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Mobile Devices

Novatel (Verizon Wireless) MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot Teardown

30 November 2012
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Overview / Main Features

The Novatel MiFi 2200 is a personal hotspot device that converts a 3G signal into a localized but portable WLAN (802.11b/g) network. As opposed to more traditional wireless broadband cards or USB dongles which offers connection to a single device, the MiFi 2200 offers wireless access for up to 5 devices via the localized WLAN network giving the "road warrior" professional more options in accessing the internet on the go.

Novatel (Verizon Wireless) MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot - Exploded ViewNovatel (Verizon Wireless) MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot - Exploded View
The battery powered MiFi 2200 weighs just under 60 grams and designed to fit into a shirt pocket making it highly portable.Inside the device, the MiFi consist of a small PCB assembly powered by a Qualcomm QSC chipset and a Murata WLAN module.In many ways, the Novatel MiFi design is analogous to a WiFi-enabled feature phone without the display unit or keypad.

Target Market

Mobile Business Professionals


First release in May 2009 on Verizon Wireless service networks. Similar product was also released for the Sprint service network (both EVDO based units but with different enclosure designs).

Pricing and Availability

Pricing -The Novatel (Verizon) MiFi sells currently for $99 with a 2-year service contract.Non-subsidized price is approximately $300.

Availability -

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 200,000 units.

As a reminder, teardown volume production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed volumes are different by an order of magnitude, minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis because of this.

Cost Notes

Refer to BOM for detailed analysis

Main Cost Drivers (Representing ~75% of total materials cost)

$19.74 - Qualcomm - QSC6085 - Baseband Processor / RF Transceiver - Single-Chip, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO, Tri-Band 800/1900/(1700/2100MHz), Bluetooth, GPS, 65nm

$7.25 - Murata - Bluetooth / WLAN Module - 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, Contains Marvell 88W8688 SoC & Antenna Switch

$4.35 - Tyco Electronics - Battery - Li-Ion, 3.7V, 1150mAh

$4 - Numonyx - NANDA9R4N2BZBA5 - MCP - 1Gb NAND Flash + 512Mb DDR SDRAM

$2.25 - I.T.E Power Supply - SSW-1811 - Charger - 5V, 1.05A, w/ 2M Cord

$1.45 - Avago - ACPM-7353 - PAM - Dual-Band, CDMA 850/1900MHz

$1.35 - Wus Printed Circuit Co. - 10-Layer - FR4/RCF HDI, 1+8+1

$1.09 - Avago - ACFM-7103 - Quintplexer - Dual-Band CDMA 850/1900 & GPS, 836.5/881.5/1575/1880/1960MHz

$0.80 - GPS Antenna - 1 Metal Wire, w/ 2 Layer Plastic Tubing & Coaxial Connector

Direct Materials $55.53

Total BOM Cost$64.76

What Is Not Included in our Cost Analysis

The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing with basic test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

Manufacturing Notes

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

Based on markings, the unit was assembled in China. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were also sourced in China.

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of "finished" sub-assemblies (such as WLAN Module), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Remember also that labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. "Auto" inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Novatel (Verizon Wireless) MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot - Exploded ViewNovatel (Verizon Wireless) MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot - Exploded View
Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The Novatel MiFi 2200 has an overall component count of 318 (excluding box contents), of which, only 34 are mechanical in nature.

Component counts have a direct bearing on the overall manufacturing cycle times and costs, and also can increase or decrease overall yields and re-work. Our calculations of manufacturing costs factor counts and more qualitative complexities in the design. The cost of manufacturing is also, to some extent, decreased in this case because of assumed labor rate applied for China.

Note that manual labor has a much smaller effect on auto-insertion assembly lines (for the Main PCB, for example), where manufacturing costs are much more capital equipment intensive and driven by these investment costs.

Novatel (Verizon Wireless) MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot - Main PCB TopNovatel (Verizon Wireless) MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot - Main PCB Top
Design Notes

The core of the Novatel MiFi 2200 is the Qualcomm QSC6085 single chip baseband processor and RF Transceiver solution which handles all of the wireless 3G connectivity. A Murata WLAN module packages a Marvell 88W8688 SoC and antenna switch to provide the 802.11b/g connectivity and network management.The memory portion of the device is furnished by a Numonyx MCP with 1GB NAND Flash and 512 DDR SDRAM.The 1GB NAND Flash is require to store the device installation software and drivers, allowing the product to be a true "plug and play" (via USB) installation.

Novatel (Verizon Wireless) MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot - Main PCB BottomNovatel (Verizon Wireless) MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot - Main PCB Bottom
Here is a summary of the major components used in the Novatel MiFi 2200 design:

Main PCB

  • Baseband Processor / RF Transceiver -Qualcomm - QSC6085
  • Memory - Numonyx - NANDA9R4N2BZBA5, (MCP - 1Gb NAND Flash + 512Mb DDR SDRAM)
  • WLAN Module - Murata

Novatel (Verizon Wireless) MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot - Box ContentsNovatel (Verizon Wireless) MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot - Box Contents

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