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PrepaYd Wireless Offering Prepaid WiMAX Ahead of Boost and Virgin

Sprint has promised that its Boost and Virgin Mobile prepaid brands will be getting "4G" WIMAX data and phones that can use it this summer.  If you don't want to wait PrepaYd Wireless, a SprintMVNO announced yesterday that they are offering WiMAX right now as part of a $60/month unlimited, voice messaging and data plan.

While calling WiMAX 4G is questionable, with average download speeds of 3-6 Mbps it is 5 to 10 times faster than Sprint's 3g EVDO which is hard pressed to top 600 kbps in most areas. The biggest problem I have with WiMAX is its limited availability (map).

Besides the new 4G plan, PrepaYad has a selection of plans ranging from $35 to $50. All plans include unlimited voice and messaging, but the data options vary. The plans are as follows.

Plan (Monthly Price) Allowed Phones Voice Text MMS (PictureMessaging) Data
$35 non-smartphones Unlimited Unlimited none none
$40 non-smartphones Unlimited Unlimited none Unlimited
$45 non-smartphones Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
$50 smartphones Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 2G, 3G
$60 smartphones Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 2G, 3G, 4G

To use WiMAX you will need to buy one of two PrepaYd WiMAX phones;
  • Sansung Conquer (above), a Android candy bar with a 3.5 inch QVGA (320 x 480 px) screen, 3.2 MP camera, 1 Ghz single core processor , 512 MB of RAM and Android 2.3
  • HTC EVO Shift 4G (below), an Android QWERTY slider with a 3.6 inch HVGA (800 x 480 px) screen, 5 MP camera, 800 Mhz single core processor, 512 MB of RAM and Android 2.2 for $349.99
Both phones are solid mid-range devices. I have no idea why PrepaYd is shipping the EVO Shift with Android 2.2. Sprint's EVO Shifts got updated to 2.3 Gingerbread nearly a year ago. If you are comfortable with rooting it's possible to install the official Gingerbread ROM or a number of 3rd party ROMs on the EVO Shift.

PrepaYd Wireless has only been around since last year and isn't very well known. Its parent company's primary product is prepaid debit cards. Pricing is competitive and even beats Boost and Virgin for an unlimited 3G smartphone plan, at least until Boost's Shrinkage kicks in. The $35/month plan is the least expensive unlimited voice and text only plan available from any carrier and if you want prepaid WiMAX, PrepaYd is currently the only game in town.

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  1. Ting has been offering WiMax for a while... they allow tethering and they don't have any silly rules about what plans you must have if you have a smartphone.

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