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Straight Talk Mobile Hotspots
Topic Started: November 14, 2013, 9:14 pm (2,816 Views)
ShadowDancer
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Straight Talk To Launch Verizon-Powered Mobile Broadband Service Soon

While many people on Straight Talk are currently enjoying LTE access either through AT&T or Sprint (and soon
through T-Mobile) after recent service expansions this year, Straight Talk is set to expand to add yet another service
to its growing portfolio, as the brand is preparing to roll out mobile broadband service, powered by Verizon Wireless,
with a slight catch...

http://www.phonenews.com/straight-talk-to-launch-verizon-powered-mobile-broadband-service-soon-24559/


ShadowDancer :)
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Tarkio101

I read the article, but I think it was poorly written. I am not sure what the catch is. Is it going to be 3g only?
Or is the catch that only 1 device at a time can be used?

I got more useless background info than I did information from his article. What did you take from it?

And some of the pricing is a little odd. It seems like it would get cheaper as you go up, but it really doesn't.
The top card costs more per gigabyte than the 4 gig card does. Odd strategy.
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ShadowDancer
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Tarkio101
November 16, 2013, 12:57 am
I read the article, but I think it was poorly written. I am not sure what the catch is. Is it going to be 3g only?
Or is the catch that only 1 device at a time can be used?

I got more useless background info than I did information from his article. What did you take from it?

And some of the pricing is a little odd. It seems like it would get cheaper as you go up, but it really doesn't.
The top card costs more per gigabyte than the 4 gig card does. Odd strategy.
Tarkio101 --

I agree with you! The article is poorly written and ends up simply confusing the reader.

As far as I can figure out, the catch seems to be that you can only use one device at a time, and that it will be a
Rev A. only unit. . . . Any idea what a "Rev. A only unit" might be?


ShadowDancer :blink:
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Turk
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TuRk WoRld OrdEr
* I was at one of my many Walmart stores yesterday, and I finally saw this device out for sale for the first time ever!
* The new Straight Talk UNIMAX U240C Mobile Hotspot -- price was $80 -- they also had out the Service Cards.
* Anyway, I had my World Famous Turkberry 3 (s380c) on me -- so I took a few quick pictures of everything.
* ShadowDancer .... I altered the Topic Title a little to fit all the current information better -- hope you don't mind.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Pictures provided by Turk and his Turkberry 3 B-)
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Tarkio101

ShadowDancer
November 17, 2013, 11:37 pm
Tarkio101
November 16, 2013, 12:57 am
I read the article, but I think it was poorly written. I am not sure what the catch is. Is it going to be 3g only?
Or is the catch that only 1 device at a time can be used?

I got more useless background info than I did information from his article. What did you take from it?

And some of the pricing is a little odd. It seems like it would get cheaper as you go up, but it really doesn't.
The top card costs more per gigabyte than the 4 gig card does. Odd strategy.
Tarkio101 --

I agree with you! The article is poorly written and ends up simply confusing the reader.

As far as I can figure out, the catch seems to be that you can only use one device at a time, and that it will be a
Rev A. only unit. . . . Any idea what a "Rev. A only unit" might be?

ShadowDancer :blink:
Yes, Rev A means it is 3g. That is a cdma phrase for EVDO 3g network, Revision A. Pretty much all cdma is Rev A now.
It was was essentially just an upgrade to the original, slower 3g.

This product will not be 4g LTE, but vzw 3g is pretty fast and does have capacity to spare, so this should be ok for a
lot of people.
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The Sweeper
Bad To The Bone.
The device, and the airtime cards are now available from walmart.com... Prices are the same as listed above.
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zogh

I saw this at the walmart last night & decided to look into it. I currently have a Verizon Jetpack on long tour schedules,
and have an 'Internet to go' for backup, both prepay or pay as you go. I like the 'internet to go' as I can load Gb on it &
they have no expy. time limit, so it works well as a secondary.

THIS intrigued me though. What I have found out is aside from being 3g only, it basically has the same capacity as my
prepay Verizon Jetpack, but without the $60\mo. fee. IT WILL ALLOW UP TO FIVE CONNECTIONS. Although, like any
mifi unit, the speeds get cut down as you add more units connecting through it.
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The Sweeper
Bad To The Bone.
I bought one the weekend before Christmas and used it all day Christmas and all day New Year's day (about
30 hours total) and I am very happy with it. Bought the 5GB card and used about half for both days combined
(no video streaming).. I was hesitant because the name UMX isn't really well known, but I do like it quite a lot.
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ShadowDancer
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A couple of questions for anyone who owns once of these mobile hotspots . . .

If one only needed a mobile hotspot for a few months out of an entire year, would a person encounter any
difficulty reactivating it, when it was needed? . . . I would not need one running every month.

Any estimate as to how much data would be used by, say, streaming a 60-minute TV program from Hulu?

Thanks!


ShadowDancer :)
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Ian

ShadowDancer
January 5, 2014, 6:12 pm
Any estimate as to how much data would be used by, say, streaming a 60-minute TV program from Hulu?
Since EvDO is a little too slow to do HD video (but not by much) I'm guessing you'd stream at around 1 Mbps.
That would put you at 450MB per hour, more or less. At $10-$15 per GB that's a pretty penny.

Hopefully Straight Talk is able to finagle their way onto Verizon's LTE network sooner or later.. At that point, its
rates would be quite nice for what you're getting; comparable Verizon LTE plans are $5 more expensive on my
iPad (1GB for $20, 2GB for $30).
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ShadowDancer
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Ian
January 17, 2014, 6:50 pm
ShadowDancer
January 5, 2014, 6:12 pm
Any estimate as to how much data would be used by, say, streaming a 60-minute TV program from Hulu?
Since EvDO is a little too slow to do HD video (but not by much) I'm guessing you'd stream at around 1 Mbps.
That would put you at 450MB per hour, more or less. At $10-$15 per GB that's a pretty penny.

