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Thread: The new Straight Talk 4G LTE Hotspots

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    The new Straight Talk 4G LTE Hotspots

    I posted this in the Rapido thread which is really off-topic for that thread so I thought I'd start a new thread.

    There are two new ZTE 4G LTE hotspots that Straight Talk has recently introduced. One uses Verizon and the other uses AT&T.

    What I'd like to know if anybody who has purchased the new Straight Talk 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot that uses the Verizon network (the Z288L which is on Verizon, not the Z289G using AT&T) can let me know if the speed is throttled like it is with PagePlus LTE phones or if it is giving true 4G LTE speeds.

    The ZTE Z288L supposedly started being sold at some Walmart stores last week. I do not yet see it being sold on their website. The Z289G is currently listed on their website but is flagged as "out of stock."

    Just wondered if anybody has purchased the the Z288L in the past week who can give a speed report.

    Thanks!

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    I would be very interested to know, as well. Our local Wal Mart has the ST Verizon LTE version and a family friend that this would be a perfect fit for their cabin. Anything above the Page Plus ~3.5 throttle is just my curiosity, however.

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    It'd be a pretty safe bet to say that Verizon LTE is throttled across the board for MVNOs but we won't know for sure until Selectel rolls out LTE. But a speed test never hurts

    via the HoFo App

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    That would be a safe wager indeed I got to personally test a PP LTE phone next to a Verizon LTE phone and my experience mirrored the majority of what has been posted here.

    My wife has Straight Talk, using AT&T as the underlying network, and we have never seen traffic shaping like Page Plus is doing - her phone is consistently pulling 3x PP speeds even on HSPA. The next little city over from my even smaller area has decent AT&T LTE and this has been average the last two times I was over that way.

    Mandah...time to buy that hotspot and let us know
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    Quote Originally Posted by markdiesel View Post

    Mandah...time to buy that hotspot and let us know
    LOL! I don't wanna be the guinea pig!



    I'm one of the Millenicom refugees who has a Verizon 4G LTE Mifi and has been getting full LTE speeds with the 4620LE Jetpack. Millenicom had been charging us $89.99 per month ($69.99 until recently) for 20GB with no additional taxes and fees.

    Now Verizon has kicked Millenicom out as being a reseller so we are all forced to be become Verizon's customers. Verizon is offering the same 20GB for $89.99 for one year on contract but taxes and fees are extra. After one year, the price increases on a month-to-month basis starting at $99.99 per month.

    Since I use on the average about 8-13GB per month and very rarely get close to the 20GB, I thought the Straight Talk plans might be more suitable for my needs.

    However, if the new Straight Talk 4G LTE hotspot on Verizon is throttled to 3.5 Mbps (down) then I'm not sure if it's going to be that great a deal especially since I'm used to getting about 20 Mbps download speeds with the 4620LE.

    I'm told the current 3G Straight Talk Hotspot (Unimax U240) gets almost 2 Mbps down.

    So are you guys saying that the new 4G LTE hotspot using AT&T will probably not be throttled? I'd like to have Verizon as it has better coverage in the places I travel but if the one on AT&T isn't throttled, then I may consider it anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mandah View Post
    Now Verizon has kicked Millenicom out as being a reseller so we are all forced to be become Verizon's customers. Verizon is offering the same 20GB for $89.99 for one year on contract but taxes and fees are extra. After one year, the price increases on a month-to-month basis starting at $99.99 per month.
    I was hoping a current Millenicom user would chime in with Verizon's response. I'm a current ST hotspot user that was considering upgrading to the Millenicom unit and this info is helpful.
    I'm told the current 3G Straight Talk Hotspot (Unimax U240) gets almost 2 Mbps down.
    I see speeds well in excess of 2 Mbps, with spikes in the 2.8-3.0 range.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrhenry View Post

    I see speeds well in excess of 2 Mbps, with spikes in the 2.8-3.0 range.
    Oh, thanks for that, hrhenry. If the 3G Hotspot gets download speeds in the 2.8-3.0 range, then there's not too much to gain in getting the new 4G LTE hotspot if it's going to be limited to 3.5 Mbps download speeds. I'm hoping it will not be throttled as it would sure be nice if the new Z288L will provide full LTE speed.

    If you have good Sprint LTE coverage, I see some of the Millenicom folks going over to the Wireless 'N Wifi package that consists of a USB stick modem and a router (initial outlay up front of $248.93 including first month of service) and $89.99 per month including all fees and taxes for 60GB 4G LTE and 30GB of 3G within that 60GB. It's a great deal if you don't mind Sprint.

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    I just purchased the Straight Talk Verizon (ZTE Z288L) from walmart yesterday and finally got a chance to set it up this morning. The outer box says LTE-V and has a red map on it. I did three speedtest and these are my results. For those who are curious, I am in Los Angeles California. I conducted these test at 4:15am. My signal Strength is Full (5 bars out of 5).

