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Old 18-11-2014, 07:43   #1321
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

I just noticed this Maxxwave 4G-LTE modem last week and thought it looks attractive for the NA/EC/WC cruisers.

Unlocked, high output power & capable of external antennas.
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Old 18-11-2014, 10:41   #1322
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post

Edit: I just looked up Digicel Grenada. They have all new 4G infrastructure running on WCDMA 1900MHz. I didn't check any other islands/providers, but suspect it is similar.


Mark
A couple things I would like to add.

1) "4G" as marketed throughout most non-western countries is not truly 4G, it is HSPA+ at best. The only real 4G technology currently in use anywhere in the world is LTE (and some geeky people will argue that is not truly 4G either). HSPA+ is not 4G, its an advancement over standard 3G (it offers up to 21Mbps). So, there is a lot of marketing going on by providers as they say its better then "3G" so we'll call it "4G". The providers are very happy to advertise "4G" but it takes research to actually figure out their technology, and actual speeds.

2) Digicel Grenada states speeds up to 2Mbps, this is no doubt only 3G technology even though they are advertising as 4G.

About 4G - All about Digicel 4G Broadband Solutions | Digicel 4G Grenada

3) Digicel does require a device capable of 1900Mhz, so will certainly be an issue for some devices since often devices are not "worldwide", and as Mark implies, if you device does not support 1900, it may fall back to 2G to provide something.



So, not really sure what you might get in Grenada, but it seems at least 2Mbps, and they state HSPA+, which implies more. It is not truly 4G however.

Whether that is faster than WiFi in the EC would probably depend on where you are and what WiFi service you were using. Some locations might be better with WiFi, and some with 3/4G. There is much greater consistency of speed across cell providers then WiFi providers however since you are dealing with a single provider vs multiple with WiFi.

When you get to LTE services, it is likely LTE will beat out the speed of any WiFi service that you are connecting to..
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Old 18-11-2014, 10:46   #1323
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by W32PAMELA View Post
I just noticed this Maxxwave 4G-LTE modem last week and thought it looks attractive for the NA/EC/WC cruisers.

Unlocked, high output power & capable of external antennas.
It is USB based, and we know how much the techies on here like USB
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Old 18-11-2014, 10:55   #1324
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverheels3 View Post
We get 24-56Mbs connections over a distance up to three miles..
That is your connection speed over WiFi to the remote network, not your actual data speed to the internet.

You need to compare apples to apples.

Run Speedtest or TestMy.net on both services (WiFi and 3G) to get a true indication of actual data speeds to the internet.

You may see better speeds from WiFi over 3G in certain location, I am not arguing that, but you are not getting 24Mbps speeds to the internet over your WiFi connection in the EC.
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Old 18-11-2014, 11:00   #1325
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Again, we have not been in the EC since late 2010, but 54Mbps is full 802.11g speed on the physical layer - a usable average would be half that or less. To reach an actual working 54Mbps would require 802.11n. I would be surprised if the wifi in the EC has been built out to these speeds or protocols.

I would be even more surprised if someone was able to connect and use it at these speeds.

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Old 18-11-2014, 11:01   #1326
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Oops, you posted that while I was writing. You made the point more succinctly than I did.

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Old 18-11-2014, 12:36   #1327
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Edit: I just looked up Digicel Grenada. They have all new 4G infrastructure running on WCDMA 1900MHz. I didn't check any other islands/providers, but suspect it is similar.

It is possible that anyone having slow cell data there has equipment that is not capable of that protocol or frequency.

Mark
+1

Absolutely. Digicel Grenada are using LTE, which is "true" 4G. Which works on different frequencies from 3G and needs a different type of antenna (MIMO dual). If you don't have the equipment on a network which has built out LTE, you might get stuck with GPRS/EDGE signals, which is '90's technology and speed.

I am on an LTE network as I write this, out on my mooring and getting only a one bar signal, and Speedtest.net is showing 18 mbs up and 10 mbs down. I don't think I've ever had a wifi connection of that speed, anywhere.

By the way, when comparing connection speeds, don't just look at your network status -- that only shows the speed of the connection between you and the router. Your real connection to the Internet can easily be 100x slower than that. Speedtest.net is the standard test.
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Old 18-11-2014, 12:49   #1328
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
A couple things I would like to add.

1) "4G" as marketed throughout most non-western countries is not truly 4G, it is HSPA+ at best. The only real 4G technology currently in use anywhere in the world is LTE (and some geeky people will argue that is not truly 4G either). HSPA+ is not 4G, its an advancement over standard 3G (it offers up to 21Mbps). So, there is a lot of marketing going on by providers as they say its better then "3G" so we'll call it "4G". The providers are very happy to advertise "4G" but it takes research to actually figure out their technology, and actual speeds.

2) Digicel Grenada states speeds up to 2Mbps, this is no doubt only 3G technology even though they are advertising as 4G.

About 4G - All about Digicel 4G Broadband Solutions | Digicel 4G Grenada

3) Digicel does require a device capable of 1900Mhz, so will certainly be an issue for some devices since often devices are not "worldwide", and as Mark implies, if you device does not support 1900, it may fall back to 2G to provide something.



