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The new Karma Go Wi-Fi hotspot promises contract-free LTE 'anywhere in the US'

The new Karma Go Wi-Fi hotspot promises contract-free LTE 'anywhere in the US'


Upgraded device uses Sprint's network and pay as you go model

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Pay as you go internet provider Karma has just shown off a new LTE Wi-Fi hotspot that it says uses Sprint's network to provide internet coverage "anywhere in the United States." The beermat-sized device, called the Karma Go, works like a gas tank in a car: users can add as much data access as they like at a cost $14 per gigabyte. There's no contract required, and once added, the data never expires.

There's no monthly contract required

The company's first hotspot used WiMAX for its data coverage, but says that by the time it released the device in 2012, it said "WiMAX already wasn't the future of mobile technology." For the Karma Go, the firm has been collaborating with Sprint to make an LTE device that it promises will work in more places than the previous model. When LTE isn't available, it'll fall back on a 3G connection, but it's not yet clear how accurate Karma's claim that the Go will work anywhere in the US is — by relying on Sprint, it's using a network that lags behind AT&T and Verizon in terms of coverage, speed, and reliability. Sprint is upgrading its network, but that process has come at the cost of consumer satisfaction.

We'll find out just how many places you'll be able to use the Karma Go for internet access when the device ships to American customers in December. The Karma Go costs $149, but you'll be able to pre-order one for $99 for the next 29 days. Those upgrading from the WiMAX Karma will be able to trade it in to get $75 off the new model; those that choose to stick with the original device will only be able to use their hotspots until the end of 2015.

Disclosure: Paul Miller, a former writer for The Verge, is currently working for Karma.