A few months ago mobile hotspot provider Karma launched a new unlimited data plan called Karma Neverstop, allowing customers to get unlimited data with speeds up to 5 Mbps for $50 per month.

A few weeks ago the company acknowledged that there was a problem with offering unlimited data at that price: some customers were using way more data than Karma had expected, which messed with the company’s business model. So Karma planned to throttle speeds to prevent people from using the mobile hotspot as a replacement for home broadband service.

Some folks didn’t like that plan… so Karma has unveiled a new approach which offers a mix of unlimited access and higher transfer speeds.

karma go_01

So here’s the deal: pay $50 per month and you can use up to 15GB of data with download and upload speeds of 5 Mbps. If you go over that amount, you can still use the service, but at 2G speeds (between 64 Kbps and 128 Kbps).

If you don’t hit the 15GB cap, Karma will give you a $1 credit for each unused gigabyte.

The counter starts over today for all users, but Karma says it doesn’t expect most customers to actually be affected by the changes. Folks who don’t like the new plan are invited to return their hotspots.

Karma also has a “Refuel” plan that lets customers purchase pay-as-you-go data for $14 per gigabyte. At first glance, that option seems more expensive… but it means you’d only have to pay for the data you use, so it could be a better options for light users. Refuel also offers higher data speeds (averaging around 6-8 Mbps and peaking as high as 25 Mbps) and data never expires, so unused data purchased this month could be used later in the year.

You’ll need a $149 Karma Go hotspot to use either the Refuel or Neverstop plan.

There’s one key difference between Karma’s mobile hotspot service and those offered by other companies though: Your mobile hotspot is an open WiFi hotspot that isn’t password protect. Karma encourages you to make it easy for others to connect by offering a $1 credit or 100MB of free data to you every time someone else logs into your hotspot and connects to the internet (those users will get a small amount of free data and an ad asking them to sign up for their own Karma plans).

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26 replies on “Karma Neverstop “unlimited” mobile hotspot plans gets some limits”

  1. We as former Clear customers are all butt-hurt when Sprint bought them out and shut them down. Karma is using Sprint’s platform now and anything associated with Sprint is scumbag business. Unlimitedville offers unlimited internet for under $50 if you start a business but knock your head off for $150-250/mo otherwise. They’re all douchebags.

  2. As someone who used this as home internet to save money and to finally leave data caps behind I am devastated. Hell I didn’t mind the 1mb/s testing because IT WAS STILL UNLIMITED AND AT A USABLE SPEED. I got around the 3 device limit with a MAC address seize and spoof on a client router and it worked FLAWLESSLY. Now we’ve had to switch back to capped verizon that costs an arm, leg, kidney and eyeball per month for a mere 80gb. It was unlimited and usable but now it’s gone to peasantry levels (

  3. 15GB for a month is not enough since you pushed it as UNLIMITED. I will
    blow thru my 15GB in less than a month as I watch Netflix AND surf the
    internet too. This is unacceptable. I want what I paid for. I want to be
    able to watch Netflix and 15GB will not sustain internet and Netflix. I
    have lowered the video setting on Netflix to LOW but my internet (two
    users) is eating the data up more than the Netflix. I normally go thru
    10GB on internet all by myself. I have noticed that Karma did not lower
    the fee when they lowered the data. If Karma can lower my data then why
    wasn’t the plan fee lowered as well? You people know damn well that 15GB
    is too low. Your goal is to get folks to return for the refund. No. I
    want more data. I can get Netflix on 1-2 Mbps. So give me that and raise
    the data back up to a decent level and it would have to be pretty high
    since you were pushing it as UNLIMITED.

  4. At least this writer isn’t blaming all of the consumers for Karma’s screw ups! So many of these articles I’ve read are passing the buck onto users that used data in excess calling them “abusers” as if it is somehow abuse to use a service as it was marketed to be used (IE truly unlimited, a replacement for the home network, a device for streaming!) I do love how Karma states that the 15gb cap is reasonable and something most users are not affected by. Well if that were true then why is it that the survey results from their survey stated 60% of users used karma as home internet? Are they seriously trying to say that the bulk of those using this for primary internet were using this for a few YouTube videos and light web browsing/emailing lol? I could use 15gb of data on my home network in a day yet alone a month! Hell I used this service for a part time job (3 days a week 12 hour days) and I’ve used over 19gb which includes all of the down time I had over the holidays! I for one hope they at least change the name because clearly neverstop is no longer a fitting title!

