Karma, a NY-based tech-company sells mobile hotspots and data, has an interesting idea for how data is consumed, changing the way we use and share Wi-Fi based on the karmic principle of cause and effect. Put simply: give away free Wi-Fi and get free data in return. The company recently announced a massive expansion is underway, thanks to a partnership with Sprint and its 4G LTE network that will give Karma a total footprint of 230 cities.
On the surface, Karma seems like pretty straightforward mobile hotspot. You pay for data as you go at a rate of $14 per GB and use that to connect to the Internet. The big difference though, is what happens when someone else connects to your Wi-Fi signal. Instead of using up your data, Karma gives you both 100MB for free on separate and secure accounts. The hotspot itself is small enough to carry in your pocket and offers six to eight hours of battery life, meaning you can keep it close at all times.
Karma says the LTE enabled hotspot will hit the market sometime in the first half of 2014. For now, you can pick up a 4G WiMAX model starting at $99 with coverage in 80 cities on Sprint’s WiMAX network. The company also promises “exclusive upgrade options” next year when new LTE units arrive.