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3 posts

Wannabe Geek

Topic # 13762 28-May-2007 12:41
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I need wireless broadband from my van while I tour around NZ. Does anyone have an opinion on the best provider/plans to set up with to maximise my coverage areas?

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Uber Geek


  Reply # 72511 28-May-2007 13:02
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Telecom EVDO and an AxessTel EVDO ethernet router with an external antenna. The rest of wireless (Woosh, etc) is a hodge podge and will not get you far coverage wise. Vodafone is too slow as you would spend most of your time on heinous GPRS.

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 72513 28-May-2007 13:20
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Cheers, thanks a lot for that. Do I just arrange it all through Telecom directly when I arrive? I guess I should just bundle my mobile phone account with it as well.


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  Reply # 72514 28-May-2007 13:28
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Yes you can arrange it with Telecom the only problem for you could be that there is no pre-paid data so you would need to hook up onto a plan.

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  Reply # 72515 28-May-2007 13:46
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amc: I guess I should just bundle my mobile phone account with it as well.

Something you need to be aware of here:

Telecom's Mobile Data Network is the best one to use when travelling around NZ, without a doubt.

However, their Mobile Phone Service does not use the GSM standard, instead it uses CDMA.  So if you already have a phone that you are hoping to bring with you and use here, that won't be possible.

If you want to use your existing phone, then you'll need to sign up with Vodafone -- I would recommend getting a PREPAY SIM2 card, it will be the cheapest for you.  In this case, just buy a Mobile Data Card from Telecom for your laptop.

Or if you're happy to buy a new phone, get it all together from Telecom when you arrange the Mobile Data plan.  They will do a discount on the handset if you sign up for a plan.

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Reply # 72517 28-May-2007 14:08
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Since the OP wants "wireless broadband" I would not worry about CDMA or GSM. Not all Vodafone handsets can be used as a modem to connect to their 3G network and as explained the coverage is inferior.

The alternative of having a wireless router connected to CDMA makes it very easy to share the connection to a laptop (or more). Actually during the Geekzone 2006 we had one of those CDMA EVDO routers in the theatre and a lot of people connected to the Internet from there.

With a handset you have to use at least a cable or have Bluetooth on a laptop to be able to connect to the network.

Another option is to get a PC card or USB device and plug directly to a laptop, but then it's only one computer using the connection.

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  Reply # 72519 28-May-2007 14:21
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freitasm: Since the OP wants "wireless broadband" I would not worry about CDMA or GSM

Yes, fair comment Mauricio.

There is no doubt at all, that an EVDO Router or Data Card is the way to go for Mobile Broadband, especially when travelling outside the cities.

My only concern is the OP's requirement for a "mobile phone account".

They may be under the impression that it's possible to connect a phone brought from overseas to Telecom's Mobile Phone Network.  And that's clearly not the case...

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Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 72655 29-May-2007 11:42
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Cheers, thanks for all your comments they were most helpful.

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  Reply # 73802 7-Jun-2007 12:37
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Hi AMC.   I hope your trip around New Zealand is a good one.   It's
going to be cold, so bring warm clothes as well as your wireless

As mentioned already, Telecom's EV-DO is by far the
best wide area network coverage and speed and where it's not available,
the Telecom 1xRTT network will give more coverage at higher speeds than
Vodafone's GPRS.   Vodafone's 3G network is very limited in coverage
and is slower than Telecom's 3G.  

You might be able to use your existing phone, but roaming charges will be horrible [I guess - I
don't know for certain but I haven't yet come across roaming which
isn't cruelly expensive].   

It's probably best to get an EV-DO device from Telecom or  and use that.  
Maybe a PCMCIA card would be good enough for you.    But maybe a 1xRTT
phone with wire [or Bluetooth if they have it] to your wireless gadget
is best for the amount of stuff you want to do. 

The swankiest idea would be a 1xEV-DO cyberphone PDA connected to a Zenbu Wi-Fi
router which would wirelessly connect to your notebook computer so you
could use your notebook comfortably around your campsite AND sell
service to passersby who want Wi-Fi.   You might even make a profit
from it.   You can sell your Zenbu Wi-Fi router when you have finished
with it, either on Trademe or to a motel you are passing by.   You
could also buy and sell your Telecom EV-DO PDA at Trademe.  

Check out Zenbu also have a look at the maps and
directory search at in which you can find Pizza
near where you are [or other things you want though the directory is
just getting going so it's very incomplete at present].  

You can bring your Globalstar phone from Australia and use it here too,
though coverage is intermittent now due to failed satellites and
because New Zealand is at the far edge of coverage from Dubbo [north
west of Sydney for those who don't know].   With a clear sky to the
west, you can connect about half the time.   

I hope this helps.


Maurice Winn
Shareholder,  Zenbu Networks Ltd

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