mf50′ router for Rs 5,800 in July 2012, while Huawei’s router E560, which offers speed up to 7.2 Mbp and lets you connect up to 5 devices, is priced at Rs 4,500.
The Micromax 400R (MiFi) Datacard is compatible with all major operating systems including Windows XP (SP2 and above), Windows 7, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.4.9 and is also affordable with a starting price of Rs 2,700. The battery provides four hours of usage on full recharge, an hour less than the Huawei router.
Beetel 3G Max is similar sold by Tata Docomo. However, at Rs 3,900, it is a bit costly compared to Micromax’s offering.
Given that the the number of phone owners using Wi-Fi as a service is not more than five percent, 4G operators are bound to tap in to this sector to generate revenue and make 4G more affordable.
In India, Bharti Airtel has already launched 4G services in Kolkata and Bangalore, while Mukesh-Ambani’s Reliance Infotel, which has pan-India 4G licence, is planning to launch its services by early next year.