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Old Nov 15, 09, 3:57 pm   #1
 
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Cheap pay-as-you-go mobile broadband for laptop in the US?

Most of the time, I am at either our Spanish or US offices, and so connected over our own broadband networks. While traveling in Europe, I am able to use a 3G USB modem with service from Vodafone which works fine - connectivity is good and 20 a month gets me all the usage I can use while anywhere in Spain and roaming around Europe is 12 a day.

If I wasn't using that for travel around Europe, Simyo has an even better deal which is pure pay-as-you-go, with no monthly fee at all and reasonable cost.

The question is - is there anything similar available in the U.S.? Our cellular voice service is with Verizon, but the only applicable plan I see with them runs $40 per month (for only 250Mb) which seems a bit steep for the amount of and type of usage I would typically have (maybe connecting on only 4 or 5 days a month, but on each of those days potentially having pretty high data transfer.

Can anyone recommend any good alternatives? I would be especially interested in a pay-as-you-go card like Simyo's, with a flat rate per day, applied only when there is usage.
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Old Nov 15, 09, 4:44 pm   #2
 
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Where do you tend to use your laptop from? If cost is your primary factor, I think WiFi roaming from iPass or Boingo may be a good option. You're coverage is not as good (e.g.; trying to use from a car or on a plane pre-departure), but you can use it many hotels, airports, restaurants, etc.
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Old Nov 15, 09, 5:01 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by denverhockeyguy View Post
Where do you tend to use your laptop from? If cost is your primary factor, I think WiFi roaming from iPass or Boingo may be a good option. You're coverage is not as good (e.g.; trying to use from a car or on a plane pre-departure), but you can use it many hotels, airports, restaurants, etc.
Thanks for the reply. I do now have roaming WiFi capability but was hoping to have good solution for connectivity in contexts (especially literally on the road - for example, in a cab between airport and hotel) where WiFi is not generally an option. Or most critically (yet sadly common) when I find myself in a position where the hotel's internet connection is not working properly.
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Old Nov 15, 09, 5:05 pm   #4
 
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Grab a Verizon broadband USB modem off Ebay. You can buy a day pass for $15 which is pretty much unlimited data for that day. You can buy the day pass cards at a Verizon Store. Keep a spare in your briefcase. Connect to the card using the VZ Manager software and there is a place to type in the code.


Virgin Mobile has just released PAYG. It is not an overly great deal, but here it is:

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband

ATT has 100 megs of PAYG data for $20 per month. It is meant for PDA users, but you could tether.

By the way, your Vodafone stick probably works here at double price it does for European roaming:

http://online.vodafone.co.uk/dispatc...0097#P107_2123
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Old Nov 15, 09, 5:14 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Dubai Stu View Post
By the way, your Vodafone stick probably works here at double price it does for European roaming:

http://online.vodafone.co.uk/dispatc...0097#P107_2123
It certainly does, and if they would just drop the price to be in line with the charges for roaming around Europe (and I don't really understand why there should be a major difference, since for most other telecom-related purposes, the US and Canada are at similar rates to Europe), then I would very gladly use that and not have to worry about using different equipment on each side of the Atlantic. But at 30 a day for 50Mb, that is a bit steep for my purposes.
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Old Nov 15, 09, 5:17 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Dubai Stu View Post
Virgin Mobile has just released PAYG. It is not an overly great deal, but here it is:

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband
That actually doesn't look too bad, for my purposes. Now if only they didn't have the usage expiring at 30 days, and assuming that coverage is good, that would be an attractive option.
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Old Nov 15, 09, 5:22 pm   #7
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Cricket (if it has coverage where you need to be in the U.S.)

$40/month, no contract.

Either take the free modem deal or buy one off of CL for a few bucks.

And, btw:

USA: Pre-paid SIM with data volume
US Pre-Paid Sim with reasonably priced data?
Pay-as-you-go data plans in the US

Last edited by cblaisd; Nov 15, 09 at 5:27 pm.
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Old Nov 15, 09, 7:37 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Cricket (if it has coverage where you need to be in the U.S.)

$40/month, no contract.
Thanks. That Cricket coverage map is thin, thin, thin. Home in the CLT area looks fine, but there are lots of areas where I travel frequently - even some fairly large airports - ATL, MIA, DTW, JFK(!)... - with no broadband at all.
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Old Nov 15, 09, 7:52 pm   #9
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I would say if you are always hitting five days a month, you should probably just get one of the dedicated data plans with any of the majors. They run $60 a month for 5 gb of data. Either tie that in with a usb modem or a mifi router from Verizon or Sprint and you may save some money.

If you have a corporate discount with verizon for the voice they may be able to extend that to the data line too saving you a few pennies.

Verizon offers pay as you go, $15 a day for 75 megs of data, $30 a week for up to 250 meg of data, or $50 for a month and up to 500 megs of data.

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/m...ucts_prepaidmb
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Old Nov 19, 09, 2:37 pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Cricket (if it has coverage where you need to be in the U.S.)

$40/month, no contract.
Well, interestingly, in the last two days Cricket's plan went to $50, but the monthly cap was increased to 10GB.

It also has the first month free, no contract, and a free modem.

So for certain folks it might still be useful.
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Old Nov 19, 09, 3:44 pm   #11
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Check to be sure - some of the Cricket discount deals require that you sign up for automatic account replenishment.
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Last edited by Non-NonRev; Nov 19, 09 at 3:48 pm.
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