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 4G Stick.
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 existing plan.