Topics

Mobile communications - 4G, WiFi

Randall
 

Woody, I believe you are correct. Wireless everything on a boat seems to be where the world is headed. I have more wires going everywhere, with many left from previous applications. The mizzen has a few wires that bang around during passage, a sleep disrupter. I will be doing a major electronics change this year. And I believe that the side benefit to wireless is you wont need to do so much wire pulling.
Passed your location in Spain a month ago. Fair winds on your crossing to the Caribbean.

Randall
A-54 #56
Gibraltar 

On Sat, Jan 25, 2020 at 7:18 AM Alan "Woody" Wood <woody@...> wrote:
We have been sailing the med for the last few years, home educate our kids, run a YouTube channel as well as stream films etc., so are heavy users of wifi! We did instal digital yacht gear but never got it to work properly and gave up in the end.. an expensive white elephant!  What we discovered is phone coverage in 90% of the Med is excellent (4G) even in places like Turkey and Tunisia with (mostly) uniterupted on-the-go coverage coastal sailing even between countries. So we just use our I-phone as a hotspot onboard with a UK Vodaphone deal which covers all of the med and some parts of the Caribbean. (about €30/100gig - Sim only per month). Only caveat is you need a UK address. We have two iPhones on this deal so that’s 200gigs at €60 which we never get through even with our heavy usage. Things may change once we leave the Med but mobile tech will always be ahead of the curve and coverage expanding and improving (5G) all the time. I know many people have invested a lot in Wi-Fi routers etc onboard (us too!) but tbh I think mobile technology is the way to go if simplicity and convenience is your priority. Just my t’pence worth!

David Crisp
 

Hi Woody,
Thanks for the feedback. Based on that think I'll first experiment with the KISS approach and just hot spot with my iPhone. The reason I was erring towards a more complex (and expensive) setup was to ensure reception when anchored in more obscure places or sailing offshore. 
--
David Crisp
SV Wilna Grace
Amel 54 #58

Alan "Woody" Wood
 

It’s definitely worth trying first before shelling out loads of money and running wires everywhere. Things are only getting better and cheaper with mobile networks too. We anchor 90% of the time during summer and most of that time we get 4G.. occasionally 3G. Coastal sailing too is never usually a problem.. sometimes we even get coverage 20km out! The thing is to find a sim plan that covers all of Europe and costs less than €1 per Gig. Some ‘unlimited’ plans have caps on ‘roaming’ outside your native country.. so check the small print. Our plan is UK address only but i’m sure there must be others out there. 

ngtnewington Newington
 

I have found in the Med, Canary Islands and the Azores that 4G works very well and fast. My UK phone package makes it very inexpensive within the EU. So the phone can be used as a hotspot. 

Whilst in Turkey, the EU deal is not available so I use a MIFI device.  I buy a local data only sim card. This too is very inexpensive and offers fast broadband. I have also used this MIFI device with locally purchased sim cards, in the West Indies but I found that the 4G was very slow and that each country has a different provider (2017-18). So whilst sailing up or down the chain of islands one moves pretty quickly from country to country. Of course the French islands benefit from the EU deal.

In conclusion I agree with Woody, that I can not be bothered with running more hardware on the boat, but I guess it depends where you cruise. There may also be a security argument against piggy backing off local public wifi spots, such as bars and restaurants, even marinas. 

As a UK resident I hope that we continue to benefit from the EU negotiated mobile phone deals post BREXIT! I guess it is up to the network providers.

Nick

Amelia AML 54-019
Kilada Greece.


On 28 Jan 2020, at 08:08, Alan Woody Wood <woody@...> wrote:

It’s definitely worth trying first before shelling out loads of money and running wires everywhere. Things are only getting better and cheaper with mobile networks too. We anchor 90% of the time during summer and most of that time we get 4G.. occasionally 3G. Coastal sailing too is never usually a problem.. sometimes we even get coverage 20km out! The thing is to find a sim plan that covers all of Europe and costs less than €1 per Gig. Some ‘unlimited’ plans have caps on ‘roaming’ outside your native country.. so check the small print. Our plan is UK address only but i’m sure there must be others out there.