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Thread: VZ MVNO with hotspot support?

  1. #1
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    VZ MVNO with hotspot support?

    Hi,

    Looking for backup internet for my fios connection. My dsl is going away (copper retirement) and cable is really poor here, esp if power is out.

    Does a plan exist that’s solely usage based?

    Really prefer VZ MVNO - TMO and ATT are spotty here.

    A hotspot that has wired Ethernet and bridge mode is a huge plus (running pfsense firewall for failover).

  2. #2
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    Visible owned by VZW unlimited hotspot $40 month no taxes no fees. Most people pay $25 month with Party Pay (GIYF).
    I will be Judged on how I helped the poor, sick & others in need; strangers & loved ones alike.

    Visible (Verizon) UTT & Unlimited Data $25/mo
    Liberty Wireless (T-Mobile) UTT 07.26.21
    T-Mobile Gold Rewards $10yr exp 01.05.22
    Truphone (AT&T) every 180 days by 07.04.21

  3. #3
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    reviews are mixed about using Visible for hotspot. seems works fine for some and other have congestion issues.

    i have never been a Visible customers and so cannot speak from experience but if you already have a compatible device I can see no reason not to try it. if it does work in your instance $25/month(on party pay) for unlimited hotspot is about the best deal you are ever likely to find. if it does not work cancel and move on.

  4. #4
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    Reports are - and my experience also confirms - that Visible has (re)instituted the 5mbps cap on hotspotting.

    So if you are going to depend on Visible as a hotspot, the most you'll see will be 5mbps.

    If this is just to serve as a backup and if your regular Internet consistently works, then this may not be an issue for you.

    HOWEVER... 5mbps is the most you'll see with hotspotting, doesn't mean that you will be guaranteed 5mbps. Verizon does some serious deprioritization on their towers. So if whatever tower you are connected to is serving a lot of Verizon post-paid customers, then you're probably not going to see even 5mbps. You might be doing good if you get 1mbps in those cases.

    If you are in an area that is serviced with typical broadband (cable, fiber, dsl?) then I'd venture a guess that the tower might not be that congested. But if you are in an area where typical broadband is non-existant to a large swath of people, and if those people are using Verizon hotspots for their main Internet... then the tower will likely be congested and you'll be heavily deprioritized on Visible.

    But if the tower is not congested, and if you can live with 5mbps as a backup option, then Visible is hard to beat for $25/mo on a full Party Pay.

  5. #5
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    I should be a bit more clear - reception is not terribly weak - there's a cell site with all the major providers very close to me, but the area is wooded, and there is a large highway, and at rush hour, data takes a dive. I suspect that the sectors are also more aligned to cover the highway than they are the residential subdivision.

    So there really is no usage-based option out there? I currently use about 16GB/day, but that's gig fios. In a year, at most I'd need the backup maybe for 24 hours, and in the event of a hurricane or something, maybe a week. So it is hard to justify even $25/month when I'm not even pulling any data most of the time.

    Supposedly the cableco here has a 20Mb/s tier for $25, but apparently they are very stingy with letting people actually sign up for that.

  6. #6
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    Does your FiOS go out, or does it only go out when your power goes out?

    I ask because when we have some power outages, including a multi-day over the summer, our FiOS continued to work if I could supply power to the ONT/router. I use a 1500VA UPS as part of my FiOS setup (that runs my router/ONT for over 2 hours), which covers me for outages of up to 2 hours.

    I also have an extra AGM (sealed/non-spillable) car battery charging in my garage on a battery tender, which along with a 100W inverter becomes poor man's generator in the case of a longer outage. Plugging the router/ONT into those after the UPS dies can run them for another several hours if the power is out for an extended period, and is also useful for charging other devices.

    FWIW, I learned the hard way during a bad extended outage that the cell sites can go down too -- either from generators running out of gas or from backhaul issues (I live in the suburbs, so large, fully residential areas aren't Priority #1 service restorations during storms). So FiOS was actually better than cellular during bad storm-related outages, since the fiber didn't go out, just the power did -- hence the cobbled-together setup.

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    Well, since all Verizon MVNOs are always deprioritized (at least that's the general consensus... whether that's true or not, I don't know). A Verizon MVNO selling anything other than unlimited data really isn't going to gain you anything.

    Now... if you can find something cheaper than $25/mo that might be worth something to you.

    But 8GB for $40/mo on a random Verizon MVNO isn't going to be any better than unlimited on Visible for $25/mo.

    I doubt you're going to find much more than 1GB or 2GB for anything less than $25/mo on a Verizon MVNO... and it's going to be deprioritized just like Visible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by high technology View Post
    Does your FiOS go out, or does it only go out when your power goes out?
    I do networking/sysadmin/development work from home, even during VZ maintenance windows. Yes, it goes out. Yes I know I need electricity.

    That said, perhaps a verizon service is not a good backup for another verizon service.

    If I open this up to other carriers, is there anything else at all like "Karma"? That's the pricing model I'm after. But with the ability to BYO device that has an ethernet jack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sporkman1 View Post
    I do networking/sysadmin/development work from home, even during VZ maintenance windows. Yes, it goes out. Yes I know I need electricity.

    That said, perhaps a verizon service is not a good backup for another verizon service.

