If you sign up for a data connection on your cell phone it does not use minutes from your plan. For information about evdo, cradlepoint and other data questions try this link:http://www.evdoinfo.com/
The Mifi is easily the weakest and least flexible way to have portable internet.
A usb cellular modem (sometimes called an "air card") will give much better functionality for the same monthly fee, the purchase price is lower, it doesn't require recharging as it runs from the power on the usb port, and the "foot print" is smaller. The Mifi's single advantage is that it doesn't plug into a usb port.
The Cradlepoint router can be used with all the various cell phone companies. The Mifi "locks" you into just one company, and if the technology changes it will be an expensive piece of plastic.
QUOTE(jan-n-john @ May 23 2009, 10:55 AM)
Tell us more about Cradlepoint. In particular, since it seems to need to be tethered to your cell phone, does that mean you will using minutes or some other charge particularly if you run it during peak hours? Also, since the user will presumably be using the system only with the system he subscribes to anyway, what difference does it make if he could theoretically use it on others? The strength of the MiFi, it seems to me, is that you get the service 24/7 for the monthly fee, and you can use it at home in place of DSL/cable if you want to and avoid that cost. Also it's highly portable on the road, e.g. when flying.