D-Link has introduced its first 3G Mobile Routers, capable of sharing an EV-DO, UMTS, or HSDPA cellular data connection with any Wi-Fi enabled device. The routers feature a CardBus slot that accepts any 3G compatible notebook adapter and shares its wireless broadband connection over an 802.11g network.
While the D-Link Website touts the router as an on-the-go solution first (imagine quickly constructed WiFi networks where the only Net access is via cellular), I'm more intrigued by the prospects of cellular data eventually overtaking DSL and Cable as the broadband choice of homes and small offices. As the product page states, "if you are already subscribing to a mobile Internet service, you can simply use the 3G Mobile Router in your home instead of paying extra for a wired high-speed Internet connection."
Currently, I pay $45 or so a month for Cable Modem access along with my cable TV service. I'd much rather pay that same $45 to my cellular provider for a high speed data link that I could use at home with our PCs or on the go with my mobile handset. Of course, 3G speeds will have to increase a little - and data plan prices decrease a little - for that to become a reality. And then there's the $229 cost of the router itself. But prices will drop if the tech catches on.
Will cellular service providers embrace the technology - and idea - behind turning business-class data plans for mobile executives into "coach class" Internet service for the masses? If the money's there, I bet they will. A year or so from now when my cell phone contract is up, would I pay $50/month more for a home and mobile broadband plan with a free 3G router upon activation? Sign me up.
Product Page: http://www.dlinkshop.com/product.asp'sku=3135228