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3G, 4G Wireless Trial?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by SayWhat?, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    Jun 6, 2009
    Not even sure what the newest available protocol is.

    I'm fairly deep rural. Closest 'big' town is very small by comparison, about 25K population. Providers in the area are Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile (limited coverage area). I have a cell phone repeater that gives me 5 bars inside the house and I can generally get 2-3 bars out in the yard away from the repeater.

    Current StarBand contract expires in late summer and I'm looking for possible alternatives. DSL might possibly be available now, but I doubt it due to my distance from the TelCo switch. If I can get that, it won't be full speed and they're not cheap in this area like they are in bigger towns. Slowest speed is about $40/mo. There is a WISP in the area, that I'll look into, but I'm not sure I have a clear LOS to their towers. Also in the $40/mo range as far as I know.

    I realize I may have to change the repeater to a dual band unit since the current one is 800Mhz only.

    So, the question comes down to this. Do any of the cell providers offer a trial plan where they'll send you a modem/router to see if you can get a reliable signal without getting into a contract with cancellation fees?
  2. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    Not to my knowledge, but at least in California cell phone service has a 30-day return window. I wonder if a cell modem would have the same.
  3. HDJulie

    HDJulie Icon DBSTalk Club

    Aug 10, 2008
    I think most cellular providers will let you cancel a contract within 30 days. I think you would be out only the charge for the service for the number of days that you used it. I don't know if there is a restocking fee for returned equipment.

    We finally were able to get 3G coverage at our house & when Verizon offered a 10GB data plan we decided to ditch satellite & go with that.
  4. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    Jun 6, 2009
    What I'm looking to do is drop Sat TV, Sat Internet and Landline (here you can still dial 911 on an otherwise 'dead' line) and go some sort of VoIP and/or IPTV which should drastically reduce my monthly costs.

    Other questions:

    Do all of the cell plans have monthly BW caps, limits or any sort of FAP?

    Is it possible to use the modem phone number on another cell phone away from home? Or are two separate numbers required?
  5. dettxw

    dettxw MRVing

    Nov 21, 2007
    Choctaw, OK
    My sister in rural central Michigan has been quite pleased with her Virgin Mobile setup which uses the Sprint network. She says it beats the hell out of her old dial-up and few other options in her location.

    Looks like the current offer is $50/month unlimited data with no contract, you buy the device. Speeds up to 2.5GB (depending on your area). I guess if it didn't work out for you then you'd only be out the $$ for the device (resale on Craigslist or eBay?).

  6. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    Jun 29, 2006
    When I was looking for an alternative to slow DSL here, a Clearwire (now Clear) dealer let me borrow a wireless modem for a few days to see if I had coverage (their maps showed it as a possibility but this is a fairly hilly area). It worked fine and I haven't looked back (~4 Mb/s down, 400kbps up for $30/mo.)
  7. HDJulie

    HDJulie Icon DBSTalk Club

    Aug 10, 2008
    2.5GB speeds?? There is a note on the website that says they reserve the right to limit your download speeds if your usage goes over 2.5GB -- see below

    Too bad -- otherwise I was going to be all over that :).
  8. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    As an FYI, Verizon's return period is 14 days. It used to be 30, until mid January.
  9. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    Jun 6, 2009
    Upon review of some of the costs and plan limitations, this is not going to be an option. Every plan I looked at has a cap of no higher than 5Gb/mo. That won't handle the kinds of things I'm looking to do if I drop conventional phone and TV.


    Gotta find out more about the WISP and/or DSL.

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