imUrlaub

Tech Connect+ thoughts

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imUrlaub   

I recently, like so many others I'm sure, received an email regarding the new service Tech Connect+ serviced by Sprint and administered by FMCA. I generally applaud FMCA for this new service offering. The claim is that for about $50/month one can get truly unlimited data through a rented device as a "Hotspot." The device has a one time rental fee of about $40 and must be returned within fifteen days after cancellation to avoid a $200 administrative fee. Well, so far so good and this sounded interesting to me especially since there was no contract, term agreement, or cancellation fee. In other words, sign-up, pay a fee/s and enjoy. I was particularly enticed since, after spending $1200 on a Winegard WiFi antenna I discovered how incredibly expensive their data plans are. For instance, to watch a 2 hour HD movie would take about 6GBytes of data and so require their 10Gbyte level at a cost of $80. Wow! That's one expensive movie.

The Sprint offering isn't a lot better unless you pay the upfront fee and do not interrupt or cancel the service. Here is what I mean. Suppose, just for an example, you use your RV three times in a six month period with a one month interval between outings. You could sign up pay $50/month plus the rental of $40 for a grand total of $340 (there might be taxes also). But, if you didn't want to pay for service while your RV is in storage or idle then you'd have to cancel the service, send the equipment back, and then re-subscribe for the time you did want to use it. In that case the three month expense would be $270 or 3 x $90 because you have to rent the device each time.

Maybe this makes sense for full-timers? I'd welcome any thoughts about all of this.

 

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manholt   

Rather than having to cancel, re join, again and again.  Check to see if you could just put the service on hold, each time your in storage...by phone?

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I have a Sprint MiFi and the problem is the coverage areas.  I only park in cities and in nearly all cases I have only gotten 3G service.  Even LTE usually only shows 1 or 2 bars which won't give me service and won't kick back to 3G unless I do it manually.  It is truly unlimited which is nice but I generally have to switch to my AT&T Mobley to get on line.  If you don't travel too much, just be sure the area you plan to go has the coverage you need.  I don't use an external antenna so that may be part of the problem as well, but it's never been a problem when using the Mobley.

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edmck   

Bill makes a good point, Sprint coverage is weak once you move away from urban areas. We too have a Mobley and find ATT coverage excellent most everywhere we’ve been this past year. Another Sprint issue is that there are no boosters able to improve their signal. That said, we ordered this Sprint package from FMCA because it will likely help us during our winter stay here in Mesa and probably the two months we’ll be spending in Santa Fe in the spring. Whether it will work in northern Michigan is an open question. The big selling point for us is no contract — if we don’t like it well send it back and continue to rely on the Mobley. It’s a backup option for the day when ATT pulls the plug on the Mobley Connected Car plan.

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The other warning about Sprint is the 300 "MB" per month of roaming data.  That's so easy to hit that it's almost stupid.  I have mine set to not roam at all to prevent additional charges.

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Moonwink   

I had a 3G LG Optimus phone that I purchased on eBay for around $70.  For $15/month I had unlimited  3G Verizon service.  I prepaid each month and overall service was pretty good.  Never had any overages or problems.  The phone wouldn't work for voice calls but that was fine with me. 

I switched when Verizon began offering unlimited 4G/LTE service for up to 4 phones for $160 a month with a 15% discount to veterans.   The wife and I each have a Samsung S7 (that I purchased on eBay for around $300 a year ago so I had my own device when I switched) and I added a hotspot  (purchased that device on eBay for 1/2 of what Verizon wanted) to my plan.  Both phones were given a rating of 9/10 but I couldn't find a mark on them - they looked new and the price I paid was less that 1/2 of what Verizon was asking.  The last line is supposed to be for my daughter's iPhone whenever she the urge moves her.  Anyway, back to data.  I just looked at eBay again to see if I could find the deal I had previously. 

I couldn't find it but I found this:  ANDROID FLASHED TO UNLIMITED 3G VERIZON $5 A MONTH 2 MONTHS FREE [FREE REFLASH!]

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ANDROID-FLASHED-TO-UNLIMITED-3G-VERIZON-5-A-MONTH-2-MONTHS-FREE-FREE-REFLASH/172984296131?hash=item2846aae2c3:g:1kwAAOSwvfZaDc1-

$60 for the phone - The seller has 100% positive feedback so this might be something some of you may want to try.  3G service isn't bad.  I used it to watch live streaming newscasts from home while away on our winter trips with hardly any pauses to catch-up. 

