NetZero has launched a new, low-cost 4G data network, NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband, offering contract-free access from $9.95 per month. Available in around 80 US cities, the new Mobile Broadband system offers a choice of a USB modem or a WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices simultaneously, while 4G service itself can be intentionally speed-capped so as to prolong the data allowance.
WarpSpeed, the faster option, promises download rates of up to 10Mbps. However, there’s also LightSpeed, which limits it to 1Mbps; users can switch between them on-the-fly, with no impact on subscription fees.
Plans start at subscription-free with the purchase of either the $99.95 hotspot or $49.95 USB modem, which gets you 200MB per month for a year. $9.95 gets 500MB, $19.95 gets 1GB and $34.95 gets 2GB. Finally, $49.95 gets 4GB per month.
NetZero is also promising no overage fees: if users reach their data limit, they get an alert and the option to either buy a top-up for more data immediately, upgrade to a higher-capacity plan, or wait it out until the next month.
There’s no mention of the network NetZero is actually using – the carrier is an MVNO, reselling 4G service rather than setting up its own network – but the company inked a deal with Clearwire in early 2011 so it seems this is WiMAX rather than LTE.