Virgin Mobile USA Offers Pay-As-You-Go Mobile Broadband
Virgin Mobile USA,
which is looking to mimic its successful prepaid cell phone service model, will
soon be offering Broadband2Go, a nationwide 3G wireless Internet service based
around a USB dongle and a pay-as-you-go
As with Virgin Mobile's cell phone service, there is no contract to sign, no monthly subscription and no activation fee.
The Novatel Wireless MC760 Broadband2Go EV-DO Rev. A modem-the USB dongle-will be exclusive to Best Buy in late June for $149.99.
Measuring 2 inches long and weighing less than an ounce, it includes an integrated microSD slot for storing or transporting up to 16GB of data on an SD storage card-sold separately, of course.
Pay-as-you-go pricing options for the service will be, at the lowest end, $10 for 100MB that expire in 10 days. Virgin Mobile estimates that 100MB will get you about 5 hours of Web browsing, 25 minutes of video watching or the ability to check around 10,000 e-mails.
Other options are $20 for 250MB that expire in 30 days, $40 for 600MB that expire in 30 days, or $60 for 1GB that expires in 30 days.
Using the Virgin Mobile account portal, users can purchase megabytes with credit, debit or Top-Up cards. A Broadband2Go Top-Up card will be available for $20 for 250MB good for 30 days, though any Virgin Mobile USA Top-Up card will also work.
"Forget the long-term contracts, monthly bills or desperately seeking a local coffee shop for Wi-Fi. Prepaid mobile broadband is ideal for ... anyone who needs wireless Internet access ... and wants to pay only when they use it," Bob Stohrer, chief marketing officer of Virgin Mobile USA, wrote in a statement.
"We've already demonstrated the benefit of no annual contracts and the ability to tailor spending to individual needs. Broadband2Go is another way to give consumers value, flexibility and convenience," Stohrer added.
Research firm IDC reportedly expects the 3G mobile broadband market to grow to $10.4 billion in 2012.