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Old 01-19-2008, 04:11 PM   #43
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my situation is somewhat unique...

because i don't have or use a cell phone...

verizon was the ONLY carrier that would provide/sell a computer broadband cell card to people without a phone contract.

now sprint and altel? do too and others are adding this service.

there are usb cards now, i'm a mac'r and verizon does mac.

my basic view of cell phone vendors is to find the one with the best coverage where you live or expect to travel.

and IF u r a blackberry or iphone type use the best carrier for the gadget.

on the broad band side coverage matters but so does the type of network....

so 4 broadband select a vendor that has fast/high data speed capabilities...

i don't know enough to explain the alphabet soup that cell phone networks use, but it seems for broad band 3g is good, and 4 g will be better...

i've been extremely happy with verizon coverage, the card and customer support. i did NOT expect the excellent support they provide.

most of my a/s traveling friends use verizon cards, a couple use alltel...

then there is the whole eyephone thing...

the evdo site explains some of this vendor/network stuff, and so does googling on this issue of broadband network types...

and here's another fun tech site on all things 'gadget'...

Engadget

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:40 PM   #44
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Update on Alltel Aircard

Thought it might be useful to update on my post #27 where I posted that I had just taken the leap and signed up for Alltel's Broadband Network...this was prior to a trip to the lower Colorado above Parker, AZ...

First let me say that I am very pleased with the service so far...but when we got to our campground on the Colorado River, we had NO TV reception, NO FM or AM radio reception, NO cell reception...and therefore NO Aircard reception. We were able to drive about 4 miles up out of the mountain-surrounded campgorund and get reception, however, so that's what I did every day to check email and follow biz. I don't know if a booster antenna would have helped or not...I really don't think it would have in those circumstances...

I am still experiementing with reception where we tend to travel, before investing in a booster antenna, but so far I am very pleased. If I feel an booster antenna will serve me well, I'll go that route as well. Even on the Colorado I was able to deal with a client's needs that came up unexpectedly while we were out...and they were so impressed that I was able to be "Johnny on the spot" for them (good client karma) despite being elsewhere.

By the way, for those still figuring out what is the best route to go for them...before I made the decision on an aircard, I consulted RichC (mentioned above) as to his thoughts...he felt the aircard route is the best way to go for now taking expense and speed into consideration...and he pointed out that technology is changing quickly and for now aircards makes the most sense. (Thanks, Rich!) From this it dawned on me that investing in a bunch of expensive equipment—like internet in motion or satellite internet, both of which are pricey—which in likelihood will be obslete in a short time may not be the best decision. I figure by the time my 2-year contract expires other options might be avaialble, but for now this is the best for my needs... iPhones are great, bu the way...but it's not good for me because of what I need to do, biz-wise.

On the Colorado River trip I also learned (the hard way) that there is a limit to the size of attachements to emails over the Alltel network...4 megs. To get around this I have activated an FTP site on my website that clients can drop or pick up files via the internet...thus side-stepping the need for large attachments to emails.

I am still very pumped about being able to do email and internet on the road! It's just too great! In fact we are in a campground right now near Tucson...Life is good.

TB
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:51 PM   #45
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hi tb...

good report and great choice in technology....

i was skeptical about the 'booster amplifer' and antenna at first too...

but evdo has a 30 day return policy.

i camped like u. about 3 miles drive from a signal....

well the booster and antenna handled those 3 miles with ease...

in areas where others get zip and even phones don't work, i've had good access.

it is really cool.

the booster box and antenna and cables are made by wilson technology...

price is about 300$ for all the goodies and a couple of antenna.

some stuff was purchased from the evdo site listed and other stuff in a local truck driver super fuel stop...

i use the booster about once a week while on the road and leave one antenna in the truck and will mount anther on top of the twink...

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:41 AM   #46
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This a good thread.

I have been using a verizon card a little over a year, works pretty good.

I say pretty good because I'm used to a T-1 at the office which is very fast.

As some may have read I'm planning a trip to the east coast of Mexico next year.

I was looking at satellite hookups expecting the V card not to work.

I found the Hughes and a few others offering internet world wide, looks like $300 for the dish and $50 a month. I need to look into this a bit more anyone know about access out side the lower 48?

Running a web based pet supply biz I need to stay connected as much as possible.
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:24 AM   #47
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Since we purchased our iPhone last July, we seldom drag out the laptop computer unless we are at a campsite with free wi-fi. The Safari web browser on the iPhone along with other useful apps like Google maps now enhanced with current location and list directions is all the internet service we need for email, info, shopping, banking, directions, stock quotes, weather, etc. Get an iPhone and be happy.

Oh, and if you don't need the phone part of iPhone but only want the internet, music, videos, email, etc., then the iTouch would be an inexpensive solution. The only caveat here is that you have to be able to access a wi-fi hotspot.

