Indian telecom operator Vodafone-Idea has announced the launch of a portable wi-fi router, called Vi MiFi. The portable 4G dongle will be capable of reaching higher bandwidths than typical portable dongles, according to Vodafone-Idea, and will initially only be made available to postpaid subscribers of the operator. The device is clearly being positioned as a premium offering for select users, since it would only be available across 60 stores in select markets all over India.
Vi MiFi: How it Works, and What it Costs
The Vi MiFi dongle claims to offer up to 150Mbps internet bandwidth, and work on the operator’s 4G network. Vodafone-Idea says that this bandwidth should be enough to connect and simultaneously work on up to 10 devices at the same time. The company also states that the device will feature a 2,700mAh battery, which on a single charge cycle would operate for five hours of continuous usage.
The offering is identical to what other telecom operators in India already have in store in the country. Reliance Jio, for instance, as the JioFi portable hotspot dongle, which can offer 4G connectivity for up to 10 users at the same time – at up to 150Mbps internet bandwidth. The device has a 2,300mAh battery, which Jio says can last for about five to six hours of continuous internet usage.
While Bharti Airtel also has its own ‘Pocket Wi-Fi’ dongle, the product appears to be unavailable on Airtel India or third party websites at the moment.
In terms of prices, the Vi MiFi 4G dongle is priced at Rs 2,000 as a single-time fee for Vi family postpaid plan users, which would allow users to add this connection on to the family plan. For individual postpaid users, Vi MiFi will be available for those paying Rs 399 per month and above.
Jio, incidentally, offers its pocket 4G dongle free of charge for postpaid users, and mandates a lower minimum bill of Rs 249 per month – with 30GB data per month and an 18-month lock-in period.
The full list of cities where Vodafone-Idea’s new dongle will be available is included here.