Verizon 4G MiFi Device Could End Up Crippled If You Stray Into 3G Territory

Verizon Wireless has already sold millions of Novatel MiFi 4510L mobile hotspot devices, which should work on Big V’s 4G and 3G networks. But there’s a glitch that has some users permanently stuck in 3G mode.

Over at TheStreet.com, writer Jonathan Baum relates how he first found out about the problem:

One of my editors bought a Novatel MiFi — based mostly on my recommendation, by the by. And then a replacement the next day. And then a replacement for the replacement the day after that. His brand-new 4G modems “died” not once, not twice, but three times. These units, bought in and around Boston, could connect to Verizon’s cutting-edge LTE 4G signal at first. But if, for some reason, the device went into 3G mode — say, by taking it into an uncovered area or going deep into a building — it could never acquire a 4G connection again.

Both Verizon and Novatel have confirmed that they are aware of the issue, but downplay the size of the problem.

“There is an issue with some of the Novatel MiFi 4510L devices,” a rep for Verizon tells TheStreet.com. “But at this point, there have been a very few customer complaints. Novatel is aware and is working closely with our team to correct the problem and will do so in a maintenance update.”

Novatel confirms it is “working on a maintenance release/firmware update to be available in the near term for current subscribers.”

As for when this update might actually arrive, it could be anywhere from September through the end of the year.

Verizon 4G Device Has 3G Problem [TheStreet.com]