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Old 02-20-2019, 02:39 AM   #1
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Default Current state of mobile Internet connectivity

I'll be hitting the road in March to go around the country to folk festivals. I'm wondering if any of you (Avanti?) have hooked up a mimo wifi router to a hotspot ? I have one of the latest verizon jetpacks, and am thinking of adding the sprint hotspot available through FMCA, since i use more bandwidth than is available on my single verizon plan, and sprint has less national coverage than verizon. I'd like to use sprint whenever it's available, and Verizon when it's not.

I use multiple computers on the road and would prefer to go through a wireless router -> hotspot instead of having to connect each computer to a hotspot.

Part of the reason is i want to have some of the computers hardwired to the router due to the size of file transfers between them. (not uploading to the net, just on the LAN).

As long as i'm already connected to the router, it seems simpler to use the router to go out to the net.

Also looking for suggestions on the latest MIMO antennas you might have come across..
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:32 PM   #2
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Yes, I do have setup of the kind you describe. It is several years old, so I am not sure it is the latest-and-greatest anymore, but it works very well. At minimum, you DEFINITELY want to go to MiMo. Makes a vast difference.

My setup is as follows:
Mobile Hotspot: Verizon Jetpack AC791L
MiMo Antenna: AntennaPlus AP-CC-M-SCSC
Router: Pepwave Surf SoHo

Here is a thread that contains the details of my setup:

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...html#post73350
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:01 PM   #3
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One of the best resources for current info on mobile internet options is this website and their associated Facebook Groups. They cover all the options and do reviews of all types of equipment. There is a fee to join the members group with the complete info but I have found it to be well worth the price.

https://www.rvmobileinternet.com

We currently have both Verizon and AT&T in order to get as good a coverage as possible where we travel (back and forth to Alaska a lot). We have most of our devices on Verizon but also have a phone and a hotspot on AT&T. All our devices have unlimited data with our two hotspots on a current prepaid Verizon plan and the AT&T hotspot on a no longer available unlimited data plan. Most times the MIMO antennas in our hotspots do the job but I do have a Netgear MIMO antenna that can be placed on a window. Have considered a rooftop MIMO but we have pretty good coverage as is. We have a Weboost also to help with coverage for our phones and tablets in fringe areas.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:09 PM   #4
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I have a very low opinion of cellular boosters such as Weboost. I have spent countless time and money with them over the years both in our RV and a vacation home. In my experience, they rarely do much good. They can add bars to your phone, so people think they are getting benefit, but they do not improve signal-to-noise ratios, which is what really matters. People rave about them, but it is almost always a placebo effect.

At any rate, if you have a MiMo data setup, there is absolutely no point in them. Modern cell phones have "voice over WiFi" options which will give you voice service wherever you have data service. The days of "voice only" cell towers are pretty much gone.

Concentrate on data service and MiMo, and you will do fine.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
I have a very low opinion of cellular boosters such as Weboost. I have spent countless time and money with them over the years both in our RV and a vacation home. In my experience, they rarely do much good. They can add bars to your phone, so people think they are getting benefit, but they do not improve signal-to-noise ratios, which is what really matters. People rave about them, but it is almost always a placebo effect.

In any rate, if you have a MiMo data setup, there is absolutely no point in them. Modern cell phones have "voice over WiFi" options which will give you voice service wherever you have data service. The days of "voice only" cell towers are pretty much gone.

Concentrate on data service and MiMo, and you will do fine.
I agree that Weboost signal boosters have limited use these days if you have a MIMO hotspot. On our trips back and forth to Alaska it does seem to be useful in some spots for voice calls where cell coverage is sparse and not upgraded to 4G.
In any case, we carry an Inreach to have text capability when there is no cell coverage.
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmchugh View Post
We currently have both Verizon and AT&T in order to get as good a coverage as possible where we travel (back and forth to Alaska a lot). We have most of our devices on Verizon but also have a phone and a hotspot on AT&T. All our devices have unlimited data with our two hotspots on a current prepaid Verizon plan and the AT&T hotspot on a no longer available unlimited data plan.

