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Old 11-06-2018, 06:34 PM   #1
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Mobile phone service on US east coast

I am presently shopping for a liveaboard boat and plan to move aboard full time in 2019 and cruise the east coast while following comfortable temperatures and avoiding hurricanes throughout the year. I work from home and only need decent internet and mobile phone service to do my job. Planning to get at least one "Mifi" type device and at least one unlimited data account with a big carrier to augment my phone. If one device and carrier proves adequate, I won't bother with a second. I also plan to add a cellular signal booster to the boat. I plan to choose my anchorages carefully so that I can work from the boat with good mobile data service. I will have weekends off and 6+weeks of very flexible paid time off to move the boat around as needed/desired.



Is this plan feasible? Anyone here do the same? Is cell data service adequate on the coast? The coastal cruising I've done in the north east US has proven to have good coverage for typical smart phone use, but I have not really tested it for work purposes...


Do cell signal boosters work well?
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:18 AM   #2
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In the areas we've traveled -- generally the Chesapeake, plus Lewes/Cape May to Miami -- we've found cell coverage generally available, generally reliable... but with occasional pockets of silence. We have both AT&T and Verizon specifically to increase our chance of having coverage at any given time... and that approach at least improves our situation.

OTOH, our usage isn't work-related, to it's not a big deal.

I keep intending to look into whether some of the cut-rate providers (Consumer Cellular, etc.) can provide both AT&T and Verizon (or at least both GSM and CDMA) connectivity on the same plan... to reduce our costs... but haven't yet gotten a round tuit.

Additional requirements for us are things like (occasional) mobile hotspot capability, and occasional foreign travel. The latter may not be important for you, but we've found the legitimate hotspot capability very useful for times when WiFi isn't available.

No experience with cell boosters... but I think there are several threads about cell and WiFi boosters around here somewhere... try the Advanced Search tool...

-Chris
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:08 AM   #3
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I use version and itís great until my 15gigs of high speed hotspot data is used up. I send and receive a lot of large pdf documents and some months I make it about 10 days before my hotspot is downgraded.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:42 AM   #4
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Cherie and Chris do an amazing job keeping up with the whole mobile internet thing.


They both boat and RV.


https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/


If you earn your income on the internet and go nomadic, well worth the membership.
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:09 PM   #5
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Iím interested In hearing results of this, too. I have AT&Tís limited unlimited plan. They say itís unlimited, but when you use a certain amount of hotspot data, they limit your speed to the point of it being unusable. Iím not sure how they can call that Ďunlimitedí but they do, the bastards.

I do have experience with cell phone boosters. Iíve owned three. The Wilson weBoost was my least favorite. It was... okay. The Uniden u60 that I currently have is excellent. I regularly get LTE data speeds up to 10 miles out into the Great Lakes. Itís not the cheapest booster out there, and there are a LOT of people buying Wilson units because theyíre the first thing that shows up in a google search, but Iím very happy with my Uniden. I can also say that their customer service has been fantastic.
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:21 PM   #6
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I have Verizon Wireless service and use a Jetpack for a hotspot. In my 12 trips up and down the east coast from CT to FL and back I have only encountered one spot near Belhaven NC where I couldn't get service. I work onboard and am totally internet dependent. I have had no issues with Verizon. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmason View Post
I have Verizon Wireless service and use a Jetpack for a hotspot. In my 12 trips up and down the east coast from CT to FL and back I have only encountered one spot near Belhaven NC where I couldn't get service. I work onboard and am totally internet dependent. I have had no issues with Verizon. Hope this helps.

This totally made my day. I am already on Verizon and already have a Jetpack. Bravo! One less thing to worry about...
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:33 PM   #8
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+1 for Verizon. This is a few years back but I went part way down the east coast (Maine - New York) with ATT. Many areas ATT couldn't get data coverage, and couldn't even make a call. Like downtown NYC for example. When I returned to the boat to go further south I got Verizon and was much happier with it.
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:03 PM   #9
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The hot news is a new unlimited, data only plan from Verizon.


Drink deeply!
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