We spend much of our time at Fill the Funnel training and writing about Web Tools for Salesmakers. In other words – software. This post crosses over that line for a rare recommendation of a physical device – Cellular WiFi Intelligent Mobile hotspots.
I have been a satisfied user of a cellular USB modem for several years, allowing me to connect from any location that I find myself in within the U.S. Just plug it in, fire up the software and I get an internet connection. Easy connections anywhere are truly a requirement for me as we run our entire operation in the “Cloud”. No internet access means that I cannot do my job, so this topic is considered mission critical for Fill the Funnel operations.
Recently several wireless carriers have rolled out a new device they call Mobile Hotspots. These new devices are different in that you can still use it in the same manner with a small USB Cable connected directly to your laptop. The new capability is that this same device also functions as a wireless access point (WAP), allowing you to connect to it using your wi-fi connection. You no longer need to have it connected via cable, no risk of snapping off the USB device sticking out of the side of your computer. The other added benefit is that your new device will allow up to four additional computers to share your connection at the same time! Full security encryption and keys allow it to provide the same level of security that you enjoy at your office or home. This functionality is provided in a device about the dimensions of your business card and less than one-half inch thick (2.3 in x 3.5in by .4 in).
I can now meet virtually anywhere (that can receive a cellular signal), have the device in my shirt pocket discreetly with no cables to trip over, and enjoy a collaborative work effort with four other participants. Sales is becoming much more a collaborative endeavor, coordinating with teammates, vendors, strategic partners and your customers to deliver the desired outcome. This opens a new window of opportunity to accomplish your objectives.
Since I have started using my new Verizon MiFi, I have also found another benefit. The power went out at our home one recent evening. With several family members still here from the holiday season, we were all left with no Internet, TV, lights or power. I stumbled my way to my home office, fired up the MiFi device, and we were all able to do “something” with our down time in the dark Seattle night enjoying the Internet with our laptops and netbooks.
I selected the Verizon MiFi due to the coverage and that I already had my USB Modem on a Verizon plan. My connection speeds (from the www.speedtest.net site) are consistently over 1 mbps to 1.2 mbps download with 200 to 250 bps upload speeds. Pretty close to my DSL service at home. Pricing for the device after a mail-in rebate was $24.99 with a two-year extension.
If you have good coverage coverage in your area from Sprint, they announced a new “Overdrive” model that says that it operates at 4G speed. If you live in an area with 4G coverage, you can expect to get speeds from approximately 3 mbps to 6mbps download connection speed. Most carriers are now offering a device with these capabilities so check around with your favorite carrier in your market.