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Karma Shuts Down Neverstop Unlimited Hotspot Plan

Remember that Neverstop unlimited hotspot plan that Sprint MVNO 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.

20 comments:

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  1. I saw this coming!

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  2. On an mvno, TRUE unlimited anything is mostly impossible.Tracfone mvnos Net10 and Straight Talk are the only exceptions and that's on talk text and maybe throttled data only. The prepaid divisions have true unlimited like Boost and Metro but even they can try and pull Unreasonable use to terminate accounts. I don't know what the longterm affects of a lawsuit against some carriers claiming but not providing so called unlimited happened not too long ago but how it's holding up or beong enforced, not too sure. Neverstop took bit off more then ut could chew. No new independent can possibly provide truly unlimited high speed data. They claimed they cpuld and the data hogs came and sicked them dry.Bad market to cater to if you're not a prepaid division or Tracfone. On some mvnos even the throttle data may have hidden caps.How long did they last? Less, then a year

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  3. $140 for 20 MB sounds like a horrible deal, but it is profitable I presume. Better for them compared to thier never stop plan.

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    1. That's $140 for 20MB on a bad network. Show me someone who pays a super high price for something like this, and I will show you a fool.

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  4. Their judgment is so consistently wrong. Their fix for the initial fiasco ($50/15GB) was $3.33 per GB. Now they are charging at least $7/GB - more than double. They saw how people were using the hotspot (at home); why would they even offer the $50/15GB plan if they knew they couldn't sell at $3.33 per GB.

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  5. They are dead in the water. Boost (Sprint) already offers a hotspot plan for $50 with 10GB high speed data.

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  6. If you use non-Carrier phone user, you guys have a advantage for free hotspot service. Cricket allows to use hotspot with non-cricket device and it coast free! If you have advanced plan, that means you can use 20GB as hotspot.

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    1. Really not sure what you're trying to say or the clear intent of your comment, BUT cricket CHARGES $10 to use the tethering option on your phone (that's IF it is one of the few fones that will work). Additionally 20 gig plan hasn't been available for over a year

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    2. Non cricket devices such as foreign phones can use tether for free. It is kind of bypass.

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    3. Non-approved Cricket tether/hotspot is possible, but explicitly violates their TOS. I'd not risk it.

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  7. T-Mobile has a $35/month, 6GB prepaid hotspot plan, and their other monthly plans all offer a lot more value too:
    http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-internet

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  8. I want a refund for my Karma Hotspot. Their prices are usurious.

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  9. No surprise here. Had it for a month until they changed it, sent it back for a refund due to their shady practices. Bye, Karma!

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  10. The time of MVNO deaths continues! I see the same possible future for FreedomPop and maybe even R+. Free is just not sustainable, people!

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    1. I have RingPlus. I support the free idea, and I actually consider their ads and listen. However, it seems like almost all of the advertisements are selling songs on iTunes, which only works on one phone brand, one that most phone users (and probably most RingPlus customers as well) don't have. A poor choice for a sponsor.

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  11. Karma LTE hotspots are selling for high prices on eBay. Just move on.

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  12. Wow...this was embarrassing. I assumed they had done their due diligence and had discovered some special sauce to actually make this work. It turns out they were ridiculously unprepared and couldn't even make it to month three without changing things.

    HF members were saying on day one that this was doomed to fail. I thought they'd be fine. Boy was I wrong.

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  13. Please, every complaining subscriber go right to eBay and list your Karma Go hotspot for sale. Once the price drops a lot, I want to buy one for the Refuel plan, to replace my FreedomPop 3G modem and service.

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  14. I work at the company and the whole Neverstop program was a scheme by the CEO, Steven van wel, to get the investors to release the next round of funding. We were not on track to hit the required number users so they came up with Neverstop, full well knowing it was unsustainable. Once we hit our goal and the funds were released, then the excuses started ultimately withdrawing Neverstop.

    The board loved it as some cashouts occurred at that point but a few investors are catching on now. Too late.

    You'd better take your refund. We have stacks and stacks of returned Karmas in the warehouse. It's rumored the plug is going to be pulled at the end of Q1.

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    1. I don't worry when I read anonymous rumors. Most of them aren't true.
      If someone from Karma IS reading this, just put the returned Karma Go on sale for $50 and thousands will sell, pumping up your numbers again. Then more people can cash out, if that is all they want.
      I will be one of the first customers, for the Refuel plan.

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