Would You Pay $70 For 100MB Of Mobile Data? - InformationWeek

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Commentary
6/18/2009
09:56 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Would You Pay $70 For 100MB Of Mobile Data?

Today Verizon Wireless introduced a new laptop dongle that can handle just about any 3G wireless network you care to throw at it. Too bad data plans start at $130 per month.

Today Verizon Wireless introduced a new laptop dongle that can handle just about any 3G wireless network you care to throw at it. Too bad data plans start at $130 per month.The USB1000 laptop dongle can access nearly every brand of wireless network in just about every region of spectrum there is.

  • CDMA 1xEV-DO Revision A/Rev. 0: 800/1900 MHz
  • WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA: 850/1900/2100 MHz
  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
That's a lot of spectrum. The device itself costs $150 (after mail-in rebate with new wireless agreement). It goes on sale June 19.

Now, Verizon's regular laptop dongles will run you $60 for 5GB of data per month. That's the bare minimum plan to which you can subscribe with the USB1000. If you want to take it with you overseas and actually use all those different 3G radios, the minimum plan is $130. That get's you your 5GB of data in the U.S. and 100MB of data overseas (before overages are factored in). In order words, you're paying $70 for that 100MB of roaming data.

Whoa. That's a huge price premium for the ability to roam overseas.

The whole pricing scheme is as follows:

GlobalAccess is available either as a monthly plan or a pay-per-use plan. GlobalAccess Monthly Plans start at $129.99 monthly access, offering a 100 MB allowance in 31 select destinations ($0.005/KB after allowance) as well as access in the U.S. and Canada (5 GB allowance in the U.S. and Canada and $0.05/MB overage). Additionally, for $219.99 monthly access, customers can have a 200 MB allowance in 31 select destinations and a 5 GB allowance in the U.S. and Canada with the same rates for overage as the $129.99 monthly access plan.

GlobalAccess Pay Per Use must be purchased with a 5 GB monthly allowance Mobile Broadband service plan in the U.S. for $59.99 monthly access. The Pay Per Use rate is $0.002/KB in Canada, $0.005/KB in Mexico, and $0.02/KB in more than 175 other destinations.

While the ability to access mobile data when and where you need it is key (I use it almost every day), at those rates, I highly question the value. You're likely going to be better off seeking out Wi-Fi, which, heck, you might even find for free.

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