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NetZero: Free 200 meg mobile, $9.95 for 400 meg
Written by Dave Burstein   
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 02:43

netzeroMust buy $100 MiFi hotspot or $50 USB stick. Carry a 4 oz MiFI and you get 400 megabytes of 4G WiMAX for $9.95 - or 200 meg free for 12 months. AT&T charges $20 for 300 megabytes of iPad data and you still have pay retail for the equipment, including $129 for the LTE. Top up any time for $7 (250 meg) or $20 (1 gig) whenever you need it. This is ideal for anyone who wants occasional cheap connections when not in reach of a mobile hotspot, assuming you stay mostly to the 80 major cities covered by Clearwire’s service.  (map below)
    Speeds are “up to 10 megabits” but users can self throttle the speed to 1 megabit so as not to use their entire monthly allowance in a few minutes. NetZero is open that this is not “replacement for wired Internet service like DSL or cable.” At $20/gigabyte, video costs $10/hour and even music over a buck per hour.
     NetZero pays Clearwire ~$7/gigabyte for the service, so will have reasonable operating margins at this price. They’ve been around over a decade and still bring in about $100M/year from a $9.95 dialup service. Those revenues are dropping 25%/year and they never could get workable deals on unbundling DSL or cable. So the mobile is make or break for the company.   
     If Lightsquared hadn’t been blocked, prices even lower than NetZero/Clearwire would soon be appearing.

net zero coverage map

From the company

FAQs
Q. When did NetZero® 4G Mobile Broadband launch?
A. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband officially launched March 19, 2012.

Q. How many cities are covered by NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband?
A. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband covers over 80 cities across the country.

Q. What is NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband?
A. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband provides protected, mobile, fast 4G Internet access for your laptop, iPad® or other tablet, or netbook within the coverage area in over 80 cities across the U.S. With a NetZero 4G device, customers become their own hotspot, and they no longer have to search for a public Wi-Fi location to enjoy Internet on the go. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband connections are private and personal, helping to keep information protected from hackers and data thieves.

Q. How much does NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband cost?
A. With NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband, there are no contracts, commitments or overage charges. Customers can pick the data plan that meets their needs, starting at just $9.95 per month with the purchase of an access device. Customers can even try the service for up to one year for FREE with the purchase of an access device.

Q. What devices can I use to connect to the NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband network?
A. Customers can choose from two affordable devices to access NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband. iPad® and other tablet users can purchase a NetZero 4G HotSpot™, which supports up to eight simultaneous Wi-Fi-enabled devices up to a distance of 150 feet. Laptop and netbook users can buy either a NetZero 4G HotSpot or a NetZero 4G Stick™, which supports one user at a time via USB. Both are available at www.NetZero.com or by calling 1-800-NETZERO.

Q. How is a NetZero 4G HotSpot different from a Wi-Fi hotspot?
A. Unlike a public Wi-Fi hotspot, which is fixed to a particular location, a NetZero 4G Hotspot is completely mobile and travels with its subscriber. Subscribers become their own hotspot and can access the Internet anywhere within the NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband coverage area.

Q. How Is NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband more secure than public Wi-Fi?
A. Unlike public Wi-Fi, which can expose personal information traveling over the network to hackers and data thieves, NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband delivers a private, encrypted Internet connection.

Q. What are the most compelling reasons to buy NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband?
A. NetZero 4G Mobile Broad customers can choose from a wide variety of plan options, choose the plan that meets their needs, and switch plans at any time. With NetZero Mobile Broadband, there are no overage charges. Subscribers cannot accidently exceed their data limits. We also allow customers to try our service for free for up to a year with the purchase of a NetZero 4G mobile broadband device.

Q. Is NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband a replacement for wired Internet service like DSL or cable?
A. No. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband is a supplementary service to be used primarily outside the home.

Q. Who are the target customers for NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband?
A. Our target customer is anyone who wants to access the Internet or check their email away from their home or office.

Q. How can someone buy NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband?
A. Either by visiting www.NetZero.com or by calling 1-800-NETZERO.

Q. Can subscribers sign on with any type of computer or device?
A. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband is designed primarily for laptops, iPads® or other tablets, and netbooks.

Q. Will the service work without the NetZero 4G HotSpot or NetZero 4G Stick?
A. No. In order to use the NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband service, customers must purchase either a NetZero 4G HotSpot or NetZero 4G Stick.

