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Avis To Offer In-Car Wi-Fi
$10.95 gets you a 3G Wi-Fi router in a box
by Karl Bode 09:47AM Tuesday Jan 02 2007
Avis will soon begin offering renters a Wi-Fi hotspot in a box for $10.95 a day, provided by a company dubbed Autonet Mobile, who is debuting the service at this year's CES. The article above notes the service uses "the 3G cellular network," but doesn't specify which one -- hopefully it's not Verizon, since such mobile Wi-Fi 3G routers are prohibited under that provider's terms of service. Also noteable is the fact that you can't take the device away from the car. We profiled a similar service recently that ran over Verizon's network, requiring users shell out $1,995 and the $60-$80 month for EVDO service.

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inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

1 edit

actually....

It will probably be with Sprint since they have concentrated so much on providing service along major roads. And with the roaming agreements Sprint and verizon have in place, you will probably be able to roam data on verizon, but not worry about their pesky TOS issues.

Of course, if they want to provide real speeds, they should go with Cingular HSDPA. Reason being is you are not always going to be in a 3G area, and I'd take EDGE over 1xRTT ANY day.

yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA

3 edits

Re: actually....

said by inteller See Profile

Of course, if they want to provide real speeds, they should go with Cingular HSDPA.


...but it's Cingular.....

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If ever offered a breath mint - take it.

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

Re: actually....

your comment has no value or pertinence.

yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA

Re: actually....

Man, your quick. (Fyi- this post has no relevance either)
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If ever offered a breath mint - take it.

Michieru2
zzz zzz zzz
Premium
join:2005-01-28
Miami, FL
Or your can buy the mainboard itself and simply choose a PCMIA card from the provider of choice, maybe even all three providers with a mainboard that supports it and simply create a nice wooden case with a DC power supply with a small USB 802.11G card to supply in car WiFi or run ETTS (Ethernet to the seat). After that's all done simply wire the power supply and stick the wooden box in the trunk. Maybe also add a FLASH mudule to load up a 1GB flash drive to install Linux on.

A fun project to those who are technically inclined.

Of course if you want to go really small and just swap cards without breaking the bank, this is for you >>

»www.mini-box.com/VERSA-Card-Bus-···egory=20

Only 32.50

The total cost for the card you choose as well memory and flash drive will vary.

CF Card >> »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···20171046

PC Card >>

»powervision.sprint.com/mobilebro···ard.html

Of course you can get the free one if you wish (going cheap is not always the best thing)

Power supply >>

»www.mini-box.com/s.nl/it.A/id.41···egory=13

After that some standard RAM will do, also since it has a PCI slot you can forget about the USB card and simply slap on a cheap 20 dollar Prism2 chipset card on there. Of course if it where me, I would simply just run the ethernet under the carpet and I simply pull the cable from the passenger seat.

-Michieru

Cjaiceman
Premium,MVM
join:2004-10-12
Parker, CO
kudos:2

Distracted Drivers

I can see it now on the 5 o'clock news. "Driver ran head-on into a Semi while reading his e-mail."

Like there isn't enough to distract drivers already. They have the cell phone, the radio, the screaming kids in the back seat, the 1/2 pound of French Fries in their lap, and the quarter pounder from *insert fast food chain name here*.

That said, this also could be a good thing. The passenger can check their email, watch youtube, and other internet related items (read=pr0n) while on the highway. I think this could also push the cell company to make a faster and more reliable network. $10.95/day seems a little on the steep side though. If it were about $2.00/day I might actually do it, but that is just too much per day.
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keithmac

join:2006-12-05
Hudson, NH

Re: Distracted Drivers

My guess is the pricing seems to be similar to if you went to an airport and paid to use their Wifi hotspot. That is usually around $10.00 per day also I believe.
No_Code

join:2003-12-12

Re: Distracted Drivers

The only advantage I can see with this versus airport wifi is that you can take this with you. Though, if you're paying for more than 5 days to rent one of these boxes, you have to ask yourself if it's not worth just buying the PC card itself.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
Why would they charge you $2.00 per day? That's about or less than the standard rate of Wireless internet to begin with.

Do you travel much?

Ever stay in a hotel where they charge?

People flip out $10.00 per day in hotels.

People flip out about $6.95 for just a few hours of internet at the airport. So, why would you feel that such a mobile connection would be worth only $2?

Not a direct slam at you, but this thought process in general, I can certainly see why U.S. broadband providers are chomping at the bit to invest billions into major increases to a network that is less than a decade old.
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jpetty

join:2005-08-31
Burlington, KY

Re: Distracted Drivers

It's Avis rent a car, which is geared to the corporate traveler. Most travelers will expense this without flinching. To reiterate fiberguy's observations, many hotel charge 9.95/day for Hi-Speed internet access (Hilton/Doubletree), and the Starbuck's in CA charge anywhere from 7.95-9.95/day, as well as many airports.

While some of the responses bring comical light to the potential hazazrds, it would be invaluable, as my own broadband card has paid for itself time and again, to continue working while traveling (cup holder AC Inverter also good investment for max screen brightness), and be able to pull up traffic web sites on-the-fly to check traffic and look at alternate routes (L.A.), or, get to an appt. early and check your mail in the parking lot, ESPECIALLY if you're waiting on a quote/proposal.

