2010 Prepaid Mobile Broadband Comparison

Prepaid Mobile Broadband Comparison

See The 2011 Prepaid Mobile Broadband Comparison For The Most Recent Info.

AT&T, Cricket, DataJack, Millenicom, Verizon, Virgin Mobile & a couple others provide nationwide prepaid 3G service. The question is, who’ll be the ace up your sleeve?

There’s an important difference between prepaid wireless broadband and prepaid mobile broadband:

Prepaid wireless broadband is like having multiple phone booths across cities you visit (think WiFi hotspots). Prepaid mobile broadband, however, is like a prepaid cell phone. It works anywhere you get a signal.

In this review, we’ll cover prepaid mobile broadband options.

Since our visitors hail from all 50 states (and even other countries at times), we’ll only review providers that are nationwide or cover multiple states. To keep things predictably organized, we’ll cover:

  1. Prepaid Provider Comparison for ‘Regular Use’
  2. Prepaid Provider Comparison for ‘Occasional Use’
  3. So Who Do You Pick?

With regular use providers, you’ll pay for the service a month at a time (similar to postpaid cellphone plans) instead of refreshing your credit when it runs out.

On the flip side, occasional use providers work like traditional prepaid cell phones (when your prepaid credit / data runs out, you can buy more if needed).

Since last year’s review, a number of new and not so new providers have stepped up to fill the demand for prepaid mobile broadband.

For each provider you’ll find summaries of their plans, prices, speed, coverage and broadband cards. Click on any specific provider for its detailed review.

Let’s hop to it.

f you don’t wish to own the actual broadband card, check out mobile broadband rental.

Also, if you’re traveling overseas, take a look at the Prepaid Wireless Guy’s prepaid international wireless broadband comparison.

He’s put a lot of work into categorizing mobile broadband based on which area of the world you’ll be heading off to. For US-based providers, continue reading.

Cricket Prepaid Mobile Broadband Millenicom Clear 4G WiMAX DataJack
Plans 4 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
Plan Options & Prices 5 GB for $40 5 GB for $60 |
10 GB for $60 |
2 GB for $35 |
Unlimited 4G Data for $45 |
Unlimited 4G Data & 5 GB of 3G for $55
Unlimited Mobile Broadband for $40
Speed 4 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars
(average
download)
600 Kbps – 1.4 Mbps 600 Kbps – 1.4 Mbps 600 Kbps  – 1.4 Mbps (3G)
3 – 6 Mbps (4G)
700 Kbps – 1.4 Mbps
(average
upload)
350-500 Kbps 350-500 Kbps 350 Kbps – 500 Kbps (3G)
1 Mbps (4G)
350-500 Kbps
Coverage 3 Stars 4 Stars 2 Stars 3 Stars
Network Possibly Sprint or Verizon Sprint Sprint / Clearwire T-Mobile
Devices 2 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 1 Star
Device Options USB Broadband Cards USB Broadband Card USB Broadband Cards / Mobile Hotspot USB Broadband Card
Best For Regular Use Regular Use Regular Use Regular Use
Comments Cricket’s 5 GB limit is a ‘soft cap’. If you exceed 5GB your speed might be limited but there are no overage charges. Millenicom plans can be expensive to start (over $150). However, Their 10 GB plan has a generous data cap Clear’s 4G coverage (that gives you unlimited data) is limited. If you’re not in a 4G area, you’ll rely on the plan that includes 3G and be limited to 5 GB. As a very new company, they isn’t any track record. Read the full review before hopping on the bandwagon.
Rating A B+ B B-

“Hey, Some Of Those Ratings Don’t Seem Quite Right”

At first glance, some of the ratings might seem counterintuitive. Here’s how they came about:

Ratings for plan options and prices are based on a combination of how many options a provider has in addition to the prices of those plans (and how well they match up to the competition).

