Home - , , , - H2O Ending BOLT WiMAX Mobile Broadband, LTE Replacement Coming Soon

H2O Ending BOLT WiMAX Mobile Broadband, LTE Replacement Coming Soon

H2O Wireless has posted an message on their website announcing that they will be launching a new LTE based mobile broadband service and are discontinuing H2O's WiMAX BOLT mobile broadband service for hotspots and USB stick modems. The announcement reads: 

Termination of Service

Your H2O BOLT is about to strike lightning fast speeds on a new 4G LTE network with nationwide coverage!
With this new transition, H2O BOLT will feature an even more powerful mobile hotspot device with speeds faster than ever and offer a SIM card for your own compatible devices to take anywhere you go.
Due to the upcoming changes, the BOLT Spider Mini and the Flash will be discontinued.
However, service will be provided to active devices until September 30, 2015.

The last day you will be able to recharge your current H2O BOLT device will be August 31, 2015.

To ensure a smooth switch, mark your calendars with these key dates and reminders:

  • The last day to recharge your current H2O BOLT will be August 31, 2015
  • You will receive service until September 30, 2015
Visit https://bolt.h2owirelessnow.com/ for real-time updates on the all new H2O BOLT.
We hope you are as equally excited about these amazing upgrades. Stay in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter as well.

BOLT offered "unlimited" data on the Sprint (formerly Clearwire) WiMax network for $50 per month. Sprint is shutting down it's WiMAX network on Nov. 6th, 2015 so the demise of H2O BOLT is not unexpected. However the last day of service for BOLT is Sept. 30, 2015. I don't know why H2O is shuttering BOLT five weeks early. Perhaps Sprint is cutting off WiMAX to MVNOs early. However I think it's more likely that H2O just wants to concentrate on the BOLT LTE service they plan to launch. Before you ask, I don't know what network H2O's new service will use. I think Sprint, Verizon and AT&T, all of which H2O currently partners with, or T-Mobile, which seems very open to new MVNO deals, are all possibilities.

For current or potential BOLT customers, nobody else is offering unlimited mobile broadband anymore. But BOLT wasn't truly unlimited either. It's easy to find reports by BOLT customers that they were cut off for excessive use of "unlimited" data. See here and here for examples. If you need a relatively large amount of LTE mobile broadband data, the best current deals I've found are:

1 FreedomPop's 10GB for $59.99 deal is for LTE service only. 10GB LTE with 3G fallback is $89.99. For more options see my US Prepaid Mobile Broadband Plans Compared post.

32 comments:

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  1. "Sprint, Verizon and H2O" typo.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "the best current deals I've found are..."

    FreeedomPop Hub Burst WiMax is much cheaper.

    "Fastest 10GB at 8 mbps": $21.99/month

    http://support.freedompop.com/Device/Home/Hub-Burst/35373302/What-is-the-Hub-Burst.htm

    I do not want to just ignore this plan because we should press FreedomPop and others to match its terms when WiMax shuts down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WiMAX is cheap because there's lots of excess capacity and the infrastructure has already been built and its costs written off. It's unlikely that you will see LTE at similar prices anytime soon.

      Delete
  3. People I know who are on Sprint/Clearwire with the same Clearspot Voyager device, also got notice last week that their service will be discontinued.

    So Masayoshi-san is reclaiming his spectrum on schedule, two years later.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can tell you from experience that Verizon's prepaid hotspot that Walmart and Verizon sells is Rock Solid (Eclipse). With the 10 GB plan I was able to broadcast my Internet Radio station with no drop outs and till my cable provider finally got it right here was my only means of broadcasting. Speeds are great and in some southern small towns you'll get better upload and download speeds than cable as there is no bottle necking that happens so often with lackluster cable providers in small redneck southern towns. I only hope data will come down in price for when our cable provider acts up I can run to my local Verizon store or Walmart and buy a 10GB card and be good. It would be nice if they work with Verizon and at a cheaper rate and I'd be able to pop their SIM card into my hotspot and be on my way as the card seems to be a nano one I think when I open the sim slot door.

    ReplyDelete
  5. H2O has posted details on their new 4G LTE Bolt service. From the hotspot they sell ($99.99) and coverage map (which oddly defaults to West Africa) it looks like AT&T LTE coverage. You can buy a SIM ($9.99) if you want to bring your own device. $25 for 2 GB for 10 days, $50/5GB/30 days, or $70/7GB/30 days. No throttled unlimited mentioned -- I guess they cut you off when you use your allotment. One free month service is advertised for old Bolt customers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thinks for letting me know that Bolt LTE is live. I've added it to the US Prepaid Mobile Broadband Plans Compared page.

      Prices are the same as AT&T's own GoPhone Mobile Broadband.GoPhone's $25 2 GB plan is better than Bolt's as it's good 30 days instead of 10 days). Given H2O's reputation for sub-par CS, I can't see any reason to choose Bolt over GoPhone.

      Delete
    2. One advantage I could see of using H2O over GoPhone is that H2O seemingly allows you to use their mobile broadband plan on a smartphone (Red Pocket and Straight Talk do the same thing with their respective mobile broadband plans).

      Delete
    3. H2O announced an upgrade to its plans (double the data) on its website, www.h2obolt.com. The data isn't unlimited but a major improvement from its offer before. Now BOLT offers 4GB for $25, 10GB for $50, 14GB for $70 and 20GB for $90.

      Also, you can get a free LTE hotspot if you had the BOLT Wimax service.

