All data plans, including the free plan, require the purchase of one of two access devices: the NetZero 4G HotSpot and the NetZero 4G Stick.
NetZero Wireless, a
subsidiary of United Online Inc. (NASDAQ: UNTD), announced the launch of
NetZero 4G mobile broadband, protected Internet service for notebooks, iPads
and other tablets, and netbooks. The service, which launches this week in more
than 80 cities nationwide, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston,
Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Miami, lets consumers or
small and midsize businesses (SMBs) create a personal Internet connection
without being tied to unsecure public hotspots at places like coffee shops,
airports and hotels.
The companys 4G mobile broadband
data plans start at just $9.95 per month. Additionally, customers are not
required to sign a contract and can upgrade their data plan at any time. Each
plan delivers 4G service with download speeds of up to 10M bps and upload
speeds of up to 1.5M bps. All data plans, including the free plan, require the
purchase of one of two access devices: the NetZero 4G HotSpot and the NetZero
The 4G HotSpot
simultaneously supports up to eight WiFi-enabled devices, including iPads and
other tablets, within a 150-foot range. The 4G Stick supports a single laptop
or netbook via a USB port. The 4G HotSpot costs $99.95 and the 4G Stick costs
$49.95. The 4G mobile broadband service also includes a feature that lets
customers switch the speed of their service to meet their data needs.
The company's 4G mobile broadband
subscribers can set their service at either LightSpeed (which delivers download
speeds of up to 1M bps) or WarpSpeed (which provides download speeds of up to
10M bps). Customers in any of the service plans can toggle their speed setting
to LightSpeed (to conserve data) or WarpSpeed (to maximize speed) at any time,
allowing them to match the speed of their service to their current activity and
maximize their data consumption.
"NetZero is bridging
the digital divide by letting consumers purchase a secure, quality, mobile
broadband service at very affordable prices with plans designed to meet the
consumers' data needs," said Mark Goldston, chairman, president and CEO of
United Online. "Our service gives customers the freedom to take the
Internet anywhere in our coverage area, without being tied to public WiFi
service or having to purchase higher-cost, sometimes multi-year plans offered
by other mobile broadband providers."
The company said the 4G
mobile broadband program does not feature overage charges and users cannot
accidently exceed monthly data allotments. An alert lets customers know when they
reach their monthly data limit, at which point, they have three options. If
customers are on a pay plan, they can buy extra data "top-ups" that
they can use through the end of their current billing cycle; customers can
upgrade to a higher capacity data plan; or customers can wait until the next
month to use the service with a fresh allotment of data according to their
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.