Are you currently locked into a long smartphone contract, and looking for something better when your contract ends? Or perhaps...
Are you currently locked into a long smartphone contract, and looking for something better when your contract ends? Or perhaps you are between smartphone service providers right now, and are balking at all the companies that ask you to sign a two-year contract. Breaking contract with these companies is expensive; it dings your credit, and you’ll usually owe all or part of the remaining total. On top of that, you’ll usually be slammed with early termination fees. Going with a prepaid mobile broadband company allows you to navigate around these pitfalls.
Prepaid mobile broadband gives you the same great capabilities as standard mobile broadband plans, but without the fees, hassles, and contract issues. You can use your smartphone, laptop, or tablet in any location where you can get coverage, and many prepaid companies use the same networks you may already be on. You don’t get locked into a contract. You pay month to month, and you can terminate consequence-free whenever you wish, or change your plan at any time.
What are the top prepaid broadband providers in the country? Here’s the breakdown:
AT&T Wireless Go Phone
This company offers a couple of different plans. The first is Go Phone Mobile Broadband, which includes a $99.99 per month mobile hotspot cost (this allows you to use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot and share your plan with nearby devices). Price: $15/7 days 250 MB, overage, $10/100 MB or $50/month 5GB, overage $10/1 GB. You can use your own device with this plan, just as you can for the company’s other plan, AT&T Mobile Broadband. This plan includes a $169.99 hotspot cost. Price: $15/day/100 MB or $30/7 days/300 MB or $50/month/1GB. Coverage for these plans is nationwide.
Cricket Broadband requires a proprietary modem, which costs $79.99. The mobile hotspot option is not available. The price for this plan is $35/month for 2GB or $45/month for 4GB or $65/month for 8GB. Cricket only offers this service in select cities.
If you’re looking for an affordable plan for minimal use, Data Jack may work for you. The mobile hotspot cost is $79.99 plus $9.85 for device shipping. The coverage is nationwide, and plans start out at just $4.99/month for 100 MB. They run up to $49.99 for 5GB of data, with plenty of flexible options in between.
FreedomPop is a relatively new company, but they have already garnered a lot of attention. Their cost for a USB modem is just $39.00 with $6.99 for shipping, and they offer the hotspot functionality for just $39.99 (plus $6.99 for shipping for the device). Their lowest-cost plan is completely free, and gives you 500 MB per month to use. While that is not a lot, for very minimal use, it is a great deal—free is as good as it gets, after all! For $17.99 per month, you can get 2 GB. The most expensive plan is $59.99 per month, and gives you access to 10 GB, which is significantly more than most other prepaid mobile broadband plans. FreedomPop offers a wide range of versatile plans for different needs.
Red Pocket 4G Mobile Internet
This is another very affordable service. There’s no need to pay extra for a modem. They do not offer the hotspot capability, but their coverage is nationwide and their plans are very reasonable. For $10/month, you can get 1GB. For $30/month, you can get 3GB. For $50/month, you can get 5GB.
When you are shopping for a prepaid mobile broadband plan, be sure to ask yourself some basic questions first about your needs. Do you want to be able to use your own device, or are you okay with using a proprietary smartphone? Are you all right paying an extra expense for a proprietary modem? Do you need the capability to use your mobile device as a mobile hotspot or not? How much data usage do you expect each month? Do you use your smartphone constantly, or do you only use it a few times each month for basic tasks? Make a checklist of what you are looking for, and then check into some of these prepaid plans. They offer convenience without a contract, stress-free and at a reasonable cost!