      Delete
  6. The new H2o Bolt is much more expensive replacement for the WiMax what we still have today. I am using 20GB for $50. It means $200 per month

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. $10 per GB, more or less, is the going rate for LTE service by everyone. So much for competition. I don't think we will see a deal like Clear's unlimited WiMax for a long time. Not until there is excess capacity on the mobile networks or a viable and popular alternative yet to be imagined.

      Delete
    2. Not even close. Freedompop charges $6/GB for LTE, and T-Mobile costs $6.36/GB. Verizon charges $9/ GB.

      Delete
  7. This explains everything...however not really pleased with these alternatives. I use alot (alot) of data. This will severe bite. Unhappy with cable providers as well, and the goal was for mobile internet for home school road trips. Me children use the internet for everthing and we have a total of five house old users. The data usage for us would be ridiculous. and Stationary, well that tells on it self. Also, quite dismaying. The need to buy a new device and pay for service that will be for my needs not sufficient. And, then to find the underlying source widely, all the X companies Wimax is being discontinued so there isn't even another provider of this service (video killed the radio star). What is really being throttled here is the consumer. These companies keep changing and raising the price on the basic needs/wants just to make their situation prosperous. Poor reception/$100 a month, dropped call/.30 a minute, bottlenecked transmissions/$70 a month the cost of living basic: arm and a leg---this is giving me a headache, thanks for letting me share

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. George Carlin said "When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat."

      Delete


  8. I urge anyone who recently purchased a Bolt device say within the las 6 to 8 months contact the Better business Bureau and file a complaint. I just finished talking to an H2O rep, he states that you will have to purchase a new device at full cost (There not even offering a discount to switch devices, and after reading the spec on the new device you will get less service then what you get now. In there ad the make it seem like your upgrading to a better service but your not. Where now you have near unlimited internet access with no data cap (I stay on my computer 24/7 and have never been shut down), with the new device I would be restricted to a data cap of 5 gigs a month for the same amount I pay for now. For those of you like myself plain on voicing your discontent, can also write or call the company at:

    H20 Wireless
    201-346-4702
    2200 Fletcher Ave, Ft. Lee NJ 07024

    Let them know how you feel about being ripped off

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WiMAX is dying and so is the deal. Don't cry about it - find another plan and man up. H20 did not violate their contract. Did you even read it?

      Delete
    2. I feel the same way. Who cares what they call it. It's all wireless. They just give it a different name so they can justify trying to charge these ridiculous prices. But, I'm not buying it. We will see what happens when no one buys these rip off internet wireless services.

      Delete
  9. I found this blog when I was trying to top-up my H2o account. I had no idea that Bolt was being discontinued. I have never seen any contract or terms and conditions, so I don't know if they're violating anything. At least Clear sent me an email that service would be discontinued (although they said it would be in November 2015).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jason in PortlandJuly 20, 2015 at 9:10 PM

      H2O's Terms and Conditions are found in a link at the bottom of their homepage:
      https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/mainControl.php?page=Tc
      I find reading these extremely helpful even though they're dry, and I'm actually familiar with them as I started cell phone service on H2O a bit over a month ago.

      In addition to the alternative service options in the original story dated April 28th, another possible option just started just last week: 10 GB Sprint Network LTE-only for $50 via Boost Mobile. However, as LTE is a different technology, buying a new device (for $50) is necessary.

      Delete
  10. Has anyone looked at Blaze Wifi? Is this a good alternative? http://www.blazewifi.com/zip-results

    ReplyDelete
  11. F them I'll install Comcast Internet back.

    ReplyDelete
  12. H2O Bolt added a $90/10GB/30 day plan recently.

    Boost's $50/10GB hotspot monthly plan and T-Mobile Prepaid's $30/5GB/100min/Unlimited SMS monthly plan are two better values out there at the moment. (T-Mobile allows tethering up to 7 GB according to media.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boost's plan is a dedicated mobile broadband plan; the T-Mobile plan you mention is intended for phones and it's unclear how much of the 5 GB of high-speed data can be used for tethering; a comment by another reader of this site once stated it's only 100 MB. T-Mobile does sell dedicated prepaid internet for $60/9 GB and $70/11 GB. Yes I realize I'm not an official answerer.

      Delete
    2. I've used nearly all of the 5 GB on that TMO plan for tethering using my Android Moto E LTE for two months running, while moving house, so I can personally vouch that it works just fine. The recent news articles about TMO chasing down very heavy users stated the company has a 7 GB tethering limit.

      Delete
  13. replying to: September 16, 2015 at 1:00 PM
    Me too tethering on HTC 8X...wish they bump it up to 10gb

    ReplyDelete
  14. H2O doubled the data allotment on their Bolt plans, kinda sorta. The additional data is throttled to 128 kbs.

    https://bolt.h2owirelessnow.com/mainControl.php?page=plans

    There was also a promotion for a free Unite hotspot this week, but that appears to be gone already.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The free hotspot offer is there, but only for old Wimax customers:

      https://bolt.h2owirelessnow.com/mainControl.php?page=promotionMain

      Delete
  15. I just received and activated my new Bolt on 10/9/15 and activated at 8pm. Less than 48 hours later no service. I was deactivated because they say I had used 10gb. Waste of money. Do not inves in this device.

    ReplyDelete
  16. They won't be getting my money at these ridiculous prices. It's unlimited or bust for me. I'll just stick with my phone until I get my DSL back up.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have a H2O bolt unlimited data device what I recharge it.what I have to do with this shit?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The WiMAX network has been shut down. The old Bolt WiMAX hotspot that looks like the picture on this page no longer works.

      If you have the new BOLT Unite 4G LTE hotspot you can recharge it at https://bolt.h2owirelessnow.com

      Delete
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