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remoandiris

Is reliable, unlimited access available for under $100 a month?

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From the research I've done, it doesn't appear to be.  

Using a phone as a hotspot for other devices eats data very quickly, and the phone companies can/do cut the speed once a certain amount is reached.  

Maybe I need to use fast food restaurants more often.

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There are some options out there. Unfortunately, some of the best ones have recently retired (AT&T Connected Car on the Mobley for $20/mo back in September, and AT&T Unlimited Plus on a hotspot device for $20-95/month just back in February). 

But there are a bunch of vendors out there reselling plans on all four of the major carriers, and some legacy plans left to acquire. 

We keep a guide - completely free - at: www.rvmobileinternet.com/unlimited where you can research your options (and understand the 'limits'). 

 - Cherie

Edited by Technomadia

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Verizon deal for FMCA members.  MiFi with unlimited (though maybe throttled after 25 gigs) for $40/month.  

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2 hours ago, remoandiris said:

From the research I've done, it doesn't appear to be.  

Some parks offer Internet via their park's cable system. That's under $100.

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2 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

Verizon deal for FMCA members.  MiFi with unlimited (though maybe throttled after 25 gigs) for $40/month.  

Not 'may be' - it is very specifically advertised as WILL be throttled. And we have multiple reports of that throttling being to a very unusable speed (.09 mbps).   Even so, it's not a bad deal for 25GB of data at $49.99/mo - we just aren't fans of the 2-year contract requirement. 

Our coverage of the plan: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/fmca-verizon-unlimited-data-plan/

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Since we travel, we have 2 choices, Verizon or ATT.  So we have the Mobley on ATT and the MiFi on Verizon.  Where one isn’t particularly strong, the other usually is.  2 yr contract is a minimal time frame for us

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We use Verizon unlimited talk and text 40GB of data,We have two smart phones on the plan.It is not cheap but it has been very reliable all over the country and it is what we need. We tried the so called unlimited data plan and the throttling makes it useless. 

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Like Barb, we also have AT&T's Mobley and a Verizon MiFi, both with unlimited data and no throttling, but no contracts. Having two carriers gives us more reception options as we travel, with one usually stronger than the other at any given location. Unless you know one carrier is stronger in the areas where you travel, having more than one carrier available just seems to be prudent for more reliable connectivity. Our monthly cost is well below $100 for both plans, but since neither plan is currently offered, I won't detail them. 

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17 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

Verizon deal for FMCA members.  MiFi with unlimited (though maybe throttled after 25 gigs) for $40/month.  

Actually, the FMCA Verizon package may not be a good deal for everyone.  We already had a MiFi and were Verizon customers.  With a discount in place for auto pay plus another public service discount the FMCA deal would have only saved us about $10 a month.  The problem was you had to pay up the $60+ membership in FMCA for at least 2 years to take advantage of it.  So in other words, we would have had to pay over $120 in future membership to FMCA to start saving $10 a month on our Verizon bill.  Don't think so.

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16 hours ago, Technomadia said:

Not 'may be' - it is very specifically advertised as WILL be throttled. And we have multiple reports of that throttling being to a very unusable speed (.09 mbps).  

Sorry but this is mis-leading, it is "may be" if you are on a tower with heavy usage they will throttle someone that has used over 22gb (or whatever the threshold is)  I have teenagers who stream youtube, music, etc constantly and they routinely go over and do experience some throttling (but not always).

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jpcoll01: You are mixing up network prioritization and throttling, they are not the same.  The FMCA Verizon hotspot throttles down when you hit the 25GB limit.  Verizon hotspots, phone or Jetpack,  that have a 15GB hotspot limit will throttle down at that hotspot usage level while the phones own usage will keep its speed.  At 22GB a Verizon phone is subject to network prioritization, which is different.   

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20 hours ago, Zulu said:

Some parks offer Internet via their park's cable system. That's under $100.

Many of them specifically state in their SOP that streaming is not allowed, so if the RVer plans to watch TV via internet stream, that SOP makes them SOL. As I am researching parks I am seeing a fair number of them that have this policy. And I have watched youtube videos that also say parks will shut you down if you use a repeater (or router) and connect more than 1 device. 

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Note that with Verizon the 15GB limit befoer slowdown is per phone. If you have 12 phones and use the 15GB up on one the other still has 15GB.

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1 hour ago, richardbetsey said:

Note that with Verizon the 15GB limit befoer slowdown is per phone. If you have 12 phones and use the 15GB up on one the other still has 15GB.

Yes per phone but 15 GB total for the plan for a non-phone device (modem, MiFi).

We have the "inlimited" plan for GM LTE (in the car) for $20 a month.  Quotes because when I when to school, unlimited meant something else. 

AT&T kept this plan because it is limited to the vehicle unlike the Mobley which was intended to be like the GM LTE but wound up being abused by Mobleys being brought into the RV/House by using a power cable.  This was abuse because it was not what AT&T intended even if they screwed up and mis-undertood what people will do do work around limits.

Since people are so adverse to two-year contracts, I think selection of the Toad would be even farther out of the question.

