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Virgin Mobile USA to Launch Broadband2Go with No Contract



vm_mc760 This will probably make sense to a lot of folks who hate getting tied down to a contract for wireless broadband. Virgin Mobile USA is launching its Broadband2Go service that can keep you contract free and allow you to pay as you go. Using Sprint’s EVDO service users can purchase a Novatel Ovation MC760 USB dongle for $150. You can then purchase Pay-As-You-Go cards in increments of 100MB, 250MB, 500MB, and 1GB. Pricing for those increments start at $10 for 100MB and go to $60 for 1GB.

There is a catch though and that has to do with time. For the 100MB increment you have to use it within 10 days. At 250MB to 1GB you get 30 days.

This is obviously targeted at the occasional traveler who needs to hook up and catch up while on the move and isn’t interested in adding carrier plans to their monthly bills.

Look for this to be available at Best Buy in late June.

Via MobileCrunch



  1. oliver

    06/10/2009 at 9:22 am

    this seems to be ridiculously expensive. I just got back from Germany where I found that I can add 24 hrs of Internet data (limited to 1 gb, I believe) to my prepaid voice SIM for 4.95 Euros.

  2. Xavier Lanier

    06/10/2009 at 10:24 am

    This is expensive per MB/GB, but I think it will actually prove cheaper for many users who only need 3G once in a blue moon. A lot of 3G cards go unused for weeks on end @ $60/month.

    @oliver- yes Europe is light years ahead of the U.S. in terms of mobile broadband price, plans, etc.

  3. Oliver

    06/10/2009 at 12:00 pm

    So 1GB for 30 days is basically 1/5 of the quota you get with a contract plan for the same price (except that you can skip months when you don’t use it). That’s really not going to catch on here, I think.

    I canceled my Sprint EVDO service because I only used it a few times a month and found that I often had WiFi alternatives available to me. And on those rare occasions where I need internet at a hotel that doesn’t offer free WiFi, I can get several days of unlimited use for the $60 Virgin wants for one GB.

  4. Xavier Lanier

    06/10/2009 at 1:33 pm

    @oliver – I think a bigger obstacle for this to take off is the unsubsidized dongle. It’s difficult to see someone investing $210 for 1GB of data for say a vacation or rare business trip.
    Sprint, Verizon, etc. have free or $50 options when you sign up for a 3G contract, which takes some of the pain out of paying $60/mo.

  5. Oliver

    06/10/2009 at 2:40 pm

    While traveling in Germany, I saw in a store a no-contract dongle called “Fonic Surf Stick”. 80 Euro for the device, and then 2.50 Euro per day you use it (3G, flat rate, limited to 1GB, if you exceed it, you get throttled to GRPS speed).

    Now that’s what I’d buy without hesitation.

  6. Xavier

    06/10/2009 at 11:57 pm

    $2.50 is an excellent value and I’ll keep an eye out for this next time I’m in Europe. That’s cheaper than T-Mobile’s WiFi service.

  7. oliver

    06/11/2009 at 12:03 am

    exactly! I paid $10 or so for an hour of Wifi via T-Mobile at the airport. Well, my employer did… Gotta see if I can expense one of those sticks next time!

  8. Jim

    06/12/2009 at 3:46 pm

    Additionally, I am assuming that with virgin mobile, like their phone service, you always have to have some minutes/money on the account or they close the account on you. So you would be paying $10 month whether you use it or not.

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