Wednesday, March 10, 2010

RV Communications : Clear information

Update : This article is about RV Internet Communications or Mobile Internet for your RV. It might not have been clear when I originally wrote it. It does seem like whereever we are at, Clear isn't there, while it seems to be everywhere else. But getting a good solution for your RV data communications is simply no easy matter. I do believe Clear is a step in the right direction...

-- Original Article --

While at the Austin RV Expo (Feb 2010) Sheri and I visited with Clear sales representative Josh Love. Josh was a very knowledgeable rep and we had lots of questions.

We also find Clear's web site very confusing. In an attempt to 'dumb down' the site to make it easier to understand, I think they actually made it harder to understand.

First, we mentioned that we were hesitant to get Clear for our RV internet because while it is great for Austin, when we travel in our RV, it was NOT in most of our towns and cities we would visit.

Josh told us that Clear has partnered with Sprint and have a little USB dongle called "4G+". The idea is that when you LEAVE the Clear coverage area, then you will have access to the Sprint 3G network. All of a sudden, this is very, very appealing to us, especially since Clear's plan is much better than Sprints and we would be using Clear when possible.

Regarding the 'fair use limits', there are still not limits on the Clear 4G/WiMax, but when you are on Sprint's network and exceed the 5Gbits/month limit, then you will pay approximately $10/Gigabit thereafter for going over the limit. That isn't too bad I guess.

You can get the 4G+ plan for $55/month.

There are still some problems. For example, you can't just plug in a USB dongle at home where you once had EITHER DSL or Cable so that is not clear to me on how to do that. Also, the 4G+ is not compatible with Apple Mac yet so it won't work for us.

There is ONE potential solution though, Clear sells a little WiFi box that you can plug into the USB 4G+ dongle and then you'll have WiFi everywhere and that will solve lots of problems. It is similar to the MiFi idea.

We're leaning very heavily towards this concept and think it is one of the best RV communications concepts for mobile internet out there, especially since there are no usage limits in the Clear coverage areas.

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