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Old 06-18-2017, 11:38 AM   #1
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AT&T ZTE Mobley - Internet Hotspot

I recently became aware of a hotspot device offered by AT&T. It connects to the OBD-II connector in a vehicle and allows up to 5 devices to connect to the internet.

https://www.att.com/devices/zte/mobl...sku=sku7700323

The device is available to existing as well as new AT&T customers. You can purchase for $99 or sign a 2-year contract and the ZTE Mobley is free.

The monthly rate is $20 for unlimited data although the speed may be throttled after 22GB.

There are plenty of online reviews about the product but I saw very little mention of it here on Air Forums. This seems to be a good solution for internet connectivity for many people. I'm wondering about the signal strength for a device plugged in to my tow vehicle OBD-II and me in a metal shell trailer 50 feet away. However, there are adapters that allow the Mobley to be plugged into other power sources. Apparently you don't have to be connected to an OBD-II.

I thought a stand-alone thread would be useful for discussing pro's and con's of the ZTE Mobley device and the current AT&T "unlimited" data for $20 per month. There are plenty of other threads discussing other hotspot devices and methods so let's stick to AT&T Mobley please.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:59 AM   #2
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It appears that the only feature the Mobley has over any other hotspot device is that since it connects to the OBD-II for its power, when used in that way it will not run the battery down in the host vehicle. However, this seems also to be a negative, since it doesn't have an internal battery so it can only be used with some external power source.

I would prefer a normal hotspot if I were going the dedicated-hotspot route (I use my iPad for hotspot duties most of the time these days, though.) That way the hotspot would have its own battery for use away from an RV or vehicle power source.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:41 PM   #3
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The aspect I find most appealing about this device/plan is the fact that unlimited data is available for $20 per month and it can be obtained by anyone - not just somebody that already has an unlimited plan, you don't have to be an existing customer. You can sign up for this device/plan and simply pay $20 per month, no contract. You can buy an AC adapter or USB adapter to power the Mobley.

If that's the case - this is way better (lower cost) than anything I can find on the Verizon web site or any other web site for that matter. $20 is cheap!

Granted, the data may be throttled beyond 22GB of use but I only use 10GB or less in a typical month. I may dumb down my Verizon plan to a much smaller data usage and add the AT&T Mobley to use as a hotspot.
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Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:42 PM   #4
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AH! Now, if they really offer that $20 plan as a standalone without a ton of extra fees, it would be worth looking into. It does look like you can buy it on a new plan for $20/month "unlimited" rather than just adding it onto a multi-line unlimited plan.

I guess you could buy an OBD-II extension cable and hack it to provide 12v power from a a 12V source in the trailer, unless they're doing something trickey with the other pins to make sure it's really on an OBD-II port instead of just getting 12v power from it.
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Old 06-18-2017, 07:39 PM   #5
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There's a lengthy thread on iRV2 regarding the ZTE Mobley $20 AT&T plan.

Earlier this year there was some confusion about availability of the device and whether the plan was actually available. The confusion has been cleared up and yes, the $20 plan is available. Don't know about extra fees - there always seem to be some.

The device can be purchased on eBay and I think Amazon too. Adapter wide variety of adapter cords are available on eBay and Amazon.
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1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:56 PM   #6
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Hi

Well, if you punch into the AT&T web site and sign up for one, it will let you do so for the $20 fee. That's *if* you already have a "qualifying plan". Translated into simple English: You can add the hotspot to your already existing 22 GB a month plan and only add $20 to the $180 a month you are already paying. The hotspot "shares" the 22 GB with the rest of the devices.

Is that the only way to get it? It's AT&T ... who knows. That's what just happened to me. First thing up was to bump my plan up to the "unlimited" plan. Once that was done ... here's your hotspot.

If I go in as a "new customer" they seem to be happy to give me the gizmo for $20 a month. Which half of their web site brain is mixed up? I'm not going to hit the "bill me now" button to find out.

Bob
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Well, if you punch into the AT&T web site and sign up for one, it will let you do so for the $20 fee. That's *if* you already have a "qualifying plan". Translated into simple English: You can add the hotspot to your already existing 22 GB a month plan and only add $20 to the $180 a month you are already paying. The hotspot "shares" the 22 GB with the rest of the devices.

