Virgin Mobile, Sprint’s flagship flat rate prepaid service, has put the MiFi 2200 by Novatel Wireless on clearance for $19.99. It has been succeeded by newer 3G/4G WiMAX mobile broadband hotspots.
But Virgin Mobile’s $5/day, 200 MB plan enables people in a pinch to fire up a laptop, put down a $5 one-time, and get the job done. A $20, battery operated hotspot might be a good backup to have sitting around for unexpected trips. You can buy 100MB of data over 10 days for $10.
T-Mobile’s 4G Mobile MiFi hotspot may get you faster speeds, however, with HSPA+. It features a MicroSD memory card slot for added external memory and is text-message enabled. T-Mobile’s Pre-paid Monthly4G $30 Unlimited Web & Text also features 100 min of talk.
- Wireless startup Karma is offering a hotspot that accesses Clearwire’s mobile WiMAX network but allows users to open it up to the public. 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.
- Solavei launched in September with a $49 unlimited voice, text and data plan. It rides on T-Mobile USA’s GSM network with a $49 startup fee. The 4G data bounty ends at 4GB, after which Solavei throttles you back to 2G-level service. You can bring your own unlocked GSM phone (like an AT&T iPhone), paying just $9 for a SIM card.
- 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.
- 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.
- Simple Mobile is a T-Mobile MVNO which offers a $25/mo (750MB) or $45/mo (2GB) data-only plan. All that’s needed is an AT&T or T-Mobile GSM phone or mobile hotspot like the ZTE MF61 Mobile Hotspot and a data-only SIM from Simple Mobile. No contract or long term commitments.
- T-Mobile’s prepaid plans don’t offer data-only but does offer a $30/mo 5GB HSPA+ prepaid service with 100 minutes of talk time.
- Ultra Mobile, a T-Mobile USA MVNO, offers a prepaid unlimited plan that includes up to 1,000 minutes of international calling. It operates on a bring-your-own-device, SIM-only model and has a $29 per month unlimited talk and text and $39 per month for unlimited talk, text and HSPA data.
- 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.
Verizon’s new prepaid smartphone plan with 2 GB of data costs $70 per month. Verizon is also offering a new $60 per month prepaid smartphone plan with unlimited voice, texting and 500 MB of data. Customers can purchase an extra 1 GB of data for $20 when their data balance reaches 100 MB or lower.
A new smartphone isn’t necessary to take advantage of Verizon’s prepaid plans. Often, a no-longer-used smartphone sitting in a drawer at home can be activated on a prepaid plan with no annual contract.
T-Mobile USA, Sprint’s Boost Mobile, Cricket and others offer unlimited talking, texting and a bucket of data for $50 or less per month. MetroPCS simplified its plans and now offers unlimited voice, texting and LTE data for $60 per month.
Related Dailywireless articles include; Netzero: Free Data for Facebook Users,Great Deals on Prepaid Wireless Broadband, “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?,