Ratings for speed & coverage are based on the underlying network. For instance, if a prepaid provider uses AT&T’s underlying network, they’d get 5 stars since AT&T has the fastest 3G network at the moment. If a company uses Sprint’s network, they might get 4 stars for coverage since Verizon and Sprint tie for the best 3G coverage.

When it comes to device options, the stars represent the number and variety of broadband devices (cards, mobile hotspots and 3G netbooks) that you can use with that provider.

The overall rating for providers takes into account all of the above in addition to the specific quirks of each provider as detailed in their full reviews. A prime example is the case of DataJack:

“If DataJack has a prepaid mobile broadband plan that’s unlimited and cheaper than even postpaid providers, why don’t the get A++?

True. They do have an excellent offering, however, lack of information regarding the inner-workings of the company and service raise some serious eyebrows (more details on that here)”.

And now on with the show.

The factors that really set each regular use provider apart are:

  1. Plan Options & Prices
  2. Coverage

While there are differences in mobile broadband speed and device options (available at great length in individual reviews), the price of data you can get and coverage where you need it will make a much bigger difference.

Let’s take a closer look.

Prepaid Mobile Broadband Plan Prices (Day-To-Day Use)

Prepaid Mobile Broadband Plans (Regular Use)

At a glance, DataJack seems like it gives the most value for money while only offering one plan. However, if you need 5 GB, then Cricket may fit the bill. If money is pretty tight, and you know you don’t use much internet but still need it regularly, you could save an extra $5 with Clear’s 2 GB plan.

Not sure about about all this gigabyte (GB) talk? Check out “How Much Is 5 GB and Is It Enough?” for a couple minutes and pick back up where you left off.

Since most people use either less than or more than 5 gigabytes, chances are you’ll be making a choice between a 5 GB plan and an unlimited plan. Looks, however, can be deceiving.

If seeking a 5 GB plan, Cricket is the cheapest with the least of penalties. If you go over their 5 GB ‘soft cap’, there is a chance they might reduce your speeds but will not charge you anything extra. You also won’t get disconnected if you don’t overdo it (which will be hard to with reduced speeds anyway).

Clear’s 5 GB plan includes 5 gigabytes of 3G service alongside unlimited 4G service (their highest tier of speed). Unfortunately, their achilles heel is 4G coverage. If you fall outside of their limited coverage areas, you’ll be using the 5 GB’s they’ve allotted to you. Unlike Cricket, if you go over, you’ll be charged $51.20 per extra GB ($0.05/ MB). As a side note, the overage charge for their 2GB plan is $10/GB.

Millenicom’s 5 GB plan is the most expensive of the bunch (and the most expensive to startup). To their benefit, there aren’t any overage charges. Sure they’ve got a 10 GB plan for the same price but it’s exclusive to the MiFi mobile hotspot. If you go that route, you’ll want to be sure if that’s the device for you.

“DataJack has the best unlimited plan right?”

Well…err…yes…but…

Only if you made a decision based on price. When writing the DataJack review, there was a basic lack of information surrounding the company and services. Since I make it my business to only recommend services that I trust can deliver on quality, I say the jury is out on this one. By far there were many more indicators of reliability surrounding Clear and Millenicom (as evidenced in their reviews).

While Clear has a strong price offering of $45 for unlimited data, their coverage is in select areas. Unlike the previous 5 GB plan, there is only 4G coverage in this plan (and so the places you can use it are drastically reduced).

Millenicom’s unlimited mobile broadband plan is the most expensive at $70, but also has nationwide coverage. You get what you pay for eh?

After getting a good grasp on regular use plans (unless you’re considering the occasional use plans below), the next logical question is:

So Who Do I Pick?