    If I open this up to other carriers, is there anything else at all like "Karma"? That's the pricing model I'm after. But with the ability to BYO device that has an ethernet jack.
    i really don't what you are seeking exists in United States(although is common in many other countries) what you are looking for, perhaps an option might be via some of the international roaming eSIM providers but you would need an eSIM capable device. not sure if any roam on Verizon though.

    would it be an option for you to have an inactive SIM(perhaps Visible or Verizon prepaid) that just sits ready it a drawer to be activated for a month when needed and than cancelled if not needed for the next month ? or do expect to need usage every month ?

    do you currently have a cell phone ? would it not be suitable to hotspot off that phone during outages ? perhaps adjusting your current plan

    you would most likely not be using a dedicated hotspot device with these options but it should be possible to WiFi bridge and/or USB tether to a phones hotspot from your firewall

  10. #10
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    Well, the problem with Verizon is that they are hard to get running with a non-Verizon device. AT&T might be better, if it works by you as they are more device agnostic.

    As far as pure volume based, as noted above, not much in the US (sadly). So what I might consider is a Tracfone preloaded SIM for 1 year of service that has 3GB on it. They periodically go on sale for as low as $30. Then you can add data at $10/GB that never expires when the service is active (i.e., unlimited rollover). They have been (and pretty much remain) as the purest volume-based provider with little in the way of hoops to jump through.

    When the SIMs are on sale, some people stack a few together (activate them in series, and act like you are porting the prior SIMs number over):
    - Activate SIM #1 (with a referral code to get some rewards)
    - Activate SIM #2, and say you are transferring SIM #1's number (which deactivates SIM #1 and adds that balance to SIM #2 along with anything preloaded on #2)
    - Activate SIM #3, and say you are transferring SIM #2's number (which deactivates SIM #2 and adds that to SIM #3), etc., etc.

    If you do this for 3 SIMs, you get 3 years / 9GB (plus 3600 voice mins & 3600 texts) for $90, if they drop to $30 again (last time was a few weeks ago, and I would assume they will be back this holiday season). Then you can add data at $10/GB as needed. I bought one a few weeks ago as a pure backup (AT&T when I have T-Mo and Verizon service), and plan to stack a few more on top if they go back on sale.

    FWIW, they also have a new rewards program with referrals so you might be able to get 5 - 8GB extra referral credit (1GB = 1000 points = $10), and you can get 5000 points - 8000 points for simply getting a referral code from someone -- I got points for signing up from someone else's referral code, and will be grabbing at least 2 more SIM cards to "stack" on top of this one for a good backup service.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    ...Fact: Visible has much larger complaint volume than any other VZW MVNO in regards to bandwidth congestion and variability. It has also higher churn, anecdotally, than other VZW MVNOs. If all MVNOs incl Viz have same priority, they'd all have the same congestion level, and same complaint volume. Reality check: They don't...
    I cheerfully disagree with you on this. The only way to contact Visible is online. It's not for people uncomfortable with online CS only. In fact Visible has been called the carrier for Millennials.

    Visible customers are more likely to belong to online cellular related forums and voice their complaints.

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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    >since all Verizon MVNOs are always deprioritized (at least that's the general consensus... whether that's true or not, I don't know)

    General consensus...?!?

    The notion that there's only one priority level for all MVNOs is idiotic. You don't have to know anything aside from having a bit of common sense to realize this. Stop listening to what some guy says on the Internet and look at some empirical facts.
    Well... I mean... that's why I added the "whether that's true or not, I don't know". But there is at least a thought out there that there is only the one level of deprioritization from people on the Internet.

    Can you believe everybody on the Internet? No. But consequently... you're a person on the Internet.

    Facts are built around evidence. I don't have a ton of evidence that shows that there is only one level of deprioritization. I'd love to see some evidence that shows that there is a hierarchy of deprioritization.

    If there is a hierarchy of deprioritization - I would think that Visible, being a Verizon own MVNO, would be higher up the priority list than say RedPocket or Boom. If that is the case (which is getting into a circumstantial argument) and if Visible customers result in a higher number of complaints, what does that say about RedPocket and Boom customers (insert any other Verizon MVNO here)? They're either non-existant, have no clue how terrible their deprioritization levels are, or they're just not complaining.

    Aside from all of this talk about deprioritization - it only affects people on congested towers. So if you're with Visible or any other Verizon Prepaid or MVNO - and if there's just one level of deprioritzation - and if you're usually within range of a non-congested tower, you're probably not going to notice anything. This is going to be true for any cellular provider. I can affirm this. I do know that there is a congested Verizon tower around here and when I connect to it on Visible the speeds are horrible. But in another part of the area on another tower - I can only assume that that tower is not congested - because the Visible speeds are great from that tower. But to your point - that doesn't prove that there's only one level of deprioritization, it just proves that Visible is deprioritized on congested towers. But if there is a hierarchy... I'd hate to be on Boom or Redpocket, because 78kbps is pretty slow.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    I cheerfully disagree with you on this. The only way to contact Visible is online. It's not for people uncomfortable with online CS only. In fact Visible has been called the carrier for Millennials.

    Visible customers are more likely to belong to online cellular related forums and voice their complaints.
    Stereotyping, if that's even the right word, or labeling certain services for certain age groups, is silly. My 25 year old son would have not picked Visible on his own, but was happy to let me to set him up for UT&T&D for only $25/mo. Party Pay to get the $25/mo is sort of ridiculous, but it's easy to set up and keep track of, so it's not too bad.

    Anyway, that's just a side observation.

    Visible works well-enough for a lot of people for UT&T&D for only $25/mo. Just be prepared to switch if it doesn't work well in your particular area.

  14. #14
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    My opinion is the same.

    Visible customers are more likely to belong to online cellular related forums and thus voice their complaints.

  15. #15
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    What if the tower deprioritizes the connection by the tower load but Visible backend throttles you by your usage?

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