Mobile

Virgin Mobile now offering 4G WiMax service with no contract required

Virgin Mobile is now offering a 4G WiMax service without a contract.

This crazy scheme will be set into motion at the end of the month. The star of the show is HTC’s Evo V 4G, a mid-range Android smartphone which the carrier is selling for $300, with month-to-month plans starting at $35 for unlimited data and messaging.

The carrier already offers a couple no-contract 4G products, including a WiFi stick and the Overdrive Pro mobile hotspot. However, the Evo will be Virgin Mobile’s first 4G WiMax no-contract phone. The Evo, of course, also functions as a hotspot when needed. All of the devices will run on Sprint’s WiMax 4G network, which is significantly slower than 4G LTE offerings from AT&T and Verizon.

So, what does it all mean?

In this reporter’s opinion, a hill of beans, and/or an old person’s worst nightmare.

While we’re glad the carrier is definitely aboard the no-contract train, we doubt the business sense and practicality (and heck, even the truth) of the unlimited data claims. After all, AT&T’s head honcho recently said offering unlimited data to his customers was his one big regret as CEO.

And will the average bear be able to really feel the difference between a 3G and 4G connection? As not-so-average bears, we have a hard time telling the difference, ourselves, especially on a smartphone.

Sometimes, it feels like these wireless carriers are pushing upgrades to trendy, spendy phones with 4G capabilities based on the premise that 3G is better than 4G because it’s one number more!

Maybe we’re taking crazy pills. But we’re only marginally enthusiastic about this new offer from VirMo. What do you think — is this offer one you can’t refuse? Or is it just a big, steaming pile of marketing?


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