^Hop Back To Contents

Virgin Mobile Broadband ReadyBroadband Verizon AT&T Slingshot
Plans 3 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 2 Stars N/A
Plan Options & Prices 100 MB for $10 |
Unlimited for $40
200 MB for $25 |
600 MB for $45 |
1 GB for $75
75 MB for $15 |
250 MB for $30 |
500 MB for $50 |
*Unlimited for $15 / day
75 MB for $15 |
250 MB for $30 |
500 MB for $50
N/A
Speed 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars
(average
download)
600 Kbps – 1.4 Mbps 600 Kbps – 1.4 Mbps 600 Kbps – 1.4 Mbps 700 Kbps – 1.7 Mbps N/A
(average
upload)
350 – 500 Kbps 350-500 Kbps 500 – 800 Kbps 500 Kbps – 1.2 Mbps N/A
Coverage 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars N/A
Network Sprint Sprint Verizon AT&T N/A
Devices 1 Star 1 Star 5 Stars 3 Stars
Device Options USB Broadband Card USB Broadband Card ExpressCards, USB or Mobile Hotspots USB Broadband Cards N/A
Best For Regular or Occasional Occasional Use Occasional Use Occasional Use N/A
Comments Airtime is purchased as needed through ‘top-up’ cards like a prepaid cell phone. Airtime is purchased as needed through ‘top-up’ cards like a prepaid cell phone While plans aren’t spectacular, they have the widest range of devices available. AT&T’s prepaid plans are identical to Verizon. Their only advantage is having the fastest 3G network. Due to a current lawsuit with Sprint, Slingshot cannot make any sales. A full review is still available.
Rating A B C C N/A

Click Here To Display “How These Ratings Were Calculated”

“Hey, Some Of Those Ratings Don’t Seem Quite Right”

At first glance, some of the ratings might seem counterintuitive. Here’s how they came about:

Ratings for plan options and prices are based on a combination of how many options a provider has in addition to the prices of those plans (and how well they match up to the competition).

Ratings for speed & coverage are based on the underlying network. For instance, if a prepaid provider uses AT&T’s underlying network, they’d get 5 stars since AT&T has the fastest 3G network at the moment. If a company uses Sprint’s network, they might get 4 stars for coverage since Verizon and Sprint tie for the best 3G coverage.

When it comes to device options, the stars represent the number and variety of broadband devices (cards, mobile hotspots and 3G netbooks) that you can use with that provider.

The overall rating for providers takes into account all of the above in addition to the specific quirks of each provider as detailed in their full reviews. A prime example is the case of DataJack:

“If DataJack has a prepaid mobile broadband plan that’s unlimited and cheaper than even postpaid providers, why don’t the get A++?

True. They do have an excellent offering, however, lack of information regarding the inner-workings of the company and service raise some serious eyebrows (more details on that here)”.

And now on with the show.

Since 3G speed, 3G coverage and the number/variety of broadband devices are easy to compare at a glance, I won’t spend much time on them (they mostly piggyback on the same/similar network(s)).

The factor that really sets each occasional use provider apart here is price.

Prepaid Mobile Broadband Plan Prices (Occasional Use)

Prepaid Mobile Broadband Plans (Occasional Use)

While AT&T & Verizon prepaid mobile broadband have brand recognition to bolster confidence, ReadyBroadband & Virgin Mobile are cheaper at every level. (Does not reflect new Virgin Pricing)

Not sure about about all this gigabyte (GB) talk? Check out “How Much Is 5 GB and Is It Enough?” for a couple minutes and pick back up where you left off.

Virgin Mobile Broadband is always cheaper and provides the same or better quality service than everyone else. Even at the lowest tier of plans, they provide more data than AT&T & Verizon prepaid mobile broadband for a lower price.

To drive the nail into the coffin further, their underlying network provider, Sprint, ties with Verizon for the best 3G coverage. In put it plainly, Verizon has no advantage over Virgin Mobile except for device options.

While AT&T has the fastest 3G network, the difference in speed doesn’t justify a higher cost especially when it comes to prepaid mobile broadband. It makes more sense and saves dollars to spend less and still receive 3G speed that’s not drastically different.

Where does ReadyBroadband fall in all of this?

In the doghouse.

ReadyBroadband’s underlying network is also Sprint. That means they provide precisely the same quality of service (3G speed & 3G coverage) as Virgin Mobile…for a higher price. Not looking too good for them.

