Find A Prepaid 4G Broadband Plan!
Are you looking for a mobile 4G broadband connection for your
devices? The good news is that it's now widely available, and
reasonably affordable. A bit of interesting history:
launched in 2009 in limited
markets with Sprint's 4G WiMAX offering, which they later spun off as
Clear (f.k.a. Clearwire), and purchased back again by Sprint in
They offered no contract 4G wireless broadband,
classic pay-as-you-go 4G broadband was available. In 2010, we
to see the industry converging on a different next generation
4G mobile broadband
technology called LTE (Long Term Evolution).
Ultimately Sprint's 4G WiMAX technology was discontinued, and they
converted to the LTE standard. Carriers started rolling out
in a meaningful way starting in 2011, and prepaid carriers like Cricket
and MetroPCS were the first to
offer no contract plans alongside their other prepaid wireless offers.
Before any of the classic
carriers could get their 4G services out on the market, Clear launched
a new brand called Rover. It was specifically
targeted towards the youth market, but of course, anyone could use it.
The unique aspect of the Rover brand is that it was a classic
prepaid offering, and actually the first prepaid offering
in the U.S. (and in
the world for that matter!). Rover was ultimately canned
it made any real headway, but
will remain a part of prepaid 4G
since then we now have a variety of available offers. While
some plans have throttled speeds (ex. 8Mbps), and coverage can vary
(just like any wireless service), carriers are mostly competing on the
highspeed data allowance (i.e. bucket of high speed data), and price.
In addition, there's been a flip-flopping of offering
unlimited data versus data alllowances. First it was
unlimited. However, as customer usage increased, this became
unprofitable, so carriers started putting on limits.
Unfortunately, pathetic marketing practices took hold, and had carriers
advertising unlimited plans due to the fact that after you reached your
high speed data limit for the month, you were throttled, but still had
data access. While the throttled speed was essentially
useless for anything other than having your email client synch your
messages, carriers could market that their plans were unlimited because
they technically still provided you with data after your high speed
"usable" data limit was reached. Customer confusion (and
backlash) ensued, and now it's more common for carriers to market their
high speed data allowances. You can even find the odd truly
unlimited high speed data plan re-surface as carriers are seeking to
differentiate themselves and appeal to data hungry consumers.
Below you'll find a table that
lists the no contract 4G wireless broadband services in the U.S.
Despite industry consolidation and bankruptcies,
the list continues to grow as the market keeps getting hotter,
so definitely please check back often!
If you're looking for more available prepaid mobile
broadband offers, you can also review 3G
Wireless Broadband Plans
page. Also, be sure to
educate yourself on the important topic of Throttling
which is a major factor as it relates to mobile broadband!
- Backwards compatible with 3G
- 10GB (30 days)
- The Basic plan utilizes the
T-Mobile footprint. The 3G/4G Hotspot plan utilizes the Verizon
footprint. The 3G/4G Unlimited and BYOD
plans utilize the Sprint footprint.
- Backwards compatible to 3G when
outside of 4G coverage
- Requires $49.99 activation fee +
Bird Special - Get an additional 10GB of 3G data (in addition to the
10GB 4G data) for $69.99 *No indication of when this special will end
|$0 - 200MB (30
$9.95 - 500MB (30 days)
$19.95 - 1GB (30 days)
$34.95 - 2GB (30 days)
$49.95 - 4GB (30 days)
- Uses Sprint WiMAX network
- NO backwards compatibility with
3G, so be sure to check coverage!
- Offer one year of free service
- 750MB (30 days)
$45 - 2GB (30 days)
|Bring Your Own Device
- Use any unlocked GSM data-only
- Requires Simple Mobile SIM card
- On T-Mobile HSPA+ 4G network
- 500MB (30 days)
$30 - 2.5GB (30 days)
$40 - 4.5GB (30 days)
$50 - 6.5GB (30 days)
$60 - 8.5GB (30 days)
$70 - 10.5GB (30 days)
- Uses LTE
- Backwards compatibility with 3G
- Also available for use on select
- 1GB (30
$30 - 3GB (30 days)
$50 - 5GB (30 days)
Your Own Unlocked GSM Device
- Runs on GSM network
- Buy a SIM card for your unlocked
compatible GSM modem, then purchase a plan
- 7 days (500MB)
$20 - 30 days (1GB)
$35 - 60 days (2GB)
$60 - 60 days
$100 - 60 days
- Uses LTE
- Backwards compatibility with 3G
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