People having bought the Apple iPad WiFi – and not the iPad Wifi + 3G – cannot use a smartphone or an UMTS surf stick to connect to the web over the mobile network. But they can buy a portable UMTS modem router that supports WiFi in order to access the internet via GPRS, EDGE, UMTS or HSPA. With such a device the iPad owner does more freedom of choice regarding mobile data price plans and he or she does not even have to buy one of the special micro SIM cards that fit into the tablet PC. Here are three small 3G modem routers that are available at stores in Germany or will be available soon. Of course, they cannot just be connected to the Apple iPad but to any other WiFi device as well – for example to the iPod Touch or a digital camera.
Novatel MiFi 2352
The 3G modem router Novatel MiFi 2352 is available at Vodafone stores for EUR 229.90 without contract. It supports GPRS, EDGE, UMTS and HSPA for mobile data transmissions with up to 7.2 mbps (download) and 5.76 mbps (upload) as well as WiFi b/g with WEP, WPA or WPA2 encryption. The Novatel MiFi 2352 is able to connect up to five WiFi devices such as cell phones, netbooks, notebooks, digital cameras or game pads within a radius of 10 meters. It is powered by a Qualcomm 7225 processor, battery life is up to 4 hours. The Novatel MiFi 2352 also serves as a data storage unit: It has a slot for micro SD memory cards with up to 16 GB storage capacity. The body of the Novatel MiFi 2352 measures 98 x 62 x 13 millimeters and weighs 81 grams.
In June, O2 Germany will market the portable 3G modem router Huawei E5 for EUR 129.00. Just like the Novatel MiFi 2352 the Huawei E5 supports WiFi b/g and can connect up to five other WiFi devices to the web. It also supports GPRS, EDGE, UMTS and HSPA for mobile data transmissions with up to 7.2 mbps (download) and 5.76 mbps (upload) and has a slot for micro SD memory cards with up to 32 GB storage capacity. Battery life of the 3G modem router, that measures 95,5 x 48,6 x 13,7 millimeters and weighs 90 grams, is up to 3 or 4 hours.
D-Link MyPocket-Router DIR-457
The 3G modem router MyPocket-Router DIR-457 manufactured by D-Link will not be available before July. It will be able to connect up to 16 WiFi devices to the web, but does support UMTS with HSDPA with up to 3.6 mbps (download). It can also be used for accessing the internet over 3G networks around 850 and 1,900 MHz – not just around 2,100 MHz – which can be helpful when using the device outside of Germany. There is no HSUPA support, upload speed is limited to 384 kbps. Battery life is up to 2 hours to 4 hours. The MyPocket-Router DIR-457 has a micro SD card slot and a micro USB port. The 3G modem router by D-Link will probably cost EUR 199.00.
In the end I would like to make two recommendations: Since battery life of these 3G modem routers is pretty short for using them on the way, it might be better to buy a second battery just in case. People not having bought an Apple iPad yet who want to access the internet over the mobile network should buy the iPad WiFi + 3G right away (instead of the iPad WiFi) - the difference in purchase prices is just EUR 100.00.
Please check also:
- Stores, purchase prices and providers micro SIM cards and mobile data price plans: All the information you need to know for buying the Apple iPad in Germany
- Free WiFi hotspots in Berlin to use Your iPad