MVNO Karma has always stood out to us as an innovative business model. The company resells Sprint bandwidth, and then consumers share their hotspot with others - they can earn a little bit of free data (100MB when your friends sign up).
Previously, the offering was only available on Sprint's soon to be orphaned WiMax network - which had very limited markets.
Some unique features of Karma include:
- Data never expires - you buy it, and it's yours until you use it. Pretty nifty!
- The service is contract free, you just pay as you need it.
- Data is priced between $9.90 - $14 per GB, depending on how much you buy at once.
- If someone connects to your Karma hotspot and signs on for service, both they and you get 100 MB of free data.
The new LTE hotspot will be able to access all 3 of Sprints bands they are deploying on - however will not support carrier aggregation. Which means it will be a versatile device, but not able to take advantage of the maximum speeds that Sprint's new Spark service is being designed to deliver.
So, is this new service ideal for RVers?
Even with Sprint's LTE deployment, their network coverage is far behind that of Verizon and AT&T. Their coverage is mainly only available in urban areas and along interstates. As such, we don't recommend Sprint as a PRIMARY carrier for RVers who need nationwide access.
However, with Karma's no contract, pay as you go and never expiring data model - this may be an ideal backup source of data should you not have coverage otherwise, or have hit your data caps on other plans.
The data isn't necessarily all that inexpensive for regular bulk usage (10GB for $99 - making it more expensive than the Millenicom Hotspot Plan on Verizon that offers 20GB for $89.99/month). But if you want to data in reserve to use when needed, this may be an interesting way to go.
More information: FierceWireless