Is that the only way to get it? It's AT&T ... who knows. That's what just happened to me. First thing up was to bump my plan up to the "unlimited" plan. Once that was done ... here's your hotspot.

Bob
The 22gb limit for throttling is actually 10gb for data-only devices, but it's per-line not per-account.

The "add to qualifying plan" is what I initially thought, but it LOOKS like you can order it on a new account. I expect there to be a gotcha in there somewhere but I didn't go all the way to the point of ordering the device.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:07 PM   #8
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Left and right hands sometimes don't seem to be from the same body.

Several members of the iRV2 community seem to have added it to existing accounts as well as starting new accounts.
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1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:23 AM   #9
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Hi

My past experience with with AT&T is that they do occasionally make mistakes on the web site. They may or may not correct them very quickly. I have no idea at all why that is. When they *do* get it corrected, the party ends pretty quickly.

Bob
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:32 PM   #10
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I was a new ATT customer and got the $20 rate. I bought the device outright for $99 so no contact. I bought a usb to odb adapter on eBay so I can run my mobley on the trailer. So far it works great.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:32 PM   #11
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Mobley

"I was a new ATT customer and got the $20 rate. I bought the device outright for $99 so no contact. I bought a usb to odb adapter on eBay so I can run my mobley on the trailer. So far it works great."

I have used Chevy Onstar $20/mo. unlimited data plan via AT&T. But it only works when power of the vehicle is on. So this sounds great! Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:55 PM   #12
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If you want to actually monitor your OBD port (and more), there is an alternative.

We use a Sierra Wireless MP-70 mobile LTE-WiFi-GPS router, which we have in our Airstream. The MP-70 offers:
- built-in vehicle-ready I/O,
- remote monitoring of auxiliary devices
- collect OBD-II vehicle telemetry data
https://source.sierrawireless.com/de...p-series/mp70/

We added the MP-70 to our Verizon unlimited plan, $17/month with our veteran and auto-pay discounts.

73/gus
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dst View Post
I was a new ATT customer and got the $20 rate. I bought the device outright for $99 so no contact. I bought a usb to odb adapter on eBay so I can run my mobley on the trailer. So far it works great.
Same here. We are traveling for 9 weeks this summer (just beginning week 2) and bought the Mobley ZTE and adapter as a supplement to our Verizon XXL plan. Currently near Lake Michigan and have been using the Mobley on AT&T exclusively for working and the kids' streaming. So far, we've used a TON more data than the 22GB and have yet to be throttled back. Has been a great solution thus far but expecting that the AT&T connectivity will be limited once we head west at the end of the week.

Eric
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dst View Post
I was a new ATT customer and got the $20 rate. I bought the device outright for $99 so no contact. I bought a usb to odb adapter on eBay so I can run my mobley on the trailer. So far it works great.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seinbelld View Post
Same here. We are traveling for 9 weeks this summer (just beginning week 2) and bought the Mobley ZTE and adapter as a supplement to our Verizon XXL plan. Currently near Lake Michigan and have been using the Mobley on AT&T exclusively for working and the kids' streaming. So far, we've used a TON more data than the 22GB and have yet to be throttled back. Has been a great solution thus far but expecting that the AT&T connectivity will be limited once we head west at the end of the week.

Eric
Good to hear a couple of Air Forums members have made use of the plan and verified you can obtain this device for $99 and unlimited data for $20/month. I'm really tempted to do this. There are a few more things I need to identify/clarify related to other aspects of my "connected life" before I jump in.

Does anyone know if this device works in Canada? Hopefully without other plans, costs, changes - just want it to work for the same $20 per month...

Regarding OBD monitoring - That's an interesting idea and possibly the subject for another thread. For now, I'm avoiding monitoring devices - including the Verizon Hum+ and Hum x which have way more features at higher cost than I am willing to pay.
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1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
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Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:08 AM   #15
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I'm still giving this AT&T ZTE Mobley device some thought. I want to use the device at home and on the road. But first, I have to improve the signal strength of the AT&T cell phone connection at my house. I'm working on that and hope to have a solution to signal strength later this month.

