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Anyone using Consumer Cellular wireless service and if so, what is your experience with it? I have Verizon and think I can save some $ by making a switch to them. Also, any experience with Hot Spots? I also have a Verizon Jet Pack but notice several other options. Thanks for your input.

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Price would not be my only consideration. Coverage would be my prime concern. That is why we have one Veriizon and one ATT. Verizon service is nonexistent at our present location while ATT has good service, voice and data. The hot spot works well. The opposite may be true on our next move

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We have been using Consumer Celluar for about a year now, completely happy. Having traveled from CO to the west coast, TX, FL and now in Georgia we can say that it works. It is great to be able to adjust you plan anytime you need to in order to save a few bucks. the hot spot works great. We will see when we get back home in April what our savings was over Verizon, but I suspect it will be huge. Instead of the 150.00 or more per month for two lines it is normally around 50 or less with Consumer. As we work from the RV a lot we need secure internet, the best I can say is give it a try, if you don't like it, no contract, quit anytime.

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We have been using Consumer Celluar for about a year now, completely happy. Having traveled from CO to the west coast, TX, FL and now in Georgia we can say that it works. It is great to be able to adjust you plan anytime you need to in order to save a few bucks. the hot spot works great. We will see when we get back home in April what our savings was over Verizon, but I suspect it will be huge. Instead of the 150.00 or more per month for two lines it is normally around 50 or less with Consumer. As we work from the RV a lot we need secure internet, the best I can say is give it a try, if you don't like it, no contract, quit anytime.

Hey, thanks for your input! I have been in touch with Consumer Cellular and they expressed a bit of concern over using my cell phone as a hot spot. I assume you are using yours to power your computers, etc?? If so, have you noticed any slow down in speed? Consumer Cellular just said using a I phone as a mobile hot spot "uses a bunch of data". In my mind I would think my current Verizon Jet pack which is my present hot spot should not use any more or less GB to retrieve data then if I used my I phone. Since we have ATT&T and Verizon towers in our valley in Mt I would think we would have the same speed, etc as we would have with Cellular as they feed off ATT&T. Did you have much trouble in transferring your old data from previous phone onto the new Cellular phone? Again, thanks for your input. Always good to have a fellow RV'ers input!

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The great thing about them is that if you see you are using a bunch of data you go online and change the plan for that month to get the best rate. If you use less change it back next month. Easy to monitor use and they send you a text if you are getting close to going over your usage plan. I did not lose any thing when I transferred over. Bought a phone on Amazon and did the set up and belief me I am far from a tech person. We use the hot spot almost every day for secure data and use campground wifi when it works.

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We have been using Consumer Celluar for about a year now, completely happy. Having traveled from CO to the west coast, TX, FL and now in Georgia we can say that it works. It is great to be able to adjust you plan anytime you need to in order to save a few bucks. the hot spot works great. We will see when we get back home in April what our savings was over Verizon, but I suspect it will be huge. Instead of the 150.00 or more per month for two lines it is normally around 50 or less with Consumer. As we work from the RV a lot we need secure internet, the best I can say is give it a try, if you don't like it, no contract, quit anytime.

Hi again, Can you better explain what "hot spot" you are saying works well? I did not think that Consumer Celluar has a dedicated hot spot but uses the I phone as one to power lap tops, etc. Again, thanks for your reply.

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I've been fighting this battle for years as a full timer. We're more settled now but still using mobile internet as we travel for about 6 months of the year and we can't get a data line in hour home at the present time. I've had T-Mobile service from the early days of PRS (package radio service) in 2002. I've been through half a dozen or more USB devices with T-Mobile over the years. They still have good service spots but have been severely passed by Verizon and AT&T. Which service works where you are varies so having a single source is not really feasible if you are doing a lot of traveling. Campground WiFi is a total crap shoot. I get the feeling that most campgrounds are never going to have anything near adequate service. Of course the definitation of adequate service keeps changing. The days of just picking up and sending e-mail are long gone for most of us.