    Ping:40ms Down:3.07Mbps Up: 1.05Mbps
    Ping:29ms Down:3.08Mbps Up: 1.05Mbps
    Ping:31ms Down:3.08Mbps Up: 1.02Mbps

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    Quote Originally Posted by ae770 View Post
    Ping:40ms Down:3.07Mbps Up: 1.05Mbps
    Ping:29ms Down:3.08Mbps Up: 1.05Mbps
    Ping:31ms Down:3.08Mbps Up: 1.02Mbps
    Those are really good ping times. The Umax 3G unit generally gets anywhere in 80-120ms range. Your upload speeds are also quite a bit better than what the 3G unit gives, usually around .40-.50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrhenry View Post
    Those are really good ping times. The Umax 3G unit generally gets anywhere in 80-120ms range. Your upload speeds are also quite a bit better than what the 3G unit gives, usually around .40-.50.
    Since the 3g unit is running on evdo that's about the best you can expect to see. The lte unit is being throttled obviously so those speeds should at least stay consistent and could improve if they decided to rise the throttle point. Since straight talk is selling the service by the GB limiting your speed just slows down how quickly you use up your bucket of data and encourages you to use less data so the decision to throttle is clearly from verizon and not straight talk. If at&t has coverage that works for you I'd hold out for the 4g version on their network as they don't seem as intent on throttling mvno's on their network and if lte coverge fails it should fall back to hspa which so far hasn't seemed throttled at all to me on the straight talk phone sim side on hspa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ae770 View Post
    I just purchased the Straight Talk Verizon (ZTE Z288L) from walmart yesterday and finally got a chance to set it up this morning. The outer box says LTE-V and has a red map on it. I did three speedtest and these are my results. For those who are curious, I am in Los Angeles California. I conducted these test at 4:15am. My signal Strength is Full (5 bars out of 5).

    Ping:40ms Down:3.07Mbps Up: 1.05Mbps
    Ping:29ms Down:3.08Mbps Up: 1.05Mbps
    Ping:31ms Down:3.08Mbps Up: 1.02Mbps
    Very nice! I am convinced to switch but the only reason why I won't is because on the iPhone, you can't talk and surf at the same time (unless you're on wifi).
    iPhone 7+ on the Verizon Network
    iPad Pro 9.7 on the AT&T Network

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    Quote Originally Posted by ae770 View Post
    I just purchased the Straight Talk Verizon (ZTE Z288L) from walmart yesterday and finally got a chance to set it up this morning. The outer box says LTE-V and has a red map on it. I did three speedtest and these are my results. For those who are curious, I am in Los Angeles California. I conducted these test at 4:15am. My signal Strength is Full (5 bars out of 5).

    Ping:40ms Down:3.07Mbps Up: 1.05Mbps
    Ping:29ms Down:3.08Mbps Up: 1.05Mbps
    Ping:31ms Down:3.08Mbps Up: 1.02Mbps

    Thanks so much, ae770. That is so disappointing. If I wasn't so used to getting in the 20Mbps down and 10 Mbps up with my Millenicom/Verizon Mifi, I would probably be satisfied with those figures.

    I don't think the MVNO's should be touting or advertising "4G LTE" if it's being throttled to that point. It's not "really" 4G LTE speed. Unethical in my opinion.

    I agree with hrhenry in that the decent ping times at least will make it "feel" faster ...but still.

    I'm anxious to see how the one using AT&T will perform. I'm certain that it will not come close to 20Mpbs down but it will have to be better than 3Mbps down.

    Thanks again, ae770. It's selfish of me to use you for the test case to save me from going out and buying it so I appreciate it.

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    On my S3 where I live I generally get around 1 to 1.5 mbps on 3G so an upgrade to around 3 mbps is pretty nice but today I'm traveling in a big city and I'm getting 2.8 mbps on 3G. Woe big difference from 3 mbps. Lol.

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    Thinking of getting the ST/Verizon LTE device when it shows up at my local Walmart (or just ordering it on the web when it shows up on their website).

    Used to have Millenicom/Verizon 3g 2-3 years ago, but switched to AT&T postpaid LTE for several reasons (including AT&T went LTE on a local rural area tower way before Verizon got around to it).

    Big advantage to me would be backup on another carrier for mifi data at home and when traveling. Plus StraightTalk would be more flexible...I can just buy what I need. Can live with the throttled ~3 mbps on StraightTalk since this would be a secondary service for me and I don't do much high bandwidth activities like video or online gaming.

    Looked at the 3g ST hockey puck when they came out with it and even saw it in a ST vending machine in an airport...but didn't want a 3g only device. The ZTE LTE modem looks a lot better to me.

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    Thanks for the comments, GadgetKen. So you currently have an AT&T LTE Hotspot on post-paid? Can I ask what speeds you are getting?

    And do you think the Straight Talk ZTE Hotspot that uses AT&T will get similar speeds?

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