Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mobile WIFI

I’ve had a contract with 3 for mobile broadband for the last 2 years, the contract has run out this month. I’m a bit miffed with them because I couldn’t cut a deal on an upgrade to the latest Mifi dongle, they insisted on trying to charge me the full price even though I’ve used them for 6 years and now have 2 phones and broadband on their network!

Anyhow, what I’m looking at is T-Mobile, they have a wireless dongle called the Wireless Pointer. Does anyone out there use this bit of kit, and if so what’s the coverage and reliability?
I’ve heard there’s an antenna connection on the unit, and as I’ve got a currently redundant antenna on the roof, that could swing it for me.

A 5Gb contract with them is less than what I’m currently paying, albeit for a 15Gb contract. Historically though I’ve only once used more than 5Gb in a month.

What do you reckon?


NeilR said...

Hi Geoff. I use the TMobile wireless pointer, its an unbranded and unlocked one, so using on 3 (undeniably the best network for moby broadband, I found TMobile very hit and miss). Haven't had it long but initial impression is its fantastic, a definite upgrade from the old mifi. Capable of faster speeds and signal seems more solid, but the external antenna was what did it for me - get an omnidirectional 3g aerial on your roof and you'll always have the best possible signal and can just mount the mifi somewhere. You need a 'TS9 pigtail' to connect a standard antenna connector to though, as the mifi socket is an unusual one. The wireless pointers are around £70 on Ebay - its the Huawei E586E. I sound like such a geek! Cheers, Neil.

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Neil
Forget about the geek status, this is just what I wanted to know! If I get one of these I can use my current 3 SIM, or switch to a SIM-only deal. Sounds good, ta lots!

Leo No2 said...

Geoff and Mags

I think it is excellent. It gives me WiFi throughout the boat - all 60'. The one downside, in my view, is that the device can seemingly only be recharged using 240v - I have plenty of that but don't really like turning it on just to charge the WiFi. What I do is charge it during the day whilst running and it'll last all evening and then some. The details I gave the Herbies are as follows:

The external aerial I have is available here:


The fitting for the aerial is TS9 whatever that means!

The T-mobile website for their pointer is here:

There are all sorts of deals available - I went for the 18 month contract at £15 per month, free Pointer and 5GB a month. It's just easy when going to the boat to know it will work.

I have never not got a good signal - even in the middle of nowhere (Oxford summit) I have still got a 3G signal. The aerial uses the roof as a 'ground plane' - you'll need to look that up on Google I suspect.


NeilR said...

Current sim should work fine, as long as the mifi is unlocked. Even if its not (unlocked), you can get an unlocking code for a couple of quid (again on Ebay) which is what I did and worked a treat. (p.s. Hope Mags is doing well. I'm a friend of Carol Hartnell by the way, me and my partner are currently doing up a boat to live on from the spring, chugged past you a couple of times in Ellesmere a while back but never got chance to say a proper hello! Great blog!)

Tom and Jan said...

Why don't use just use a cheap smartphone and 3 Mobile's £15 monthly plan (300 mins, 3000 text & unlimited data)? The tethered smartphone acts as a wireless router for all your other internet devices.

Carol Palin said...

Hi Geoff, We had a T mobile wi fi dongle with the aerial connection. If you get it, be careful when you plug the aerial in as the wi fi connector pin is extremely fragile, mine broke off the third time I plugged it in!


Jill said...

Just a thought - did you ask for their retentions department and tell them you'll be going elsewhere with everything - the retentions people are the ones able to cut the deals

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi all, wow, thanks for the rapid responses!

Kathryn, thanks for the info,I've had a look at the deals and if I go this way I'll get the same deal. I've got an aerial on the roof already, from the days when I used a data card, just need the adaptor.

NeilR, as you say, there are several unlocked Huawei e586's on ebay, I'll maybe get one and a 3 PayG data SIM. Give Carol a hug from us when you see her...

Hi Tom. Yes, I learned only the other day about tethering, and my new smart phone with unlimited data will do that OK (thanks Pam). That's why I may get an unlocked e586 as an alternative. Been keeping on eye on you, Waiouru is looking good.. BTW, I'm posting this tethered to my phone...

Hi George, keeping warm? My old Vodaphone data card had a very fragile connector too. I was told to leave it plugged in and disconnect the antenna from the other end. I wonder if it's the same as the Huawei?

Hi Jill, No didn't get that far. I've only just renewed contracts for the two phones, so couldn't really threaten to take those elsewhere...

Mike, Mags, Poppy and Abbey said...

Hi Geoff. I have one in use here. I also have a 9db antenna on the roof. Works well and I have not had much in the way of problems with T-Mobile around the system.

BTW texts sent from the device are charged for. I have the 5gb 18 month contract.

Ps... Happy New Year

Mick n Mags

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Both
My only concern was T-Mobile coverage. But now they've teamed up with Orange I guess it's much better.