So I still have the T-Mobile. Their hot spot came with unlimited data contract which means 5GB at normal (pretty fast) speed and then they drop the speed to very low. They had the cheapest 5GB service I could find at $40.00 and that is the bill every month. I got a Verizon hot spot with 5GB package for $50 plus taxes, etc. You can up that another 5GB for $40. Verizon works much faster than T-Mobile where we are at our house in the southern tip of Texas.

We have two laptops (his and hers) and a desktop computer. Keeping the software updated we were continually hitting the limits of our service contract. That is where the T-Mobile limited service came in handy, we could use the slow service for a few days until the month rolled over on one of the two services. Even so, when new software had to be downloaded or a major upgrade came, we needed to add the additional 5GB to the Verizon contract in order to meet our needs. The T-Mobile was too slow for major downloads, they would terminate mid-way through the process and then we had to start over.

So I bought an iPAD Mini in December for my aviation hobby. Paper charts for navigation are almost impossible to find. You can mail order them but that requires way in advance planning and sometimes you just need to fly somewhere. VFR Charts are good for about 6 months so it is extremely expensive to have all that you might need at any time. With an iPad there are several companies that supply charts which are kept current by subscription and provide a host of other flight planning and in flight information services via the iPad. This by the way is the full service iPad, 4GLTE with WiFi capability as well. I'm clearly in love with this device. It runs most of the apps I use on my iPhone and the screen is big enough to really see detail. Within a month of getting my iPhone I was using the apps for RV travel. Having weather radar live with a pin in it for your location sure beats stopping to get Weather Channel information for your location. We could find Wal-Marts that allowed overnight parking and the phone would show us on the map to drive there. Need a campground, tap the phone and you've got a list of those that are near you. Now I've got it all on the big screen.

So I purchased the iPad through AT&T which is also our phone service. I combined our two iPhones and the iPad Mini on a 10GB data plan for $100 per month. Now if you are thinking that is a lot of money, you are thinking what I am also. But here is the thing. The iPad with 4GLTE is like lightening as a hot spot. It beats the 4GLTE Verizon hot spot by a mile. And T-Mobile isn't even in the race. But that is where we are located now. There are places where we have traveled that T-Mobile has absolutely no service. ND, SD, KS, NE, MT, WY are just a few states where you will be out of luck. Verizon is pretty good but also doesn't cover some of the really interesting remote areas. Where we stay with our Grandchildren in California, Verizon has no useful service. You can't even get voice messages on a Verizon phone there and it is within a half hour drive of I-5. After years of enduring that I switched phones to AT&T. AT&T has good service in most places where we travel. There are really remote spots where AT&T doesn't have service (US 50 across central and eastern NV, US 20 in eastern Oregon). I haven't traveled with the iPad in the motorhome or used it as a hot spot anywhere other than where we are now but it seems to me to beat everything hands down right now. AT&T had a promotion last fall, offering a 15GB plan with rollover for the same $100 and that is what I now have. I'm finally in fat city for mobile internet service. My definition of fat city doesn't include video phone or movie downloads. For those you would need way more capability in speed and/or data limits.

We'll travel this year and see how things work out. The T-Mobile service is likely gone by the end of the summer unless I find some significant hole in the Verizon or AT&T service. If we find areas where AT&T isn't cutting it or if the service isn't as good in other places as what we have now then we may keep the Verizon at it's minimum contract. A summer of traveling across the country should give us a better idea of what works best for us.

Notice I haven't said anything about Consumer Cellular. I have no idea what kind of coverage, speed, or rates they have in comparison to what I have described above. I'm sticking with the majors because of their service areas, the quality of service and the quantity of their data packages. I am looking forward to the day when I can travel anywhere using any one of the services and have all the internet service I need at a speed that doesn't have me playing games while things are downloading. That day may never come but I'm betting it will, it just seems a long way off because I'm so anxious to find that solution. We've come a long way baby!

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Tom, I think that Consumer Cellular operating mod is compatible with AT&T. That being the case, the coverage area would be the same for both.

Cricket is one service that I have not really looked into.

Have family that work for AT&T, and they also have a second cell phone to help cover areas.

I remember when I had the old Analog Phone with a contract that let us use it anywhere, because of all the cross contract services. One was basically never out of range of a cell tower. That was due to the frequency used and cell phones with 5 Watts of transmission power.

