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Old 08-10-2021, 06:08 PM   #11
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LOL, Thanks for the input, but I don't think my boss will be on board with this plan...
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Old 08-11-2021, 08:54 AM   #12
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Unless, I'm really misunderstanding something, yes. I think I'm just going to have to make some calls to be sure that it would work like I hope it will.
I have Google Fi and a WeBoost. My understanding and experience is that Fi is capable of connecting to all the towers, but except for emergency calls (911), it won't actually use them. My wife's iPhone (Verizon) typically has better strength and coverage around here (Pacific Northwest) than my Pixel 2 with Fi. The main benefit of Fi is its price point and seamless coverage across international borders.

As I'm sure you already know, a booster can amplify a weak signal into a strong one, but don't expect it to help when there's nothing to boost, which is typical for most of the places we end up camping.

I set up the WeBoost a couple days ago camping south of Coeur d'Alene, but I must have put the external antenna in a "tree shadow". I had better luck just moving to the other end of the van!
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Old 08-11-2021, 09:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by AndrewInSeattle View Post
I have Google Fi and a WeBoost. My understanding and experience is that Fi is capable of connecting to all the towers, but except for emergency calls (911), it won't actually use them. My wife's iPhone (Verizon) typically has better strength and coverage around here (Pacific Northwest) than my Pixel 2 with Fi. The main benefit of Fi is its price point and seamless coverage across international borders.

As I'm sure you already know, a booster can amplify a weak signal into a strong one, but don't expect it to help when there's nothing to boost, which is typical for most of the places we end up camping.

I set up the WeBoost a couple days ago camping south of Coeur d'Alene, but I must have put the external antenna in a "tree shadow". I had better luck just moving to the other end of the van!
Interesting. I do plan on staying in the US, and I'm not attached to google fi. It's hard to figure out what the best experience will be though. I got in touch with Mofi and they said many customers were having trouble with the carrier aggregation anyway and that I shouldn't count on it working properly if I bought one now. So now I'm leaning toward a signal booster (perhaps the reach) and either 2 hotspots as suggested by clicker44 or their older model, the 4500 so I still get all my router features and a Verizon plan.
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Old 08-15-2021, 11:39 AM   #14
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Hi Chams,

You may find these folks helpful: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/

They do detail testing and reviews of mobile tech solutions.

The general gist seems to be...no perfect solution and the tech is changing rapidly because of the gradual 5G rollout. Emphasis on "gradual" as there are various versions of 5G being implemented along the way by various providers that some hardware vendors work with and other don't.

The above folks at rvmobileinternet.com are really detail-good at explaining this with reviews and test data giving you a better idea of the trade-offs you may be looking at with the particular situation you're solving to.

If you're focused on mobile data (not voice) many of the "boost" solutions out there can deliver worse outcomes than one expects because they only have one antenna in a MIMO world that requires multiple antennas for mobile data tech to work well. Here's a pretty good overview on MIMO and "It's all about the antennas for 5G:" https://bit.ly/3yPxjuZ

Hope the thoughts help, good luck!

Best,

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Old 08-15-2021, 12:09 PM   #15
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Google Fi

I used Google Fi for about 3 years internationally on a boat. I believe the network they used was T-mobile, so that determines your coverage, which was not the best in the US or Hawaii where I live. They had a nice feature where you could get extra SIM cards for your same plan for free so you could have one for phone and another for booster/hotspot, but you only get one network which will determine your coverage. Hotspot off your phone is free, though. While it worked in 80% of the islands I visited, their international support for things like extra SIMs, phone replacement, etc. stinks. Can only place an online order from a US web address. Will only ship to US, etc. When I came home I dropped them because only Verizon and ATT have decent coverage here.
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Old 08-15-2021, 06:10 PM   #16
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The only experience I can offer is that I have been using my IPhones hot spot with ATT, and a WILSON AMP. I have found it to be fine for my needs with coverage in remote places I never expected it. When I’m looking to camp and want a signal I tend to look for places that are higher up or with few obstructions. Additionally, you mentioned the availability of a directional antenna or as they are known, a beam antenna. You will get far better signal gain with a beam, and the higher it is the more better. Mounted on a mast over your vehicle could give great results and also allow you to rotate it towards the cell site.
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Old 08-18-2021, 01:34 AM   #17
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I use the Mofi 4500. When I first got the Mofi I was on an ATT Unlimited plan. I used it mostly to stream Apple TV and YouTube TV. It worked great until ATT pulled the plug on that Unlimited Plan. I then switched to UBIFI unlimited plan. It works but seems a little slower than the AT&T plan.

I'm looking at replacing the Mofi with a router/ext antenna solution from InstyConnect.
https://instyconnect.com/ I like that they can accept two Sim cards. I'm waiting for their 5G version to come out.
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Old 08-20-2021, 01:25 PM   #18
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Booster vs Antenna

It's a complex question. I second the recommendation for rvmobileinternet folks. I have a 2020 Transit with the ATT hotspot and on our last long trip took the MiFi 8800L with a Verizon plan. I had Google Fi on my phone so I had ATT, Verizon and T-Mobile/Sprint and US Cellular on board. There were many campsites with very poor cellular connectivity. I was in the market for a booster which I may still get but after watching ,one of their videos, I'm not sure. They do actual testing with a booster and an antenna. They are in an area where there is a cell tower not very far away but it is an interesting test.



Since I switched to Visible I might not even need the 8800L anymore in which case I would need the booster since the phone doesn't have antenna ports.



I had Fi for a number of years and it was great when traveling internationally but made no sense in the US to pay a minimum of $30 a month for 1 gig of data. I finally switched to Visible. It's owned by Verizon so uses their network and with 4 people on the plan it is $25 a month for unlimited data. Each person gets their own bill so they could be strangers. Better network than Fi and much cheaper. No problems yet.


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Old 08-20-2021, 02:57 PM   #19
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Thanks for the second recommend Bob to the https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/, they really can help folks not waste money on solutions that aren't going to work for their specific situation.

The video you linked to from the rvmobileinternet is a great example of how well they explain the complications going on in mobile these days.

5G 4X4 is here and 8X8 is evidently in the near future; so 4 to 8 transmitting and receiving antennas (that's up to 16 total antennas!) all using different frequencies!

So if you get a booster that works on one frequency with one antenna, in some cases, especially data, this will give you less performance than your handset without a booster because your handset is communicating with multiple antennas on multiple frequencies.

Amazing stuff when it works. Frustrating if you're on the edge of the grid.

Best,

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