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check_green.pngRead Member F470953 GAIL RUSSELL's Review of the Tech Connect+ Sprint MIFI Plan Below:

Signed up for FMCA Tech Connect+ and taking advantage of the Sprint Unlimited Hotspot Plan

I would say I started with Hotspot Authorization at 11:30AM, it is now 8PM and my Hotspot Battery is at 32% after accomplishing all of the above.

I am very pleased with both the Franklin R-910 Hotspot and the Sprint unlimited data plan. Everything is working flawlessly. I am in a rural area, 30 miles from the nearest city (Buffalo, NY) and I have had enough signal strength to do everything I wanted to do on my computers & tablets and ereaders, fast & flawlessly.

I found the Hotspot intuitive to use and easy to operate. I even liked the way it felt with its rubber armour coating! After 8-1/2 hours of continuous running, the Hotspot feels cool to the touch all over. If I had to tell one Hotspot fault, it would be the display screen font type is very small, making it hard to read.

Tomorrow I will play around with more of my WiFi capable devices and let you know what I think. The unlimited data plan is just great to have! No more running to public hotspots for me like when my old data plan was getting near its limit. I am in Computer Nerd Heaven!

Gail Russell
F470953

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CarlAda   

Looking at the map coverage, there's an awful lot of white (no coverage) out west.  Since most of my time is spent in the west, particularly Oregon coast, Oregon central, Idaho, Nevada, it doesn't look enticing. Lack of coverage is one of the reasons that I never considered Sprint as a viable competitor for my business.

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I have Sprint, Verizon and AT&T in the coach and the most often unusable internet source is the Sprint MiFi.  I have seriously considered simply dumping the service but it's truly unlimited for about $50/month.  My 2 year contract is up in Feb. and I will have to make a decision about what to do at that time.

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Moonwink   

I had Sprint's unlimited service for years.  Granted it was an older plan dating back to the early 2000s, whenever folks set around the campfire and compared coverage, I remained quite because I had nothing to talk about - my service never measured up to what others were experiencing.  I had an unlimited hotspot for years also that absolutely under-performed almost everywhere I went.  I emailed "dan@sprint.com" (the CEO's staff) and they'd call me to pacify me but never were able to correct the problems I experienced.  If you're a Sprint customer experiencing problems, emailing that address is worth a try.  What got me is when they'd rag on me about using too much "roaming data"  The only reason I had to roam was Sprint was too cheap to put up a tower!  They should have been glad to have me as a customer and remained quite about my roaming - happened every time I stayed at Emerald Cove in Erp, CA / Parker, AZ.  I tried T-Mobile for almost a year before switching to Verizon.  Not one of those carriers is without dead areas.  Way back before I started with Sprint, I had AT&T service.  When I complained about dropped calls at my house, the agent looked long and hard for a solution before telling me straight up he couldn't help and there were no future plans to improve service in my area - and no, he couldn't let me out of my contract.  Sprint overcame the problem with a micro-cell device connected to my internet.  T-Moble's phone connected to the WiFi signal directly to provide voice over IP.  With Verizon, the service isn't great but I've never dropped a call here at the house and usually have 4G data service (the way their unlimited plan is $80/month plus $20 a month for each device up to a total of 4 - veterans get a 15% discount.  Lots of luck with your experiences.  When you find the idea provider, be sure to come back and let us all know who it is.

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jgabbard   

The sprint plan through FMCA is getting a lot of attention. The truly Unlimited aspect of the plan seems to be really beneficial to the current users of the plan. There are users that have exceeded 80gb of usage and have not been networked managed. PLease review the Map below to see the 3G/4G/LTE/extended LTE Coverage that sprint can provide.

Sprint Coverage Map.JPG

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We just got back from a 5 month trip around the US.  My wife's sprint phone for all practical purposes never had service unless we were in a city.  My T-Mobile hot spot almost never had service unless we were very close to a city, and we don't normally camp close to cities.  My AT&T hot spot had service 99.9% of the time.  I believe only one overnight in New Hampshire had no AT&T service. 

I canceled my T mobile $50 a month plan when we got back last month.  And purchased the fmca Verizon $50 a month hot spot as a replacement for the T mobile.  To bad it's not the same price as the Connected Car Mobley, which is a truly Unlimited Data plan if you aren't in cities much.  80GB a month from that was average over the last 6 months and never a slowdown.  

  We use a lot of data so we always want a backup solution. 

-Bill

 

 

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