Virgin Mobile USA to launch "unlimited" 4G WiMax Hotspot & Dongle May 31
Previously, Virgin Mobile had offered the Novatel 2200 personal hotspot with unlimited data for a low monthly fee without contract. The downside was it runs on Sprint's EVDO network, which runs at an average of 800kbps, hardly broadband compared to the competition. Now Virgin is planning to offer the Overdrive Pro 3G\4G hotspot, and the U600 3G\4G USB stick. The two devices will be available on May 31, and will be priced at $149 for the Overdrive Pro hotspot, and $99 for the U600 USB stick.
Since Virgin Mobile announced they'd be offering the HTC Evo V 4G we've been holding our breath for a mobile broadband solution as well, and now Virgin is doing it. Alongside the devices, there will be two pricing plans offered. Plan one, at $35 a month, the user gets 2 gigabytes of 3G data, and "unlimited 4G data." Virgin notes that "unlimited" is 10 gigabytes of unthrottled WiMax, then throttling kicks in for the remainder of the plan period. Plan two, at $55 a month, gets the user 5 gigabytes of 3G data, and the same unlimited 4G with the above fine print.
There are several caveats to the plan that may make this offering less than ideal for some people. While 4G is nice, be sure to check out the coverage map as Virgin Mobile uses Clear's WiMax network, so it's important to know where it works and where it doesn't. The ideal customer for this product is going to be someone who lives in and travels within the 4G coverage area, because $35 for unlimited 4G WiMax is a screamin' deal! For those who frequent areas which don't yet have the 4G WiMax coverage, you will have to decide if the 2GB or 5GB plan best suits your needs since you'll be limited to those buckets when not in the 4G footprint. As with any Virgin Mobile promotion, you can switch plans or cancel at any time without penalty, so we don't see a lot of downside.
It'll be interesting to see what impact this has on the mobile broadband market in the US. Virgin Mobile has announced both the two new 4G broadband products will be marketed under its Broadband2Go product name, and both devices will be available online and in stores May 31.
source: Virgin Mobile USA
1. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
$35 for 10 GB of WiMax per month is still a good deal.
2. -box- (Posts: 3968; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Is is a good deal, but only because of cost and if the user is going over 5gb per month. WiMax is the slowest of the 4G networks, and it will be in the shut down phases next year as sprint transitions to LTE, though Clear may try to keep it alive, it won't last long
6. BREvenson (Posts: 237; Member since: 17 May 2012)
That's a good point; WiMax is not long for this tech world, seeing how Sprint is joining the competition with LTE this year, and they've officially stopped making WiMax devices.
If Clear can improve their network coverage/speeds, then I see it being an excellent deal for prepaid; I've seen many people with Virgin Mobile, and the number will increase if they can continue to add to the network. If not, well, it's still decent speeds and coverage for prepaid...if you're coming from a contract plan with AT&T, Verizon, etc., however, it's going to be dreadful.
7. omarc26 (Posts: 360; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
@ box i think the slowest 4G network is metro pcs 4G even tho its LTE . I Live in Los Angeles and had metro pcs and sprint before 4 months ago they both offer 4G in LA And sprint wimax was much faster with sprint wimax i always got speeds in the 8-10mbps range and had consistent 4G wimax coverage in LA, glendale, riverside, san diego , san fran, and moatly everywere i went etc.. were as with metro i never got more than 3 mbps and i mean never and 4G was SPOTTY it was horrible 95% of the time i was on 1x on metro . i have family in miami, atl, new york were both metro and sprint have 4G and same thing with them they told me they tried both and they all said metro was much slower so i think metros 4G is the slowest.
3. kindlefireowner (Posts: 487; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
Sprint signed a contract with Clearwire to keep wimax active until 2015.
4. bella92108 (Posts: 8; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)
@ -box- that's what everyone said about iDEN too, hehe. We've been hearing "next year it'll be shut down" for what, 12 years now?
5. bella92108 (Posts: 8; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)
But yeah, this is really a great deal IF you live in the WiMax footprint and mostly travel within their WiMax footprint. For that user it's stellar. For anyone else it's just average. I don't want an iPad LTE because the plan is so limited. This is a good plan for me because it'll keep my iPad wifi and laptop internet'd up while on the road, and even if I'm in 3G I'm still paying about what I'd pay for ATT 3G anyhow...
8. Jyakotu (Posts: 829; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)
My family uses CLEAR for Internet and the speeds really vary. We have the unlimited plan with CLEAR, but our speeds in this area average about 1.0 Mpbs down. Yeah, not exactly 4G speed, especially since my city, Charlotte, NC, is supposed to have good coverage.
9. lsutigers (Posts: 811; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)
WiMAX speeds are very dependant on signal strength. I have tried it in several different markets and with a good signal can pull 6-8mbps, which is great. If the signal drops to 2 bars, youre looking at more like 2-3mbps. I dont think Clearwire will be expanding WiMAX beyond it's current footprint but they will milk every penny out of it, which makes sense. As Bella mentioned, this is a great plan for those with an iPad or want to carry internet in their pocket and live in a WiMAX market. You can also still fall back on Sprint's 3G network which at the moment is not very fast in some markets but will improve drastically over the coming months with the upgrade to 3G Advanced.
10. RexEspiritu (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Jun 2012)
anyone know if 4G (WiMAX) coverage might be extended to the Indianapolis area?