Edited by Mark and Dale Bruss

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So if we run the Mobley off of the batteries in the RV vs the 120 power we're ok?  The RV is a motor vehicle.  I'm sorry that companies don't do the required research to figure out how people years down the road may use things.   But since we can't get cable or DSL internet connections when on the road, why should we be castigated for signing up and using the available technology currently offered by different vendors?

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Nope, AT&T pulled the plan because of the mis-use.

4 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

So if we run the Mobley off of the batteries in the RV vs the 120 power we're ok?  The RV is a motor vehicle.  I'm sorry that companies don't do the required research to figure out how people years down the road may use things.   But since we can't get cable or DSL internet connections when on the road, why should we be castigated for signing up and using the available technology currently offered by different vendors?

You are not castigated uniquely.  Living on the road is a choice and the results of that choice is that you cannot get a sticks&bricks 100 MBps fiber connection.  Nor a $40 cable TV package.  Freedom of movement means higher costs for utilities, that is the way it is.

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So you are just castigating Fulltimers in general for finding solutions to getting reliable internet connections?

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34 minutes ago, Mark and Dale Bruss said:

Nope, AT&T pulled the plan because of the mis-use.

You are not castigated uniquely.  Living on the road is a choice and the results of that choice is that you cannot get a sticks&bricks 100 MBps fiber connection.  Nor a $40 cable TV package.  Freedom of movement means higher costs for utilities, that is the way it is.

Exactly. It is not hard to understand that these "car plans" were envisioned to be used occasionally by individuals and families in their daily commutes and travels. With the assumption that they were ancillary to a more robust home-based system that is used for the majority of internet access. 

But as has proven to be the case in the past a very small group of RV'ers (and perhaps others) discover and exploit the plans as their primary internet connection, using data amounts that were well outside of the expected norm for the plan. So this game of cat and mouse continues. Plans are offered (perhaps naively) by providers, they are exploited to their absolute maximum extent by a tiny percentage of users, the provider responds with restrictions or by eliminating the plan, etc. 

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1 hour ago, Barbaraok said:

...So if we run the Mobley off of the batteries in the RV...we're ok?...

The GM version of the Mobley is hard wired into the vehicle's systems. I have no idea where the sim is located to attempt to put it in another device as some have done with the Mobley sim. The vehicle has to be running or the ignition left in the accessory position. From what I have read, it does not take all that long for the Mobley and the other phantom loads to run the vehicle battery down. I have hooked up my stand alone smart charger to the truck while running the hotspot and it appears to draw 6.5 amps. In theory my 160 watt solar panels would keep up in full sun. The GM hot wire on the seven pin is hot with the ignition off. I know that if left connected to the trailer when hooked to shore, some charge will get to the truck batteries. I also know that because of the length of the run and the gauge of the wires, the trailer batteries do not get a very good charge from the vehicle alternator. I have not tried it for long enough to see if the charge from the trailer's converter will keep up with the drain of running the hotspot.

If the GM car connect is available in Class B, B+ and C motorhomes that might be a valuable feature for serious long term RVers when considering an RV model. 

Edited by TCW

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1 hour ago, Barbaraok said:

So if we run the Mobley off of the batteries in the RV vs the 120 power we're ok?  The RV is a motor vehicle.  I'm sorry that companies don't do the required research to figure out how people years down the road may use things.   But since we can't get cable or DSL internet connections when on the road, why should we be castigated for signing up and using the available technology currently offered by different vendors?

Touchy, aren't we? You and I both know that the Mobley was NOT INTENDED to be used as your full time primary internet connection. It was designed to be plugged in to the OBD-II port in your car. The fact that you altered it and found some other way to use it doesn't mean anyone is "castigating" you. They are simply pointing out that you are not using it as designed.

I would also point out that users who abused the intended design and plan that are likely to blame for it no longer being offered as it was originally.

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It was intended to be used in vehicle, correct.  I’m not the one castigating people for using a product in a vehicle.   Not touchy, but think castigating RVers for finding ways to stay connected seems odd on a forum dedicated to helping RVers. 

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The Mobley was intended to used in a vehicle, and that's exactly where we're using it. Nowhere in the sign up process was I asked what vehicle it would be used in. And the notion that AT&T pulled the plan due to misuse is utter nonsense, since they continued offering the plan several months BEYOND the originally  stated limited offer termination date. And to top it off, AT&T even updated the firmware later on to change the original 2 hour maximum run time settings to add a "No time out" option. Does anyone really think they didn't have a clue about the Mobley usage?

Edited by Dutch_12078

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7 hours ago, eddie1261 said:

Many of them specifically state in their SOP that streaming is not allowed, so if the RVer plans to watch TV via internet stream, that SOP makes them SOL. As I am researching parks I am seeing a fair number of them that have this policy. And I have watched youtube videos that also say parks will shut you down if you use a repeater (or router) and connect more than 1 device. 

suddenLink doesn't do this.

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Because the published expiration date for the offer has come and gone...

Consider: The Mobley/Connected Car unlimited plan was originally offered at $40/mo. with a stated limited time offer expiration date and RV'ers started jumping on board. A few months later AT&T cut the price to $20 and updated the firmware to include the no time out option. The stated expiration date came and went and the offer was continued for a few more months. Which part of that timeline suggests that they dropped the plan due to misuse?

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