When setting off on the road, there are a lot of things RV owners need to keep in mind, not least of which is how to get stable consistent internet connectivity. When picking your 4G LTE package there are some key things to evaluate, such as data plans, routers, antennas. In this article, we will try to provide some guideposts and hints on how to pick the perfect solution for your requirements
Types of Data Plans
When selecting a data plan, it’s important to first understand what types of LTE plans are available from the top US carriers – AT&T, Verizon, Visible, T-Mobile. When walking into a store, a number of 4G providers today offer an unlimited plan but its important to dig deeper. Especially un-throttled versus throttled data plans. Then there are supersim cards like Pronto SIM. A single SIM card that lets customers pick between AT&T, Verizon,T-Mobile and other major carriers. This provides unparalleled flexibility for RV customers that may be driving between states and facing diminishing service as single 4G provider.
A good workaround to get almost unlimited data SIM is to pick a tablet pan. AT&T and T-Mobile offer $20/month unlimited plan for tablets if you have a primary cell phone plan with them. For a router to appear as a tablet, TTL setting needs to be that of a mobile. Pretty much all Pronto routers, especially, specially built for RV router PP14O let you set TTL to anything you like.
Do I need a Router?
One of things you may be thinking about is if you actually need to invest in a router? Are there any significant benefits between using a Hotspot on your Phone vs a dedicated LTE Router. If you are looking to have a central source of internet access for a few people that needs to be resilient, I would recommend a 4G LTE Router. An enterprise LTE router comes with powerful LTE modems and functionality that helps RV users get fast and dedicated internet connectivity over 4G.
Selecting an outdoor 4G LTE Router that has built in 4G Module, helps you catch better 4G LTE signal compared to indoor models. You can get good coverage in fringe areas with an outdoor unit. You only need to run a single Ethernet cable that supplies power as well as acts as a mechanism to connect any switch for multiple devices. The PP14O router itself provides powerful 802.11n WIFI signal and can be used to connect wireless laptops, and other devices.
Antennas? What are they good for?
Antennas are a fun conversation item. Many routers come with small antennas in the box. In most cases, that may work just fine for your use case. However, if you find that you need better LTE connectivity, try mounting an external antenna outside the RV. Longer antenna cables end up loosing 4G signal if they are too long. However, sometimes, you may have no other option but to mount an external antenna on a telescoping pole or flagpole to get signal from far away towers. LPDA Antennas like shown below can provide a good directional coverage when mounted on a tall pole. Indoor version of PP14 router has an antenna connector that can be used to connect such external antennas for better signal.