Rabu, 29 September 2010

Ovation MC760 (Virgin Mobile)

Virgin Mobile's Ovation MC760 modem is a renamed version of the Broadband2Go modem, which we reviewed in July 2009. While Virgin and Novatel haven't changed the hardware, they've made a major change to the service plan which makes Virgin's offering much more attractive.

Virgin Mobile now offers unlimited 3G Internet for $40 a month, with no contract, on Sprint's nationwide network. There's also an anemic $10, 100MB tier, but the $40 plan is the truly radical one. According to Virgin, there is actually no data cap on the service, but the carrier reserves the right to lower your speed for "unreasonable" usage. They're keeping that vague, but it reads "BitTorrent" to me.
Virgin's $40 plan gets you more data than the competition's. Cricket and T-Mobile both offer $40 plans without contracts, but with 5 GB limits, after which they throttle your speed. AT&T and Verizon Wireless both offer 5GB for $60 per month, with contract (although both also offer more limited tethering plans for less.) Sprint charges $60/month for 5GB of 3G and unlimited WiMax 4G, which makes sense if you're in a WiMax city.

Virgin Mobile has also made its MC760 Mac-compatible, with support for OS X 10.3 and up.

As we found in our Fastest Mobile Networks 2010 story earlier this year, Sprint's 3G network is relatively slow compared with AT&T's and T-Mobile's, but it's broadly available and quite reliable.

The question then becomes whether to buy the MC760 or Virgin Mobile's MiFi 2200 Hotspot. The MC760 is better if you're connecting one PC or Mac to the Internet, but the MiFi is a better choice for connecting multiple devices or gadgets. If you're mostly looking to get your primary computer online for a reasonable rate, the Virgin Mobile Ovation MC760 is a very solid mobile broadband solution

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