The mobile phone network landscape is incredible confusing. I pulled together the following overview to help myself make sense of it, and I thought it might benefit my readers, too.
Although Clear clearly wants buyers to sign up for monthly service, they also have “secret” on-demand 2-hour, daily, and weekly plans. Here’s how to get online cheap!
Verizon Wireless has a promotion running in November that doubles the data allowance for 4G phones. This is a great deal compared to competitors, and it comes with Verizon’s excellent 4G LTE coverage and performance. But it only applies to smartphones, not MiFi “mobile broadband” devices, and the offer ends in December.
I know lots of folks who are happy with Clear or Sprint WiMAX service, and I applaud them for their no-contract Day Pass option. In fact, I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest that others go the same route I did: Buy a Clear modem on eBay and pay $10 per day whenever you need connectivity. But I strongly discourage readers from signing up for a long-term contract with Clear. Sprint subscribers will likely be upgraded to LTE eventually, but the future of Clear is very, very cloudy.
I set out to find a faster mobile broadband service than the AT&T and Sprint/Virgin service I currently use. But exploring the world of LTE and WiMAX was a real eye-opener. I didn’t purchase a device (two, actually), but discussion of those will have to wait for my next post.
The Tech Field Day events I run are hotspots of social media, but it has been hard building an Internet presence to keep up. Constantly on the move, I need a flexible network with scalability and failover (and fail-back) between 3G/4G and wired Internet. My latest design relies on CradlePoint’s MBR1200 “Failover Router”, which can load-balance across multiple 3G and 4G data cards.
Amazon is offering the PHS300 for just $79 with free shipping available. This is $100 off the retail price!
Prognostication is a perilous business, but pundits are drawn to the topic in the month of December. The fact that most predictions fall on their faces demonstrates the intoxicating mix of hope, dreams, and irrationality that mark both geniuses and fools. I am neither, so I like to make predictions after the fact! But this year I’ve been asked to look to the future, so I’ll stick with the safe road and pick current trends rather than guessing what I hope will come.
Interesting Links from the week of November 5, 2010, including vBlocks, networking, Microsoft, and 4G wireless
Americans have terrible mobile broadband network infrastructure, yet our service providers make it sound awesome. Now that 2 of our 4 national wireless providers now offer 4G service, one might conclude that the United States is awash in mobile broadband. But neither of these supposed 4G offerings is anywhere near fast enough to meet the ITU standards for 4G, and even our 3G networks woefully under-perform vendor promises. With no teeth in “truth-in-advertising” laws, it begs the question of what these supposed standards really mean.