Pay As You Go Mobile Broadband a Reality

By  |  Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 9:19 am

virgin-mobile-broadband2goNothing beats mobile broadband on your laptop. While yes the size of the iPhone is nice, sometimes you need a full computer to do some of those more intensive tasks. Virgin Mobile is set out to make that a lot easier.

The carrier will begin selling a USB dongle produced by Novatel Wireless later this month for $149.99, but the best part about it is there’s no monthly fee or contract. Users will buy refill cards for the service much like they do for a prepaid phone.

Instead of minutes, the prepaid cards would be sold in denominations of megabytes. The cheapest card would be 100MB for $10, although it would also expire in 10 days.

All the rest of the denominations would expire within 30 days, and include a 250MB card for $20, a 600MB card for $40, and a 1GB card for $60. While yes, you can get 5GB of data for $60 through other carriers, you have that pesky contract to worry about.

Virgin’s broadband plan seems to make sense for occassional users. I would venture to guess there could be a potentially large untapped market here. Really, mobile broadband only makes sense for business right now due to its prohibitive price.

Some seem to be complaining over the short expiration periods. While I tend to agree, at the same time I see Virgin’s desire to attempt to make this as stready of a revenue stream as possible.

Either way, it’s a start, no?



4 Comments For This Post

  1. euroguy Says:

    wow, I got one of these one year ago for about 100euros (dongle+2GB) and the real deal is that it expires after a whole year! I still didn’t have to buy new a “data card”. A new “data contingent” costs 20eur/1GB.

    This offer is even cheaper now, follow this link if u’re interested and had german in school 😉

    greets from austria

  2. carl Says:

    Absolutely there’s a large market out there. For example, I believe that there are lots of people for whom it makes very little difference whether an iPhone costs $99 or $299 because either way they will be paying a lot for the mandatory data/voice plan. This is the real cost, not so much the phone. So, if some genius service provider makes reasonably priced a la carte data available it will be very popular. I think that the 30 day limit is a bit restrictive; Virgin should do as some carriers do with regard to prepaid cell phone plans; for example, my carrier gives you 1 year if you buy $125 or more usage time (in a single purchase); $25 must be used within 30 days.

  3. John Baxter Says:

    This may actually be useful for me, and it is a plan that makes sense for me. The coverage maps assure me that I can’t use it where I spend 99% of my time (thanks, Sprint). But when I go into the dark green parts of the map for something for which service would be useful, this would help.

    Not buying day one.

  4. Tim Conneally Says:

    Behold, the next generation of burners.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Is the Future of Mobile Broadband Pay As You Go? Says:

    […] the time being, I have settled on Virgin Mobile’s Broadband2Go offering (I’ll have a review of it coming in a week or two after I’ve put it through its paces). […]