If you’re looking for prepaid mobile broadband to use occasionally, the buck stops here with Virgin Mobile. For info on where you can pick it up hop down to:

^Hop Back To Contents

Virgin MobileNeed prepaid mobile broadband occasionally?

Get Virgin Mobile Broadband (affiliate link).

Cost To Get Started: $80 – $150 + data airtime

(Free activation and shipping)

Unlimited 3G Broadband Internet

Want reliable but still the cheapest mobile broadband to use on a regular basis?

Get Cricket Broadband for $40 a month or Virgin Mobile’s $40 unlimited plan (runner-up).

Cost To Get Started for Cricket: $75

($25 Activation + $50 Modem [free after mail-in rebate])

Need unlimited mobile broadband regularly without restrictions?

MillenicomGet Millenicom for $70 a month or Virgin Mobile for $40 a month (runner-up)

(Why not Virgin Mobile? They’ve been experiencing some issues regarding the quality of service. Otherwise, they’d win every category).

Cost To Get Started: $155*** if leasing equipment. $255*** if purchasing equipment.

(Leasing: $30 pro-rated 1st month bill + $69.99 next month + $49.99 Setup + $5.15 Shipping)
(Owning: $30 pro-rated 1st month bill + $69.99 next month + $49.99 Setup + $5.15 Shipping + $99.99 Device)

***based on starting service halfway through the month since Millenicom bills for the current month (pro-rated) and a month in advance when starting service

^Hop Back To Contents

‘Regular Use’ Prepaid Mobile Broadband Providers

Cricket Broadband offers sort of a unlimited mobile broadband plan for $40/month. Like manna falling from the heavens it seems almost too good to be true. There are some stipulations we’ll get into here.

Clear 4G WiMAX promises unlimited mobile broadband, speeds up to 10 Mbps (on par with cable internet) & city-wide coverage. In areas where 4G isn’t available they’ve teamed up with Sprint to provide 3G coverage. Here’s where the interesting loophole comes in:

Sprint offers the same plan for the same price under a 2-year contract. However, contracts are optional for all Clear’s plans. The end result? Prepaid mobile broadband.

DataJack promises unlimited mobile broadband without a contract for only $40 a month. That would make it the cheapest mobile broadband. However, the lack of a 3G coverage map, a few typos across the website & reports of several users being unable to reach them can raise eyebrows. While this may be a result of really high demand for such a product, it’s also unsettling. If these issues change, then DataJack will be one tough cookie to beat.

MillenicomThe claim to fame of is its unlimited prepaid mobile broadband. For $70 per month, you’ve got mobile broadband with no contract, deposits or early termination fees. They’ve got multiple mobile broadband plans to choose from and broadband device rent/purchase options.

‘Occasional Use’ Prepaid Mobile Broadband Providers

AT&TAT&T prepaid mobile broadband mirrors exactly what Verizon offers.

With 3 data plans (75 MB, 250 MB, & 500 MB), it’s something to be used only if in a pinch or very occasionally (a few times per year). Otherwise, you’ll be spending more than the cost of a regular monthly plan.

ReadyBroadband (also branded as ReadyMobile PCS), runs their prepaid mobile broadband service on Sprint’s network. With better pricing than AT&T and Verizon, they aren’t to be discounted. Unfortunately, they provide the exact same speed and coverage as Virgin Mobile for a higher price.

Due to a current lawsuit with Sprint, Slingshot cannot sell prepaid mobile broadband. Read the full review for what could have been.

Verizon prepaid mobile broadband offers up data in sizes of 75 MB, 250 MB, & 500 MB.

The astute observer will quickly realize those data sizes were selected and priced specifically not to compete with its flagship postpaid mobile broadband.

Even so, it can save the occasional user money. If you plan to use mobile broadband regularly however, you’re better off with their 5 GB plan.

created quite a stir when they announced their entry into the prepaid mobile broadband arena. With Sprint as their underlying network, speed and coverage are solid.

They currently provide the cheapest prepaid mobile broadband for occasional use and regular use.

