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Old 12-20-2009, 05:15 PM   #1
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Default New Portable Internet/Phone from Rogers

I am having problems with my home Internet provider and since I live rural, I don't have much choice. In searching, I noticed Rogers has a new Rocket Hub which has portable Internet anywhere a Rogers cell phone will work. You can also include a phone with this.

http://www.rogers.com/web/content/inter ... /rockethub

I have less than a month left on my home Internet and am seriously looking into this service from Rogers. The initial cost is one thing that is making me think quite a bit about this. It costs $150 on a 2 year plan or $400 with no plan. Quite a lot for my budget.

The plans are as follows for this:

Internet Only:
Monthly Feeħ___Data Included*__How Rogers Flex Rate Works
$35___________0 GB to 3 GB___You will start each month at Tier 1
$45___________3 GB to 5 GB___If your monthly usage exceeds 3GB, then you move up automatically to Tier 2
$60___________5 GB to 10 GB__If your monthly usage exceeds 5GB, then you move up automatically to Tier 3

Internet and Phone:
Monthly Feeħ___Data Included*__Voice Included?
$50___________0 GB to 3 GB___Unlimited local calling, Voicemail, Caller ID and Call Waiting
$60___________3 GB to 5 GB___If your monthly data usage exceeds maximum allotted for your plan, then you move up automatically to the next tier. ?
$75___________5 GB to 10 GB

Option to add in Unlimited Canadian long distance for an additional $20 per month.

Speeds for Internet is said to be up to 7.2Mb/s which far exceeds what I'm getting now.

I know there was a discussion about the Rocket Stick but the rates on that are very high. This looks a little more reasonable. This might be something worth looking into if you do a lot of traveling in Canada. This works off the cellular network so if a Rogers cell will work, so will this.
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: New Portable Internet/Phone from Rogers

Wow, this yech stuff just keeps on getting better

Quote:
Easy high speed internet & phone in one--perfect for your home or small office.

Experience high speed internet where you didn't think it was possible! Just plug the Rocket hub into a power outlet and create a Wi-Fi spot connected to the Rogers wireless network. Enjoy internet connectivity for up to 10 computers at one time with download speeds up to 7.2 Mbps*. Plug a regular phone into the phone jack to also enjoy voice services. No technician visits for installation or software downloads required just plug in the Rocket hub to get started!
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: New Portable Internet/Phone from Rogers

We just ordered this Rocket Hub for Internet. We're still contemplating about the phone. When it arrives, I'll post information about it.

I had to do something because my Internet provider has to be the worst in Canada. I'm paying almost $50/mth (before taxes) for 1.5Mb speed but only get 60k to 80k download. Their technical support cannot understand their own service which makes getting help a waste of time. The joys of living rural.

When I talked to the Rogers rep, he stated these Rocket Hubs can be taken anywhere in Canada and work just like a cell phone.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: New Portable Internet/Phone from Rogers

I now have the Rocket Hub working and it is nice. The hub is basically the size of my hand. All I had to do was plug it in and it was working. Right now, I'm getting a signal of 2 to 3 out of 5 (I'm in the basement) and my speed is between 2.5Meg and 4Meg. Download speeds average 300k to 400k but I have got up to 2Meg for a short time.

The Hub has a built in router and has 4 ports to hard wire computers to. It also has built in WiFi which can have up to 10 computers connected to it at a time. It has full security feature that can be changed with the settings site accessed through a computer and Internet browser

I put my cell phone SIM card in the Hub and tried the phone. It works just like a standard home phone. There's a dial tone and the signal was very clear. (I called my wife just to play). I'm still going to look into the phone since it's only $15/mth but that will be some time in the future.

This Hub does not have a backup battery so if the power goes off, the Hub dies. I have a couple backup power units for my electronics so I can always use one for the Hub.

One thing I have noticed is the power for this is marked as 10 to 28VDC. If there was a car power unit for this, it would allow this to be plugged directly into the vehicle battery system.

If I get some time, I will take a few pictures of it. It has a small stand that makes it sit on a flat surface. It also has a couple of screw slots on the back so it can be mounted to a wall which is nice. There is an external antenna for it for areas where there is weak signal but I don't know anything about it.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: New Portable Internet/Phone from Rogers

Do you still like it?

I have to look into this as we will be moving to a rural house later this year. I think I had cable broadband in the city in 1995 - didn't know how lucky I was. Looks like my options at the new place will be Rogers Rocket Hub or Xplorenet fixed wireless

Link to the Canadian Government's Broadband Internet Maps

http://www.ic.gc.ca/app/sitt/bbmap/hm.html?lng=eng

Has anyone here had any experience with Xplorenet fixed wireless?
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Portable Internet/Phone from Rogers

All I have to say is, we had Xplornet and it has to be the worst Internet provider. We signed up for the 300k plan but only got 30k download speed even though we were told we could get consistant download speeds of 110k. I then upgraded to the 1.5Meg plan but only got 60k to 80k download speeds. If you complain about poor speeds, they tell you to go to speedtest.net and run a speed test. The test always says you have good speed but it only checks the first few seconds of the connection. When I was downloading files, speeds started fine but after 20 seconds, the speed dropped right off to the 60k to 80k. We couldn't even watch YouTube with Xplornet. Needless to say, I complained for almost the entire 2 years we were with them but never had anything done to fix it. From what I understand, they have some kind of burst speed system and you can get good speeds when you first connect to a site but the burst stops in a short time and speeds drop. Browsing is good but forget any Windows and antivirus updates. The price for the 1.5Meg plan was $45/mth for the first 2 years because they waved the rental fees on the antenna reflector when you lock in for 2 years. Our plan ran out and the price went up to over $50/mth and I felt that was far to high for 70k speeds. The installation cost and site survey fees were quite steep too. We have been told the Xplornet tower in our area is one of the oldest they have and is in need of replacement but Xplorenet never admits they have problems with their system. We learned about the tower from the tech who fixes it. He also stated he has seen some towers with vines growing up to near the top but Xplornet will not spend money to fix the problems. They've had a monopoly for a very long time now. The only good thing about Xplornet was the unlimited bandwidth. You didn't have to worry about going over your limit.

