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DataJack: $40 A Month For Truly Unlimited 3G
Too good to be true? Or just a good deal?
by Karl Bode 01:40PM Wednesday Dec 30 2009 Tipped by sonicmerlin See Profile
While the prepaid offerings of carriers like Cricket or MetroPCS spent a good portion of 2009 shaking up voice pricing in the wireless industry, 2009 didn't see a lot of disruption the pricing status quo for wireless broadband service. While we saw prepaid companies like Millenicom offer unlimited 3G services without a contract, the pricing was still standard (as in expensive) for the industry: 5GB of usage for $60/month, unlimited for $70/month.

Enter DataJack, a new 3G service to be hyped at CES next week that promises to offer unlimited 3G wireless broadband access via USB modem for $40 a month. Like most prepaid operators, DataJack hopes to differentiate itself by avoiding long-term contracts, annoying nickel and dime fees, and other activation costs. The USB modem is $99. DataJack also is promising customers they won't even bother to do a credit check.

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Of course "unlimited" usually means "very limitied" in wireless industry parlance, but DataJack's website insists they really mean it. "Yes, DataJack Service is truly unlimited," says the company. "You can leave it connected to the Internet 24 hours a day and not worry about any overage charges," insists the carrier.

That's a pretty big promise, considering that from the look of the company's 3G coverage map, they're simply piggybacking on T-Mobile's 3G network. According to T-Mobile's pricing website, the best T-Mobile offers is a $50 a month plan with a 5GB a month cap (didn't it used to be 10 GB, T-Mobile customers?), so how DataJack navigates this imposed limitation isn't entirely clear. While DataJack's terms of use tries to foist the very legally dubious idea of forced arbitration on users who have legal complaints, there's no reference to caps, limits, or other monthly constraints.

While we see reports this week indicating that DataJack will be "launching" at CES next week, a quick look around the web finds forum posts from users who've been using the service since late October with no serious complaints. Have any of our regular users had any experience with the company? If you have, post your impressions in our comment section below, and let other users know if this is an offer that's too good to be true.


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