^Hop Back To Contents

Related Reviews:

2010 Wireless Broadband Comparison

2010 Mobile Broadband Rental Comparison

2010 Mobile Broadband Reviews

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50 Comments

  1. mark says:


    I’m not finding a 5 GB plan (or unlimited-soft cap) from Cricket for $40.00/month.

    Will you clarify where you got your pricing from.

    Thank you


    • Marc says:


      Hi Mark,

      Cricket unfortunately revised their pricing plans and no longer has an unlimited soft cap or 5GB plan for $40. I’m in the process of writing the 2011 Prepaid Mobile Broadband Reviews with updated info for all carriers. Thanks for reading and pointing it out. I appreciate it.

      Best,
      Marc


    • Techspert says:


      Cricket has changed their plans and pricing drastically. To get a better understanding of their new plans and pricing, plus great reviews on all the other carriers and their plans (most are better than Crickets) check out http://www.crimsontrader.biz

      I used this website to purchase my 20GB for $70 per month hotspot plan. It contains lots of very useful information.


  2. robert ramos says:


    re:Virgin Mobile , the company has changed their $40.00 unlimited cost to $50.00. As of Feb 15th, 2011. I had purchased the modem on 20th Feb, based on internet ads the company posted, with the 40.00 dollar advertised. While activating the device, once I got home, that’s when I found out about the rate increase! I went online and contacted them, all I got back was a chance to fill out their online survey. Please let others know about this change. I was very disappointed, and now I’m on track to return their device, purchased for $89.99, but I probably will have to suck it up as to the $50.00 I paid for the month!


    • Marc says:


      Thanks for the tip Robert,

      I’m working on the updates for all providers now and several other users report the same thing as well. This will be most helpful. I’d recommend switching to someone else at the end of the month since its not what you signed up for.


    • Kim M says:


      I purchased the Virgin Mobile card at Best Buy for around a 100.00 and got the 40.00 monthly plan. That was 3 or 4 months ago. It says at their website that since their pricing has changed if I fail to make a payment on the due date I will not be able to keep my 40.00 service and if I use to much data, I will have to buy more airtime. Since their pricing change I am having problems connecting to the internet. I am very disappointed and am currently looking for a new prepaid service. Oh, and when I call them I get people that don’t speak good English so I have given up on trying to contact them by phone.


      • Sadii R says:


        I have this same issue with their customer service. I purchased a Mifi Hotspot last night from Best Buy. When I got home to activate it the link for online activation was down. I called this morning at 10 am… It’s nearing 1:30 STILL NOT ACTIVATED. You have to go through hoops and hoops of robots to get hung up on then finally a person comes to the phone with a thick accent who can barely understand you either.

        Then they tell you that you can return the MiFi but that they dont refund top-up cards and I purchased one for $55. No bueno!

        Finally after being escalated to a slightly better speaking ‘supervisor’ I found out I am able to mail in the card and get a refund. I will GLADLY be returning it and I DO NOT RECOMMEND VIRGIN MOBILE. I was trying to avoid adding a broadband to my Sprint line. I guess you get what you pay for and in Virgin Mobile’s case you actually pay and don’t get anything!


  3. Carey S. Turner says:


    Virgin has changed their plan to $50 for “unlimited” with throttling after 2.5gb. If consumers do not start fighting back soon, we will be paying for a ever bit.


    • Leonel says:


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  4. john aldridge says:


    thanks for this great article on broadband it a great help please keep me up to date


  5. Lee says:


    I got Virgin Mobil a few months ago and was recently notified of the restrictions after 5gb. I was able to watch Netflix before but now I can BARELY get my Yahoo mail. Try to call and talk to customer service and you need to speak Pakistany to get any service. I’ll be looking elsewhere since they wont get another dime from me. VERY poor service in my opinion.


