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Topic # 248045 8-Mar-2019 16:20
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I see that Skinny and Spark, for example, are offering a broadband wireless 4G connection as an alternative to fibre for users who don't have the need for ultra fast fibre broadband.

 

Skinny is offering 60GB per month for $39, 120GB for $49, and 240GB for $59.

 

I'm not sure what download and upload speeds a wireless 4G modem would run at, perhaps someone could advise on this.

 

Wireless 4G broadband all sounds so simple when compared with the difficulties several people have reported with fibre installations.

 

You pay around $100 to get a 4G broadband modem which is then yours to keep and you can plug it into any power point and shift it around the house at will.

 

Skinny says this about its 4G broadband plans:

 

This is broadband not as you know it. This is broadband without the frills.

 

Our Wireless 4G broadband plans strip everything back so you just pay for what you really need – just good honest broadband without a pesky contract. This is broadband without the landline rental, the holes in your front garden or waiting for technicians. And because it’s prepay – there aren’t any bills. You can simply set & forget.

 

Just grab a Skinny modem, plug it into the nearest power outlet, hook up to Spark's superfast 4G network and you’ll be up and running in under 5 minutes.

 

So what do you think of this, do you really need ultrafast fibre broadband, wouldn't a wireless 4G broadband plan be more than adequate for a lot of people?


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'That VDSL Cat'
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  Reply # 2193703 8-Mar-2019 16:23
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as you will likely see if you go through Sparks online journey, Wireless is great for those sub 120GB or so customers, we encourage Wireless in these cases.

 

While the modem can be installed anywhere, you do need to consider the placement. eg. Sticking your modem inside a brick wall compared to a window will be light and day performance particularly on the higher bands.

 

 

 

For anyone who consumes alot of data, fibre is certainly the best option for both speed and consistency of speed.

 

 

 

 

 

I could argue it both ways honestly :) i think there is certainly a place for wireless as is there for Fibre.

 

They are both Brilliant techs.





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  Reply # 2193704 8-Mar-2019 16:24
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It's 2019. Any plan with a data cap is likely a non-starter for most posters on these forums.

 

On the other hand, wireless 4G suits my 73 year old father very well. Any reduced speed vs a fixed line is completely lost on him, and the convenience of modem placement was a very attractive selling point. 


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2193706 8-Mar-2019 16:31
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It's like those cheap seats on flights, they are space fillers. I.E. the airlines know they will only fill say 80% of their flight, so hey lets see if we can get a few more $$ for that other 20%.

 

The 4G wireless service is like that 20% of capacity that's not being used, so Spark / Skinny sell it cheap for the low users. However, if everyone went on 4G instead of fibre/xDSL etc, then capacity would be obliterated and all would discover the true meaning of "dial-up speeds".

 

 





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  Reply # 2193751 8-Mar-2019 16:41
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I think the above comments are pretty good

 

Generally the only reason I would advise someone to get with 4G over Fibre (UFB) is for price and if they don't need much data.

 

I have noticed most of the 4G providers are getting a bit more strict with there data usage limits, with Sparks Unplan saying if you exceed the criteria over a 1 month and 3 month period they may move you to fibre anyway and I have heard Vodafone have been getting a bit more strict on data usage for RBI.

 

(Don't mix up 3G/4G/LTE with what service WISPs - Wireless ISPs offer)

 

 

 

- Fibre will be more consistent speed and generally the speed you pay for (4G can vary a lot, depends on the location, traveling around the country a lot in the last 2 months has shown me how poor the 3G/4G coverage still is in many rural areas)

 

- Faster in most cases (depending on the plan, certainly 100Mb or faster fibre plans)

 

- Will be more reliable (for the vast majority of users, there is always that one person who has a bad experience)

 

- Most providers have unlimited plans (4G only has capped plans)

 

- Will in most cases Fibre will cost more than 4G (but 4G can become expensive if you go over the cap)

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2193757 8-Mar-2019 16:55
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Find me a family that uses less than 240 GiB, with Netflix etc! In December 2017 the average NZ household was 250 and it will have climbed since then. https://figure.nz/chart/4CJ6kck6Ki0L23Lw


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  Reply # 2193758 8-Mar-2019 16:55
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I live on my own and use around 50Gb per month. Wireless is brilliant for me - it's fast enough for streaming, more reliable than copper, and easier to install than fibre.

 

However, it would be unsuitable for households with multiple people streaming video on a regular basis.

 

You need to pick what suits your needs.