As for who it is, it may vary by location, however from a coast to coast traveler's perspective, the most consistent connectivity, and broadest reaching is Verizon. It may not be the fastest everywhere, but A connection is better than NO connection. Cingular's EDGE is very fast, but it's very limited in scale. Sprint's network is fast, and many times because not as many are on it, but it's also not nearly as far reaching as Verizon. If I'm deep in a Data Center, 9 times out of 10, Verizon phones and cards will have connection/signal when others don't. I've traveled through the mountains of NC/TN, and had no signal on my Nextel phone for miles, but my Verizon card is still chugging away.

That said, if you were to look at it from a holistic perspective and not just your corner of the world, Avis would have better service, fewer connectivity/signal related complaints from Verizon based service across the country. I use a Kyocera 650 with a suction-cup external antenna attachment, and a buddy has the Sprint card. They both have performed wonderfully, and sitting side-by-side in an Applebee's testing the speed, they were very comarable. The Kyocera had the best upload performance though.
itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

Re: Distracted Drivers

quote:
Cingular's EDGE is very fast, but it's very limited in scale. Sprint's network is fast, and many times because not as many are on it, but it's also not nearly as far reaching as Verizon. If I'm deep in a Data Center, 9 times out of 10, Verizon phones and cards will have connection/signal when others don't.
Cingular has a bigger native footprint than Verizon and, IIRC is EDGE in most markets. Not to mention I can point you many areas where Verizon is nonexistant and my Cingular phone just chugs away, including inside data centers.
CMoore2004
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Jonesville, MI

Re: Distracted Drivers

Cingular's EDGE is less then mediocre at best. EDGE has reasonable speeds with a good signal, but with Sprint's 1xRTT network I can always get at least 64kbit even with a signal of about -110dBm. I recently tried a few data cards and found that the Cingular card doesn't roam-AT ALL. Nationwide coverage, yes, but don't look at their partner coverage. I'm not sure about Verizon's footprint being larger than Sprint's, seeing as they roam on eachother, and Sprint roams on Alltel (not sure if Verizon also does). Cingular's HSDPA was laughable, and spotty within the cities that it was offered. Driving through the heart of Columbus, I should never lose my signal, but it repeatedly dropped back to EDGE. Your phone showing Cingular doesn't mean it's really Cingular towers you're using, so the data coverage won't be what you might expect.
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jpetty

join:2005-08-31
Burlington, KY
yep, so the bottom line is you have to look at where you travel/work the most, and then scour the telco's coverage maps for the best fit

GNH
tolle causam
Premium
join:1999-12-20
Arlington, TX

Possibly Verizon's EV-DO Network

Another piece about AutoNet Mobile...

»www.powerpage.org/2007/01/autone···car.html
jervin123

join:2005-04-14
Philadelphia, PA

I see red

This coverage map looks much like verizon's got it from »www.goautonet.com/wp/service

60127178
K.U. Sweet 16
Premium
join:2001-02-15
Wichita, KS
kudos:1

Re: I see red


Light Blue=EVDO Yellow=1xrtt
Yes that map represents the Americas Choice digital voice coverage. While 1rxtt coverage might cover 80 percent of that map, the EVDO coverage is surly lacking. I cannot off hand find a nation-wide map for verizon evdo, but the map for kansas/oklahoma is not too promising.
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en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Re: I see red

I'd vote Sprint (even though I don't care for them)

1. Sprint has been MNVO'ing everything, and pushing data services such as Helio
2. Sprint doesn't have the BS TOS that Verizon Wireless and Cingular do
3. Sprint has more built out than the others, and has roaming with Alltel EVDO

Personally, I'd rather it be Cingular because its UMTS and a better overall standard (globally), but they don't even have good coverage in Los Angeles on 3G.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Nice reach, Karl....

"hopefully it's not Verizon, since such mobile Wi-Fi 3G routers are prohibited under that provider's terms of service."

Are you kidding me with this???

Maybe Avis and the "provider", who ever it may be, HAS an agreement!

Pour your coffee from today's pot.. I think yesterdays mug has lost it's strength...
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keyboard5684
Sam

join:2001-08-01
Pittsburgh, PA

But many business travelers...

Many business travelers, like me who go both air, land and sea, have there own card already. I do not see any point in targeting business travelers because most already do (or should) have something already in place.

The card from Sprint I cannot remember what I pay for them but the service is about $70 a month unlimited (sorry, correct me if I am wrong). So if you travel 1 week a month it just makes more sense to buy a card of your own and put it in your PC.
NJxxxJon
DSLR'er from the 56k days.
Premium
join:2005-10-22
00000

Ahh, damn.

I dont ever rent cars. I could just roll my car 20 more feet near my house. I saw another page....$ 6995 to make your car wifiable....yes a new word.
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nixen
Rockin' the Boxen
Premium
join:2002-10-04
Alexandria, VA

Precedence Says This Will Suck

Given how totally and utterly sucktastic their cell-phone based "in car navigation" system is, I'm highly suspicious that this will be much better.

-tom

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

Re: Precedence Says This Will Suck

$10.95/day? FORGET IT!
you get much better service in hotel rooms for that kind of price.
$1.50/day maybe but not $10.95!
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RR Conductor
NWP RR Inc.,serving NW CA
Premium
join:2002-04-02
Redwood Valley, CA
kudos:1

1 edit

Re: Precedence Says This Will Suck

It's free in most hotel rooms these days, even many of the little, no names ones. Paying for Wi-Fi in a hotel is so last Millenium