  6. Ben says:


    I am on virgin mobile 40$/mo “unimited”.
    What I have noticed is often the speed drops to dial up level,ridiculous.
    Not reliable service.After getting so frustated too many times getting disconnected every 20 minutes or so,and after that couldnt get re connection.I tried to click on disconnect button first.
    Then i ve clicked on the left corner triangle of virgin mobile dialog box.
    At the menu I clicked on settings/connection log.Then I clicked on these buttons:
    1.Reset
    2.Reset
    3.Clear
    Then after clicking on connect button,the connection was breeze.the web pages was loading faster.
    Every 1-2 hours you mast clear the connection log and reset counters,to get good steady speed.Hope this helps


    • Jenny says:


      I had also bought the virgin mobile mobile hotspot device and the $40 unlimited card and found out during activation that it is now $50. I am frustrated about this too, but I am more concerned with figuring out which service and device I really need to have so I stop waisting money on the air cards that cant be refunded in these cases.
      Ive been using my mifi device with the $20 1Gb plan for almost 2 weeks now… instead of doing the unlimited I wanted to see if I actually went over 1 GB.
      half way thru the month and I have 200 mb left, lol, which is fine, at least now I know.
      My questions to Ben:
      I really like the idea of the mifi (mobile hotspot) instead of the stick. I was recently with sprint and was constantly worrying about my children bending it or pulling on it (which did happen once already) so the mifi is peacefully resting on top of a shelf in my living room.
      But, I have noticed the device shutting down or dropping signal or whatever you call it, so is having to reset it every 1-2 hrs, like you advised, worth the $50?
      Or should I be looking for someone else who provides a mifi/unlimited service?
      – And can the reset thing be done on a mifi device?


  7. Jenny says:


    Like I said above, I have virgin mobile broadband prepaid (mifi device)… Since the increase in the unlimited plan, is this still a good deal for regular use of internet.

    After looking through my past sprint bills and seeing how much data I actually used on their mobile broadband plan, I saw that some months I used less than 1GB, and sometimes I went over 2.5GB… I think its because the months when I was using a smartphone, I didnt use my laptop as much, but when I switched to a non-smart phone, I was using my mobile broadband more.
    With this being the case, I have decided that Im going back to my smartphone, so now I need to figure out which mobile broadband prepaid to get.

    I mainly use my laptop for emails, surfing, etc… I do not download music or movies.

    I want to stay with a mifi device.

    I want to stay as cheap as I can, but I also dont want to be as slow as dialup.

    Should I keep my virgin mobile mifi device or return it and get something different?

    Please help :)


    • Marc says:


      Hi Jenny,

      I was with a traveling artist friend of mine at IHOP yesterday who also had the Virgin MiFi 2200. He’s had it for a while now at the $40 rate but as some other users have shared with me, the rates have since gone up and naturally frustrating the heck out of people who signed up for $40.

      To make matters worse, I saw it with my own two eyes yesterday as we tried to get a mutual friend’s website up and running only to have the MiFi simply knock out on us. While it didn’t power off, it just stopped transferring data and we couldn’t get online. Nothing we did seemed to fix it. No hard reset battery pull or pressing the reset button incredibly frustrating.

      If the device can’t provide the service advertised, you simply shouldn’t have to pay especially if its faulty equipment and no fault of your own.

      If they won’t give you your money back even under these conditions, you can report them to the better business bureau as Motorola Atrix users did here for AT&T providing abysmally slow upload speeds:

      http://www.mobile-broadband-reviews.com/att-4g-speed-2011.html

      They got a response.

      As far as who to use, I’d go with Sprint 4G if it’s available in your area. It’s what I currently used and continues to be actually unlimited without any caps.


  8. Phil says:


    I’ve had the virgin mobile device for about 4 months. At first, I was very satisfied. Recently, I noticed the device getting really really warm, and connection time, if it worked, was extremely slow. I followed the suggestions on the help screen, including uninstalling the program. The device will not let me reinstall. Customer service is a nightmare. Called twice. First time in the evening, it took 45 minutes to talk to a tech. Second time, in the morning, i was connected right away. The tech’s english was terrible at the best, and their understaning of the English language even worse. I like to gamble. And since at first i was satisfied with the device, i will gamble and buy a new one. (I also have the virgin mobile pre-paid phone, and i am very satisfied with that) As I think the problem was my fault for leaving the device in all the time, even when the computer is shut down. I think maybe, somehow it got ruined.


  9. Curtis says:


    You need to re-do the chart on Verizon prepaid mobile broadband. The offerings are 1GB $50 and 5GB $80 (the day/week plans are too expensive to even consider.)

    I will say the Verizon MiFi 2200 is the best mobile broadband device ever IMHO. I am hearing they are preparing to release a 4G version of the same device very soon as well.


    • Marc says:


      Thanks for the headsup Curtis,

      I’m working on the 2011 Postpaid Mobile Broadband Reviews and Comparison articles. Once I’ve cleared those (50% done), I’ll be updating the Prepaid providers and Comparison. I might have to send a broadcast to subscribers to see if anyone wants to help out lol.

      You’re right about the 4G version though. It launched just yesterday: http://www.tuaw.com/2011/03/30/verizon-launches-4g-mobile-hotspot/. I’ll be covering it and all mobile hotspots in a new section “2011 Mobile Hotspot Comparison as well”.

      Thanks for reading and stay tuned!


  10. PDADoc says:


    I’m really glad I came across this article! Last month, I got a Dell netbook with a Multi-Mode GOBI WWAN card inside.

    I’ve been using it with Verizon Prepaid and it works fine. I travel a lot for work and I wanted something to use for those places where I didn’t have WiFi. I wanted to find out about the GSM portion of the GOBI card. Does anyone know if T-Mobile Prepaid Mobile Broadband Cards will work with this WWAN card?


  11. Karen Forst says:


    Virgin Mobile Broadband is a rip off. I purchased a usb connection from them that was defective. They wouldn’t send me a new one because I didn’t have a pin #. When it did connect to the internet it automatically went to someone else’s account so I couldn’t get a pin #. After numerous phone calls and emails I am still left with a worthless piece of junk.


  12. tlt218 says:


    I have the virgin service and I hate it. The mifi device works only when it wants to, I have to restart it all the time. The speed is like dial-up. I’m actually reading this article to find another service. I’m so disappointed in virgin. I will never recommend them to anyone.


  13. revgregd says:


    It’s amazing how far behind the rest of the world we are with prepaid mobile broadband choices and service. I just returned from 3 weeks in Australia where fast mobile broadband USB sticks and WiFi hotspots cost only $79-$99 to purchase (not a contract) with very high 3G connection speeds, excellent coverage everywhere I went, and the price included 4GB-6GB data. Recharging 4GB of data costs only $50 and is good for 60 days instead of 30.


  14. Michael says:


    Virgin Mobile is a joke I’ve tried twice to send a comment and the page broke down because it throttled down to 1xrtt (153.6kbps).Definately not worth $40 let alone $50.I’am in agood coverage area and I have a botique built box.The only excuse I see is greed and underhandeness.Pay to not play,sounds like every other off shore company tht claims to be a US company.I’ll suffer through this month.By the way I’ve had a Sprint phone for 7yrs. and their usb broadband is just as bad and almost $30 more.DSL is next because cable may be a better connection but all they have are cash registers too.


    • Michael says:


      I can say thier people have tried to help.But I think Virgin Mobile pays Sprint to use thier tower in my area nad that would explain the poor connection.The reps may not be all US citizens but that isn’t thier fault.They have been helpful but I think a standard needs to be set and followed by all companies.I hope I can find better way.


  15. Robert says:


    I found the Virgin reviews most helpful, as I was about to switch from Cricket. I will offer this about Cricket. Useless. Frequent disconnections are a daily occurrence (worse in the afternoon and evening). Tech support consists of pointless trouble-shooting and uninstallation and reinstallation with no resolution. If they refer you, to level 2 engineering, good luck getting that call. It won’t happen. Steer clear of Cricket Broadband.


