When it comes to connectivity I’m spoiled. I spend the vast majority of my time either at home or the office and both are locations have high-speed Internet. And when I am out I usually have decent connectivity and relatively good speed. That means I’m able to get the information I want pretty much where and when I want it. This holds true during my annual week in Aruba, where my first stop each year is at a kiosk when I load my hotspot with 5 GB of data; that means I even have connectivity on the beach.
The past few days gave me a taste of what it means to have limited connectivity and I didn’t like it; I was staying in a hotel in Washington, and they wanted outrageous amounts of money for a small amount of data. I ended up simply using my cellular connection which, for some reason, was pretty poor; when I was in the Washington Convention Center with 13,000 of my closest friends the connectivity went from poor to nonexistent. This was especially the case when I was downstairs in one of the large open spaces used for meetings and meals. It got me thinking about the importance of connectivity and how reliant we have become on it. That’s why I’m excited to share the news that Globalgig is rolling out new competitive mobile data plans and extending their network to include four more countries. Just imagine traveling to the UK and having 5GB of data available via a Globalgig hotspot for under $50! That’s what today’s rollout makes possible.
I’ve been using one of Globalgig’s hotspots for the past two weeks, and I have been impressed. Let’s take a look at the service and the hotspots they have available for this rollout.
Globalgig launched its mobile hotspot device in late November. At the time it worked in the US, UK, and Australia. That is now being extended to include Hong Kong, Ireland, Sweden & Denmark. Globalgig’s goal is to offer affordable international mobile broadband. In does just that. In fact, the company offers flat rate pricing packages that, according to the company, can save users up to 93% compared to what the major US providers charge for 1GB of data when a device is used overseas.
Since price is a key factor Globalgig is targeting, let’s take a look at some of the actual costs. The WiFi Hotspot is just $119. If, however, you are willing to sign an 18 month contract the hotspot is absolutely free. If you don’t want to be tied to a contract, there is still good news since the hotspot is currently on sale for just $99. And while it is worth noting the hotspot is 2G and 3G but not 4G LTE, the savings are significant enough to make the slower speeds palatable.
So what are the international data prices Globalgig offers and how do they compare with the major carriers?
AT&T charges $30 for 120MB international data, while Verizon Wireless charges $25 for 100MB of international data. Compare that the Globalgig’s price of $17 a month for 1 GB of data (GB not MB!!) and you can easily see that there is no contest when it comes to international pricing. No. Contest. At. All.
The hotspot Globalgig is offering is manufactured by ZTE. (IF you check the ZTE website you won’t find this specific model.) The hotspot is a small, nondescript unit with a miniUSB charging port on the bottom and a power button on one side. It has a 1500mAh battery inside. As you can see, the hotspot is a 2G/3G hotspot. That means it is far from cutting edge hardware. In most cases that would be an issue for me but I really don’t mind since the pricing is so amazing. And let’s be honest, until a year ago 3G was plenty fast!
You can connect up to five devices simultaneously to the hotspot. That’s great if you are traveling, but it is also great in the US where the hotspot connects you to Sprint’s wireless network. The company is quick to point out that there are no hidden charges, and customers can cancel or changes to their plan up to 48 hours prior to the end of the monthly billing cycle. The hotspot lets you choose your own secure encrypted password for access and can be set up to send you alerts when you’ve used 50%, 85% and 100% of your monthly data allowance.
So let’s summarize. Globalgig is rolling out to cover more countries, offers amazingly low prices for good-sized buckets of data and you can get a hotspot for free if you sign up for just 18 months. Seriously, what’s not to like? You can.
Personally I would love to see Globalgig roll out to Aruba and Israel since I’ll be traveling to both next December.
MSRP: Hotspot is $119 (On sale for $99 and free with an 18 month contract); Data starts at $17/month for 1GB
What I Like: Amazingly low pricing; Flexible; Coming to more and more countries; You can get the hotspot for free with an 18 month contract
What Needs Improvement: Hotspot is old hardware that offers 2G and 3G speeds; Limited number of countries currently included
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample