Mobile Broadband prices, part 2

Yesterday, I wrote about the data prices for 3G and 4G broadband, focusing on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. However, I failed to mention that Clearwire has unlimited WiMax (4G) for $35 per month and no contracts. The only caveat is that Clearwire reduces the pipe to 1.5 megabits per second (upstream and downstream) on their $35 per month plan. However, this is the typical connection speed for a Sprint 4G connection, which currently uses the Clear WiMax service for their 4G service. You might be able to get 6 megabits per second on Clearwire, however, I doubt if you could get that consistently. http://www.netindex.com reports that Clearwire averages 3.4 megabits per second download in Virginia. If you want a Clearwire connection that does not have a rate limit on the pipe, you can purchase unlimited bandwidth for $50 per month.

Recently, T-Mobile won the broadband wireless shootout on PC World (http://www.pcworld.com/article/253808/3g_and_4g_wireless_speed_showdown_which_networks_are_fastest.html) for their 3G service. T-Mobile averages about 3.4 megabits per second download in Virginia, and about 1 megabit per second upload. The cost for T-Mobile prepaid broadband (with no contract) is $30 per month for 1GB of bandwidth or 3GB for $50 per month.

At this time, I think that Clearwire offers the best deal for wireless Broadband in Virginia. This a 4G only service (with no fallback to 3G). However, if you have good coverage in your city, then I think that it is worth the risk of giving it a try. The Apollo is a decent device at $100 (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2390517,00.asp), and Clearwire no longer requires a contract. Moreover, they will discount the $35 setup fee.

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