At $60 per month and a two-year contract, mobile broadband internet access from the likes of T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint isn’t exactly cheap. But Virgin Mobile offers prepaid 3G mobile internet access without a contract.
Sure, your $60 doesn’t get you as much as you’d get with a monthly plan (1GB on Virgin Mobile versus 5GB with the other guys) but you also don’t need to shell out $60 every month regardless of whether or not you actually use the service.
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Broadband2Go service is available in the following pricing tiers:
- $10 for 100MB, must be used within 10 days
- $20 for 250MB, must be used within 30 days
- $40 for 600MB, must be used within 30 days
- $60 for 1GB, must be used within 30 days
So the main advantage, as stated, is being able to purchase data when you need to use it. The main disadvantage (aside from getting less total data than you would on a monthly plan) is that you have to use up your data within a certain number of days.
The data goes farther than I would have expected, though. I snapped up a $40/600MB plan for CES this year and I still have more than 100MB left over. It’d be nice if the higher-priced plans would let you keep your data for more than 30 days, but overall it’s a small price to pay for not being locked into a two-year contract.
The Broadband2Go USB adapter costs $100 and uses Sprint’s EVDO Rev. A network, so make sure that wherever you’re going has decent coverage. I ran several tests from here in Boston and was able to get average download speeds of 933 kbps and average upload speeds of 333 kbps with a medium strength signal.
If you travel moderately and want mobile internet access while on the go but you’re not spending enough time on the road to justify the price of a monthly plan, Virgin Mobile’s Broadband2Go service is definitely worth a look.
Broadband2Go [Virgin Mobile]
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