Your Own (Almost) Ad-Hoc HotSpot

If you’re a frequent traveler, you’re likely better off buying a MiFi or using your late-model cell-phone’s HotSpot capability than paying those outrageous hotel surcharges.  If you’re a frequent conference-goer, you’ve already learned they all fail to provide reliable connection(Web 2.0, LeWeb, Gnomedex, Microsoft PDC, Google I/O, just to name a few recent examples), so the only solution is BYOW – Bring Your Own WiFi (and the chaos it creates.)

But what if you rarely venture to un-connected areas, say a few times a year?  Paying $30-$60 a month does not look like a great value..  Now you can (almost) have your own ad-hoc service, without the monthly subscription plan – after you plunk down $149 for Virgin Mobile’s new MiFi device.  You can pay anywhere between $10 for 100MB to $60 for 5G of usage.

There’s only one problem with the plan – spot it yourself:

virgin plans

Yes, all these plans expire in an unreasonably short time.  Given the these limitations, if I were an infrequent user (less then once a month), I would probably buy the $10 plan just a few days in preparation for specific events. But let’s be real, this s*cks.  The proper solution for the ad-hoc user would be consumption-based plans with no expiry, with fill-up option.

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve)