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4G USB Modems
jss028
Member

I am reading horrible reviews about all three 4G USB Modems.  I am particularly interested in the Pantech with the external antenna jacks.  But that seems to be the worst of the bunch.

 

I am in an RV and do consulting work.  I would be using this device for connectivity to client networks.  I cannot have constant disconnects as I read about.

 

Are these devices really as bad as what I am reading?  :mansad:

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Re: 4G USB Modems
Not applicable

There is a lot of information going through this thread. Awesome!

 

 jss028,

 

Traveling through any 4G service area would definitely make your experience more relaxing!  

 

The best I can recommend is to go through our support site for each device, read reviews and compare features.  The monthly plans details are available once you select the 4G device you want.  We do offer a 5GB and 10GB plan.

 

A huge benefit is our Customer Guarantee, see details here

 

Go here to get more info on each 4G modem we offer!

View solution in original post

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Re: 4G USB Modems
Swingray60
Member

jss028,

 

I too had problems with the constant disconnects. The latest update to UML290VW modem FW L0290VWB333F.230 1 [Mar 15 2011 15:03:20] I am in a 3G only area and this modem along with a Cradlepoint MBR1200 Router gives me the fastest 3G I have had in two years. I upgraded from a USB760 in January 2011 and had nothing but trouble staying connected. Since this update I have been rock solid with rural download speeds up to 2 MBPS and upload speeds of .5 MBPS. I have 3 connected PC's and I am using Wilson DB Pro in building wireless amplifier as I am 4 miles from the cell tower.

 

Cradlepoint Data:

 

Modem Diagnostics

Name                                            Value

Manufacturer:                               Pantech, Incorporated

Product:                                        PANTECH UML290

Model Info:                                    UML290VW

Modem Firmware Version:        L0290VWB333F.230 1 [Mar 15 2011 15:03:20]

Carrier Status:                             UP

ESN/IMEI:                                     

Profile:                                          0 Enabled

Home Address:                           0.0.0.0

Primary Home Agent:                 255.255.255.255

Secondary Home Agent:            255.255.255.255

MN-AAA SPI:                               2

MN-HA SPI:                                 300

MN-AA SS:                                  Set

MN-HA SS:                                  Set

Rev Tun:                                       1

PIN Status:                                   Ready

Service Display:                          EVDO-A

Profile 3:                                     vzwinternet

Signal Strength (%):                   100

Signal Strength (dBm):               -71

PhysicalPort

USB1 Connection Status:          Connected

 

Thanks,

 

Hank

 

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Re: 4G USB Modems
Neander
Novice

I too am an RV-traveling consultant.     The problems,  by my current experiences,  aren't all that frequent anymore.  Many of my fellow Pantech USB complainers aren't making as much noise as we used to.  Verizon may be getting their act together after all. 

 

Most of the problems now seem to be over their telephones.

 

The whole of your question can be sumed up simply:  Where are you going to be most of the time?

 

If you're catering to urban clients, the odds are you'll find yourself in 4G areas.  That's good.

But if you're out in the boonies where the affordable campgrounds are you may be stuck in 3G -or worse.   Look over the 4G coverage map  Be sure to refresh in 4G mode & zoom in for details.   I've found it to be accurate.

 

If you're stuck in 3G territory,  it's sloooow and may not worth it,  so shop around a little more.  Demand speedtest.net demostrations.  Commit if you have to.

 

Hardware: My Pantech is working great.   In the desktop most of the time,  plugs into my laptop for mobility.  Jacksonville has good coverage.   Never found a place that didn't have 3G coverage that could be used in a pinch.

 

I just hope all this happy-talk doesn't provoke another system-wide shut-down.  Then I'll be singing different tune from Krystal Hamburgers again.   'been known to happen.

 

 

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Re: 4G USB Modems
Neander
Novice

Jss;  I got to thinking,  How are you getting your television signal?

 

The factors you need to consider: 

 

1.  Verizon 4G LTE plan has a 5 gigabyte limit (beyond that you'll pay gawd-knows-what.  I hate surprise bills!)

   I'm down to 1.2 gigs & 10 days to go.  All I can do now is read my email.

 

2.  Do you do most of your work on your desktop?   Sure it's nice to whip out your laptop where ever you are and connect, but there are free Wi-Fi locations everywhere these days, and the connections are as good or better than Verizon's 3g. For a while they were AT&T's 3g anyway.

 

3.  Most of the campers I see have portable satellite dishes.  The providers are offering internet/TV combo's.  You don't want to use Verizon's service for big down-load packages like Netflix or TV services;  you'll eat up your 5 gigs in a heartbeat.   With a  dish you can be anywhere in Texas and as long as you have a southern exposure you're good.

 

Verizon's 4G LTE is currently filling a narrow market niche,   one I just happen to be in,    But if things were different I definitely would have looked around first.

 

Lemme know what you decide & why, I'm curious.

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Re: 4G USB Modems
jss028
Member

I spend roughly 7 months in TX and the other 5 in PA.  In TX I am about 60 miles from the nearest 4G city.  In PA, they just turned up 4G in the closest city, but by looking at the coverage map, it appears the 4G signal stops about 5 miles from the campground I stay at.

 

For business internet, I connect to the client's network using VPN software.  Meeting are all online sharing with toll free conference bridge associated with the online meeting.  The rest of work related internet is e-mail.  I have the 5GB plan but usually (over the last 2 years) average about 2.5 - 3 Gig used.  The campground in TX has telephone lines at each site thru their PBX.  As most of my business calls are using toll free numbers, I use their phone system a lot.  But I would like the flexibility to stay in other areas, especially those that DO have 4G connectivity.  I do not have to be near the client's location; just have Internet access to connect to the VPN and ability to call into conference calls.  I have MagicJack but that doesn't work well on 3G as the upload speeds are not fast enough.  When I call numbers that are not toll free, I typically use my cell phone.  In between TX and PA I go thru many cities that do have 4G coverage.  It would be a much more relaxing trip if I could stop and spend a week or so in any of those cities.  Or stay a while in a city that I have hi speed access as I would have my internet access as well as a fast enough connection for my MagicJack.  I am currently using a UMB720 modem and a Cradlepoint 1200 router for my business laptop connection.  I use my personal laptop for my MagicJack as the WiFi at this campground is 6MB download and 3 MB upload.  Unless the park get real corwded, hus WiFi gets boged down, the MagicJack works just fine.

 

As far as TV, I use DirecTV with a portable dish.  Their Internet service is Verizon, or is it AT&T, DSL.  I forget.  The Satellite internet I looked into is fairly costly and is about 1.5MB speed.  The 3G that I currently have average 1.5 - 2MB download and .4 - .7 M upload.

 

So I am interested in 4G so that I can stay for longer times in cities that have 4G and not bound to just 2 or 3 destinations.  3G is working fine for my business needs. I may just stick with what I got for now.

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Re: 4G USB Modems
enyalius
Novice

Neander, 

 

The lowest plan is 5GB, with a 10GB plan for $30 more ($80 for the 10GB plan).  Anything over that is $10/GB (even if you only go over by 1MB, you still get charged for 1GB). source

 

jss,

 

I was one of the first people I knew with the UML290, and I used it with the Cradlepoint CTR35 router.  When I used the modem by itself, it was great.  I even peaked at speeds of 33Mb/s down.  When I used it with the Cradlepoint, it was terrible.  The router would cut my throughput in half!

 

Anyway, I did have two or three issues with my modem in the beginning, but they were minor and fixed quickly.  I really do like this modem and would suggest it if you think you will be in a 4G area.  If you're looking for a router, I'd stay away from the CTR35.  Even with the most recent firmware, I'm still having issues with it 😕

 

Good luck!

 

 

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Re: 4G USB Modems
jss028
Member

I must post a correction.

 

I am currently using a USB760 modem plugged into a Cradlepoint MBR1200 router.

 

What I probably will do is get  the Pantech UML290 modem with the 5GB 4G plan plugged directly into my PC for the times I am in 4G territory.  I'll maintain my USB760 and MBR1200 router for the times I am in 3G territory until such time that I have confidence in the UML290 in both 4G and 3G mode.  My USB760 contract runs out in 2 months anyway.

 

Gonna visit my local Verizon store Saturday.

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Re: 4G USB Modems
Neander
Novice

Thanks Enyalius;  My "Gawd-knows-what" cost estimate was a slight exaggeration.  You knew what, and I did too actually.  But knowing me, an extra $10 on my bill would still come as an unpleasant surprise.

 

Jss;  I was a happy camper with my UNLIMITED  USB760.   It was reliable but so slow I was never even able to run over 5 Gig usage.   If you're speedtesting better than a megabyte you're doing a lot better than I ever was. 

 

In My Opinion:   If I had to stay in 3G territory, I'd stay with the reliable USB760 network,    and jump to 4G LTE when the coverage is better.     If you jump now you'll just have all the 4G problems at a 3G speed.    -Not an appreciable trade-off,  In My Opinion

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Re: 4G USB Modems
enyalius
Novice

Sorry, Neander, I couldn't resist :smileytongue:

 

I agree with Neander, though.  If you aren't going to spend a ton of time in 4G coverage areas, I'm not sure it's worth being on a "bleeding edge" technology like LTE.  It would likely be a pain for you to have to switch in/out modems so you can use your Cradlepoint in 3G areas, and who knows how that might screw things up now that you're mixing ESID (3g) and SIM (4g) device identification methods.  It should all work easily, but you never know (especially this early in the game).

 

From what I've been reading, too, the Cradlepoint 4G support for LTE has been...lackluster and full of fail.  There was the longest time where you were "locked" into 4G mode with my Cradlepoint model, meaning there wasn't even a way to access 3G on a 4G modem when using the CTR35.  To this day, despite the support being out of "beta', my service/performance remains spotty and annoying.  

 

Bottom line (to me): if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

 

Best of luck in whatever you decide to do, though.

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Re: 4G USB Modems
Not applicable

There is a lot of information going through this thread. Awesome!

 

 jss028,

 

Traveling through any 4G service area would definitely make your experience more relaxing!  

 

The best I can recommend is to go through our support site for each device, read reviews and compare features.  The monthly plans details are available once you select the 4G device you want.  We do offer a 5GB and 10GB plan.

 

A huge benefit is our Customer Guarantee, see details here

 

Go here to get more info on each 4G modem we offer!

View solution in original post

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