Hot on the heels of T-Mobile's new 4G prepaid options, Walmart has paired with TruConnect to offer a MiFi for "casual users." The service -- called Internet on the Go -- appears to be based on Sprint's 3G network (with no mention of LTE on the horizon) and claims to have 97 percent coverage as a result. It requires a MiFi 2200 made by Novatel, which can cope with up to five devices over WiFi and to which you then add a minimum of $10 for 100MB or up to $45 for 1GB. That's not cheap by any means, and the PR below doesn't actually specify the price of the dongle itself -- but at least the service looks flexible, as you can also choose automatic online refills at $20 for 450MB. And the last bit of good news? You can burn through those rations as quickly or as slowly as you please, because there's no time limit so long as you use the service at least once per year.
TruConnect and Walmart Debut "Internet on the Go" Low-Cost, Mobile Broadband Wireless Service with MiFi® 2200
New Internet on the Go Service Has No Monthly Fees And Megabytes that Don't Expire; Connect up to Five Tablets or Laptops to the Mobile Internet at Once
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TruConnect Mobile LLC today announced it has partnered with Walmart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) to deliver Internet on the Go, a new prepaid mobile broadband service that offers a great value for casual users.
"In today's world of high connectivity, we want to make connecting to the Internet more accessible and affordable for our customers"
Internet on the Go, which is exclusively sold at Walmart, is powered by the award-winning MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot and a service plan from TruConnect with no monthly fee and where the data balance never expires (if used once a year). This is different from other low-cost prepaid monthly services where unused megabytes are wasted at the end of the month – potentially driving up the cost.
"In today's world of high connectivity, we want to make connecting to the Internet more accessible and affordable for our customers," said Seong Ohm, senior vice president and general merchandise manager for entertainment, Walmart U.S. "By providing an assortment of mobile broadband products at a low price our customers can now choose to connect to the Internet when they want, where they want."
Mobile broadband data services to date have been primarily used by road warriors – those who are willing to spend $30-$60 every month to be online while on the go. But in fact, industry analysts report that 90 percent of all tablets in the U.S. in 2011 used Wi-Fi, not cellular, for Internet connectivity. That's not because casual users don't want to be online while on the go, but because they don't want another expensive, contract-based monthly data plan.
"We think mobile users deserve fairness and honesty when it comes to the mobile Internet, and with Internet on the Go, users get exactly what they pay for and can use their purchased megabytes whenever they want to with no other hidden conditions or fees," said Kevin Hamilton, president and CEO of TruConnect. "We're proud to have the opportunity to partner with Walmart, a company that puts great value on its customers and we look forward to sharing this exciting new service with mobile customers across the U.S."
To get Internet on the Go, customers purchase a MiFi® 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot by Novatel Wireless, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVTL), purchase the Internet on the Go service, register online and turn on the device.
Customers can buy Internet on the Go service with refill, credit or debit cards in increments of $10 for 100 MB, $25 for 500 MB or $45 for 1 GB and use this bandwidth as quickly or as gradually as they want. Online automatic refills are also available for $20 for 450 MB.
To best understand which increment will work for you, it's important to understand what can be done with a megabyte of data. For example, with the 100 MB plan, a subscriber could get as many as 700 web pages, send 1,500-2,000 emails, post 1200 social media updates, listen to 100 minutes of music or view 50 minutes of a YouTube-quality video.
The service supports Wi-Fi-equipped devices using Windows, Mac OSX, Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems. In addition, there are no contracts, no activation fees, no monthly bills, no bundled data plans and no overage charges. Users simply purchase the MiFi 2200 and the Internet on the Go service and achieve a secure Wi-Fi network that can be used to connect up to five laptops or tablets to the Internet.
Internet on the Go services are provided on the nationwide Sprint Network, which covers 97 percent of the U.S. For information, please visit www.internet-go.com.