For those needing mobile data in some of the more remote parts of the United States, you’ve probably been disappointed to find that Verizon Wireless is often your most reliable bet for functioning 3G and occasional LTE service.
I say disappointed, because Verizon’s data is expensive on an occasional, pre-pay purchase basis. I just paid $60 to fill my hotspot with just 3 GB of data.
But those high prices could soon lower with more Verizon LTE re-sellers about to launch service. In any case, we’re about to get more, and cheaper options.
Verizon LTE MVNOs
The problem has been that there aren’t many Verizon LTE Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs).
MVNOs buy service wholesale from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and re-sell it.
Up until to now the only MVNOs with Verizon-tower LTE signals have been some America Movil brands, including Page Plus, Prepaid Phone News explains.
Page Plus will sell you a phone-suitable, no-contract 3 GB chunk of 4G LTE for $55, including voice calling.
But, things are changing.
Two existing MVNOs have announced that they are about to start selling Verizon LTE data directly, says Prepaid Phone News.
Selectel Wireless and Puppy Wireless are now selling the SIM cards that you need to connect to Verizon LTE towers. Service is coming.
Quirky, Lincolnville Center, Maine-based Kitty Wireless, usually a Page Plus reseller, is performing the first of its own-brand Verizon LTE activations now, as we speak.
Kitty Wireless calls its LTE program Puppy Wireless. It put out a call for testers for its new SIM cards about two weeks ago, on May 25th, 2015 via its user forum. There have been hundreds of posts on the subject thus far. Impressive interest.
Pricing starts at $10.95. A 3 GB LTE no-contract plan is currently $55, which includes voice. Kitty’s website says that may go higher by $3.
You’ll need a Verizon-compatible device to make it all work. The $9.95 SIM cards and plans are available now.
Selectel Wireless, is also usually a Page Plus re-seller. It too, is going out with its own-branded 4G LTE SIM card on Verizon towers.
The 4G LTE service has not yet been provisioned, according to Selectel dealer Prepayrefill.com, but the company appears optimistic that it will be soon.
Pricing has not been set, but unlike Kitty’s Puppy offering, pricing will only be on the $30 or more, expensive plans.
Selectel currently sells a good value 5GB of 3G hotspot data for $50, which hopefully is a sign of things to come.
The LTE SIM card, which you can get now, costs $3. Again, you will need an LTE-compatible Verizon device, too.
Verizon rack rates
I needed that aforementioned chunk of Verizon data to download some topographic maps, GPS tracks and keep in touch for an off-pavement expedition through the mountains and deserts of Northern Arizona. AT&T bars were absent at my starting point, near Flagstaff.
Those maps cost me $60 with Verizon’s “rack rates,” to coin a hospitality industry expression. Expensive maps. Bring on the MVNOs, and a bit of competition I say.
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