Have one of those shady Verizon $5 per month unlimited 3G data Mifi's? Looks like that angle's comin' to an end. I ain't absolutely sure, mind you, but signs point that way.
Here's How It Worked
If ya don't know what I'm talkin' about, here's the deal. Third-party sellers would buy an old Verizon mobile with a grandfathered $5 per month prepaid unlimited 3G data. Then they'd extract the code and flash it onto a Mifi. That way, the Verizon network thinks the Mifi is the old phone with the grandfathered plan. These they sold online, many on eBay.
The end user of a flashed Mifi would then buy $5 Verizon data cards – often from Walmart online – and call in to a Verizon toll-free number to prepay each month. Some have been doin' this for years.
Yeah, that's definitely against the user agreement and maybe illegal. But dammit, it was cheap, and it worked! Verizon didn't seem in too much hurry to ferret out the abusers. But now it looks like we're gettin' cut off.
What Just Changed
Verizon is disconnectin' heavy data users in rural areas. That's been covered in the press. But there's another wrinkle to the story. They're makin' hard to refill those grandfathered $5 unlimited plans, too.
Today, I went to Walmart's website per usual to buy my monthly Verizon $5 data card. Suddenly, they no longer sell 'em. Neither does Best Buy. Shit!
I did manage to buy some on eBay – marked up to $6.29 each. But it definitely looks like the jig is up!
This's Been Comin'
Mind you, Verizon announced years ago that they was phasing out 3G by 2021. I noticed already that 3G networks are gone from some bigger cities.
On the other hand, 4G LTE ain't in some rural and wilder areas Vanholio roams. It's only 3G or, worse, 2G or 1X. But that ain't many places, really.
Now, I suspect Verizon is still gonna support legit 3G users with monthly accounts till 2021. At least thems that don't use crazy amounts a data. But prepaid? It looks like they're cuttin' us loose.
Probably ain't too many legitimate users left anyway. And Verizon'll likely offer the few mad ones a deal.
But for scammers like ol' Vanholio? After the leftover data cards sell out, we're SOL.