Bandwidth is precious. You paid for it. God help anyone who tries to steal it. The Karma hotspot flips this equation on its head: share your connection, and both you and your leecher get 100MB of free data. It’s enough to warm the hearts of even the stingiest of Scrooges.
Anyone with a Facebook account is free to tap into your bandwidth, free of charge. So theoretically you could take your Karma around town, racking up gratis gigabytes like lollies. That’s the idea, anyway. Should you run out of free data, you can always buy more for $US14 per gigabyte, no contract required.
The device itself is a typical, nice-looking mobile hotspot. When it launches, it’ll cost $US69, have eight hours of battery life, and run off Clearwire’s 4G WiMax network (US only). But your Karma account is independent of the physical device. This means you can log in and have access to your data reserves wherever anyone has a Karma hotspot, which might be a more common sighting than you would think. The company plans to team up with major partners (such as American Airlines) to help gain the exposure needed to build a robust network of users.