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Old 02-03-2021, 12:19 PM   #1
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Best hotspots/data and the T-Mobil 100g plan?

HI
After another frustration day without internet but plenty of lies from my provider I'd like to get a thread about what has worked for others and where to get it and the cost.



I have heard many prople swear by the TMobil $50 for 100g sims. It sounded like you buy them and plug them into your own device. Are their sims like that? Others, including the TMobil seller near me tell me I have to buy a phone then get a second line then pay to activate to get that. $129 min if you already have an account.



ATT says I need to buy a phone then pay about $30 for 5 gigs.


If an actual sim with data on it was bought from one of the big guys where can folks go to get it.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:35 PM   #2
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Go to Mobile Internet Resource Center at www.rvmobileinternet.com. Chris and Cherie have the best information on the Internet for mobile Internet, hands down. What you will likely find is that they will recommend you get 2 plans probably Cricket 100 gig plan for $90 a month and a Verizon 30 gig plan for another $100 a month. Since neither service covers all of the US that is why you need both plans. If you are semi stationary or don't need lots of traffic there are other plans they discuss. Check it out and you need to make your own decision based on your needs. There is no magic one size fits all plan.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:41 PM   #3
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I forgot to mention that we did call Verizon and, after mentioning TMobil, were offered an old folks special where our two lines which have a 15g cutoff each and cost us $80/mo could use an new "unlimited" plan for $85 total so no more money. That is now increased to $95

Their phone and system is capable of incredible speeds but even when we are in a 5 bar area we only get dial up speeds. Although we cannot stream video' use utube or open more than one window at a time we also don't have to worry about being dropped. It is a consistent 50 to 70k and is dependable as can be.
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Old 02-03-2021, 12:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kahoona View Post
I have heard many prople swear by the TMobil $50 for 100g sims. It sounded like you buy them and plug them into your own device. Are their sims like that? Others, including the TMobil seller near me tell me I have to buy a phone then get a second line then pay to activate to get that. $129 min if you already have an account.
I believe you can safely put that T-Mobile SIM in your own router. It's one of the few you can buy from a carrier that allows that.

You can buy it prepaid by itself here https://prepaid.t-mobile.com/prepaid-internet. You don't need to buy a phone or anything else. Apparently if you get it postpaid (which I don't think you can do online) then you get higher priority which means faster speeds on a congested tower. I've read reports disputing that and saying postpaid and prepaid on T-Mobile get the same priority so I'm not sure about that or how much difference it would make anyway if true. Buying it online prepaid certainly seems to be the easiest.

Note that if you want to use T-Mobile, especially in areas where they've been expanding, you really need a device that does band 71. How much difference that really matters probably depends on what area you're in.
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Old 02-03-2021, 01:05 PM   #5
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Go to Mobile Internet Resource Center at www.rvmobileinternet.com. Chris and Cherie have the best information on the Internet for mobile Internet, hands down. What you will likely find is that they will recommend you get 2 plans probably Cricket 100 gig plan for $90 a month and a Verizon 30 gig plan for another $100 a month. Since neither service covers all of the US that is why you need both plans. If you are semi stationary or don't need lots of traffic there are other plans they discuss. Check it out and you need to make your own decision based on your needs. There is no magic one size fits all plan.
Chris and Cherie certainly do a great job but the harsh reality is that options are quite limited if you want lots of data where "lots" mean enough to use it somewhere close to a home internet replacement. For many users, $100 for 30 GB is horrendously expensive.

The Cricket plan has a big question mark around it now since they changed the rules last week and made lots of devices incompatible. With that happening and AT&T shutting down resellers, options are actually being fewer as time goes by. That T-Mobile 100 GB for $50 is the only piece of somewhat good news I've heard in this area for a while but even that is supposed to be "limited time only".

I read the Pepwave forums and people there, mostly from UK and Europe, shake their heads in disbelief at how difficult this is in the US for anyone who just wants to pay a reasonable price for a reasonable amount of data without needing to jump through hoops, break terms of service or deal with scammy or incompetent resellers.
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Old 02-03-2021, 02:40 PM   #6
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We just finished our first month using the FMCA unlimited sprint $50/month. They include a Hotspot Mifi8000. We used 185GB for the month.
Very happy!

We also have a phone with Visible unlimited data, and another phone with Mint mobile (35Gb) as a backup.
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Old 02-03-2021, 03:04 PM   #7
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Note that if you want to use T-Mobile, especially in areas where they've been expanding, you really need a device that does band 71.
Yep, and therein lies the rub: not a lot of devices support Band 71. Interested parties can go here: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/gear/mobile-routers/ and then on the left more than halfway down on the page you will find a filter that you can check for "LTE Band 71". All of the options listed have drawbacks so you'll have to figure out what's important to you.



I just went through this so I'll list my decision factors in case anybody else may find it useful. My router/modem criteria:
  • Must accept external roof-mounted antennas (nix WifiRanger Aspen)
  • Must support the largest number of LTE bands possible (nix all routers with Category 4 modems, as these typically only offer a subset of bands)
  • Must support WiFi-as-WAN (nix Peplink Balance 20X, Netgear Orbi)
  • Should support at least 2x2 MIMO and carrier aggregation (this seems to be mutually-exclusive with Band 71 support for lower-cost routers as almost all of them are Category 4)
  • Integrated solution preferred over needing four or more things to cram into my very small tech cabinet
  • Must not cost an arm, leg, and head (nix Cradlepoint and Pepwave MAX HD1)
So after that I'm left with the Peplink MAX Transit Cat 18 which, with appropriate Band-71-capable external antenna, "only" costs an arm and a leg.
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Old 02-03-2021, 03:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wolfgolden View Post
We just finished our first month using the FMCA unlimited sprint $50/month. They include a Hotspot Mifi8000. We used 185GB for the month.
Very happy!

