July 25th 2022
Well I have just completed the ordering of a mobile internet service, from a reseller here in Canada. It works with the cellular network, similar to the service that we used last winter, the main difference is that this service will work either side of the Canada/United States border. The service is not cheap at $159 per month, but it actually worked out cheaper than the service from last year after calculating the exchange from American dollars.
So what do I get for my $159? Well I receive unlimited high speed internet, and truly unlimited, with no throttling, it arrives set up and ready to go, the features that pushed this over the edge is because it is a reseller, it is not tied to just one of the cellular service providers, this will work with any of the three providers here in Canada. Bell, Rogers, and Telus any one of the big three that are available, which is a huge feature for us as travelers, because different networks are stronger in different areas, I can remember the east coast of Canada where my Rogers service was all but useless, and Bell was the main provider, and this is common in different areas all across the country. What is a bonus to us is that we also get unlimited roaming on AT&T while in the United States for no additional cost.
There is no contract, so it is pay as you go, I can pause my service at any time, and for a small fee ($25) I’m able to restart the service, the equipment I’m getting allows me to connect a router to the modem for better coverage in the coach, I can also install an external antenna if needed, both important features for our usage and travels.
The website claims 1-2 days for processing and 1-2 days for shipping. So it is Monday morning just after eight o’clock and my order has been placed, now we wait and see how long it takes for the process to unfold.
Moments later I received the above email, indicating that my order has been received, and that they are even going to adjust my plan to accommodate any shipping time. I was not expecting that, but it is a nice touch though, because the true cost of this internet service is just over $5 per day, so that four days that they are claiming for processing and shipping is more than a $20+ value, so my first experience has to go down as a positive one.
July 27th 2022
This morning I received an email, telling me that my cellular hub had been shipped and supplied me with a tracking number, the time on the email was 10:23 so pretty much the two days that had be claimed on the web page.
It also explains the 7 day trial period starts on the day of delivery, as well as the actual billing cycle starts on the delivery day as well. The other thing I notice is that the email is not from Maple-WiFi as from the previous email, but instead appears to be from a shipping depot or a distribution center. This really makes no difference to me, because as I understand the SIM card will already be installed in the hub and will also have also been activated, so when I receive it, so it should literally be plug and play.
Next I click the tracking number to see what is actually happening and I’m pleasantly surprised to see it is a FedEx delivery, but I’m disappointed to see the delivery is not till the 3rd of August which is seven days from today. But with it being shipped from California onto Vancouver Island, I honestly wasn’t expecting the 1 – 2 days that was mentioned on the website.
I also notice that it is just the label that has been created, and technically FedEx has not even received it yet, but that doesn’t really mean that much, and I will track it daily to see how it progresses.
August 1st 2022
I received a notice today that FedEx has actually received the package, and that the delivery date has also been changed from Wednesday the 3rd to Friday the 5th. I had been expecting a delay because of the holiday weekend, and I will wait for further updates, because we still have that international border to cross, but at least it is in FedEx control now.
August 2nd 2022
Today I checked the FedEx tracking number to see the status of my hub, and found that it was on the move. Having left Sacramento CA and has passed through Oakland CA at 8:44 this morning, and I see the delivery date remains unchanged at this Friday. I’m curious as I believe that Oakland is south and west of Sacramento, and I’m located north and west, so we will see how this works out.
August 3rd 2022 am
Well I wasn’t expecting that! As I checked the tracking this morning I see that my hub is now in Vancouver, so the package that was being sent “FedEx International Economy” some how included air freight and is now on the mainland at Vancouver. And the delivery date has been updated to before 8:00 pm today! And while I doubt it will get through customs, onto the island, and delivered today, I’m thinking there is a good chance that I will get it by Thursday.
August 3rd 2022 pm
Just as I had suspected this afternoon, and a quick check of the tracking number the hub has cleared customs, and has made it to the island. It is in Cassidy BC, and I had to look at a map to figure out where it was and found it to be near the Nanaimo airport is located, right on the Trans Canada Hwy. less than half an hour away, and my delivery date is back to Thursday.
August 4th 2022
The morning started with our hub being loaded onto a FedEx truck for delivery today, and shortly after noon I had the package in my hand. It was in a FedEx bubble envelope, just the hub, and a charger with an USB cable. I pulled it from the envelope and turned it on, the battery was low so a warning flashed up and it went to work finding a cellular signal, a couple pushes of the single button on the unit and it gave me the required password and a couple moments later I was performing a number of speed tests to test the signal strength. And just as advertised my download speed was well above 20 Mbps and the upload speed was above 10 Mbps
So my first impression, is very good, it is exactly what I expected, it came ready to go (other than the battery being almost dead), but within moments it had found a signal and it was providing more than acceptable speeds. It certainly took longer to receive than the 1-2 days that they had stated on their website, but I wasn’t surprised about that and really never expected it to be delivered that quickly. I have spent most of the afternoon connecting different devices, and this was a concern because the hub is limited to twenty users, I also purchased a router to distribute the signal and hardwired the hub to the router.
Its is later in the afternoon and I have found my first issue, the hub is sending a signal that was being picked up by our streaming services to indicate that we were in the States, so the programing was being blocked, a little checking and I was able to switch to a Canadian VPN and we are again getting our Canadian programing again, and after random speed checks the speeds are all as good or better than according to the website … so far two thumbs up. 👍👍