Data only, no contract SIM cards?? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-10-2014, 09:49 AM   #1
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Data only, no contract SIM cards??

Right now our only way to access the Internet is through a Mifi hotspot. It appears that soon we might be joining the 21 st century and getting something close to real Internet access. If that happens, I'll be dumping the Mifi. I'd still like internet access when traveling without looking for a hot spot. I'm thinking of replacing my aging iPad with a tablet that has unlocked 4G LTE and using data only no contract sim cards. There are several companies that offer them. I wonder if anyone has gone his route? Raz
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Old 11-10-2014, 09:55 AM   #2
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Check out Sparkfun for this offer:

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13186

They are a company that sells electronics parts and widgets but I just happened to notice this new item. $80 for 6 months of unlimited data sounds like a pretty good deal. (Although I should edit in the information that after 2G of data in a month, the system "throttles" your connection. It shouldn't be a problem unless you were hoping to watch movies.)
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:29 AM   #3
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Raz, we Canadians get hammered hard by our cellphone carriers when traveling in the US - yes we can buy a roaming plan ahead of time from them but they are still crazy in their pricing. For example even if you have paid $20 for their roam plan you will still pay $0.60 for the texts you send while in the US. You don't want to know what they charge for a one minute phone call or a couple of minutes of data use!

Now for $25 you can have your carrier unlock your I-Phone (thats a fairly new deal - use to be if your phone was on a contract they would not let you unlock it) allowing you to pick up a SIM card at your country of destination. When in the US or in Europe its possible to pickup a SIM card preloaded with a fair amount of data and voice time at very reasonable pricing. AT-T and T-mobile are the two US companies that I know of that will sell a prepaid SIM card for an unlocked international I-phone and have generous (by Canadian standards) data and voice plans for under $40.
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:05 PM   #4
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When we travel to the US we use Straight Talk from Walmart.. It appears to use the Verizon network but no contract.. They have bring your own device plans

Sent from my XT1028 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:25 PM   #5
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I use an iPhone on AT&T and they offer free tethering. That means I can download mail or surf the net on my laptop or iPad using the iPhone as a router. Granted a phone costs far more than a MiFi, though data rates are probably similar. I suspect Android phones can do this too, haven't ever tried one.

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Old 11-10-2014, 06:40 PM   #6
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I also turn on the personal Hot Spot on my iPhone when traveling in Canada in order to get my IPad on line as it doesnt have a data plan. It works ok as long as you have a decent data plan on your phone.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:18 PM   #7
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What is the problem with Mifi?
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:49 AM   #8
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What is the problem with Mifi?
Right now it is our only Internet source. It works fine in areas where Verizon hasn't over sold. Here it's slow (think dial up speeds at times), and expensive because of the data limits. We have been told we may have a better source coming in the Spring. If that happens, I'd rather not pay a monthly bill for something I only need when we are on the road. Basically, I'm cheap.

Straight talk and Ready Sim are two companies that sell preloaded data sim cards that can be used with an unlocked tablet. Other companies may be out there as well. I'm just curious if anyone tried them..

For folks coming from Canada looking for phone service, Tracfone is hard to beat. Raz
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:24 AM   #9
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Thanks for that, Raz. I'm looking for a US internet access for 4 months on the road this winter, and just getting up to speed. I was hoping for a mifi/Millenicom solution, but that went down the tubes. Had not considered getting my phone unlocked
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:16 AM   #10
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Depending on your carrier and plan, a MIFI device counts as an additional device with an added monthly fee, whereas using our phones as a personal hotspot for our laptops to connect does not have an added fee. Either method uses the same data plan on ATT. I use a Wilson 4G cradle, works great with an external antenna.

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Old 11-11-2014, 08:09 PM   #11
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On android most unlocked (read the OS was replaced with a clean OS without all the carrier installed bloat and blocks) phones can act as a hot spot. Phone contract may specify that data has to be used on the phone and consider using phone as a hot spot an additional service that one has to pay for. That is why say Verizon disables that in the OS on Android phones - as if installing own OS to remove the block was going to prevent people from doing it.

Tethering which is plugging the phone into the computer and using as if it was a high speed modem is an option but again it depends on the plan as to if that is included or allowed. Possible is an entirely different story.

I think the limited plans that charge additional for more data or throttle speed at a certain point are the wireless companies attempt to prevent just such use. Far as I know unless you use massive amounts of data (think the folks that plugged iPhone into home network and used it for internet service) it is unlikely to arouse much notice, but may get you a friendly cease and desist or you will be charged letter from your carrier. YMMV

As one of the original unlimited data customers of Verizon 4G LTE I'm not sure my plan mirrors current offerings, but last time I checked I decided to keep my phone so I could keep my plan.... and bought an oversized battery for longer run times when on the go ;-)
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:16 PM   #12
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Whatever carrier you have, always good to check on the latest plan offerings. In our case it was cheaper to move to an ATT plan sized to the data usage we historically have used instead of the "unlimited" plan which was grandfathered in from long ago. Saved about 30%.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:58 PM   #13
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I have $30.00 per month unlimited data from AT&T on my iPhone, and to use the hot spot feature or tether (officially) I would have to give it up and go with one of their newer plans.

Of course, unlimited with AT&T really means only 2-3GB per month if you don't want to be throttled...
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
On android most unlocked (read the OS was replaced with a clean OS without all the carrier installed bloat and blocks) phones can act as a hot spot. Phone contract may specify that data has to be used on the phone and consider using phone as a hot spot an additional service that one has to pay for. That is why say Verizon disables that in the OS on Android phones - as if installing own OS to remove the block was going to prevent people from doing it.
...
My Verizon contract (~22 months along) includes " Personal Hotspot
Your smartphone can get Wi-Fi enabled devices online, at no extra cost. ". The quoted text was from the current "More Everything" plan. With my Motorola phone on 4G it is faster than my home DSL service but the wifi propagation is no where near as good as that of a real router.
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