By Alex Tcherkassky, Reporter, BroadbandCensus.com
Editor’s Note: Today, BroadbandCensus.com unveils a new feature, “This Week in Mobile Broadband,” written by Alex Tcherkassky, a Washington-based reporter for BroadbandCensus.com with a strong background in the wireless industry.
WASHINGTON, June 14, 2009 – Currently, all four carriers offer five Gigabytes (GB) of aircard-based broadband for $59.99 per month. Sprint, however, also has a plan that includes unlimited Wi-Max coverage (where available) for $79.99 per month. The commonality of price and bandwidth offerings provides little to no reason to change carriers to get mobile broadband, but makes it more appealing to simply add an aircard to your current account. Still, it’s surprising that neither T-Mobile nor Sprint have either lowered the price on their 5 GB plans or offered more or unlimited bandwidth at the $59.99 price point to try and take customers away from AT&T and Verizon Communications.
Monday June 8, 2009
Sprint announced a new mobile broadband plan for corporate-liable accounts. The plan provides 500 MB of access for $39.99 per month. This could be very appealing for companies with employees who have a wired connection in the office but need additional coverage for off-site work.
AT&T announced that the new iPhone 3GS would offer tethering at no additional charge. Until now, the only tethering option for the iPhone was via jailbreaking the device. Also, there will be no change to the thirty dollar price point of the iPhone data plan, making tethering the iPhone 3GS more appealing than tethering an AT&T BlackBerry, which would both be capped at 5 GB and cost $65 per month.
Wednesday June 10, 2009
Virgin Mobile USA announced a range of prepaid broadband options. Dubbed “Broadband2Go,” the service will go live in late June and will be accessed via the Ovation MC760 USB modem from Novatel. The MC760 will be available exclusively at Best Buy. The aircard also contains a Micro-SD card reader, turning the modem into a flash drive, similarly to the USB modem used with T-Mobile’s 3G aircard service. Most innovative about Virgin’s offering are the price plans: 30-day plans are set at $20, $40 and $60 dollars for 250 Megabytes (MB), 600 MB or one GB, respectively. The interesting price plan is the $10, ten day, 100 MB plan. The availability of such an ultra-low commitment plan could provide a low-risk option for people without broadband access who worry that the internet isn’t worth the forty or more dollars a month that traditional broadband access can cost. The added fact that it’s mobile may do even more to get these non-adopters online.
Friday June 12, 2009
America’s broadcasters have officially made the switch to digital. This means that the coveted 700 megahertz spectrum that was auctioned off last year can finally start being utilized for next generation mobile broadband. AT&T and Verizon, who won the lion’s share of the spectrum, can move forward with their fourth-generation (4G) networks. With the new spectrum available it will be exciting to see the slough of devices and services that come to market.