options for Mobile Broadband capability
I'm going to be buying a laptop computer and will need mobile broadband capability (ie. I need internet and will not be by a WiFi hotspot). My understanding is that there are three ways I can get mobile broadband: WiMAX, USB dongle, or Integrated with Gobi.
I strongly prefer a setup where I do NOT have to install additional software on my computer. that is, I'd like something that the OS can manage (like how the OS natively handles WiFi). With that said, can anyone recommend which of the three would be my best option? Thanks.
Cobbs Creek, VA
I suggest a USB dongle (modem/Aircard). This does not lock you into any particular carrier and allows the freedom of choice. The mobile broadband market is very fluid, never go with a integrated solution.
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New York, NY
|reply to coris |
My two cents.
Your best choices, I think, are Sprint 4G unlimited, Sprint 3G -- 50 gig cap -- through Millenicom, and Verizon Wireless 3G -- 20 gig cap -- also through Millenicom, in that order of preference. It depends on what's available in your area. (Don't bother with Verizon Wireless 4G; it's overpriced with very low caps.)
The best way to check out the quality in your area is to go to these networks directly and purchase a plan that you intend to return within the trial period. Both Sprint and Verizon Wireless allow you to do that, Verizon Wireless for 14 days and Sprint for 30 days. You can expect to be charged a prorated amount for the days you used the service, but otherwise you should be able to get a full refund.
A special case is the Sprint 4G service, where, if you establish that there is good service, you simply keep it and don't return it at all.
I've heard 4G is just marketing talk and is not truly available yet hardly anywhere.
New York, NY
Whatever you want to call it, 4G or the man in the moon, the fact is that wireless Internet is now available from all four major carriers that blows away what would normally be considered 3G speeds. For example, both Verizon Wireless and Sprint 3G both have a minimum average speed spec of 600k. However Sprint's 4G minimum is 5 times that, 3 mbps, and Verizon Wireless' 4G minimum is over 8 times that, 5 mbps.
Whatever you want to call it, it IS available, and worth checking out, believe me. I did, I switched to 4G Sprint last November, and have remained largely quite happy with that decision.
The bottom line is that if it's not available in your area, it's not available. If it's available in your area, it's available. That's what counts.
Is 4G still not available in many part of the country? Sure. But that's not relevant to one's individual decision as to whether to get it or not, unless one does a LOT of traveling. In most cases, the only thing that's relevant is whether it's available in your area. If it is, case closed, in my opinion.