Have you noticed any problems with network management on the Verizon prepaid unlimited data plan? Iíve read all the info available to MIA members on the mobile internet site, just wondering about your experience traveling in more remote locations. The contract on my Jetpack ends next month so I plan to switch to the prepaid plan.
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlo View Post
Have you noticed any problems with network management on the Verizon prepaid unlimited data plan? Iíve read all the info available to MIA members on the mobile internet site, just wondering about your experience traveling in more remote locations. The contract on my Jetpack ends next month so I plan to switch to the prepaid plan.



We looked at switching to the prepaid plan a few years ago, and at least back then there was different coverage for the prepaid with the out of the way areas missing. I assumed it was because they were roaming areas that Verizon didn't want to have to pickup the cost for. We also heard from a couple of people that had the prepaid that it was also the first to be slowed down if heavy traffic, but that is just their observation. It will be interesting to hear if things have changed.
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlo View Post
Have you noticed any problems with network management on the Verizon prepaid unlimited data plan? Iíve read all the info available to MIA members on the mobile internet site, just wondering about your experience traveling in more remote locations. The contract on my Jetpack ends next month so I plan to switch to the prepaid plan.
I just got it and we have not used it much except to test it. We will see how it works on our trip up to Alaska and back. The AT&T Netgear Nighthawk we have been using for the last year has been working great but there is no longer an unlimited plan for it these days. Anyway, not really enough use with the Verizon prepaid to know how well it will work. I will be running both concurrently as we travel and should have a good idea of how they compare.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:26 PM   #9
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For the most part the OP appears to be talking about THIS country, although of course it is necessary to go through Canada to get to Alaska.

Husband and I have Verizon (me) and AT&T (him). By leaps and bounds, Verizon is the better service in eastern Canada, because they have reciprocity agreements with all the major carriers there. The effect of that is that I now get better cellular service than the natives, who are restricted to one local carrier or another. I get to hop among all of them to find the strongest in any given area.

I had a Netgear AC791L, but I was steered in the wrong direction by Verizon regarding incremental data purchases. If you go over the data allotment in Canada, the prevailing network will send a message asking if you want to purchase additional data by replying "yes" to the text message. That's great if you are on an iPhone, not so great on any given air card which doesn't have response capacity.

Therefore, given the inability to make incremental data purchases, I tried putting a Canadian SIM card in my American 791L. A SIM swap can be done with phones, but it's apparently against the law with other foreign devices, and my 791L was destroyed on contact. If I'd read 86 pages of fine print in advance, I would have discovered the inevitability of that outcome, but I had not.

When I went to replace the non-repairable 791L, what I found on the market was a new model which is called a 7730L (which I bought in late twenty eighteen). It seems to function quite well and has a touch screen for easier interface.

In the environments where I function (<--very important qualifier), I have found our weBoost to be invaluable. We had zero luck with directional antennae, and zero luck with the Netgear MIMO that Chris and Cherie recommended (Technomadia - I paid for a full individual consult), because it just is not a suitable environment for those products. The weBoost has saved our bacon multiple times over.

If I were repurchasing a booster now, as opposed to about 2 years ago when I got the weBoost, I'd be getting a SureCall2Go 3.0, which reportedly offers superior performance. You can read one Class B user's account of that here.

My suggestion is to have as many different tricks in your cellular bag as you can afford. Performance depends very heavily on geographic factors that are difficult to predict. A lot comes down to trial and error deployments.

If there is a specific location where you absolutely need to have cell service, you could try my line of sight assessment method. Spoiler: I haven't found it to be worth a hill of beans. My engineer husband insisted that we try it, but what we found is that the base data is all jacked up for some reason - who knows why. Those calculations should be very revealing about cellular connectivity potential, but I've not found it to be true. Elevation ASL is probably where the published data is most off. In the age of GPS precision, I have no idea why that would be true.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:44 PM   #10
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On AT&T you can sign up for a service by which you can transfer your US voice and data plan to most other countries for $10/day, even if your plan is unlimited. It is free to sign up, and can be very handy under some circumstances. Beware, though, that the first byte of the day costs you $10, so make sure you have data roaming turned off in advance if that is not your intention.
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