Karma Mobility launched back in November? It's gone, Karma announced yesterday that it's discontinuing Neverstop and replacing it with a new set of plans called Pulse.
At launch, Neverstop seemed like an unbeatable deal for anyone who had Sprint coverage and was paying more than $50/momth for wired or wireless broadband. Neverstop was throttled to a respectable 5 Mbps and limited to three connections per hotspot, but there was no usage cap. Karma promised Neverstop customers "We are upfront about what this $50 a month gets you: no caps on the amount of data you use at 5Mbps."
Karma apparently promised more than they could deliver and make money. In January, just two months after launch, Karma cut Neverstop speeds from 5 Mbps to 1.5 Mbps. Karma's justification for the speed cut was that they had underestimated how many customers would use it as a replacement for home internet. A week or so latter Karma restored the 5 Mbps speeds but instituted a 15 GB soft cap. After the first 15 GB in a month speeds were reduced to 64 to 128 Kbps.
Even with the 15 GB cap, Neverstop was apparently still a money loser. Karma CEO Steven Van Wel told FierceWireless that half of its Neverstop users reached the 15 GB cap last month and that wasn't sustainable.
Pulse, Karma's replacement for Neverstop is a set of rather vanilla prepaid broadband plans There are three hard-capped plans: $40/month for 5 GB; $75/month for 10 GB and $140/month for 20 MB. Pulse is unthrottled and supports up to 8 connections per hotspot. Additional data is $15/GB and Karrma will give you a refund for the unused portion if you buy more data than you use. Pulse has the same data sharing feature as Neverstop did. Anyone in range of your hotspot can connect to it, enter an email address and get 100 MB of data for free with an option to pay for more. Pulse users get a $1 credit for every new user that shares their hotspot.
Current Neverstop customers will be switched to the $40 Pulse plan at the end of their current service month or they can pre-order a different Pulse plan which will kick in when their Neverstop plan ends.
Another option for soon to be former Neverstop users is to switch over to Karma's Refuel pay as you go plan. Refuel data costs $14 for 1GB, $59 for 5GB and $99 for 10GB. Refuel data never expires making it ideal for users who need broadband only occasionally as a substitute for pricey resort or event broadband. Refuel users get 100 MB of data added to their balance every time someone shares their connection.
Pulse doesn't look very competitive. T-Mobile and Sprint's Boost Mobile brand both offer mobile broadband plans with 10 GB for $50/month, twice the data for the same price. Boost's and T-Mobiles hotspots are also much less expensive than Karma's $150 device. For more mobile broadband options see our US Prepaid Mobile Broadband Plans Compared post.