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  Reply # 2193912 8-Mar-2019 19:07
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Tracer:

 

Find me a family that uses less than 240 GiB, with Netflix etc! In December 2017 the average NZ household was 250 and it will have climbed since then. https://figure.nz/chart/4CJ6kck6Ki0L23Lw

 

 

Thanks, that's interesting, there must be a lot of people watching Netflix, Youtube etc etc. Now, for example, that Spark is offering the Rugby World Cup on internet, the growth of internet usage is likely to grow even further as people might move away from SKY. As a long term investment I guess fibre is the way to go, but when I've watched videos using mobile data on a phone, wireless broadband has been very good.


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  Reply # 2193943 8-Mar-2019 20:51
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frednz:

 

Thanks, that's interesting, there must be a lot of people watching Netflix, Youtube etc etc. Now, for example, that Spark is offering the Rugby World Cup on internet, the growth of internet usage is likely to grow even further as people might move away from SKY. As a long term investment I guess fibre is the way to go, but when I've watched videos using mobile data on a phone, wireless broadband has been very good.

 

 

There is massive amounts of capacity in the 4G network, and even more coming up every day...

 

 

 

The network folk always impress me with their consent push forward! There is definitely no sitting contempt!

 

They know data usage is on the way up..





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  Reply # 2193950 8-Mar-2019 21:05
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@hio77 Spark 4G broadband get me as a customer as of next week I could walk to the serving cell at a slow pace in 2 to 3 minutes

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  Reply # 2193993 8-Mar-2019 21:13
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The question was asked earlier around speed. We were on wireless 4G for a while when we were between houses. Speed was pretty consistent at ~100Mb/s down and 40Mb/s up. Not bad at all.

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  Reply # 2193994 8-Mar-2019 21:13
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I'm sure different people have different experiences and Spark is not Vodafone, but my RBI 4G often leaves a lot to be desired. When it works well it is fine, but I often have issues with buffering due to mast congestion and sometimes it almost is like dial-up. Even at its best, there s no way I can stream anything better than 1080p. My test speeds usually go all over the place, up and down like a yo-yo. They used to max out at nearly 50 mbps down, but I haven't had anything close to  that for a long time. These days 30 mbps is the absolute best I get, and that usually only briefly. 20-25 mbps is more usual, and it sometimes dips to 2 or 3 mbps or less, when streaming becomes impossible. This might not be an issue in the city but it drives me crazy. Streaming is fine until I actually want to watch something. The up and down inconsistency can be a real pain.

 

 





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  Reply # 2193995 8-Mar-2019 21:14
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Linux: @hio77 Spark 4G broadband get me as a customer as of next week I could walk to the serving cell at a slow pace in 2 to 3 minutes

 

bugger. I'm blacklisting your address!

 

Senecio: The question was asked earlier around speed. We were on wireless 4G for a while when we were between houses. Speed was pretty consistent at ~100Mb/s down and 40Mb/s up. Not bad at all.

 

With the new modem, it would peak far faster too...





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  Reply # 2193999 8-Mar-2019 21:22
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Rikkitic:

 

I'm sure different people have different experiences and Spark is not Vodafone, but my RBI 4G often leaves a lot to be desired. When it works well it is fine, but I often have issues with buffering due to mast congestion and sometimes it almost is like dial-up. Even at its best, there s no way I can stream anything better than 1080p. My test speeds usually go all over the place, up and down like a yo-yo. They used to max out at nearly 50 mbps down, but I haven't had anything close to  that for a long time. These days 30 mbps is the absolute best I get, and that usually only briefly. 20-25 mbps is more usual, and it sometimes dips to 2 or 3 mbps or less, when streaming becomes impossible. This might not be an issue in the city but it drives me crazy. Streaming is fine until I actually want to watch something. The up and down inconsistency can be a real pain.

 

 

Just to context this, Rural Wireless is alot more tough given you lack the higher bands.

 

It's a difficult problem to solve for as realistically it needs to be subsidized somehow.

 

 

 

be that, more towers, Fixed installations (antennas etc), Upgrades on towers, or increase in cost..

 

 

 

in my honest opinion, Vodafone do have a ton less capacity over their network, which does result in pretty disappointing performance when loaded.

 

I still use Vodafone for Voice, but i dread switching to that sim for data every time.





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  Reply # 2194010 8-Mar-2019 21:47
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Spark has built a sh*t load of new sites even just around the North Shore to Puhoi

Vodafone network build has stalled

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  Reply # 2194051 8-Mar-2019 22:07
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Why can't Spark also do RBI? 

 

 





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