Author Topic: Affordable cellular WiFi internet is here!  (Read 1951 times)

HipGnosis

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Affordable cellular WiFi internet is here!
« on: March 26, 2021, 08:03:33 AM »
My GF lives in the country.  She's never had home internet.
Her cable (TV) bill keeps going up..  She has a 'smart' TV, but it needs internet to work (with the 'smart' features).  So I looked into affordable options for her. 
I found that T Mobile actually has affordable mobile internet now!
I found that they have: 5 GB for $25 /mo. 
Their cellular WiFi hotspot is a Frankin T9.  They want $90 for it (or $4 for 24 months).  But there are places online that sell them for $65.   And used ones are going for $25+!
I bought a used one.   I think a Sprint one will work (because it just recently merged with T Mobile), but I got a T Mobile one to be sure.
I was surprised that it's the size of a deck of cards.   The battery is replaceable (you take out the batt to put in the SIM).   
It says the battery is good for 8 hrs of use.
I charged it up and played with it.  It shows the WiFi name and PW (with a cpl button taps).
You can change the WiFi name and PW.  You can set up limited access connections.  You can change the admin name and PW  (I did).
Note:  I found that a 12 sided dice works GREAT for creating a random PW!  I used some of the #s, and some for letters (1=A, 2=B...)
I met her at a T Mobile store yesterday for her to get a SIM and a plan.
The SIM is $10.  There is no activation fee (as it's a pre-paid plan).
Then... we found out that they JUST lowered the price of data!  5 GB is $20 / mo!
SWEET.
I RE-looked up their prices when I got home;  https://prepaid.t-mobile.com/prepaid-internet
 GB    $ / mo
 .5      5
 2       10
 5       20
 10      30
 30      40
100     50  (limited time offer)
This is all 5G too!
I'm going to her house today to setup the WiFi on her TV.  And show her how to use Google Play store on her tablet.

Note 2:  T mobile has kinda spotty coverage in some rural areas, so it's not for everyone.

Oh, and I'm going to put the charger for the hotspot on a timer she has for her Xmas lights.

robartsd

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Re: Affordable cellular WiFi internet is here!
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2021, 09:39:58 AM »
Good luck, 5GB can go pretty quickly when used for streaming video. Looks like my home router is reporting about half a GB a day in traffic between my home network and the internet. We have several devices, but rarely have more than one stream going at a time. You might need to upgrade to the $40 or $50/month plan if you expect this to replace cable. Then you also need to consider the cost of streaming service subscriptions. Of course this depends on how much she watches TV and what shows she wants to watch.

Daley

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Re: Affordable cellular WiFi internet is here!
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2021, 09:57:07 AM »
I think a Sprint one will work (because it just recently merged with T Mobile)

Don't buy used Sprint hardware, their existing network's already been gutted for "redundant" towers to T-Mobile coverage, and they'll be finished re-farming spectrum and resources by early next year when they plan to shut down the legacy CDMA network.

Good luck with it, though. Do note that they throttle heavy 50GB+ users, and they proxy streaming video and force 480p, which still pulls ~1.5Mbps (~675MB/hour). 5G data speeds are "modest" upgrades at best over current 4G speeds, and there's a lot of fine print worth reading on their terms of service. Unfortunately, modern internet browsing has gotten really bloated, and it's hard to keep those numbers down with desktop browsers without some effort.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 10:07:05 AM by Daley »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Affordable cellular WiFi internet is here!
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2021, 06:14:57 PM »
5GB won't last long with a smart TV. What are the excess fees?

grantmeaname

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Re: Affordable cellular WiFi internet is here!
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2021, 01:05:06 PM »
The average household uses 700GB. what you're looking at is not a home wi-fi replacement product for most people.

T-Mobile does have an uncapped home internet replacement product for $60 (sometimes on sale for $50).

RWD

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Re: Affordable cellular WiFi internet is here!
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2021, 01:40:33 PM »
5 GB wouldn't even last a full day in my house.

grantmeaname

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Re: Affordable cellular WiFi internet is here!
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2021, 02:01:26 PM »
In fact, it wouldn't last 6 hours in the average US household.

nick663

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Re: Affordable cellular WiFi internet is here!
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2021, 04:11:07 PM »
Note 2:  T mobile has kinda spotty coverage in some rural areas, so it's not for everyone.
This was going to be my comment, especially when it comes to 5g. 

Be sure to test coverage before buying too much data.