Connectivity overseas can be a real pain. Roaming is prohibitively expensive, so a local SIM is best. But most American mobile phones are “locked” to a carrier, and American phone companies use different network technologies and frequencies than most other countries. That’s why I was excited to test my Verizon iPhone 5 abroad.
It’s hard to believe that a true prepaid mobile data SIM doesn’t exist in the USA, but it’s true. A GoPhone, H2O, or Net10 SIM isn’t a bad idea for your smartphone, but it’s not exactly cheap. The best option for those needing just mobile data is a local Virgin Mobile hotspot or a brand new Android phone or iPad!
I am in exceedingly impressed with the iPhone 5 and the Verizon LTE network. Making the switch was smooth and simple, the Verizon could have done much better in the order status department. I look forward to seeing how this service holds up as more and more customers make the same decision I did.
If you’ve traveled much, you’ve probably run across â€œunlockedâ€ mobile phones and devices. If you own an Android or iPhone smart phone, you probably also heard about â€œjailbreakingâ€. It seems like lots of people are confused about these two things, so I decided to write down a quick post explaining them.
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 would not hesitate to recommend Verizon’s 4G LTE network. It’s head-and-shoulders above Clear/Sprint WiMAX and will likely stay that way for a while thanks to their use of the 700MHz band. Verizon’s rapid network expansion and broad 3G network are reassuring enough to entice me into a 2-year contract. And the Novatel MiFi 4510l is a fairly solid device, though not perfect.
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.
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.
Apple may make their product lines easy to understand, with simple and consistent names, but there sure are a lot of iPad 2 models. Which iPad is the best choice? I picked the 32 GB Wi-Fi model personally, but I can see cases where others might prefer a 3G or base model. Let’s consider it.
This regular series features highlights from the week.
Revolution Wi-Fi: Wireless Tech Field Day – Day 1 Quick Recap
NetApp and Engenio â€“ Part 2 â€“ A Hypothesis
Verizon Clarifies iPad Activation Fes – NYTimes.com