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see SPOT run?!....David Pogue review of Virgin Mobile's new prepaid portable WiFi HotSPOT UNLIMITED plan......
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: September 05, 2010 12:00PM
......Virgin Mobile just introduced the UNLIMITED plan for this.....$40 a month......NO CONTRACT.....you can turn it on only when you need to use it....


Your Own Hot Spot, and Cheap

....The MiFi released by Virgin Mobile this week ($150) is almost exactly the same thing as the one offered by Verizon and, until recently, Sprint — but there’s a twist that makes it revolutionary all over again.

The Virgin MiFi, like its rivals, is still an amazing gizmo to have on long car rides for the family, on woodsy corporate offsite meetings, at disaster sites, at trade show booths or anywhere you can’t get Wi-Fi. If you live alone, the MiFi could even be your regular home Internet service, too — one that you can take with you when you head out the door. And it’s still insanely useful when you’re stuck on a plane on a runway.

But three things about the Virgin MiFi are very, very different. First, Virgin’s plan is unlimited. You don’t have to sweat through the month, hoping you don’t exceed the standard 5-gigabyte data limit, as you do with the cellular-modem products from Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. (If you exceed 5 gigabytes, you pay steep per-megabyte overage charges, or in T-Mobile’s case, you get your Internet speed slowed down for the rest of the month.)

If you hadn’t noticed, unlimited-data plans are fast disappearing — but here’s Virgin, offering up an unlimited Internet plan as if it never got the memo.

Second, Virgin requires no contract. You can sign up for service only when you need it. In other words, it’s totally O.K. with Virgin if you leave the thing in your drawer all year, and activate it only for, say, the two summer months when you’ll be away. That’s a huge, huge deal in this era when every flavor of Internet service, portable or not, requires a two-year commitment.

Third, the service price for this no-commitment, unlimited, portable hot spot is — are you sitting down? — $40 a month.

That’s no typo. It’s $40 a month. Compare that with the cheapest cellular modems from AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint: $60 a month. T-Mobile also charges $40 a month for its cellular modems. But all four of those big companies require a two-year contract, and come with those scary 5-gigabyte monthly data limits.

(There’s actually another Virgin plan available, too: you can pay $10 for a 100-megabyte chunk of Internet use that expires in 10 days. It’s intended for people who are heading out for the weekend and just want to keep in touch with e-mail without having to fork over a whole month’s worth of money — and without paying $15 or $25 for each night of overpriced hotel Wi-Fi. And speaking of options, Virgin also offers a standard U.S.B. plug-in cellular modem with exactly the same pricing details.)

I’ve pounded my head against the fine print, grilled the product managers and researched the heck out of this, and I simply cannot find the catch.....

....I did a little survey of broadband Internet prices among my Twitter followers. Turns out $40 a month is not only a great price for cellular (portable) Internet service — it’s among the lowest broadband prices in America, period. In some areas you can pay $35 a month for DSL service. But most people pay $50 to $60 for high-speed Internet, which makes the Virgin deal seem even more incredible.

And unlike those plans, Virgin lets you turn on service only when you want it. You can buy service — as with a prepaid phone —either by calling an 800 number or visiting a Web site. Handily enough, you can get onto the Virgin Web site to re-activate your MiFi, even if you’d previously stopped paying for service........


DROPped like it was HOT....???


Here is the followup to that article:

More on the Virgin MiFi

....Thursday in The Times, I reviewed Virgin Mobile’s MiFi. It’s a pocketable, portable Wi-Fi hot spot, which ensures that you and up to four other people can get online almost anywhere you go. Anywhere in Sprint’s 3G network, that is.

The MiFi itself is a year old. What’s new here is the pricing plan: $40 a month, for unlimited data, and no contract. You can start and stop service as many times as you like each year, and pay only when you actually need the thing. I consider that a very rare deal indeed among cellular data plans.

The outpouring of reader reaction has been enormous—about 500 messages in the first 24 hours, and many more online. Many pointed out some weaknesses in the review.....



POG(ue)O....stick....??



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2010 12:10PM by NewtonMP2100.
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Re: see SPOT run?!....David Pogue review of Virgin Mobile's new prepaid portable WiFi HotSPOT UNLIMITED plan......
Posted by: Buzz
Date: September 05, 2010 12:56PM
It sounds great for small groups, but for individuals, I'm not sure it beats the $25/mo tethering charge that can also be turned on/off at will w/ the regular cell plan. For group, could probably enable laptop wifi to share.



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



==
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Re: see SPOT run?!....David Pogue review of Virgin Mobile's new prepaid portable WiFi HotSPOT UNLIMITED plan......
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: September 05, 2010 01:40PM
It was overwhelmed the first few days, but is usable now.

It's pretty slow here - no better than 1 MBps down even early morning.

Still, the no-contract nature makes it a reasonable choice for travel.

But for local access I'll stick with Clear WiMax with its 6-7 MBps down for the same $40/month.
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Re: see SPOT run?!....David Pogue review of Virgin Mobile's new prepaid portable WiFi HotSPOT UNLIMITED plan......
Posted by: GuyGene
Date: September 05, 2010 06:39PM
I would get it, but alas, I checked, and no service in my area...



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Re: see SPOT run?!....David Pogue review of Virgin Mobile's new prepaid portable WiFi HotSPOT UNLIMITED plan......
Posted by: neophyte
Date: September 06, 2010 10:59AM
Small point - VerizonWireless offers one year contracts too. And like GuyGene said, coverage is key.
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Re: see SPOT run?!....David Pogue review of Virgin Mobile's new prepaid portable WiFi HotSPOT UNLIMITED plan......
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: September 06, 2010 06:58PM
now that is getting to my cheap-o price range.
Where is the coverage map?
I suspect this, with just the DATA coverage checked, will be correct?[www.virginmobileusa.com]

I might finally bite on some fairly CURRENT tech.
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Re: see SPOT run?!....David Pogue review of Virgin Mobile's new prepaid portable WiFi HotSPOT UNLIMITED plan......
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: September 06, 2010 07:43PM
Verizon's no contract price is $80/month for 5GB.

This is half the price, for unlimited.

Quote
neophyte
Small point - VerizonWireless offers one year contracts too. And like GuyGene said, coverage is key.
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