Hopefully Straight Talk is able to finagle their way onto Verizon's LTE network sooner or later.. At that point, its
rates would be quite nice for what you're getting; comparable Verizon LTE plans are $5 more expensive on my
iPad (1GB for $20, 2GB for $30).
Ian --

Thanks for your reply! Appreciate it.

As far as I'm concerned, streaming at that price would not be an option.

Thanks again.


ShadowDancer :)
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hrhenry

ShadowDancer
January 5, 2014, 6:12 pm
A couple of questions for anyone who owns once of these mobile hotspots . . .

If one only needed a mobile hotspot for a few months out of an entire year, would a person encounter any
difficulty reactivating it, when it was needed? . . . I would not need one running every month.

Any estimate as to how much data would be used by, say, streaming a 60-minute TV program from Hulu?

Thanks!

ShadowDancer :)
I have my eye on this device too. It looks like it's probably the most cost-effective for what I want to do (ad hoc usage
with possibly several in-between months of non-usage).

Somewhere on Straight Talk's website I read that as long as the device was activated, you don't need to keep active
service and can just buy the data when you need it.

Funny enough, I just last night took a look at what an hour-long show (which includes commercials) on Hulu eats up.
I chose the lowest resolution, so that makes a difference I'm sure. An hour long show eats anywhere from 320M to
390M in my usage.

I'm actually looking at this device because 3G is actually a good deal faster than the rural DSL offered here in Northern
Wisconsin. The sticking point for me has been and is the fact that I watch so many shows over the internet.
That wouldn't be doable for me with this device, unless I cut back to one or two shows a week. I think I'm still going to
jump on it though, because I do get good OTA digital TV here with a good antenna, negating any need for internet
show-watching.

I figure OTA TV combined with this device for the rest of my internet needs works out a lot cheaper per month, figuring
I'd buy a 4G card every 60 days. That's 20 bucks a month - WAY cheaper than CenturyLink's crap sub 2M download
speeds over their DSL (that runs 50 bucks a month.)
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ShadowDancer
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hrhenry
February 17, 2014, 4:57 pm
Somewhere on Straight Talk's website I read that as long as the device was activated, you don't need to keep active
service and can just buy the data when you need it.

Funny enough, I just last night took a look at what an hour-long show (which includes commercials) on Hulu eats up.
I chose the lowest resolution, so that makes a difference I'm sure. An hour long show eats anywhere from 320M to
390M in my usage.
hrhenry --

Thanks for your reply!

I hadn't found anything on the Straight Talk website regarding activation, but this info is what I've been looking for.
I'll have to check again.

Yes, I'm sure that the resolution at which a person streams a program will make a difference in how much data one
chews through.

And, I hope that the hotspot works out for your situation in Wisconsin!


ShadowDancer :)
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ShadowDancer
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A second, new Straight Talk Mobile Hotspot has appeared on the Straight Talk activation page.

It is labeled just WiFi Mobile Hot Spot Z250G, but it is manufactured by ZTE. There is no link to a Tutorial yet.

However, here is a link to the device's Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ Interoperability Certificate:

http://www.wi-fi.org/content/search-page?keys=z250G

Once you reach this page, click on "Mobile Hotspot," and that will download a PDF file of the Z250G's certificate
which you can open with Adobe Reader.


ShadowDancer :)
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The Sweeper
Bad To The Bone.
Tutorial and user guide for the ZTE Z250G hot spot are now live (will use T-Mobile)

Tutorial: http://tracfone.deviceanywhere.com/straighttalk/home.seam?custId=STZEZ250G&locale=en_US
User Guide: http://img-tf.deviceanywhere.com//tracfone/pub/25276/docs/250G%20English%20Manual.pdf

And here's what it looks like...
Posted Image
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hrhenry

I'm actually quite happy with my new Unimax, but it's nice to see a GSM device being released.
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hrhenry

ShadowDancer
February 18, 2014, 2:26 pm
Yes, I'm sure that the resolution at which a person streams a program will make a difference in how much data one
chews through.
I wanted to circle back and follow up on this point, now having used the device for a while.

The best thing you (generally) can do is to NOT use Chrome or Chromium as a browser to access video sites. I've found that it's super chatty on the network, and ends up eating through data much faster than other browsers. Some of that is due to extensions, but there's a lot of chatter back to Google, from the monitoring that I'e done, too. Seriously, the chatter alone adds up to about 10-12M PER HOUR. I've been able to cut my data usage down by a 1/3 just by switching browsers. The latest version of Firefox does well, Opera does even better when using its Turbo mode.

So what was 320M for an hour-long video is now about 200-220M in size at standard resolution.

I've also read complaints that people were surprised at how fast their data was used, and didn't believe Straight Talk's numbers on the usage page. I started monitoring at the laptop level with a program called vnStat and, as long as I'm not using Chrome or Chromium, the numbers match up pretty well. It's only when I use Chromium that data seems to fly out the window.

Other than that, I'm still pretty happpy with the unit. Speed is as advertised for the most part.

R.
==
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Tarkio101

Hrh, thanks for the info about data usage on chrome. I tend to think about browsers in terms of speed primarily. I know there are some out there that promote themselves as using a lot less, but I didn't realize there would be that much difference between pretty mainstream popular browsers like chrome and firefox. I know Opera tends to use less, but they also promote that fact a lot, so it's more expected to me. Makes me glad I've shifted away from google products for the most part. I use a different browser then mentioned on my computer, but it's mainly at home so I'm not monitoring anything but speed.
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