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06-14-2010, 12:39 PM #1Great alternative to AT&T 3G and T-mobile EDGE
I have been using this combination for a month now, and I wanted to share it with you guys.
Unlocked iPhone on T-mobile + Verizon MiFi
I used to be stuck on AT&T's horrible service + extremely expansive bill. I was the only one on AT&T while I had my wife, sisters, and parents on a T-mobile plan (very cheap, no contract).
I decided to leave AT&T for the Nexus One. Nexus One is a great phone especially with the new 2.2 software, but I wanted to throw the phone at a wall anytime I had to type because the phone's touch screen is so inaccurate.
So what did I do?
I went back to my iPhone 3G, unlocked it to be used on T-mobile. It's $5 extra for voice and unlimited text on T-mobile.
I also wanted a 3G coverage so I went to Verizon and got a MiFi device. This thing is so small I really don't mind carrying in my other pocket with me. I connect to it using WiFi and get the full Verizon network coverage for data. Not to mention that I can do several things only available though WiFi such as downloading large apps or calling VOIP. Another great thing about having my MiFi is that I don't need my phone to have tethering available. I can have up to 4 devices on MiFi. Just like on the AT&T network, I can "Talk and Surf" since the iPhone is using WiFi.
MiFi was $50 and monthly bill is $59 for 5 GB which I never go over (it's amazing because I am always using data). I also get a 20% discount through work. On AT&T I would be paying $39 for voice, $25 for 2GB data, and $20 for text, so I am saving money while getting the full advantage of the Verizon's huge coverage.
This setup is especially useful on the road using google maps to navigate. AT&T data network was so damn slow on remote highways, but with my MiFi divice relaying Verizon's 3G, it's very quick.
I thought that the battery life of the MiFi would be the problem but I have not even gotten the device down to 1/2 battery yet. I think it's because at home and at work I have other WiFi so I turn the MiFi off.
I have the MiFi set to stand by after 5 minutes of no use. When ever I need to check my email or surf, I click the power button on the MiFi, wait about 5 seconds on the iPhone then I am good to go.
My iPhone battery life has increased by a lot since I have the 3G off and WiFi uses less power than 3G.
Also with the Mi-Fi app from the app store, I can see the usage, battery level, and signal level of the MiFi device.
This works for me because I've never turned on the auto email check feature. Even on my Nexus One, I turned the notification off. I want to get my email whenever I want to, not when ever someone else wants me to.
I plan to do the same with the iPhone 4 when it comes out if I can unlock it. I am especially excited about the "face time". Even though it's only available on WiFi, I'll be able to use it anywhere because of my MiFi.
Let me know if anyone has any other questions. Again, I really do suggest this set up if you cannot stand AT&T anymore.
06-14-2010, 12:56 PM #2
You could have put a 40$ unlimited data only plan from tmobile onto the nexus one, then just used the wifi tethering off of it forever... It would be 3g, cheaper than going verizon, unlimited, and you wouldn't have an extra bill to worry about...
Not bashing your idea, verzion myfi is great, but where i live ATT never has less than 5 bars, so for me instead of spending 60$'s more a month and carrying two devices, i'd much rather just go to ATT.
and theres a little program called 3g unrestrictor, it basically fools the phone into thinking its on wifi, to really get every last piece of bandwidth from 3g. But the phone will allow you to download anything, and act as if its on wifi.The only thing I ask in return for helping, is that you click the thanks button, Thanks!
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06-14-2010, 01:11 PM #3
I used to do the same thing. But my main thing was saving money vs. staying on AT&T. I don't actually pay $60 extra since I don't pay AT&T at all.
I used to use the 3G unrestrictor, and the PDAnet but using my iPhone as a hot spot drained my battery.
I never thought of using the Nexus one as the hotspot that is a great idea. Right now I still play with my Nexus one on WiFi (no sim installed, airplane mode on). I used to not be able to get a whole day of use on the Nexus One with regular use. The phone stays on for about 1.5 days now. I wonder how the battery situation will be with it if I used it as a hotspot? I don't remember it having a stand by mode at all, so I think I have to turn it on and off manually. Also nexus one is bigger than my iPhone.
I had the choice between the sprint 4g and the Verizon, but I chose verizon for the coverage. T-mobile's 3G is only available in cities so I didn't even consider this route. Someone else should try this.
Also for my family plan I can just add another line with unlimited data for only $30 so that's even less than the $40 plan you are talking about.
Oh also I use my MiFi for my iPad
Last edited by alnk1015; 06-14-2010 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
06-21-2010, 11:31 AM #4
I do the exact same thing.
However, EDGE is great where I work, so I can use my t-zones to stream Sirius/XM via the iPhone APP without fail.