Wireless carriers have been offering 3G mobile broadband plans for laptops for a few years, but typically if you want to get a cheap or free USB modem you need to sign up for a 2 year contract. Or you could pay full price for a USB modem, which can easily run $150 or more.
Now Telava is offering a USB modem called the Broadband Bullet that’s available for free with no contract required. But here’s the catch: If you pay for a month of service for $50 to $60 and then decide to cancel, you have to send the modem back.
Actually that doesn’t sound too bad as far as catches go. If you know that you’re going to need 3G access while you’re traveling for a week or two, you can sign up, get the mdoem, and return it when you get home.
If you don’t want to deal with that kind of hassle, you can just buy the modem outright for $200 and activate it or deactivate as you see fit. If you go with the use it and return it model, you’ll have to pay a $100 security deposit to receive the modem.
Telava’s $50/month plan has a 5GB monthly data cap, while the $60/month plan offers unlimited data transfer. All in all, it sounds like a much cheaper solution than RovAir, a short term 3G rental service I tested last year.
It seems like a good alternative to those who want to pay as you go instead of having a contract.
Why are these things so expensive stateside? Normally it’s rip-off Britain, but for once we seem to get the best deals with this kind of thing. Bought my 3G stick (including a gigabyte of access) for £40 ($61) and pay £15 ($23) per extra gigabyte with no time limit. End of. I’ve never even had to pay the latter; one gigabyte goes a long way when there’s no incentive to “use it or lose it”.
How do you think this compares to DataJack’s $39.99 a month (bonus free month if you stay on for 12 consecutive months), no contract, and just pay $99 for the dongle?
50 Dollars for 5gb a month and 3G speeds?
Not to mention the “unlimited” plan isn’t likely truly unlimited.
When will these clowns learn.
I bought Verizon’s MiFi unit (smaller than a deck of cards) and use it on their pay-as-you-go daypass plan. It’s $15 for 24 hours of service. It’s not for everyone, but if you only need wifi away from a coffee shop or hotel a couple of times a month it’s a good deal.
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