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Pocket wifi

Singapore
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595 posts
8 reviews
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Pocket wifi

hi,

will be in the SI in Nov- Dec and am looking for options for internet access. Most hotels / motels dont seem to offer it for free, and I think internet access would be useful since i will be travelling alone with 2 children.

Has anyone tried out the pocket wifi system such as this one by Vodafone: pcworld.co.nz/article/…

I am curious to know if it works effectively in most parts of the South Island. I will be doing the usual tourist route (clockwise) from CHC - Mt Cook - QT - Te Anau - Wanaka - Fox - CHC. Part of my journey will also include the Otago Rail Trail.

Thanks!

Oz
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1. Re: Pocket wifi

Hi,

Here in the Antipodes Vodaphone is known as "Vodafail" as in common with most carriers outside of the major centres and in the mountains of which NZ has plenty the service is problematic.

Prior to the invention and wide adoption of the internet children occupied themselves with imaginative games, books and athletic pursuits. It may make their holiday memorable if you introduced them to these concepts.

Why no give them a paper map and have them navigate you from point to point? You could even suggest they read a guide book and identify what they would like to see and do at each stop or even where to stop?

Cheers,

Edited: 22 July 2013, 05:52
Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Pocket wifi

I just started a thread asking a similar question for the Glacier area - not because I need to occupy my kids and have a fear of maps or non electronic games but because I wish to access my office emails/servers to process work transactions.

We have been to NZ twice now (2011 and 2010), both times we used a vodafone prepaid wifi (purchased at the airport when we landed) and we used it in Christchurch, Dunedin, Te Anu and Rotorua without too many issues. Te Anu (Milford) was a bit slow but we still got access. Didnt test in in Milford because we forgot to try.

Edited: 22 July 2013, 06:12
Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Pocket wifi

Oh and also used it at Queenstown and Auckland.

Singapore
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595 posts
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4. Re: Pocket wifi

haha, Ozflyer, you're cute. don't worry, we will be doing lots of those activities in NZ too!

The reason I'm asking is cos the car rental company I'm checking rates with offers this pocket wifi as a value-added service. Just wondering if it's worth the NZD79 (2GB data) for the 18 days I'll be on the road.

Auckland, New...
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5. Re: Pocket wifi

sounds like a have and you'll not be able to use it anywhere outside of the main centres

Te Anau
Destination Expert
for South Island, Te Anau
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2,835 posts
34 reviews
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6. Re: Pocket wifi

I've got a pocket WiFi, on the Telecom network, and it works fine anywhere there is cellphone coverage. Telecom's coverage is better that Vodafone, but in the main centers, and most larger towns you should get reasonable coverage with either carrier.

$79 does seem a bit expensive. If you have a USB port on your device you can get a T-Stick from Telecom with 2gig included data for $59

…telecom.co.nz/mobile/…telecom-mf190.

Telecom phones and devices come unlocked, so you should be able to use the T-Stick after you return home (on a WCDMA network)

Of course this won't work for a Ipad. but most net books will be OK.

If you have an android phone with WiFi capability you may be able to configure it as a Hot Spot. My Huawei has this built in, and there is also an app available for android phones which have WiFi capability, but not HotSpot functionality.

(Denali, Milford Sound is seriously out in the sticks; There is no cellphone coverage after you leave Te Anau.)

Singapore
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595 posts
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7. Re: Pocket wifi

Thanks, vbc.

I havent decided yet if I will be lugging my macbook with me , but i definitely will have my iPad and iPhone(s) with me - as will my family members. The pocket wifi suggestion (and price) were quoted to me by Anzed Rentals which offers it as a value added service.

If I am correct, the iPhone can also work as a hotspot, but I was hoping to not have to swap the SIM card in my iPhone since I may need to be contacted on my Singapore number. I was planning on getting a Sim card (for calls only) and a pocket wifi so i can still surf, check email etc on the go using my iPhone.

shucks.. no coverage at Milford Sound? was looking forward to posting a status update from there... (haha, just kidding!!)

Singapore
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595 posts
8 reviews
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8. Re: Pocket wifi

Vbc, on a related note, since you appear to be tech savvy, do you know if I could buy a pocket wifi router from Singapore, get the vodafone/Telecom data card and insert that into the Singapore-bought device - will that work in NZ? This is another option I am considering since I do at least 2 longish trips a year to various parts of the world.

Btw, the $79 price quoted by Anzed includes rental of the pocket wifi ($29) and 2GB data ($50).

Thanks!

Edited: 24 July 2013, 01:31
Te Anau
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for South Island, Te Anau
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9. Re: Pocket wifi

Hi Banoffi, If your Singapore purchased pocket WIFi is unlocked then you could certainly put a NZ SIM in it. The Telecom network is WCDMA, which is not all that common around the world, or so I am led to believe. Vodafone use the GSM network, which is fairly common, so that could be a better option, even though their NZ coverage is not quite as good as Telecom. (A WCDMA device will not work on the GSM network, and vice versa,)

Is your Ipad 3g capable? If so then buying a NZ micro SIM would solve your problem. Early Ipads were not, but my newer one is. The SIM slot is at the bottom, There is a small hole in the slot cover. get a drawing pin or other thin probe and push it hard into the hole. The SIM carrier will pop out.

You may wonder how much data you will need. On a recent trip to Australia I brought a SIM with 3 gig of included data. After 3 weeks of regular use (emails and web sites, but not downloading music or movies) I had only used almost 1 gig, which surprised me.

I guess you are aware how horrendously expensive overseas data is, with some unsuspecting users getting bills for thousands of dollars. Make sure you turn off data roaming on any devices which are billed to your home network, particularly your teenagers IPhones.

Singapore
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595 posts
8 reviews
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10. Re: Pocket wifi

that was useful, vbc. Thanks so much!

i have a 1st generation iPad. It can connect to the 3G network in Singapore, but am not sure if it offers the hotspot capabilities of my iPhone 4S.

Yes, you read my mind! i am always wondering how much data i need. In Singapore, our prepaid plans usualyl come with 2GB of data incl per month, and I dont think I exceed that, so 2GB for 18 days shld be fine, although it will be shared among 3 of us.

I don't have a pocket wifi router at the moment, but will have to check out how much it costs so I can see if it will be worth it to invest in one.

Thanks again!