We also have a phone with Visible unlimited data, and another phone with Mint mobile (35Gb) as a backup.

That sounds nice. Please, if you can, clairify: Must you buy the Hotspot or can we use out own regular ones.
Assuming the need to become FMCA members what cost does that add?
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Old 02-03-2021, 03:33 PM   #9
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I believe you can safely put that T-Mobile SIM in your own router. It's one of the few you can buy from a carrier that allows that.

You can buy it prepaid by itself here https://prepaid.t-mobile.com/prepaid-internet. You don't need to buy a phone or anything else. Apparently if you get it postpaid (which I don't think you can do online) then you get higher priority which means faster speeds on a congested tower. I've read reports disputing that and saying postpaid and prepaid on T-Mobile get the same priority so I'm not sure about that or how much difference it would make anyway if true. Buying it online prepaid certainly seems to be the easiest.

Note that if you want to use T-Mobile, especially in areas where they've been expanding, you really need a device that does band 71. How much difference that really matters probably depends on what area you're in.

That is good. We have the WIFIRANGER ASPEN that we got specifically for the band 71 capability. I have to say that I found that having TMobil meant very seldom having a usable connection but that may have been OTR's fault. I am willing to try that particularly since they are joined to Sprint. I assume that that will help.
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Old 02-03-2021, 03:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rumline View Post
Yep, and therein lies the rub: not a lot of devices support Band 71. Interested parties can go here: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/gear/mobile-routers/ and then on the left more than halfway down on the page you will find a filter that you can check for "LTE Band 71". All of the options listed have drawbacks so you'll have to figure out what's important to you.



I just went through this so I'll list my decision factors in case anybody else may find it useful. My router/modem criteria:
  • Must accept external roof-mounted antennas (nix WifiRanger Aspen)
  • Must support the largest number of LTE bands possible (nix all routers with Category 4 modems, as these typically only offer a subset of bands)
  • Must support WiFi-as-WAN (nix Peplink Balance 20X, Netgear Orbi)
  • Should support at least 2x2 MIMO and carrier aggregation (this seems to be mutually-exclusive with Band 71 support for lower-cost routers as almost all of them are Category 4)
  • Integrated solution preferred over needing four or more things to cram into my very small tech cabinet
  • Must not cost an arm, leg, and head (nix Cradlepoint and Pepwave MAX HD1)
So after that I'm left with the Peplink MAX Transit Cat 18 which, with appropriate Band-71-capable external antenna, "only" costs an arm and a leg.
So when this sim arrives must we have it activated and must that be done online or does it just plug into the hotspot/router (aspen in our case?) Can I delay activation until needed?
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Old 02-03-2021, 04:10 PM   #11
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That sounds nice. Please, if you can, clairify: Must you buy the Hotspot or can we use out own regular ones.
Assuming the need to become FMCA members what cost does that add?
With the FMCA plan the SIM is locked to the device they send you, so no router use. Hopefully they send a MiFi that has external antenna ports! The 8000 does but the newer 2000 does not. Although your Aspen doesn't either, so maybe this is not a concern for you.
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Old 02-03-2021, 04:12 PM   #12
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So when this sim arrives must we have it activated and must that be done online or does it just plug into the hotspot/router (aspen in our case?) Can I delay activation until needed?
Do you mean the T-Mobile pre-paid SIM? Honestly I'm not sure about the activation procedure; I haven't received my router etc yet.
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Old 02-03-2021, 04:15 PM   #13
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You do have to become an FMCA member. First time member cost is $85.00, then $75.00 after year 1. The Sprint device they sent me did have ports for the external antenna. You just needed to pull some small plastic caps off.

I ended up returning mine since the signal was poor in the location we predominantly needed it.
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Old 02-03-2021, 05:56 PM   #14
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I just went through this so I'll list my decision factors in case anybody else may find it useful. My router/modem criteria:
  • Must accept external roof-mounted antennas (nix WifiRanger Aspen)
  • Must support the largest number of LTE bands possible (nix all routers with Category 4 modems, as these typically only offer a subset of bands)
  • Must support WiFi-as-WAN (nix Peplink Balance 20X, Netgear Orbi)
  • Should support at least 2x2 MIMO and carrier aggregation (this seems to be mutually-exclusive with Band 71 support for lower-cost routers as almost all of them are Category 4)
  • Integrated solution preferred over needing four or more things to cram into my very small tech cabinet
  • Must not cost an arm, leg, and head (nix Cradlepoint and Pepwave MAX HD1)
Your wish list pretty much matches mine exactly.

When we got the RV about 8 months ago I dived in too quickly and got the "Full time bundle" from MobileMustHave. The MAX BR1 MK2 is good but with more research I probably would have taken a different route.

I've since spent way too much time on ltehacks.com and the corresponding Facebook group. My next router will be a "build my own" with components from ltefix.com. That basically means buying a router and a modem card to go in it with open source firmware.

Probably something like this https://ltefix.com/shop/routers/lte-routers/wg3526-p/ with this modem
https://ltefix.com/shop/modems/sierr...dvanced-modem/

As modems change or improve, it will be nice to be able to keep the router but change the modem inside.
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