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Mobile WiFi router runs Linux

Dec 12, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Novatel Wireless announced a mobile WiFi hotspot that is said to support EVDO 3G services and run Linux. Set to ship in the first half of 2009, the pocket-sized MiFi is billed as an “open platform capable of hosting advanced software applications.”

(Click for larger view of the MiFi)

Designed to share a cellular data network connection between multiple WiFi devices, the MiFi does not require an external broadband modem, says Novatel. The device will be distributed through Novatel's “carrier partners” and aimed at a broad audience, including home, SOHO, and enterprise users, says the company.

Novatel says it will encourage the development of third party applications for the platform, although it did not mention Linux in its formal release. Other industry sources, however, have reported that the company confirmed that the MiFi runs Linux.

The pocket-sized MiFi will offer a battery that can power the device for four hours under active use and 40 hours while idle, says Novatel. Other industry reports have mentioned details such as the presence of an EV-DO 3G modem and a microSD card. (One story on the MiFi, from our sister site, eWEEK, may be found here.)

The MiFi can be configured to support a variety of communications applications, says Novatel. These are said to include auto VPN, automatic syncing of email, and optional remote management capabilities for enterprise IT managers. User-specific “landing pages” will be available on the device that “consolidate and personalize mobile Internet services,” and act as a platform for wireless operators to offer content and services, says the company.

Stated Peter Leparulo, chairman and CEO of Novatel Wireless, “Our carrier partners will now be able to provide new wireless solutions and bundles for consumer and enterprise users.”


Novatel's Ovation U727
(Click for details)

Last year, Novatel shipped a tiny Linux-compatible EV-DO USB modem called the Ovation U727 EV-DO USB.

Availability

The MiFi will be commercially available in the first half of 2009 through “a variety of Novatel Wireless' global tier-one operator customers and retail channels,” says the company.


 
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