In a sane world, there would be a range of mobile data plans, and a range of mobile data devices. You would choose a plan, and then a device. And then get it.
But the world of Canadian mobile devices is not a sane one.
I will now decode the Rogers plans for you. It doesn't help that they provide a lot of their information as popover layers that I can't link to directly.
Rogers basically offers four data plan payment contract types: prepaid, monthly, 1 year, 2 year and 3 year.
They also offer two USB sticks, which they brand "Rocket" sticks: a 3G stick and an LTE stick.
So far so good. Except they attach plans to devices.
So if you go to Rocket Stick
and click on the Prepaid Rocket Stick
You might think you are on a data plan. But you are not. You are on a plan, attached to a specific device, named the "Prepaid Rocket™ mobile Internet stick". You might think that's a way of paying for the stick, but no, to be clear, the Prepaid stick is only the 3G Nokia CS-18 stick. No other stick can be prepaid. (There is no technical reason for this, it's an arbitrary business decision.)
This would be fine if, say, the Rogers store had not specifically told me they didn't carry any Prepaid Rocket™ mobile Internet sticks and that in any case the Prepaid Rocket™ mobile Internet stick had been problematic to set up. Instead they pointed me to the LTE Rocket™ Stick - Sierra Wireless AirCard® 330U.
Which would all be wonderfully clear if the Rogers website was very careful to always specify whether it was referring to the Nokia 3G stick or the Sierra Wireless LTE stick. But which is not at all clear because the website instead uses "Rocket Internet Stick" to mean sometimes one device, sometimes the other, and sometimes both.
For example, start at LTE Devices
Then click "Learn more" on the LTE Rocket Stick
then click Device & Plan - Monthly
And you get this apparently very clear screen:
$21.81/month for the LTE 100MB-9GB plan
$46.81/month for the LTE 2GB-9GB plan
and a handy link
Prepaid plans available for Rocket mobile internet stick. Learn more.
Now you might think that SINCE YOU ALREADY SELECTED LTE Rocket Stick and SINCE IT SAYS PREPAID PLANS AVAILABLE FOR ROCKET MOBILE INTERNET STICK that means that there are... prepaid plans available.
But no. You are wrong. When it says "Prepaid plans available for Rocket mobile internet stick" it actually means "Prepaid plans available for the Prepaid Rocket stick which is definitely not the LTE Rocket stick, isn't that obvious?"
In any case. You might think that you could at least select the $20 monthly plan and combine it with the LTE Rocket stick, and then buy the LTE Rocket stick.
But no. Even if you already have a Rogers account, Rogers wants to do a credit check. A credit check to make it clear that you must be granted permission by Rogers to bless them with your money.
May I suggest that a business model designed to reduce risk from university and high school students getting their first phone is not ideally suited to middle-aged people buying their dozenth device.
As a bonus, if you manage to land on the right web page which will show you clear-ish-ly that the prepaid has one plan option
and that the LTE had 4 plan options
(Rather than say, standing in the store next to a computer while the salesperson attempts to decode an out-of-date paper rate flyer and buries you in confusion about what plans actually exist.)
You still can't actually buy it. You may request, like a medieval supplicant kneeling before a king, the permission to give Rogers your money. You will then wait for Rogers to call you back, to discuss whether or not this boon will be granted.
Needless to say, I am not currently in possession of an LTE stick, there being rather too many hoops to jump through, particularly considering that I already get 6GB of tetherable data for $30 on my Rogers iPhone. I guess wanting to give Rogers extra money for much less data on a second device was too much to hope for.