Vodafone introduces portable mobile WiFi device

Vodafone has announced the launch of its new Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certified Mobile WiFi device, the R201. The first of its kind, the R201 enables five WiFi enabled devices to simultaneously share digital content which a customer has stored on the device, and access the internet via a Vodafone Mobile Broadband connection.

The R201 comes with embedded DLNA software, allowing Vodafone customers to view their digital content, such as music, video and photos, across all DLNA compatible devices, including laptops, netbooks, mobile phones, gaming devices, TVs and radios.

DLNA is a standard used to enable the sharing of digital media between different consumer electronic devices. For example, a DLNA compliant TV can interoperate with a DLNA compliant PC to play music, photos or videos. The specification also includes Digital Rights Management (DRM), to ensure that content is protected from unauthorised copying and use.

The device is particularly attractive to Small and Home Office workers as it can be used to map network drives and share files boosting their collaborative capabilities on the move. Thanks to embedded Samba Software, the device can effectively be used as a mini Linux server once an SD memory card is inserted. The device supports SD memory cards of up to 32GB which can be purchased separately.

The DLNA certified Vodafone Mobile WiFi hotspot acts as a central hub for storing digital content, from pictures, video, music and document files and sharing and displaying them on any other WiFi enabled, DLNA certified device in the home or in the office.

The device will be available in various countries where Vodafone operates during 2010. The device comes with a robust, contemporary industrial design, featuring an onboard display which allows the user to monitor connectivity information, as well as battery strength, signal strength and the number of active connected devices.

“The Vodafone R201 Mobile WiFi device enables our customers to take the WiFi connectivity experience they have at home or in the office everywhere with them, thanks to Vodafone Mobile Broadband,” said Huw Medcraft, Vodafone’s director of mobile broadband. “By adding DLNA compatibility to the device, it becomes much more than a connection to the internet, by enabling users to connect to their other WiFi enabled DLNA devices and wirelessly share and enjoy their digital content, no matter where they are. We know that consumers in particular now have an array of Wi-Fi enabled devices that they use both at home and on the move – the R201 allows them to use them all in a highly convenient way.”

Vodafone has integrated the award winning Twonky Application, developed by PacketVideo. Twonky’s advanced connectivity includes but is not limited to DLNA standards, UpNP and proprietary protocols. It provides a seamless experience for digital media sharing on compatible home and mobile devices. By using Twonky, Vodafone customers can enjoy their media in multiple ways – see it, play it, hear it and share it with ease.

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