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VM LAUNCHES PRE-PAID MOBILE BROADBAND SERVICE
June 10, 2009
(NATIONAL) -- Virgin Mobile USA today announced a prepaid mobile Internet system called Broadband2Go, which offers very inexpensive plans for relatively light users.
Broadband2Go runs on Sprint's national EVDO Rev A network and provides Windows XP or Vista PCs download speeds around a megabit. Unlike other national systems that sell monthly bucket plans and charge for overage, Virgin Mobile’s plan sells “chunks” of megabytes on prepaid cards, like a prepaid phone top-up system.
Virgin will offer one modem, the Novatel MC760 contained in a small USB device. It will retail at $149.99.
The company will have four options for “topping up” a broadband data account:
~ $10 for 100MB, which expires in 10 days
~ $20 for 250MB, which expires on 30 days
~ $40 for 600MB, for 30 days
~ $60 for 1GB, for 30 days.
There is no credit check and no subscription involved since the new service is a pre-paid, top-up-based system. Consumers can buy additional megabytes either on their phone, through the company’s web site or at retailers with cash.
Consumers who do not use the network for a while will not pay anything and those that go over the limit will find their Web browser redirected to a page asking them to purchase more megabytes. Consumers will not be automatically charged for an overage.
"Prepaid mobile broadband is ideal for students, families on the go, freelancers, anyone who needs wireless Internet access
and wants to pay only when they use it," said Bob Stohrer, CMO of Virgin Mobile USA n a statement about the new service.
Most other carriers currently charge around $60 per month for a 5GB “bucket” of bandwidth. Cricket charges $35 or $40 and Verizon charges $40 per month for a 250MB bucket.
The system uses Novatel connection management software that includes a usage meter to so consumers can tell how close they are to their limit. A Web-based account portal also provides details of how much time and data is left in an account.
At present there is no Mac or Linux support for the system but the company expects support for both of the platforms in the near future.