  16. Wut Mytb says:


    No one in their right mind should ever, ever, ever get a Virgin MiFi2200, for any price. It is the most incompetent company on earth. I spent over 6 months and over 9 hours of phone calls. By their own admission, they will not send new devices to replace defective ones, only “refurbished” ones. Sending defectives back and then receiving even more defective ones, I wound up with a total of about 6 devices that were either defective or which became inoperable whenever Virgin tried to activate them. One was still tied to someone else’s account; one was omitted completely, so that I received only an empty envelope; and the last one was not even 3G, just 2G. At that point I gave up. Note: Their “customer service” is only in the Philippines, “supervised” by a next-level office only in Mexico. That’s it.


  17. Cynthia says:


    How can I get prepaid or occasional phone/data/txt service for an off-contract iPhone (GSM sim based model)?

    How do I can I connect the iPhone to my house wifi service to use broadband without jail-breaking the iPhone (plus how do I get a phone number for the iPhone without a contract)?


  18. Matt says:


    Hi Marc,

    Thanks for your review – it has been very helpful.

    I live in Australia. I’m travelling to the US for 18 days and I want to get prepaid mobile broadband for that period. I would probably need less than 500MB. I own a Novatel Wireless Merlin XU870 3G 7.2 ExpressCard.

    Do any of these providers sell JUST a prepaid SIM card to use within my express card? How can I order a SIM only?


  19. jay says:


    virginbb 2 go has the worst phone support on the planet.


  20. Sincere reviewer says:


    This review is a bit of a joke!

    It seems to be that Marc is the only one praising the Virgin Broadband2go. Every other review on the internet says it is the slowest device and service out there with a lot of angry customers, me being one of them.

    This service is so incredibly slow that you honestly can not even use the internet. I live in New York City with excellent signal and still Virgin sucks.

    I have used other mobile broadband services and only Virgin is running at dial up speeds.

    What this review looks like to me is an attempt by “Marc” to affiliate market the best he can for Virgin, which is why the affiliation links were removed.

    People, do not believe this person Marc, he is an affiliate marketer.Virgin Mobile broadband is absolutely horrible!!!


  21. jonj says:


    Virgin mobile is the pits. Tech support is a joke. You will literally spend hours to get nothing resolved.
    To top things off, they are crooks. I set up an account to automatically have the monthly payment taken out of my credit card. 3 time, they double billed me. I would call the bank and have one charge taken off, then, Virgin would refuse to take the card. After much time on the phone they would take payment!!!! It’s like some crooked merchant who gets vindictive when caught in the act.
    Never, ever, pay with their top up card. That money will be in cyberspace or Brantsons balloon.
    The are crooks, their product and service are worthless. It’s not even cheap. Just go to your local library or Mc Donalds.


  22. Ed says:


    Is there any expiration time on Virgin Mobile $10 top off card.
    I’m going to be a very occasional user, for emergencies only, and the few times I’m away on travel. I can buy their USB card for ~$70 from your affiliate, but do I need any ‘monthly’ ‘plan’ to go with it?


    • Jack says:


      Your Virgin Mobile account expires after 1 year if there is no activity. So if you buy a $10 topoff card, you have to use it within 1 year or your account will expire and you will lose the $10.


  23. Deviled Egg says:


    I’m so happy I found this article! I live out in the country and satellite or dial-up are my only options. I had never heard of Millenicom before. Virgin is out for me because I don’t get Sprint Coverage. Luckily Millenicom uses Verizon’s network so I finally found a decent alternative to Wildblue. 20 Gigabyte Data for $59.99 a month and no contract! This really beats Verizon’s 10 gigabyte for $80. Woo hoo!


  24. Ronald Ramsey says:


    I discovered a website that offers wireless internet for 4.99/mo plus 3.9 cents/MB. I didn’t see them in your comparison. Truconnect.com. They use Sprint towers. They offer a package that seems right for me. I would use them when I travel mainly to check email. I would appreciate your comments.


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