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Karma rewards WiMAX subscribers for sharing their 4G

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 14, 2012
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Normally, we associate Karma with religion, or if we're honest, luxury hybrid sedans. A company by the same name would rather you make that connection with WiMAX Internet service. Much like a 4G version of FON, subscribers to the Clearwire-rooted network are required to share their Internet link-ups with the public as a WiFi hotspot. As the name suggests, though, sharing the connection ideally pays back dividends through free access: for every guest who signs in on Facebook to get 100MB of free data through the hotspot, another 100MB goes towards the hotspot owner. If all goes well, the Karma user creates a virtuous circle (pun entirely intended) and pays little if anything for Internet access; while the WiMAX hotspot costs $69, the $14 per gigabyte rate only kicks in if the credit runs out. Trial runs are starting in New York City and might only hit 500 hotspots by the end of 2012, but the hope is to upturn the wider industry and make sure there's never a shortage of public WiFi.

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