So back to ZTE Mobely... for $20/month the user receives unlimited internet data and you don't have to be an existing AT&T customer and you don't have to bundle the ZTE Mobley with other devices/plans. Just buy the device for $99, activate it (perhaps a fee of $20 but it can be waived), and then pay $20/month and use all the data you want. The device is said to be throttled beyond 22GB but there are very few issues with that because they don't seem to apply that rule and even if they do it's not burdensome.

As I mentioned above there is lots of useful discussion on iRV2. iRV2 is a companion site to Air Forums. Seems odd there are lots of users and discussion on iRV2 and very little here on Air Forums. I'd like to hear from more Airstream owners to understand how they are using the AT&T device.

Here's a link to the iRV2 discussion:

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f53/20-un...ce-337555.html
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1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:41 AM   #16
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I have the Mobley and $20 'connected car' unlimited plan, and it's been great. At first I was going to get the adapter that powers it via USB (instead of needing to have it connected to a vehicle's OBD-II port) but after reading some posts of Tom's Hardware forums I decided instead to just take the sim from the Mobley (after it was activated through AT&T) and put it in AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot. I called AT&T and every rep I spoke with said it was perfectly fine to do the swap, but your mileage with these reps may vary (most didn't even know what a "Mobley" was).

The reason I switched to the Unite Pro with Mobley Sim was because this hotspot had external antenna ports and I wanted to use the Netgear 6000450 MIMO antenna I read such great things about. I have a WeBoost 4G-X booster as well, but the download performance from the Netgear antenna is sooooooooooo much faster than just a boosted signal from the WeBoost. For example, where I am now unboosted got me a download rate of about 3 MBPS, boosted was about 8 MBPS, but with the netgear... 30 MBPS. Yes, 30! It's amazing, definitely worth having in your connectivity arsenal.

Anyway, the Mobley device itself is just so-so, but when if you pull the sim and put it in a more capable hotspot the connected car plan for $20 unlimited can't be beat. I've been using it like this for about 5 months now.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:30 AM   #17
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Came across the Mobley a little late in the game and I have been watching ATT's site for about a month now and it's been listed as out of stock. It looked like a great option but only if ATT brings the device and plan back online.
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekerboy View Post
I have the Mobley and $20 'connected car' unlimited plan, and it's been great. At first I was going to get the adapter that powers it via USB (instead of needing to have it connected to a vehicle's OBD-II port) but after reading some posts of Tom's Hardware forums I decided instead to just take the sim from the Mobley (after it was activated through AT&T) and put it in AT&T Unite Pro Hotspot. I called AT&T and every rep I spoke with said it was perfectly fine to do the swap, but your mileage with these reps may vary (most didn't even know what a "Mobley" was).

The reason I switched to the Unite Pro with Mobley Sim was because this hotspot had external antenna ports and I wanted to use the Netgear 6000450 MIMO antenna I read such great things about. I have a WeBoost 4G-X booster as well, but the download performance from the Netgear antenna is sooooooooooo much faster than just a boosted signal from the WeBoost. For example, where I am now unboosted got me a download rate of about 3 MBPS, boosted was about 8 MBPS, but with the netgear... 30 MBPS. Yes, 30! It's amazing, definitely worth having in your connectivity arsenal.

Anyway, the Mobley device itself is just so-so, but when if you pull the sim and put it in a more capable hotspot the connected car plan for $20 unlimited can't be beat. I've been using it like this for about 5 months now.
Thanks for the information. That's the kind of discussion I was hoping would occur. I'm definitely going to do some research on your method of implementing the Mobley SIM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrArrowhead View Post
Came across the Mobley a little late in the game and I have been watching ATT's site for about a month now and it's been listed as out of stock. It looked like a great option but only if ATT brings the device and plan back online.
I've heard from several people that the online ordering process is not without problem, including lack of availability. On the other hand, I've contacted three retailers - one by phone and two in person - and they all said they have the device or could get it in a day. Two of the retailers were AT&T corporate stores and one was an authorized retailer. All three were in different states along the east coast. That's no guarantee of availability but it seems that visiting a store may produce a better result than ordering online.
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2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:06 PM   #19
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Subbed. Thanks
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:08 PM   #20
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is this program still going at ATT with the unlimited mobile device.. ??
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