Just got my Karma Go wifi hotspot in the mail. Although it’s only been a couple of hours, I’m quite happy with the performance and intrigued with the business model. First, performance. Easy connection to all my devices. I intend to use it with my computers more than my iThingys, but they were still simple to connect. iThingys need an app while computers use a browser to authenticate. Feels a bit like a hotel hotspot, which is my only quibble.
Once connected you’re basically using an LTE network that is completely hidden from you. This is kind of cool - no jacking with contracts or carriers. Quite speedy for LTE as well. Not sure about coverage yet, but I suspect it will do quite well in cities where I intend to use it.
The business model is more interesting. The Karma Go always creates a network called Karma Go that anyone can hop on. When you do, you are given the option of creating an account. Quite similar to any public wifi network. Once you have an account, you can buy bandwidth that runs about $10/gig if you choose to bulk purchase.
Once you have an account you can use anyone’s Karma Go hotspot to access their network. I can’t stop people from using my hotspot as long as they have a Karma Go account. The cool thing is that every time someone joins Karma Go or uses their network via my hotspot, I get free bandwidth. That’s kind of cool and we’ll see how it works. I doubt I’m going to get much use in Lawrence, but in a crowded airport or a meeting with colleagues, I could see significant usage.
Best of all - no more sucko hotel and airport wifi. Nothing like waiting 10 minutes for the NYT website to load in BWI.
I’m not ready to endorse this quite yet, but after a few hours I’m quite happy. To learn more, visit Karma Go.