TruConnect Mobile and Walmart are teaming up to bring prepaid Internet to casual users via a $99 MiFi 2200 mobile hotspot, a 3G EV-DO device.
Internet on the Go, sold exclusively at Walmart, includes no contracts, no activation fees, and no monthly bills.
The service, based on Sprint’s 3G network, supports up to five Wi-Fi-capable devices running Windows, Mac OSX, Apple iOS, and Google Android.
Costs vary, starting at $10 for 100MB, $25 for 500MB, or $45 for 1GB, with no monthly fees and a data balance that never expires.
In October, T-Mobile and Walmart unveiled a new service plan that offered “unlimited” access to T-Mobile 4G data for $30 per month. That’s similar to other T-Mobile “unlimited” plans unveiled in May, which also throttle users after they hit their limit.
T-Mobile’s No Annual Contract has a variety of plans without a contract:
- 300MB 1-week pass for $15
- 1.5GB 1-month pass for $25
- 3.5GB 1-month pass for $35
- 5GB 1-month pass for $50
Of course, it’s hard to beat free.
According to The Verge, users pay $69 to buy a mobile hotspot and then pay $14 per GB of data. The hotspot is then opened up to the public. When a new user joins, that user is taken to a page where public users can then sign in with their Facebook account to get 100 MB of free browsing.
For every new user who signs in, the owner of the hotspot also gets 100 MB of free data. Karma calls the scheme “social telecom.” Karma, no doubt, will use the Facebook info to target ads to the user.
Clear’s WiMax, which is being phased out by Clear for TD-LTE next year, is being used by several companies for innovative data sharing:
- FreedomPop. FreedomPop’s $99 iPhone case promises free broadband. You can get up to 500 MB free every month using their mobile WiFi unit that uses a built-in WiMax radio.
- Ting, a Sprint Nextel MVNO run by Internet domain company Tucows, offers a shared data plan. Ting customers will be able to share data, as well as voice and texts, across unlimited devices on one account. Each active device will cost just $6 a month. Ting said it plans to release a number of LTE devices for Sprint’s LTE network. Ting currently offers a number of EV-DO Android smartphones, including the WiMAX-capable Samsung Galaxy S II 4G.
- Republic Wireless pledged “unlimited” voice and data service for $19 per month, but only if most traffic was routed to Wi-Fi. Currently, customers pay $199 up front for their first month of service and for the LG Optimus smartphone running version 2.3 Android. If customers want to continue with the no-contract service, they can pay $19 a month plus taxes after that, but can cancel the service at any time without an early termination fee.
- NetZero Wireless, in March, announced the launch of NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband, an inexpensive WiMax service for laptops, tablets and netbooks. NetZero’s basic data plan is free, but limited to 200MB of data a month. Basic $9.95/month service is limited to 500 MB/mo. You get 1 GB/month with the $19.95/month service. All data plans, including the free plan, requires the purchase of either a $99 NetZero 4G HotSpot or the $49 NetZero 4G Stick. NetZero charges $34.99 for 2GB. It uses Clear’s WiMax network.
- The $49 Clear HotSpot gets you unlimited data for $34.99/mo, with no contract, but limits speed to 1.5 Mbps.
The $49.99 service package gets you true unlimited data from both Clear and Virgin Mobile, with no preset speed caps.
Related Dailywireless articles include; “Free” Public WiFi with WiMAX Backhaul ,FreedomPop: Now 500MB free/month, Sprint Brings WiMAX to Virgin and Boost Mobile, NetZero: Free WiMAX Service, Banner Ads: Google’s Next Thrust?, Free WiFi with Video Ads Expands, Free Push-To-Talk from Wave, Internet Ad Revenue Up 23%