Q. How much do the devices cost?
A. The NetZero 4G HotSpot costs $99.95 and the NetZero 4G Stick costs $49.95.

Q. Is there a shipping charge?
A. Shipping is $19.95.

Q. What is the pricing for the various monthly service plans?
A. There are five NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband monthly plans to choose from:

  • Free: 200MB
  • Basic: $9.95 for 500 MB
  • Plus: $19.95 for 1GB
  • Pro: $34.95 for 2GB
  • Platinum: $49.95 for 4GB

Q. What is the activation fee?
A. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband does not charge an activation fee.

Q. How long can someone use the Free plan?
A. Members who sign up for the free plan can use it for 12 months from the date they signed up for it. The free plan may not be renewed after it expires.

Q. What type of overage charges does NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband charge to customers who exceed their monthly data limits?
A. With NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband there are no overage charges. Customers cannot accidently exceed their monthly data allotment. We alert our customers when they reach their data limit and, if they want to continue accessing the Internet, they can either quickly and easily update their data plan, or buy extra data "Top Ups" that are good through the end of their billing cycle.

Q. What Top Up denominations are available?
A. Subscribers can buy Top Ups in the amount of 250 megabytes for $6.95 or 1 gigabyte for $19.95.

Q. What if someone buys a Top Up, but does not use all of the data before the next billing cycle?
A. Top Ups expire at the beginning of the customer’s next billing cycle.

Q. Where is the service available?
A. At launch, NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband is available in over 80 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, DC and Miami – and usable in various locations within those cities, such as cafes, hotels, schools, and stations, among others.

Q. How can potential customers view information regarding NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband’s coverage area?
A. Visit www.netzero.com to:

  • View a coverage map;
  • Read a comprehensive list of cities that are covered; or
  • Enter a city, state or zip code into the search box.

Q. Will the service work anywhere within the coverage areas?
A. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband works anywhere there is a NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband signal.

Q. How can customers tell if their NetZero 4G HotSpot or NetZero 4G Stick is receiving a signal?
A. 1. The NetZero 4G Stick comes with an on-screen NetZero Connection Manager that displays a series of dots which indicate signal strength.
2. The NetZero 4G HotSpot features a signal strength indicator on its LED screen which displays a series of bars which indicate signal strength.

Q. Do upload and download speeds vary within given coverage areas?
A. Yes. The variables that affect the speed and availability of our service are the same as those that affect the speed and availability of any mobile broadband provider.

Q. What upload and download speeds does NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband provide?
A. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband offers 4G speeds of up to 10 Mbps per second for downloads and up to 1.5 Mbps for uploads.

Q. What are LightSpeed and WarpSpeed? What is the difference between the two?
A. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband includes an innovative feature that lets customers switch the speed of their service to meet their current data needs. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband subscribers can set their service at either LightSpeed, which delivers download speeds of up to 1Mbps or WarpSpeed, which provides download speeds of up to 10Mbps. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband’s Free and Basic plans are defaulted to LightSpeed. All other NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband data plans are defaulted to WarpSpeed. Customers in any data plan can toggle their speed setting to LightSpeed or WarpSpeed at any time, allowing them to match the speed of their service to their current activity and maximize their data consumption. For more information, click here.

Q. How do NetZero Mobile Broadband customers monitor their data usage?
A. Customers can monitor their data usage through the My Accounts page after signing in at www.NetZero.com.

Q. Does NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband work on both Windows and Mac operating systems?
A. The NetZero 4G HotSpot works with any Wi-Fi-enabled device. The NetZero 4G Stick works with both Windows and Mac® computers.

Q. What are the system requirements for the NetZero 4G Stick?
A. In order to use the NetZero 4G Stick, computers must meet the following minimum system requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, or 7; Apple OS-X
  • 1GB RAM
  • At least 50MB free hard disk space
  • USB port
  • CD ROM drive

Q. Does NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband require software?
A. The NetZero 4G HotSpot does not require software. The NetZero 4G Stick requires software installation and comes with a NetZero 4G Stick installation kit that includes a software CD.

Q. Does NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband offer technical support?
A. All NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband customers are able to access technical support, both through the Support section of the My Account page and by phone at 1-800-939-8647. Tech support by phone is free for all paid plans and $1.95 per minute for the free plan.

