Portable modem – Pros & Cons

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So you are wondering, why rent a portable modem? Why not use my mobile provider’s roaming contract? Why not just rent modem from another company?

Let’s first talk about our modems. What are the pros and cons of our modems?

Trawire and Hotspot.rent modems

Pros

  • Unlimited and fresh Icelandic data
  • Local network & best coverage
  • Local support if something comes up
  • Pickup & Return at Airport
  • No throttling
  • Works for up to 10 devices (also laptops & tablets)
  • No Contract to worry about
  • No SIM swap (you keep your number)
  • Your mobile number and SMS are working for emergency contact
  • We reuse the return box as many time we can (less paper usage)

 

Cons

  • You need to preorder (or not, see pickup at arrival www.hotspot.rent)
  • Extra device to carry around
  • Needs to be charged
  • No general SMS can be received if you turn on Flight Mode
  • Does not work for many if they are far apart from each other (outside WiFi range)
  • Iceland only

Have your cell phone always turned on when travelling in Iceland as civil defence will send out an SMS warning to evacuate if you are in the vicinity of natural disasters or other vital informations need to be sent out. You can turn off the roaming and use Trawire Hotspot for data. but still receive SMS.

Let’s look at the other options you have.
In general, those are roaming contracts and roaming does not have priority in other networks. We fx tested Icelandic card, roaming in London UK and we never got 4G.
Options are many and how they work depends on where you live. This is what we know:

Multi Country Pocket Wifi’s:

In average: Unlimited internet for Europe, USA & Canada is 5GB in 4G/LTE.  Rest of the world: 500MB in 4G /LTE. Throttled speed of up to 256kbps afterwards. Delivery cost.

Icelandic SIM Cards:

Cheap for those who use small amount of data and only need a wifi for one person. You loose your own mobile number and you need to tank up (not unlimited). Does not work on Carrier-locked phones.

Google Fi:

$10 pr GB. Multicountry.

For those traveling from US and want to use roaming:

AT&T International Day Pass
Just for one device (sharing WiFi to more users will eat up data very quickly). Flat rate of $60 for an AT&T Passport plan that includes calls, text and 1GB of data. Averages cost $50 per additional 1GB of data, so consider AT&T’s Passport 3GB plan if you think you’ll be using more data. Usage abroad affects home allowance.

Verizon Travelpass
Just for one device (sharing WiFi to more users will eat up data very quickly). Flat rate. $5/day in Mexico and Canada. $10/day in other countries where TravelPass is available
High speed data applies for the first 0.5 GB/day with 2G reduced speeds thereafter. Usage abroad affects home allowance.

T-Mobile ONE
Just for one device (sharing WiFi to more users will eat up data very quickly). Include support for global text messaging and 2G data in more than 140 countries.  You can sign up for faster speeds and pay more. T-Mobile offers faster speeds in Canada and Mexico.

Sprint Global
Just for one device (sharing WiFi to more users will eat up data very quickly). Global roaming support with up to 2G data speeds in more than 165 countries. You can add high-speed data with either a $5 one-day pass or a $25 for 7-day pass that offers speeds up to 4G. Same data allowance as in home contract. Usage abroad affects home allowance. Usage Limitations:  Throughput may be limited, varied or reduced on the network.

For those traveling from Europe and want to use roaming:

Average EU rules.
Data allowance up to 13 GB depending on contract. Just for one device (sharing WiFi to more users will eat up data very quickly). Same data allowance as in your provider contract. Usage abroad affects home allowance. Usage Limitations:  Throughput may be limited, varied or reduced on the network.

Roaming in other countries:

We just don’t have the info but we heard that the roaming rules are similar as the EU but way lower data allowance.