GeeFi is a portable device that converts a 4G phone connection into a Wi-Fi hotspot, much like a Mifi or similar device. But it does have a few functions that make it more interesting than your average dongle.
First, it works in roughly 100 countries (with many more to come), which should save world travellers time and effort finding and using local services, or paying high prices for roaming. Second, it costs $9.99 per 24 hours for unlimited bandwidth, so you don't have to rush things and perhaps make expensive mistakes. Third, you can use it to recharge a smartphone, assuming your GeeFi has charge to spare.
And here's an extra idea that appeals to me... Fourth, you can keep it around the office as an internet backup device. Broadband connections do go down from time to time, either due to network errors or physical problems like the builders working next door literally cutting your cable. Yes, this did happen to me recently, and I was stuck. Maybe you have a Mifi - and I do - but I'd stopped paying the monthly bill. Maybe you can tether a smartphone. However, GeeFi lets you buy a few days and use them whenever you like, and it supports up to 10 devices. If your small business depends on having an internet connection, a GeeFi could come in handy.
GeeFi works with 4G/LTE cellular towers, exactly like your smartphone, so you won't get coverage outside signal areas. If there's no 4G, the device can drop back to 3G. And when 5G becomes available, the GeeFi will be able to handle that as well, according to CMO Roger Green. In that sense, "the GeeFi device is 'capable' of getting up to 150Mbps," he says, though 4G obviously can't deliver that. With 4G, you can get around 15Mbps to 18Mbps.
GeeFi says it has deals with a network provider in each country. These include Verizon in the USA, Singtel in Singapore, Optus in Australia, and so on. There's a list of countries on Kickstarter, but not of the service providers. GeeFi hopes to double the number covered.
Physically, the GeeFi is like a fat smartphone: it measures 145 x 85 x 15.6mm and weighs 210g. The 5000mAh battering takes about 5 hours to charge.
The GeeFi includes an SD card slot, which you can use to upgrade the ROM.
But at this point, you can't buy one.
GeeFi is currently using Kickstarter to fund its first production run, and at the time of writing, it has raised $149,781 from 945 buyers. This is far ahead of the $20,000 target. Funding will close on October 24, with shipments due to start in December.
The lowest price for one GeeFi was $110 and is now $120, plus $10 for US or $15 for international delivery.
Obviously there's a risk with Kickstarter projects. However, the man behind GeeFi - Eli Ostreicher - runs Regal Wings, a luxury travel company with "155 travel professionals" and more than $100m a year in revenues. Of course, only you can decide whether it's worth it.