So, not really sure what you might get in Grenada, but it seems at least 2Mbps, and they state HSPA+, which implies more. It is not truly 4G however.

Whether that is faster than WiFi in the EC would probably depend on where you are and what WiFi service you were using. Some locations might be better with WiFi, and some with 3/4G. There is much greater consistency of speed across cell providers then WiFi providers however since you are dealing with a single provider vs multiple with WiFi.

When you get to LTE services, it is likely LTE will beat out the speed of any WiFi service that you are connecting to..
+1 to all of that.

Digicell is rolling out actual LTE: 4G and LTE - Digicel Group: Providing our customers with affordable and innovative mobile communications.

They claim 2 mbs as "average" speed -- I'd say that's pretty good for HSPA+ as a conservative performance claim, since speed is so much dependent on condition, distance from the tower, equipment, etc.

I've been using HSPA+ for years, and I'd say 2mbs is probably average, with up to 6 - 8 mbs possible in really good conditions.

HSPA+ works extremely well -- even with a weakish signal it is good enough in terms of latency and bandwidth for a good Skype video call. So LTE is just that much better.
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Old 18-11-2014, 15:38   #1329
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

Absolutely. Digicel Grenada are using LTE, which is "true" 4G.
Did I miss something in the link (4G and LTE - Digicel Group: Providing our customers with affordable and innovative mobile communications.) in your next post? Also, there are no years on their dates......?!

Where does it say Grenada in on LTE?

The only place showing LTE is Antigua and Barbuda. Everything else says "4G", which is likely HSPA+, or really 3G.

I am not in Grenada to know for sure, but nothing I see online says they are using LTE.
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Old 18-11-2014, 15:43   #1330
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I've been using HSPA+ for years, and I'd say 2mbs is probably average, with up to 6 - 8 mbs possible in really good conditions.

HSPA+ works extremely well -- even with a weakish signal it is good enough in terms of latency and bandwidth for a good Skype video call. So LTE is just that much better.
On T-Mobile in the US I was seeing 6-8. On AT&T 8-10, all using HSPA+.

In French Polyensia I see 2-3Mbps on HSPA+, very consistently.

Just some additional data points.

LTE is faster, yes, but the compatibility around the globe is truly awful right now. GSM based 3G services work on 5 frequencies globally, and equipment is available to work on all 5. LTE on the other hand, I have lost count on how many frequencies are used globally, and getting global LTE equipment is near impossible still. This will change in the future, not doubt.
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Old 18-11-2014, 17:44   #1331
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

"There could be a couple of issues here. Assuming 3G cell services are available there (I think they are), your phone may not work on the correct protocol or frequencies (I believe you need WCDMA at 850/1900MHz).

Also, many phones/tablets simply lock onto the strongest signal - which is often a 2G signal in the Caribbean. So you might connect to 3G, but very quickly the phone/tablet drops to 2G (EDGE or GSM)."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Silverheels III
Our 3G Android is a year old and we use it only as a hotspot for weather and email not browsing or streaming if there is a problem with wifi that day.
Digicel Grenada (perhaps Lime also) has informed customers that the use of iphones as a wifi hotspot has been blocked.
Sailing from BVI to Grenada we've never seen any cell data speeds that approach a decent wifi signal from shore...whether a paid service or not.
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Old 27-11-2014, 09:22   #1332
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Looks like this topic is morphing into 'long distance internet devices' which is OK by me. Should we change the name of the topic to include cellular and other options?
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Old 27-11-2014, 10:30   #1333
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverheels3 View Post
Our 3G Android is a year old
The age of the phone is not really relevant. What frequencies it supports is all that matters regarding how the device will connect to the cell provider. Maybe your phone does in fact support 1900, I am just saying it is not the age that matters. There are plenty of devices you can buy today that wont work on 1900.

Carriers only care about selling devices that work on their specific network, for 2 reasons, they are cheaper, and it is a way of quietly "locking" you into their service. Even if you "unlock" the device, it is not necessarily capable of working well on other provider's networks.

When buying new xG devices, you need to be certain it works on all 5 GSM based frequencies, 850(800)/900/AWS/1900/2100, if you want it to work everywhere. Often these are advertised as penta-band devices. If you want LTE supprt, for now, you will be locked into a geographic area, if not a provider.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old 05-12-2014, 21:00   #1334
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Very interesting. I teach Distance Learning while living aboard. Need to look into this option. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:06   #1335
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Hi!
I'm trying to figure out what is the best setup for our cruising vessel. I am trying to figure out what will be the optimum set up for achieving consistent and reliable wifi over large distances. We live aboard and find ourselves in anchorages with cell towers nearby and wifi networks. I jsut ordered my wilson mobile cell tower booster and would like to address wifi next. I've been using my mobile hotspot to receive internet this far, but would like to have an alternative to the cell tower. I would appreciate input regarding durability, (waterproof preferred), cost efficiency, and wifi strength and consistency. We are on a sailboat so I am thinking something attached to the spreaders and maybe running a usb down to a wifi router. Thanks!
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