    1. Does this entity have deep pockets? If not, I wouldn’t expect anyone to sue anyone.

      1. With all due respect, yes it definitely is. A bait and switch is promoting a particular product or service to do or provide a certain thing, and then providing a different product or service.

  5. Don’t forget to head over to Crunchbase for a list of investors. Tell them how you feel. Just reached out to Lior Susan. Let’s spread the Karma around some.

  6. I don’t know. Public open WiFi hotspots are easy targets for hackers.

    Also, why does Karma and T-Mobile think 2G speeds are useful for a mobile broadband device? Maybe it’s bearable for a smartphone but for something that provides Internet to PCs as well, it’s better to just wait until you get access to faster Internet. To me, it might as well be hard cap where you get no Internet access after the limit. That’s how I treated my “unlimited” mobile broadband plan with T-Mobile some years ago until I finally just cancelled it.

    1. I’m on T-Mobile, and trust me, 2G is not bearable on a smartphone.

  7. Boneheaded decisions by a boneheaded management. I hope investors and future customers don’t forget this gaffe. van Wel should be shown the door right away.

  8. What is it about tech companies and not being able to foresee the obvious?

    1. Exactly. Anytime you’re going to offer truly unlimited anything, then you’re going to have people take advantage of that. “Unlimited” is a great word for marketing, but it’s rarely practical in real-world use.

    1. I’ve had my Karma since August. The business model is to share the access, not the account. So each client makes their own secure connection. When someone connects via my access point, I earn credits to my account. The number of clients is limited to 8 so performance isn’t significantly effected. Just hanging around a public space usually earns me a few gig of never expiring data. Sweet.

      1. Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have used the word “secure” in the article… the point is that it’s an open WiFi hotspot though, not a private one. But that doesn’t mean users can easily access files on your computer.

        1. There is another piece to the model: you can own the hardware, and use it with your account; or you can simply have an account and use it on any Karma access point you encounter. So if someone creates an account, any data they purchase can be used on any Karma.

          As a light user, I find the “refuel” plan fits my needs better than a monthly plan. Think of prepaid “burner” cellphone plans that roll over. Heavy users might find Karma’s model isn’t for them.

          1. I don’t think most people use prepaid cell phones (of which Tracfone/Net 10 is the most well known) as “burner” accounts. I have renewed the same Net 10 account for eight years now without interruption of service (the phone attached to the account can be changed as needed). I also keep a Tracfone active for my father, that account has been continuously active for about 11 years.

            Certainly with a $150 entry cost (for the hotspot) people won’t be buying it for only one month’s use. Actually, anyone that cares for their freedom won’t be using this service. All it takes is someone downloading child porn or surfing ISIS recruiting websites and the person who owns the hotspot is going to prison, possibly for life. That is why it is strongly suggested to password-protect your WiFi at home and at your business.

      2. So people see a Karma network and connect to it? I’m sure it’s not name recognition that gets them, so what’s the name of the network to lure them in?

        1. Karma currently gives you 4 options for naming the access point:

          [your name]’s Karma
          Free Karma by [your name]
          Karma WiFi (I use this one)
          Free Wifi by Karma

          Not particularly helpful or intuitive, but when the user connects they are taken to the Karma log in page, similar to what you’d see on a public network. How it works is explained there. By connecting they receive 100 MB of free data, enough for basic email and very light browsing.

          1. Thanks! I would think that either the 2nd or 4th would get the most takers, because they have the word free in them.

    2. I agree. All some nefarious person has to do is download child porn or make terroristic threats using your unprotected WiFi connection and you are in a world of hurt. I won’t be taking advantage of this company’s internet service, the risk of prison for something some unknown person does is too great.

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