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Old 05-02-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
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Default Mobile Internet 'Rocket Stick'

I'm sure we touched on this before, but I just got a USB Rocket Internet Stick for my laptop.


http://www.rogers.com/web/content/wirel ... cket_stick

Tested from my lazy-boy

HSPA
Download 3075
Upload 551


Plans cellular

500MB $25
1GB $30
3GB $60
5GB $80

Max cap $100


Ok not as cheap as DSL/Cable but it's getting there. And it'll work at the trailer. laugh laugh

$25 on a one yr plan, saved $175 or $15/month, So the plan is really $10. I assume the SIM works in a phone too. (testing later). Bell and Telus have the same or similar, but no Sim.

Tested the Rocket Stick from the donut shop.

HSPA
Download 5.13Mb/s
Upload 1.16Mb/s

These speeds are just unreal, just as good as full speed cable.

Yeah, roaming charges in the states will hurt. But email and checking into your favorite web sites(ClassB RV ) on the road, this is great, works anywhere a cell works, though speeds will very.



Put the sim in my kid's HTC S621.

No problems making and receiving calls. (read it might be $1.00 min
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mobile Internet 'Rocket Stick'

OK, here's the bad news.....
From Rogers website, there's a data add-on for US roaming - price appears to be $10C/mo. and then
you appear to pay on top of that.

" US Data Roaming Add-On | $10.00/month

The perfect solution for travelers to the U.S to reduce data costs for email, IM, browsing and more.

Instead of paying a standard rate for each KB of usage while roaming, you pay a fee in advance and then save up to 80% off the standard rate! For most customers with a domestic data plan you'll save money after just 2MB to 5MB of data usage.

Buy the $10/month U.S Data Roaming Add-On and then pay only $1/MB ($0.001 per KB) while roaming in the U.S1. Plan is available for use with iPhones, Smartphones, consumer phones or Rocket Mobile Internet Sticks.

Note: 1 The monthly service fee is not pro-rated. The minimum chargeable amount in the U.S. is $0.01. Minimum usage is rounded up to 6 KB in order to have the minimum charge of $0.01 appear on the invoice. Further rounding is to the next higher multiple of 1 KB. "

I'm no MBA, but from my research a while back, it's pricey to roam in the States on any Canadian carrier's "plan".
If the stick acts as a wireless antenna, you'd be better off getting a Starbucks Card (like we did) and
just surf/check email when you stop for coffee. Just keep the card in good standing (buy a coffee once a month or so
and reload it with $5 when needed) and you get cheap (almost free?) internet in the USA at most Starbucks stores.
Just make sure the stick isn't accessing a US network, or be prepared for a shock when you open your next invoice
back home.

However, it does sound like a decent option for someone who is fairly often mobile in Canada. If you use less than
1 GB/month it's almost cost effective compared to dsl/cable. I believe I pay over $30/mo+tax, but I get 10GB/mo usage,
and quite often use most of it.
So, it really depends on how much you use, or if you can control your usage and keep it under the 1 GB cap.
As you say, it seems to be getting more common for people to get "mobile" access now, so maybe it will
come down in price over time.
Starbucks Cards also work in Canada, so we use it if we're on the road here and have the netbook with us.

Mike.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mobile Internet 'Rocket Stick'

Mike, as I mentioned at the time, a friend was down in Florida for the winter and he was extolling the virtues of his Bell version of the Rocket Stick, until he got the first month's bill, which was something like $662 for his roaming charges, plus his monthly charge. He told them to cancel it and they charged him another, I think it was, $400!

Tread carefully!
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mobile Internet 'Rocket Stick'

Hi Deryck,
I think I mentioned my sister got burned when her and her family
exceeded the low limits of monthly usage on the Bell equivalent last year.
She managed to work out a deal and they forgave some of the charges,
but they cut off service when she couldn't come up with just over $500
to pay the bill they'd rung up in their first month of using the thing. She lives
in a rural Ontario area with poor dial-up options and she can't get cable,
so the "stick" seemed perfect. Until they got "stuck", that is!!!

You are absolutely correct about "buyer beware" and "treading carefully".
That's why we went with a Starbucks loyalty card, after we couldn't find a
truly free wireless provider in the States. $5/month minimum to load it, use
it once a month to keep it active, and you get 2 hours of wireless a day at most
Starbucks in North America. We were able to find one when we needed
access, so it worked out pretty well. We decided not to worry about the
phone for the time being, as most people can get to us via email, or by
texting our phones, which we still take south for emergencies only.

Mike.
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RV - 2002 Roadtrek 190 Popular (Chevy) - SOLD.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Mobile Internet 'Rocket Stick'

Tested the Stick out at the trailer Monday night. Lousy connection at the fire (must be s Dead Zone LOL), but worked good in the trailer. 1.5meg downloads.

As for roaming. This is a GSM (Sim) device. It should be unlockable, then put an AT&T sim in while traveling in the States. Not sure though if you can get Pay as You Go Data in the States.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mobile Internet 'Rocket Stick'

If you can unlock it and get pay as you go, that would be really nice.
So the stick has a SIM card in it?
Don't know if any US ISP would have a prepaid data plan, but some of the ads
I've seen on the US TV channels up here describe monthly plans like "unlimited data
for around $35/month". That's awesome! I heard somewhere that it's not really "unlimited",
but it's got to be more than the 500MB for $30 you'd get at Rogers up here.
Why can't we get that kind of deal up here?
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RV - 2002 Roadtrek 190 Popular (Chevy) - SOLD.
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