Verizon’s well know slogan it has used for years, “America’s Largest and Most Reliable Network” continues to hold true given the fact that over 290 million Americas are within coverage of Verizon’s wireless networks. Massive coverage is all well and good, but in recent years what mobile broadband users really crave is speed and performance perhaps more than anything else. The good news is Verizon has delivered on it’s promise to revolutionize the mobile broadband experience with it’s 4G LTE technology.
First off, what is 4G LTE?
LTE stands for Long Term Evolution, and that’s definitely a good way to describe it. While other older 4G technologies, such as HSPA+ and WiMAX are more or less improvements to existing 3G infrastructure, 4G LTE is a complete break with the legacy wireless technologies. LTE is designed to satisfy the expected tidal wave of wireless growth over the next 10 years. Verizon’s 4G LTE is very conservatively advertised to deliver 5 to 12 Mbps download speeds, but Verizon LTE users all around the country have reported eye-popping downloads speeds of 15, 20, and even upward 30 Mbps. For many out there, these “Mbps” (millions of bits per second) ratings are an abstract concept, but these type of speeds are an astonishing 10 to 30 times faster than 3G. This means downloading a 5 minute song in 2 seconds, or a 200 MB video in less then a minute and streaming multiple Full HD 1080P video to several devices at the same time..and plenty of bandwidth to spare means no more choppy, pixelated HD video, paused downloads, or dropped audio calls.
Where is Verizon 4G LTE Available?
While every major wireless provider "talks the talk" when it comes to building out their own 4G LTE networks, Verizon put the tires to the road three years ago, getting a huge head start over every other wireless provider in nationwide 4G LTE deployments. What does this mean? As of July 2012, Verizon has activated 4G LTE in over 330 cities and metro areas. Because Verizon invested over $10 Billion in LTE years before everyone else, they have LTE presence in more markets then EVERY other North American provider combined. The good news is that it's the American wireless customers who are reaping the fruits of Verizon's 4G LTE labor. The costs for Verizon 4G LTE data service is generally no more expensive than the 3G product offered over the past several years. Check Verizon's 4G LTE coverage map for up to date LTE covered areas.
The Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspots
Verizon has two flagship mobile hotspot devices which are been branded the "Verizon Jetpack". The new 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot models for 2012 are the MiFi Jetpack 4620L and the Jetpack 890L. Both of these devices feature a culmination of just about every feature that was found on the best mobile hotspots of the past several years. The 890L is manufactured by ZTE, a relative newcomer in the mobile hotspot sphere that has been praised for their simple yet elegant product designs. The MiFi 4620L is made by Novatel Wireless, the company that practically invented the whole niche of mini, self contained mobile hotspots, when it released it’s revolutionary MiFi 2200 3G Hotspot back in 2009. Either of Verizon Jetpacks will likely suit the needs for 95% of the users who need a mobile hotspot. For users who need specific functions, such as integrated GPS or WiFi protected setup, one particular Jetpack may be suitable over the other. (See chart below for the differences)
Read the full MobileHotspot.com review for the Jetpack 890L and Jetpack 4620L mobile hotspots.
Here’s what you can expect from both of Verizon’s 4G mobile hotspots, the Jetpack 890L and Jetpack 4620L
- ·Connect up to 10 Wi-Fi connected devices when on the Verizon 4G LTE Network (5 devices when on 3G)
- ·Full compatibility to Verizon 4G LTE, 3G and 2G networks; Automatically uses the fastest available network
- ·OLED display panel that provides status of device setting, network feedback, and data usage
- Built in Wireless-N Wi-Fi, compatible with any Wi-Fi enabled device made in the past 10 years
- Ability to attached external high-gain antenna for significant LTE and Wi-Fi signal boost.
What’s different between the Verizon Jetpack 890L and Jetpack 4620L?
|Build in GPS?||
|Supports "One Touch" WPS WiFi Setup?||
|Built in Micro-SD Memory Slot?
|Full Functioning USB Tethered Modem?||
5 to 7 Hours
8 to 10 Hours
3.5" x 3.5"
3.7" x 2.3"
|Overall Product Look & Feel
"Sleek & Smooth"
|Cost with 2 Year Contract
Verizon's New "Share Everything" Data Plans Explained:
In June 2012, Verizon introduced a new change to the service plans for all it's wireless subscribers known as "Share Everything" which radically changed the pricing structures and policies for their monthly data plans. The Share Everything plan is a mandatory for new, full-service Verizon subscribers. Existing Verizon subscribers may elect to keep there existing plan or switch to the share everything plan.
While the details of the Share Everything plan can be a bit confusing, its likely to be a win-win for both Verizon and their customers. Verizon will likely gain new subscribers, because a financial incentive now exists Verizon Share Everything plan, "pay for what you use" has never been more true for the consumer.
Gone are the days of having to choose the number of voice minutes or text messages you think you may need per month. Voice and text is now totally and truly unlimited. To accommodate the changing ways people use their smartphones and tablets in recent years, Verizon put the focus on wireless data, especially how wireless data consumed and how much it costs in total for all of a subscriber's devices and family members.
The new Share Everything plan puts emphasis on a “single pool of shared data”. This pool can be drawn against by your single smartphone, or your whole family with it's 10 different phones and wireless devices.
With the old Verizon wireless plans, each subscribers device was constrained by their it's own data limit.
