22. October 2013–
DeMiFi, the recently-launched Berlin based WiFi hotspot provider, wants travellers in Germany to stop constantly worrying about sky-high phone bills or finding a WiFi cafe to work in. It offers users a pocket-sized WiFi hotspot that they can rent on a daily or monthly basis – letting them connect their laptops, tablets or smartphones to the network.
Naturally, it comes at a price – users are charged either €2.99 for 100MB per day or €6.99 for 500MB per day for business travellers. DeMiFi users also have to be organised, the device needs to be sent to them (the company recommends sending it to their first address in Germany), plus they have to pay €8.40 in shipping fees within Germany. All in all, not a tool that travellers who are only in Germany for a short time period are likely to use.
For now DeMiFi is only available in Germany, the company plans to launch in other countries in Europe next year and to bring other partners on board to aid its expansion. It currently partners with both Vodafone Germany and DHL, meaning it can be used wherever Vodafone has coverage.
Moji Taali, CEO of DeMiFi, said: “We started our company because we saw how difficult it was for friends to connect to the internet when they came to visit us in Germany. We founded deMiFi to give people a convenient way to go online while abroad.”
The startup is in a competitive market – at least for phones it is quite easy to gain short-term internet access when travelling, telecommunications providers often offer their users relatively low-priced packages when they're overseas, plus travellers can buy cheap local SIM cards that provide data. Dutch company CrowdRoaming goes a step further, letting users tap into nearby locals' WiFi networks for free when they're overseas – a concept that will only take off once it has a larger user base.
Image credit: Flickr user Phil Campbell