One of the coolest things I get to do these days as part of Tech Field Day is bring friends from all countries to the United States to meet with various companies. But too often, they find themselves isolated and unable to communicate because of our odd mobile phone network. Although prepaid SIM cards are more available these days, I'm having a tough time locating a data SIM … [Read more...] about Is there no such thing as a cheap, prepaid data SIM in the USA?
If you've traveled much, you've probably run across “unlocked” mobile phones and devices. If you own an Android or iPhone smart phone, you probably also heard about “jailbreaking”. It seems like lots of people are confused about these two things, so I decided to write down a quick post explaining them. Carrier Locks and Unlocked Phones Most mobile phones in the United States, … [Read more...] about What’s the Difference Between a Jailbroken and an Unlocked Phone?
As I discussed previously, my search for a mobile broadband solution for Tech Field Day led me to the nascent 4G networks springing up around the world. Here in the United States, two next-generation networks offered compelling performance: Clearwire’s WiMAX service (sold by Clear and Sprint) and Verizon Wireless’ LTE network. I purchased a modem on each network and tested … [Read more...] about Hands-On Review: Clear WiMAX Service (and PXU1900 USB Modem)
After years of faithful service, 3G mobile “broadband” appears to be giving up the ghost. Perhaps its new applications that demand more performance, or maybe the network is overloaded and the carriers are unable or unwilling to fix it, but 3G data service has become unusable lately. I set out to find something faster. Not Quite 4G, Really You should also read 4G: Is It Really … [Read more...] about 4G Connectivity Options Proliferate
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 … [Read more...] about Building a Combination 3G/4G/Wired Wi-Fi Network