Data MVNO Karma Moving to Sprint’s LTE Network

Wed, 11/06/2013 - 10:41am
Ben Munson

Karma, a pay-as-you-go data MVNO allowing users to earn free data for sharing their connection, has announced its imminent move to Sprint’s LTE network.

CEO Steven van Wel expects the LTE version of Karma’s hotspot to come out in the first half of next year and hopes the new device and network won’t affect pricing. Karma’s hotspot starts at $99 with one free gigabyte, jumping from there to $149 for 7GB and $279 for 20 GB. After that, Karma charges $14 per GB and gives users 100MB free for every new person that connects to their hotspot. Purchased or earned data never expires.

Karma currently operates on Clearwire’s WiMax network and van Wel was certain that Karma’s new device would run on Sprint’s 2.5 GHz LTE deployment, which the carrier is scheduled to begin building out in 2014. Van Wel was not certain if the Karma LTE hotspot will support Sprint’s 1.9 GHz or 800 MHz LTE networks.

Moving to Sprint’s LTE, Karma joins fellow MVNO FreedomPop but van Wel said his company has no plans to offer routers or phones like FreedomPop.

“Our strong belief is that people only need one thing and that’s a data connection,” van Wel said, adding that he thinks Karma’s service will soon be able to compete with home broadband in terms of speed.

As far as opening up Karma’s service to other Sprint-compatible devices, van Wel said that just wasn’t possible because the service requires Karma’s software to be on the device.

Keeping its service simple has so far netted Karma 50,000 subscribers since the company’s launch in 2012.



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