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Thread: Mobile Hotspot advice

  1. #1
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    Mobile Hotspot advice

    Hi everyone! Thanks for letting me join your community. I'll be returning to Jamaica in September, this time for 90 whole days!!! I need to work which means I need reliable internet to support about 4 hours of zoom calls 5 days/wk. I know that the wifi is what it is, and so I've been looking into Mi-Fi (mobile hotspot) devices vs. getting a digicel SIM card and using my phone as a hotspot. Any digital nomads out there willing to give me some advice on what has worked best for you? TIA and can't wait to get back to Jamrock.

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    Re: Mobile Hotspot advice

    Your phone hotspot is the same as a mifi connection except that your phone remains your phone, whereas the mifi box can be nothing but a mifi connection.

    You can get the exact same mifi plans from Digicel on your phone...
    so there is little to no reason to purchase a wifi hotspot only solution.
    Negril.com - For the vacation that never ends!

  3. #3
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    Re: Mobile Hotspot advice

    So I can just go to the Digicel store and get a SIM card and use it as a hotspot? Whenever I WhatsApp video with my friend in Jamaica the reception is terrible, and I will need to have zoom calls, which is why I thought that a mifi device would give me stronger signal and more data. Is that not correct? TIA.

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    Re: Mobile Hotspot advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeniffer View Post
    So I can just go to the Digicel store and get a SIM card and use it as a hotspot? Whenever I WhatsApp video with my friend in Jamaica the reception is terrible, and I will need to have zoom calls, which is why I thought that a mifi device would give me stronger signal and more data. Is that not correct? TIA.
    There are a lot of variables that make this a difficult question to answer.

    Where would you be staying?

    Where on the property you would be staying.

    Digicel used to have these "home Wifi boxes" that I tried fro a couple of years (these didn't use a SIM, and I have very limited success with mine). Some rooms at Coco barely worked -- the lobby worked best. Closer we got to the water, the weaker the signal. Changed properties, and the "Ocean View" suites meant ZERO signal. My needs changed, and now the 28 day SIM card bundles are way more than I ever need. But even last trip (Feb 2019), it was still not sufficient for FaceTime.

    Digicel has a NEW offering -- Google "Digicel Jamaica LTE Home". Advertises "Download speeds of up to 10MBps and Upload speeds of up to 2MBps". "Up to" might give me pause.

    The viability of this would also depend on where you were staying.

    And I wouldn't necessarily expect to be able to just walk into the Digicel store in the Negril roundabout and have the hardware available.

    I'd try talking to the property where you will be staying, and see what options you might have.

  5. #5
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    Re: Mobile Hotspot advice

    I'm likely going to be staying with a friend in a residential apartment and the wifi signal is weak. I just looked into the T-Mobil Magenta Max plan, which claims unlimited international data and hotspot data (40GB high-speed data / then Unlimited @ 3G speeds) but I don't understand the whole kbps /mbps conversion requirements to run a 1:1 zoom meeting. Any advice would be appreciated.

  6. #6
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    Re: Mobile Hotspot advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeniffer View Post
    I don't understand the whole kbps /mbps conversion requirements to run a 1:1 zoom meeting. Any advice would be appreciated.
    https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/art...for-Zoom-Rooms

  7. #7
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    Re: Mobile Hotspot advice

    Jeniffer,

    Ask your friend if they get good cellphone data speed where the apartment is located.

    I have several group Zoom meetings a month and I use my Digicel phone as a hotspot. Works fine...
    Negril.com - For the vacation that never ends!

  8. #8
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    Re: Mobile Hotspot advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeniffer View Post
    T-Mobil Magenta Max plan, which claims unlimited international data and hotspot data (40GB high-speed data / then Unlimited @ 3G speeds)
    Couple things to be aware of:

    1) T Mobile site states that after the 40GB, you drop to 2G speeds. Very slow compared to 3G.

    2) And that might not even apply internationally. I’d confirm that you get even “high speed” data when traveling. From T Mobile’s site, I see this when I click on the International Data info icon: “ Speeds up to 128kbps for Magenta customers and up to 256kbps for Magenta Plus customers”

    3) Also, there comes a point when T Mobile would cut you off because you aren’t in the USA. It’s the reason us Canadians don’t simply get a T Mobile plan instead of paying our crazy high cell plan rates! You might be ok with 90 days.

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