New units have about 300 milliwatts. Totally different ball game.

Note. I love the way people worry about the affect of them on ones brain. Because of the lower power the carriers now have to install more equipment(Towers) and those tows have a radiated signal of around 175watts AND there are how many people living in the RF field, But the government worries about the 300mw in your hand.

Got to love it !!!

Rich.

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Rich,

To understand the problem you have to understand the inverse square law. That is, radiation decreases with the square of the distance from the source. Written mathematically that is 1/d2 This is due to the fact that the radiation is being radiated in all directions. So it spreads from the source outward and becomes weaker as it goes. The visible example of this is light which is also a form of electromagnetic radiation. A flashlight shining in your eyes from a foot away is a blinding light. Seen at a mile away you can probably detect a flashlight pointed directly at you but it certainly won't make you squint.

A phone against the side of your head has a distance of somewhere between 0 at your ear and 10 centimeters from the center of your brain. A tower at 1/2 km away (about 550 yards or a third of a mile) would have its radiation reduced by 1/5000 cm 2 = 1/25,000,000 of the radiation at 10 cm. So if the tower signal is 175 watts that converts to 0.000007 watts or .007 milliwatts at your ear. So a tower with a signal strength of 175 watts is nowhere near the level of radiation for an individual compared to the cell phone next to your head. At 0 cm (pressed against your ear, your ear is receiving 300 mw in your example. At 10 cm, the center of your brain is receiving 1/100 of the radiation or 3 mw assuming the intervening tissue absorbs no radiation. Still much more than the .007 mw. In fact, 300 mw is almost 43,000 times stronger than the .007 mw radiation received from a tower broadcasting a 175 watt signal a 1/2 km away.

When you think about it, we are being subjected to a constant barage of radiation (in very tiny doses) from a multitude of sources. Each TV and radio station is broadcasting a signal. If you can pick it up on your TV or radio, it is penetrating your home at a level that the sensitive receiver in the TV or radio can detect it and convert it to a signal. The same is true for satellite TV and radio. It doesn't matter whether you have the TV on or off, it doesn't matter whether you subscribe to the satellite service or not. Weather and aircraft radar services add to the mix as do all the objects in your home which communicate wirelessly with one another or with the outside world. In all cases, the closer you are to the source, the greater the concern about the hazard.

Is all this radiation harmful? We know that if you are close to the source it can be dangerous but in tiny amounts even considering multiple sources, no one has been able to establish that there is a harmful effect on human health. Of course studies will continue but for now, we haven't been able to identify any clear danger from any of these sources.

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Thanks Tom! Time to go back to some old text books LOL. The math is dead on, I think! do not have any of my old instructors looking over my shoulder.

We have one of those towers about 600 ft. from the house plus or minus 50 ft. So we live fairly close to the flash light. One thing for sure, there is no problem with cell, G3 or G4 signal strength.

Good to have some good mentors in the world ! You and Brett are doing your best to keep me honest.

Must admit that I'm having more math hick ups as time passes. Could come real close to figuring out LCR circuits in my head for different frequencies or DC circuits and wave propagation at one time.

Rich.

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With CC you do have to purchase your phone, but when we figure the cost over a year it is way less than anyone else. We use an I phone and it has a hot spot in the phone itself. CC uses ATT and like I mentioned before it has worked for us from coast to coast and is used daily. Couldn't be happier, especially with the monthly bill. It may not be for everyone but it sure works for us and saves a bunch.

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We use a truly unlimited 4g LTE data plan. No throttling. $80/mo.

If you use larger amounts of data, say 40gb per month, it's usually always less expensive to split the purchase between 2 lines of 20gb data instead of 1 40gb line with both At&t and Verizon. You save $40/mo by splitting it that way.

In any event, there's a huge difference between the types of mobile internet available. We made a document that outlines the differences here: http://bit.ly/1MuFij8

Obviously MaxxFi is my project, however the information contained in that link apply to any of the mobile devices out there and I think it will help you understand the differences between them. The only exception is the couple paragraphs at the bottom that apply only to MaxxFi.

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