United Online Launches NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband Service

NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband Offers Disruptive Pricing, Fast 4G Speeds, No Contract-No Commitment Data Plans, and Secure Internet Access

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- NetZero Wireless, Inc., a subsidiary of United Online, Inc. (NASDAQ: UNTD), today announced the launch of NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband, a fast, affordable and protected Internet service for laptops, iPads® and other tablets, and netbooks.
   This new service, which launches today in over 80 cities nationwide, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Miami, lets consumers create their own personal Internet connections without being tied to unsecure public hotspots at places like coffee shops, airports and hotels. And unlike public Wi-Fi networks, where credit card numbers and other personal information may be exposed to hackers and data thieves, the NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband service delivers a protected, private Internet connection anytime, anywhere within its coverage area.
NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband data plans start at just $9.95 per month. Customers are not required to sign a contract, and can upgrade their data plan at any time. Each plan delivers 4G service with download speeds of up to 10Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1.5Mbps.
"NetZero is bridging the digital divide by letting consumers purchase a secure, quality, mobile broadband service at very affordable prices with plans designed to meet the consumers' data needs," said Mark R. Goldston, chairman, president and CEO of United Online. "Our service gives customers the freedom to take the Internet anywhere in our coverage area, without being tied to public Wi-Fi service or having to purchase higher-cost, sometimes multi-year plans offered by other mobile broadband providers. With NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband, there are no contracts or commitments, and our customers can even try our service for up to one year for free."
All data plans, including the free plan, require the purchase of one of two affordable access devices: the NetZero 4G HotSpot™ and the NetZero 4G Stick™. The NetZero 4G HotSpot simultaneously supports up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices, including iPads® and other tablets, within a 150-foot range. The NetZero 4G Stick supports a single laptop or netbook via a USB port. The NetZero 4G HotSpot costs $99.95 and the NetZero 4G Stick costs $49.95, much less than the cost of most comparable contract-free devices available today.
NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband includes an innovative feature that lets customers switch the speed of their service to meet their data needs. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband subscribers can set their service at either LightSpeed, which delivers download speeds of up to 1Mbps, or WarpSpeed, which provides download speeds of up to 10Mbps. Customers in any of the service plans can toggle their speed setting to LightSpeed (to conserve data) or WarpSpeed (to maximize speed) at any time, allowing them to match the speed of their service to their current activity and maximize their data consumption.
With NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband, there are no overage charges. Customers cannot accidently exceed monthly data allotments. An alert lets customers know when they reach their monthly data limit, at which point, they have three options. Option One: If customers are on a pay plan, they can buy extra data "Top Ups" that they can use through the end of their current billing cycle. Option Two: Customers can upgrade to a higher capacity data plan. Option Three: Customers can wait until the next month to utilize the service with a fresh allotment of data according to their existing plan.
For more information on NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband or to purchase the service, consumers can go to www.NetZero.com or call 1-800-NETZERO.
Members of the press can access the NetZero Media Room at http://www.untd.com/netzero.
About NetZero
NetZero Wireless, Inc., a subsidiary of United Online, Inc., is a provider of 4G mobile broadband Internet access with service coverage in over 80 cities in the U.S. NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband offers high-speed, affordable Internet access to consumers using a PC, Mac® computer, iPad® mobile digital device or other tablet, or netbook. Consumers can purchase a NetZero 4G Stick™ to connect a single modem-enabled device such as a PC or a Mac® computer, or a NetZero 4G HotSpot™ to connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices simultaneously. For more information or to sign up, please visit www.NetZero.com/new.
About United Online
United Online, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNTD), through its operating subsidiaries, is a leading provider of consumer products and services over the Internet, where their respective brands have attracted a large online audience that includes more than 60 million registered accounts. The company's FTD segment provides floral-related products and services (FTD and Interflora) for consumers and retail florists, as well as other retail locations offering floral and related products and services. The company's Content & Media segment provides online nostalgia products and services (Memory Lane and Classmates) and online loyalty marketing (MyPoints). Its primary Communications segment service is Internet access (NetZero and Juno).
United Online, NetZero, Juno, FTD, Interflora, Memory Lane, Classmates and MyPoints are trademarks or registered trademarks of United Online, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All other company or product names are trademarks of their respective owners.