For example, ,let's say you use 3.5 GB's last month on your iPhone which only has a 2 GB limit plan – the result: a nasty overage fees of 10 bucks per GB over your base 2GB plan, and that is just for your phone! When you discover that your wife used only 10% of her allotted data for her iPhone with the same 2GB limit, you figure – “How is this fair? Why can't I use some of my wife's unused monthly data?" - this is exactly the type of situation the Share Everything plans hopes to help with.
The new Share Everything plan is designed to benefit a user or family that has more than one Verizon device ( including Smartphone, Broadband tablet, Data Modem or Mobile hotspot). The plan gives each user unlimited voice and SMS, and “pools” all the wireless data allowance into one sharable “bucket” that all the users or devices draw from.
The Plan starts with figuring how much TOTAL data you want for all your devices. The base price for data is as follows:
Verizon Share Everything - Cost of Shared Data Pool
1GB – $50 2GB - $60 4GB - $70
6GB - $80 8GB - $90 10GB - $100
12GB - $110 14GB - $120 16GB - $130
18GB - $140 20GB - $150
** Data Overage Fee for Shared Pool is $15 per GB
After you figure out how much data you expect to user per month, the next thing to do is determine which of your devices will be accessing the Verizon wireless network. The "Device Access" charges are separate from the cost on the shared data pool and varies depending on the type of device, with smartphones being the most and tablets/iPads being the least expensive. Simply figure out how many of each type of device will be using the Verizon Wireless network and drawing data from your "shared pool of data". Add the cost of the shared data pool with the total device access charges, and you've your total monthly fee (not including the taxes and fees of course)
Smartphones $40 Std Phones $30
Mobile Hotspots $20 Tablets $10
The great thing about Share Everything is that it "balances out" your Verizon devices that you may have gone into overage territory with those devices that you never quite use the full amount of data available. You may have heard the term "Cloud Computing". The idea behind cloud computing is actually pretty similar to how Verizon's Share Everything plan works,with the goal of reduce costs and "wasted resources".
Consider this Real World Analogy: Prior to cloud computing, imagine you ran a large company with 1,000 servers running at the same time. At the end of the day you determined that 900 servers used less then 10% their resources throughout the day, while the remaining 100 servers were greatly overloaded with 500% more volume than they can typically process. Whenever a server was overloaded, additional costs would be incurred, causing thousands of dollars in overruns to your monthly budget. . Hmmm., you think..If there was only a way for the 100 overloaded servers tap some of the computing power of the other 900 underutilized servers?.....In simple terms, with cloud computing this problem is solved by having one single very large and powerful server "Pooling" all the processes that would normally run on any of the previous 1,000 servers into 1 common pool or resources eliminates all the pockets from under-use and all the bubbles from over-use.
The dilemma faced by today's multiple mobile device owners, as well as families whose each member has their own smartphone is pretty similar. Those who use more data than their device plan allows are penalized in the form of data overage fees, and those who only use only a partial amount of their allotted data do not receive any "refund" for data that is not consumed at the end of the month.
Examples of Share Everything Monthly Fee's
1 Smartphone with 2GB ......$100
3 Smartphones with 6GB ..... $200
1 Jetpack with 6GB .....$150
1 Tablet with 4GB .... $40
1 Jetpack with 6GB .....$60
1 Jetpack with 10GB ....$80
1 JetPack with 20GB .. $350
How about Verizon Prepaid Jetpack Mobile Hotspot Plans?
The prepaid options for the Jetpack are far simpler than the somewhat complicated Share Everything plans. Prepaid data access plans for Verizon 4G LTE are a great option for anyone who does not want to commit to a two year contract , as well as those who do not need (or do not have) a predictable amount of wireless data they consume each month.
Pre-paid "pay as you go" options for 4G LTE data access are perfect for occasional business travelers, college students who only need access for attending semesters, Winter "Snow Birds" as well as the Summer Home dwellers. Verizon has three tiers of price levels in their pre-paid offerings, but the best thing is the fact that on a "per gigabyte" basis, the pre-paid plans are only slightly more expensive than their Post-Paid sibling plans.
Prepaid Data Rates for Jetpack Hotspot
250MB within 7 days $15
3GB within 30 days $60
10GB within 30 days $90
There are no overage charges in the traditional sense with the prepaid data plan for the Jetpack. Data access simply stops when the plan limit is reached when inside the month. Pre-paid subscribers can opt to "re-up" their plan, meaning they pay the monthly fee to restart the counter to zero, regardless of the number of days remaining in the 7 or 30 day window.
The only 4G LTE mobile hotspot device that Verizon sells with prepaid data tiers (250MB, 3GB, 10GB) is the Jetpack MiFi 4510L. This mobile hotspot is the predecessor of the new 4620L Jetpack, and first came out in 2010. Since Verizon elevated the new Jetpack 4620L to the status of being Verizon's flagship mobile hotspot device, the 4510L has been reserved exclusively for prepaid use.
The MiFi Jetpack 4510L is made by Novatel Wireless, and has all of the features and and specs of it's newer sibling 4620L Jetpack with the exception of:
- The Prepaid Jetpack 4510L has a 5 hour battery life, compared to the 10 hours on the 4620L
- The Prepaid Jetpack 4510L supports a maximum of 5 connections, the 4620L supports up to 10
- The Prepaid Jetpack 4510L does not support as many international mobile provider radio signals as does the 4620L
- The Prepaid Jetpack 4510L display screen can be difficult to read in sunlight; text is not as sharp as 4620L
- The Prepaid Jetpack 4510L does not have the newer style navigation controls on the front panel.
- The Prepaid Jetpack 4510L is priced at $129.99 - much less expensive than the $269.99 Jetpack 4620L