Feature Article

January 16, 2014

NetZero Expands Coverage via Sprint 3G Network

NetZero Wireless, the company that used to provide free wired Internet back in the days of dial-up, before opting for free wireless 4G mobile Internet service in 2012, has now expanded its coverage with Sprint’s 3G wireless network. This network upgrade has been a long time coming as NetZero and Sprint signed a five-year agreement in July 2013 under which Sprint will provide NetZero Mobile with broadband service.

Although NetZero is offering 3G coverage initially, the contract includes access to Sprint’s 4G LTE network as well, though that won’t occur until the third quarter of this year.

“Expanding the availability of our mobile broadband service over the Sprint network gives us a much more robust presence nationally, allowing us to offer coverage to millions of additional customers,” said Rusty Taragan, president of NetZero Wireless, in a statement. “There have always been a lot of great reasons to use NetZero Mobile Broadband and this expanded coverage adds another to the list. This new coverage expands our NetZero Mobile Broadband coverage to more than 276 million people.”

NetZero Mobile Broadband is a mobile Internet service for laptops, tablets, netbooks — really any Wi-Fi-enabled device — that is delivered via either a mobile hotspot router or a wireless USB dongle. Although it is possible to get wireless Internet access for free with NetZero, this is a limited option.

Indeed, the free plan, which offers 200MB of data per month, expires after one year. However, the provider also offers paid plans ranging from $10 for 500MB per month up to $50 for 8GB per month. Oddly, even though the NetZero website lists five wireless plans, access to Sprint’s 3G network is limited to four plans.

Regardless of the plan, however, NetZero customers aren’t required to sign a contract, can join on a month-to-month basis, can cancel any time and don’t have to pay overage charges.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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