TruConnect Mobile Gives You Pay As You Go Internet on Your MacBook and iPad

TruConnect Mobile Gives You Pay As You Go Internet on Your MacBook and iPad

In a world of heavy data consumption, TruConnect Mobile is partnering with Sprint to offer pay as you go internet for as little as $4.99/month.

Instead of adopting a set in stone pricing structure like the carriers do for smartphone and tablet usage, TruConnect Mobile is offering a true ‘pay as you go’ internet service to subscribers. Customers will only pay for the data they use.

“With TruConnect’s mobile Internet service, users pay a $4.99 monthly access fee and are charged only for the data they actually use at 3.9 cents per minute. The service is provided through a USB 3G dongle or a MiFi WiFi device that can connect up to five devices to the service with no tethering charges. There are no contracts, no activation fees, no monthly bills, no bundled data plans, no expiration of data and no overage charges.

“The world is thinking differently about mobile data services which means users are asking for more control over their data plans, instead of being forced into high-priced, contract-based plans,” said Kevin Hamilton, president and CEO of TruConnect. “The nationwide Sprint network allows us to ensure delivery of our services no matter where our customers go and we’re pleased to be partnering with such an industry leader.”

The idea of pay as you go internet sounds wonderful, especially for users that rely on mobile devices like the iPad or MacBook Air on a daily basis. When you’re away from your home network, you’re usually forced to subject yourself to pricey, capped data plans from carriers like AT&T and Verizon.

Where TruConnect’s plan structure comes into question is the 3.9 cents/megabyte price. On the TruConnect website, you will find this chart comparing data plans with other carriers:

TruConnect Mobile Gives You Pay As You Go Internet on Your MacBook and iPad

While it’s obvious that TruConnect’s flat rate of $4.99/month is lower than its competitors, the per megabyte price is actually pretty pricey.

Some simple math will show you that 3.9 cents/MB equals $39/month for 1GB of pay as you go data with TruConnect. You can get 2GB of data/month for the iPad on AT&T for $25. Verizon offers 2GB of data for $30/month.

With Sprint’s 3G network, TruConnect does have the plus of a great backbone for data consumption. If you only use TruConnect to surf the web occasionally, then it may be a better option for certain consumers. The benefit of a pay as you go plan is that you only pay for what you use. On a normal data plan, you have to pay your monthly rate even if you don’t get near your limit.

TruConnect’s service can be used through a $70 USB card for laptops and a $90 MiFi for mobile devices like the iPad.

Let us know what you think of TruConnect Mobile’s new plan in the comments. How does it compare to other data plans? Do you find the pay as you go aspect particularly appealing? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • BrianVoll

    If the Sprint iPhone has this built in, it will make a really good tethering/data plan. I’m hoping AT&T and Verizon would adopt something like this though. Especially when I tether, I only use about 200-300mb per month.

  • MacRat

    Your T-Mobile category is missing the option of just using a pay-as-you-go SIM with an android phone for tethering.

    ZERO monthly fees.

    Activating a “day pass” for data is $1.50 for the day. No minute charges and No MB charges for data.

  • MacRat

    Your T-Mobile category is missing the option of just using a pay-as-you-go SIM with an android phone for tethering.

    ZERO monthly fees.

    Activating a “day pass” for data is $1.50 for the day. No minute charges and No MB charges for data.

  • BrianVoll

    Sounds like an AT&T GoPhone. (Do those even exist anymore?).

    Not sure if it will allow tethering or not though.

  • MoistPup

    If I did my math right that’s $84 spent at TruConnect for the 2 Gigs you get for $25/mo on AT&T….

  • Brandon Davis

    The press release says 3.9 cents/minute and the graph shows 3.9 cents/mb. I’m assuming the graph and the company’s website are correct with 3.9cents/mb. The per minute may have been somewhat intriguing to me. 

  • Aaron

    Might I mention this connects on Sprint’s 3G (not 4G) network. Maximum download speed roughly around 300kb/second. Oh, and Sprint sucks. :)

  • jb82

    30mb 3g limit per day … after which speeds are 2g. 

  • MacRat

    Still no extra charges.

  • Ren

    Uh. No.

    I use the full 4gb of data on AT&T because I use my iPhone for tethering for my work. At 3.9 cents per MB, I’d be paying $156 a month for data (plus the connect fee), effectively double what I pay Ma Bell.

    Perhaps this is better for the occasional internet user. Not me.

  • John Howell

    Paying by the minute for data offers no incentive for the provider to be efficient. The number of times ive been on the end of a cripplingly slow link with high lag even when I see plenty of 3G bars is quite high. If paying by the minute, it would cost me more to login to my corporate citrix connection as it will take longer to do anything, so more minutes used than when the connection is fast. Through my current tethering on the phone, if the connection is crappy it only costs me the bits that I sent and recieved before I give up and look for a wifi hotspot instead.

  • Chris

    are there any plug-and-play data usb sticks for mac? Usually you must install an application first, that’s usually hard to use and doesn’t work, and includes background processes that always run, even if you’re on Wifi.
    I think Mifi is a better alternative

  • Rowanova

    On Verizon I can use the Hotspot feature on my iPhone for $20 per month. As long as its kept under 2gb/month, that’s not bad. 

  • TruConnect

    Chromeronin,
    I’m sorry if the article here was unclear. You do not pay by the minute with TruConnect you pay by the megabyte so a slower connection does not equal higher cost. In fact, a faster connection for you would benefit us because you would be transferring more data.

  • TruConnect

    Ren,

    Your comment is dead on. TruConnect is designed for the occasional or casual mobile broadband user. This user connects to the Internet almost always via home or office WiFi. But for those times when Internet is needed away from home or office TruConnect provides an inexpensive solution with high quality service.

  • Lulu

    I was very interested in the Truconnect until I worked out the simple math with data at 3.9cents per mb. As you stated, very pricey! One Netflix stream would use nearly 2 gig w/o HD, nearly 4 gig with. There must be a better alternative for non-wifi areas.

  • TruConnect

    TruConnect is intended for the casual or occasional mobile broadband user. If average data usage is around 500 MB TruConnect is a great deal compared to other mobile broadband solutions. Important to note that if in one month you use 1GB that doesn’t mean TruConnect is a bad thing because the next month, or several months, you may pay nothing if you don’t use it. There is no contract which means no $40-$60 bill every month for at least two years, and you will never have a pre-paid pack of data that expires.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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