Rural Internet - switching from satellite to LTE

I live in a rural area about 90 minutes south of St. Louis and recently switched from satellite-based internet to an LTE based hot-spot. Previously I was paying $65 for 10GB of daytime and 50GB of off-peak (2am-8am). I have an iPhone on Sprint and in May I looked into their hotspot options. They offer two plans at 50GB and 100GB for $50 and $60 with a $150ish device purchase of the modem/router. 3 months in and, assuming the device continues to function as well as it has, I’ll consider it a fantastic switch. It’s a faster connection (anywhere from 8 to 12 mbps download) and no latency. The only way it could be better is if they offered a 150 or 200GB plan. 100 is so much better but even with that I can go over with enough app updates, iCloud synching, lots of music/podcast streaming and daily streaming of video. Last month I’d used my data with 2 days left and happily even though they say they throttle the speed at that point I noticed no difference and was able to continue streaming NetFlix, etc.

Additional upsides: No downtime during storms. Even with a power outage the battery on the hotspot will go for hours. Also, the hotspot is portable. I don’t really need it as I have LTE on the iPad and iPhone but might be nice for folks with a laptop.

If you’re in a rural area with LTE be sure you check out the hotspot options with your carrier!


Here is an other option for cellular data modems with unlimited data:

1 Like

I just started using OTRMobile for an AT&T hotspot in my motorhome. Unlimited data for $60 per month. Got the Netgear Nighthawk which can use an external antenna and has an Ethernet port. Depending on location I’ve been getting 10 to 40 mbps.

1 Like

OTRMobile looks like a pretty excellent deal though it’s based on the ATT network. In my area it’s not as solid as Sprint. Funny though, I looked at their coverage map and it shows almost the entire state (Missouri) as being covered by their LTE which is definitely not true just south of me. Lots of details missing on their map, mainly the affects of this hilly terrain on coverage. Anyhoo, looks like an excellent option for anyone that get’s a good ATT signal!

I used a mi-fi puck when I lived outside of town. I was on Verizon and would blast through the data allowance. That was with no streaming of music of video.

When I moved to town high speed broadband with no cap, hot dog!

For work I have a Verizon mi-fi with unlimited bandwidth. That I use strictly for work. I can pair up 5 devices with the puck. I opted for Verizon, AT&T is the agencies primary provider, however it doesn’t work everywhere. I have good coverage most everywhere I work.