Monday, February 15, 2010

Tethering made easy: SIMFi is a SIM card with built-in Wi-Fi router

Some mobile phones can do Wi-Fi tethering, others need to connect to the PC Suite for Internet sharing and some just can't do it, period. But what if the SIM card in the phone could do it all by itself? Sagem Orga and Telefonica have come up with such a SIM card, dubbed SIMFi.

SIMFi is compatible with existing phones but acts as a Wi-Fi router that any device can connect to. The Wi-Fi gadgetry is integrated into the card itself, but we guess you'd still need a phone with good 3G connectivity to source the data connection in the first place.

More information should be revealed at the MWC next week and hopefully some nagging questions about SIMFi will be answered, like how good a Wi-Fi radio have they managed to fit into the SIM card form-factor and what kind of strain that will put on the phone's battery.

Anyway, this has the potential to become highly popular for customers with solid data plans. Get a SIMFi card with a data plan and you can use it both for your phone and laptop/netbook with no hassle - no moving the card back and forth between the phone and modem or worry about PC Suites or tethering hacks.

HTC HD2 owners are probably smiling right now, their phone came with a Wi-Fi Router app preinstalled. But SIMFi will work on feature phones too, which is a pretty big advantage.

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