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Old 12-04-2020, 01:47 PM   #1
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Can a Visible SIM be used in a WifiRanger SkyPro LTE cellular router?

Hi all,

Somewhat new to getting my 2019 Newmar Dutch Star Spartan 4369 and figuring out all the internet connectivity stuff (although I am mostly IT savvy with respect to understanding networking setup, routers, switches, modems, etc.).

My question is simply this: does anyone know if the WifiRanger SkyPro LTE Cellular Router system that came as an option on my 2019 Dutch Star is able to use a *Visible* SIM card? That is, can I setup an additional Visible account (I already have a couple for my wife's and my cellphones), get a 3rd SIM card, and put that SIM Card into the WifiRanger SkyPro on the roof of the motorhome, and thereby use it as my cellular hotspot, instead of using my phone?

I'm familiar with the "massive" post from a year or more ago, where another user posted comprehensive instructions for a Visible-based setup, and I mostly understand that. But I'm still unclear about whether using the WifiRanger SkyPro LTE cellular router with a Visible SIM card might be another option.

Thanks for any insights the community might offer.

Tom
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Old 12-04-2020, 07:53 PM   #2
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I don't know the answer but you could give it a go with a SIM from one of your phones to see if it technically works.

You'll need to set the APN in the router to VSBLINTERNET.

Lots of people seem to be successfully using Visible SIMs in routers etc but it's clearly an unapproved device and therefore against the terms of service. I tried my Visible SIM briefly in my Pepwave and it worked well but then I put it back in the phone.

It's anybody's guess as it whether or not you'll get caught. Just my guess but probably the worst that could happen is the account is shut down. If it's Visible on a number you don't care about then nothing much to lose. There is a worse thing that potentially could happen although I haven't heard any reports of it. Visible / Verizon could blacklist your equipment IMEI so then you couldn't use it again on the Verizon network on any plan. Probably unlikely but not impossible. That's what has scared me off using a phone plan in my somewhat expensive router.

You'll need to activate any new account using the app on a phone first.
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:32 PM   #3
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Ahh...thanks Tetranz; I was overlooking that Visible's terms of service essentially say you're not supposed to put their SIM in a router. So I suppose I shouldn't be going that route.

My objective/motivation was thinking that by putting the Visible SIM up in the SkyPro on the roof that I would essentially be getting a "cellular signal booster" function as well, but now having tried to research this a bit more thoroughly via the various irv2 posts, it seems that the WifiRanger SkyPro equipment doesn't really provide any "boost" functionality for the cellular signal, but rather only for wifi signals (e.g., a campground wifi network).

So it would seem that I'm really just as well off by simply tethering my Visible phone itself (in the "normal" fashion) to the WifiRanger "core" box inside the RV, and just relying on the normal/phone antenna.

I've seen a lot of comments suggesting that it "isn't worth it" trying to "boost" the cellular signal for the phone itself, but it's hard to tell if there's a consensus on that. Trying to decide if I could benefit from some sort of cellular booster, on top of tethering my Visible phone to my WifiRanger "core" router.

I'll keep searching!

Tom
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sartor View Post

I've seen a lot of comments suggesting that it "isn't worth it" trying to "boost" the cellular signal for the phone itself, but it's hard to tell if there's a consensus on that. Trying to decide if I could benefit from some sort of cellular booster, on top of tethering my Visible phone to my WifiRanger "core" router.
The drawback to "boosting" your cellular signal through an amplifier is that doing so defeats the potential benefits of the MIMO antennas that are built into almost all modern phones and hotspots. Although MIMO is a complicated topic, it is an important part of the way cellular networks work these days and it can significantly improve the speed of your connection.

What confuses lots of people is that MIMO doesn't increase the signal strength that shows on your phone's display. But it can still improve the speed, since the cellular network is entirely digital and having a stronger signal isn't always so important as long as it's "strong enough."

Since there's no way to tell if, at any particular location, your connection is being improved by MIMO or not, the best thing to do is to test your download speed with and without your "booster" at every new location. You will discover that there are locations where you are better off without the booster because the MIMO antennas are doing their job and, occasionally, you will find location where the booster is essential to getting a signal at all. And, a lot of the time, I predict, you will find lots of places where the booster has no effect at all.

Boosters (amplifiers) can be a big help if the signal is really weak but cell phones are designed to work well over a signal strength range of roughly 100,000. Within that range, a signal that is a "bit" stronger isn't going to improve your reception significantly. When you really need your booster, you'll know it!

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