Virgin Mobile announces unlimited mobile broadband plan
By David Dahlquist, Macworld
If you’re tired of paying AT&T multiple times for 3G service on different devices, Virgin Mobile’s new unlimited data plan may be worth considering. The Sprint Nextel-owned carrier has announced a new contract-free, unlimited mobile broadband plan for $40 per month, which, when paired with the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200, could provide wireless broadband for all of your Apple devices for one flat rate.
Virgin Mobile’s unlimited mobile broadband plan will be available beginning Wednesday and is set to replace most of the carrier’s existing tiered data plan; a $10, 10-day plan that’s capped at 100MB will be available as well. The plans will work with the $150 MiFi 2200 and the $80 Ovation MC760 USB device. It’s the MiFi 2200, however, that offers the most interesting possibilities.
The MiFi 2200 connects to Virgin Mobile’s 3G cellular network and acts as a Wi-Fi base station that supports up to five devices simultaneously. This means you that could use it to provide unlimited wireless data to your iPad, iPhone, and MacBook at the same time, and still have room for two friends to connect—all for a flat rate of $40 per month.
Compare that to what you’d pay AT&T for similar capabilities—$25 for 2 GB of wireless data for your iPhone, plus $20 for tethering, and another $25 for each iPad you’d like to connect to 3G with a 2GB plan—and the potential savings are clear.
Before you get too excited, it’s important to consider a few things: for example, using a MiFi means carrying yet another device with you. For another, Virgin Mobile’s 3G network might not cover your location as well as Verizon or AT&T’s, so it would be wise to study the carrier’s coverage map before you make any decisions.