Here's another thread on internet connectivity on the road: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451...s-road-68.html
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:30 AM   #48
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Is there any option with the iphone that would make it function as an air-card and port the data to a laptop instead of the internal browser? Since the monthly fee for the iphone is the same as most air-cards, this would be a great solution.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:09 AM   #49
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No, that would seem superfluous...

Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Is there any option with the iphone that would make it function as an air-card and port the data to a laptop instead of the internal browser? Since the monthly fee for the iphone is the same as most air-cards, this would be a great solution.
Richard,

Because the iPhone is such a complete self-contained computer, it would seem superfluous to use it as a card to enable another computer. There are many software developers ready to pounce on the opportunity to add more apps once Apple releases the specs next month that I'm sure that the iPhone will look more and more like a computer with a small footprint rather than an accessory. One indication of how this will play out is IBM's release this coming week of Lotus Notes Mail and its Symphony productivity suite for the iPhone and the iTouch. This is huge, HUGE for acceptance by major corporations for whom Microsoft email is neither sufficiently secure nor sufficiently scalable.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:19 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingtahoe
you like verizon better than att? I am asking because my att contract will be up and maybe air card is just the way to go.
verizon has better coverage out west.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:26 AM   #51
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ATT coverage...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi
verizon has better coverage out west.
Last summer we left California for our new home in Arizona via Massachusetts. Apart from a few places in the rural areas of upstate New York and western Massachusetts, we had ATT coverage for our entire 9,000 mile trip. Coverage was surprisingly good in the wilds of Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. We had great service at Jackson Center, Ohio, to pick an even more remote place.

Oh, and there is one other dead spot: ironically on our street in Goodyear, AZ. I've been to ATT and they were surprised but admitted that there is a hole the center of which seems to be our home. However, that will be rectified later this month when a new antenna goes online nearby.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:46 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myoung

Oh, and there is one other dead spot: ironically on our street in Goodyear, AZ. I've been to ATT and they were surprised but admitted that there is a hole the center of which seems to be our home. However, that will be rectified later this month when a new antenna goes online nearby.
If you stick primarily to the interstates or near by you will not see nuch difference in coverage. If you like the US routes (I do) you will see a huge difference in coverage.
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:32 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
hi tb...

good report and great choice in technology....

i was skeptical about the 'booster amplifer' and antenna at first too...

but evdo has a 30 day return policy.

i camped like u. about 3 miles drive from a signal....

well the booster and antenna handled those 3 miles with ease...

in areas where others get zip and even phones don't work, i've had good access.

it is really cool.

the booster box and antenna and cables are made by wilson technology...

price is about 300$ for all the goodies and a couple of antenna.

some stuff was purchased from the evdo site listed and other stuff in a local truck driver super fuel stop...

i use the booster about once a week while on the road and leave one antenna in the truck and will mount anther on top of the twink...

cheers
2air'
Thanks for the additional info on the booster antenna approach, 2air'... sounds like a good addition to the basic package...especially if we find ourselves in low-service areas...and of course, you don't know that's going to happen for sure until you're there!

TB
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:21 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Is there any option with the iphone that would make it function as an air-card and port the data to a laptop instead of the internal browser? Since the monthly fee for the iphone is the same as most air-cards, this would be a great solution.
That is what I am wonderinf as well (i'll have to look into it). The iphone alone won't work for me because I do web/graphic design. Need a bit more than an iphone for that. If you can tether the phone to the laptop that would be great. Although, the FTP situation from my end might be a problem if they really limit how much data you can transfer.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:11 AM   #55
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2air is spot on regarding the choice of amplification equipment and increasing broadband coverage by most carriers. I've used the Wilson amplifier/external antenna setup in a variety of locations and conditions and am still amazed at the improvement. A while back in another thread I cited a camping experience at a boat race where the cell signal was very weak for some, and non-existent for most, and there was a steady stream of people driving to where they could get a reliable signal. With the amp I had a reliable cellular and broadband signal all weekend.

I still occasionally use my Wi-Fi card with ext. antenna, but with the steadily increasing broadband coverage, I find I'm using it much less than two years ago. With recent expansions in EvDo coverage, many times the aircard is connecting adequately without using the amplifier system.

Now, if Verizon would only extend their broadband coverage to where I actually live, I could bag the home cable service.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:02 AM   #56
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Now, if Verizon would only extend their broadband coverage to where I actually live, I could bag the home cable service.[/quote]

We have great cell coverage up here at the lake... so, theoretically I could cancel cable service and run my entire home network off the aircard + the EVDO...then, take the set-up with us in the Airstream. Wow...cool. We just don't seem to have EVDO up at the lake yet. I looked on the "find EVDO" site and we are not on it
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