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Old 08-04-2018, 11:10   #1
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Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

Good Afternoon all,

I am a fairly heavy data user as my work depends on it. I have used very little data while on land so I always used prepaid plans, but when I don't have any access to ethernet, I imagine my data use will explode

I am wondering if anyone has any good recommendations for an 'unlimited' 3g data provider, and what antenna/router hardware you used with it. My main planned travel / anchorage locations are along the east coast, USA, between FL and NJ.

Thank you for reading!
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Old 08-04-2018, 14:00   #2
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

Verizon has 3G only true unlimited $5 a month.

ATT 4G LTE for about $40.

IMO get both, HowardForums is the best for details how to sign up, do not ask customer service.

Don't bother with the other two providers.
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Old 08-04-2018, 19:45   #3
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

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Verizon has 3G only true unlimited $5 a month.

ATT 4G LTE for about $40.

IMO get both, HowardForums is the best for details how to sign up, do not ask customer service.

Don't bother with the other two providers.
T-Mobile and Sprint are no good for east coast cruising?
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:58   #4
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

Their geographic coverage in general is well below the leading two.

There may be some exceptional spots here and there, but few would want to set up for more than two.
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Old 09-04-2018, 12:46   #5
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

T-mobile works pretty good on most of the East coast. unlimited 3g tethering when you have the one plan. Verizon does have a further reach in most spots as in it works further from a tower.
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Old 09-04-2018, 13:02   #6
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

On the West Coast, PNW to Alaska, I get Verizon 4g 25 miles from land if off a port or city.
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Old 09-04-2018, 13:08   #7
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

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On the West Coast, PNW to Alaska, I get Verizon 4g 25 miles from land if off a port or city.
Yeah Verizon is usually the best distance. I was actually amazed recently when my Tmobile phone worked two places a couple miles off the coast my Verizone work account did not. Once south of Hyannis on the Cape and another time near Little Compton RI.
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Old 11-04-2018, 14:07   #8
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

We had AT&T last summer (for our WiriePro - primarily in the Chesapeake). It was quite good but their prices are (relatively) high and dealing with their bureaucracy is just plan miserable. I just set up a T-Mobile account for this year. Easy as pie. Will see how it performs compared to AT&T. We are heading for the Bahamas in the fall. I understand T-Mobile works there too. Any insight/experience on that? Their map shows no service for a big chunk of eastern NC so that will likely be a known gap - unless they add more towers in the next 6 months.
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Old 11-04-2018, 14:20   #9
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

I use T-Mobile for 4g tethering on the east coast from the north Chesapeake down here to key west. In general, my old at&t connection was superior but I could not get unlimited data and T-Mobile with its unlimited streaming was the next best thing. Also, the speeds are generally a wash but we often get better speeds in the T-Mobile network than we had with at&t. Iím fairly happy with T mobile. Iíve done work provisioning and testing backhaul and tower switches for Verizon and their partners throughout Central America.
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Old 11-04-2018, 15:21   #10
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

T-Mobile data is slooow in the Bahamas. I suspended my T-Mobile for two months and got a BTC SIM card. 15 gig for $35.
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Old 11-04-2018, 17:42   #11
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

ATT LTE unlimited is available for ~$40 /mo.
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Old 11-04-2018, 18:43   #12
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

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T-Mobile data is slooow in the Bahamas. I suspended my T-Mobile for two months and got a BTC SIM card. 15 gig for $35.
T-Mobile international roaming is "free" but you are limited to slower speeds. Better than nothing, but paying $35 for local service is pretty great too
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:14   #13
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

John: I was not offered a $40/mo plan by AT&T, much less for unlimited data, nor did I find such a thing on their website. I have a feeling that they may offer different plans in different places or at different times. Also, in the process of dealing with them they wanted a $500 deposit to set up an account despite near perfect credit and a record with them with no blemishes from last year. I wasted over two hours dealing with them.

I walked in to the T-Mobile store and walked out 15 minutes later with a SIM card ready to load in my WiriePro. That included time for answering quite a few of my questions. Hopefully my AT&T experience isn't typical. One never knows. And hopefully the T-Mobile service will meet my needs/expectations.

After I read meridian28's post I read the fine print regarding international service on the T-Mobile site and, yes, "free" service is limited to 128 kbps - quite slow. I had planned to get a BTC SIM card for our visit to the Bahamas anyway so not a game-changer.

Thanks to all. Hopefully others with experience with these carriers will share.
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:40   #14
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

I have Verizon unlimited and it's about the best you can get on the east coast, coverage and speed wise. It has worked for me at times even 20-30 miles off the coast, amazingly enough. And in areas where those with ATT, Sprint, and T-mobile get no signal I often am fine.

It's LTE which is Veriizon's implementation of 4g. One caveat is that when it drops to 3g in some areas at the fringes of coverage it is basically unusable as far as data goes, so keep that in mind as you look at their coverage maps.

FYI I use my phone as a hot spot and tether my laptop to it all the time. Verizon supposedly throttles your bandwidth if they detect you tethering but I'm a relatively heavy user and have never detected any noticeable reduction in bandwidth.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:10   #15
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Re: Recommendation of 3g/4g carrier+hardware - east coast USA

You can't always get the best deals from the carrier directly, but from their resellers, sometimes grey market stuff like adapting hotspots for plans intended for in-car systems.

Search or post on HowardForums for great detailed instructions, and do not ask the corp mothership CS for help, they have no clue.
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