We have the Rocket Hub and like it a lot. The only quirk about it is; it blocks Rogers.com intermittently. This is a known problem and Rogers is working on fixing it. If the Rogers website is blocked, you need to unplug the Hub and plug it back in. You can also log in to the Hub remotely and restart it. Once it is running again, the Rogers site is not blocked and can be accessed. This happens about once every day or 2 with my Hub. The only thing I use Rogers for is to check my usage which is nice.

Bandwidth limits are a bit of an annoyance too. We've been using the Hub quite a bit and should use about 3Gig this month. My daughter spends a lot of time on YouTube and some kid's game sites and has been using quite a bit of bandwidth. My wife plays a lot of games on Facebook too and runs up the usage a bit too. Of course, when we got the Hub, I played a lot checking speeds so I know I used quite a bit of bandwidth. I'm not too concerned about it since we would have to go over 5Gig to come close to the Xplornet cost.

Signal strength on the Hub has an effect on the speeds. I took mine over to a co-worker's place and was only getting a signal strength of 0 to 1 out of 5. We were still getting over 200kb/s download speeds but browsing seemed to be slow. We weren't sure if it was the hub or the new laptop they were trying it with. I have got up to 4.8Meg download speeds but usually get 250k to 600k. I purchased a 10db antenna off Ebay for mine to see if it will make any difference. There are quite a few external antennas available for these Hubs on Ebay now. The only thing I'm thinking about getting is a backup battery but they are only available from Ericisson for now.

Rogers will charge you a startup fee but we complained and got that waved. The prices are as I posted before and the only other fee is some government tax of just over $2/mth. The hub has a free return policy for 14 days so you can give it a try and if it doesn't work, you can return it free within the first 2 weeks. I would just make sure of that before ordering one. I would also buy directly from Rogers since they are the only ones that can give you a deal. Rogers is having a hard time keeping these in stock from what I have heard. They are becoming very popular for rural people.

The Hub is about the size of my hand and has been very reliable. The only problem so far is the Rogers.com website issue but they are working on that. I'll see about taking some pictures this evening if I have time.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: New Portable Internet/Phone from Rogers

Thanks for the info. The Rocket Hub is the best option for me then.

I just spoke to someone in sales at Rogers and he mentioned two things that will benefit me. #1 is that all calling within New Brunswick is local when you have the phone option. #2 is that you can take this unit anywhere in Canada and as long as you get a cell phone signal it'll work. That will be great in the RV.

He also said Skype would work
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: New Portable Internet/Phone from Rogers

Just in case anyone is interested in the size of the Rocket Hub, here are a couple pictures of mine. You can see by the rear photo there are 4 wired ports and the phone plug. According to the specifications on this, you can plug 3 old fashion phone or 20 modern phone to this. It has built in WiFi which is a nice feature too.

My wife and I are still considering the phone but we have a couple of issues with using it for our home phone. If the power goes out, the Hub and phone stop working. The battery backup that is available for the Hub doesn't last long enough if there is an extended power outage. The other problem is 911. These work off the cellular network and are not linked to a home address. If there's an emergency, the 911 operator will not have an address show up on their system.
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: New Portable Internet/Phone from Rogers

My cell phone is with Rogers. Coverage is good in populated areas but once in rural, remote areas my phone does not work. This includes the local conservation area 20 km from my house. We like to travel to northern Ontario and once we drive north of Sudbury my Rogers cell phone does not work. This internet service claims to work anywhere a Rogers cell phone works, but remember Rogers has very limited coverage in general. I plan on switching to Bell because they have the best cell phone coverage in Canada. I know Bell also has mobile internet but i haven't checked it out yet.
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: New Portable Internet/Phone from Rogers

Bell does have a mobile Internet like the Rogers Rocket Stick but it is pricey for now. As far as coverage, Bell and Rogers are about the same in Ontario. I looked at the Rogers coverage map and there is no coverage from Sault St Marie to Thunderbay and Thunderbay to Kenora but pretty well covers most of the major highways throughout Canada. In fact, if you compare the Bell and Rogers coverage maps, they are pretty close to each other. There is more coverage by Bell in Saskatchewan, Northern Alberta and BC but the rest is basically the same.

At least with the Rocket Hub, you can get external antennas that will boost the signal allowing it to work where a regular cellphone would not. I just ordered a 10db antenna for my Hub. The 10db antenna means it will boost the signal 10 times.

Personally, my wife and I will never deal with Bell again. When we moved to Ontario, I setup our home phone packages and thought everything would be fine. For well over 10 months, Bell could not get our bill correct. My wife spent hours on the phone, month after month, trying to get things fixed. Each time they would assure her everything was correct but when the next bill came in, everything was wrong again. Needless to say, when you call Bell customer service, you get India or Indonesia. Bell does not hire Canadians to serve Canadians. My brother had Bell cellphones for several years but started having all kinds of problems with Bell customer service too and switched to Rogers.

Everyone has their preferences. A lot of people swear by Bell and other Rogers. Everyone just needs to find what works best for them. For now, Bell does not have any rural Internet that has the range and features of the Rogers Rocket Hub. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before they come out with something.
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