Cell phone data plans for Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia Live!

Cell phone data plans for Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia Live!

Postby bliin » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:58 pm

Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia Live!
http://bliin.com/user/dadara
http://bliin.com/share/11101

Dear all,

For the project Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia
http://www.dreamyourtopia.com
viewtopic.php?t=23658
we -from The Netherlands- are researching our options for mobile phone data plans in the USA.

To record dadara's trip (by GPS tracing*), and record the Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia installation travelling and crossing physical borders, we need internet access on a mobile phone, preferably flat rate mobile internet.

The phone will be most used in: New Mexico, Nevada en Texas.

We found out that the main providers are: AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA, and Cingular.

& we did find data plans, but most are about plans for mobile data cards to be used in notebooks (or BlackBerrys), not on cell phones.

& we did find flat rate data plans but they are about browsing the operator's mobile internet portal, not the real internet.

It's not easy to understand all the specificities from here (Netherlands, EU).

Maybe we can use your experience. Could tell us more about mobile phone plans for data, for example: name of plan and operator, cost per month, and contract term (one or two-year contract)?

Thanks a lot, Selene

_______________________
* examples of trips by GPS tracing:
Day out with car in Atlas Mountains, Marocco
http://bliin.com/trip/695
Bullit train ride Shinkansen, Japan
http://bliin.com/trip/42
[img]http://blog.bliin.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/shinkansen.jpg[/img]
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Postby thirt33n » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:05 am

git!
blow.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:45 am

Can't say that I have tried this, but I believe you should be able to find a provider that offers a shorter contract.
Try
http://www.parrotcellular.com/
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Postby AntiM » Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:19 am

thirt33n wrote:git!


Simmer down, 13, simmer down. This isn't spam.
These are not my fuckos.
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Postby thirt33n » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:33 pm

....sorry. it was just so confusing. I'm merely a frozen caveman. i don't understand all this talk.
blow.
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Postby thisisthatwhichis » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:49 pm

Check with Capt Smashy.... (he's working with ya'all in Texas)...... His cell phone worked during his whole trip last year, including on Playa, that I recall.....





Disclaimer: I don't like the idea of cell phones on Playa..... But, I might make an exception here........
TITWI

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Postby CapSmashy » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:20 pm

I did not have coverage on Playa.

In fact, I just got back from the Verizon store and Verizon coverage ends 37.8 miles south and 32.6 miles east of Gerlach.

I was seeing a T-Mobile signal in my wireless menu on mylaptop, but I had no way to verify the signal. I connected wireless from Center Camp and very occasionally on a weak signal from the 3 o'clock plaza.
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Postby CapSmashy » Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:30 pm

bliin, I will do some local leg work and see if any of the major providers have any coverage out there.

If T-Mobile has coverage, I also have a T-Mobile account in conjunction with my business and can set Dadara up with a company phone on my account when he gets here.
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Postby CapSmashy » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:08 pm

I just searched through all of the major provider coverage areas using the location of Gerlach, Nv. Pretty neat feature on their websites that allows you to search by zip code and/or city for coverage.

All of them get relatively close, but none of them have any listed coverage in the area around Gerlach.
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Monthly cost? & Interoperability Mexico, Nevada en Texas

Postby bliin » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:01 am

Thanks for the tip thisisthatwhichis, and thank you very much CapSmashy for the generous offer to set Dadara up with a company phone on your account when he gets here. Dadara will be in USA for a (interupted) total of about 8 months. To be able to use a phone (without having to sign a 2-year contract) would be great! What would the monthly cost be of a cell phone with internet access? Is it a flat rate internet access, or some maximum in therms of MBs?

We already guessed that, in terms of internet access, Gerlach would be nearly impossible. Dadara can, every now and then, access the internet at the center camp. Not ideal, but it at least allows him to upload material.

Dadara hopes to record his travel through the USA (via GPS and internet access on mobile phone). How is the interoperability for the states: New Mexico, Nevada en Texas? Does he need different plans, or can this be done by one operator/plan?

Thanks again, bliin
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No cell phones on Playa

Postby bliin » Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:11 am

"Disclaimer: I don't like the idea of cell phones on Playa..... But, I might make an exception here........"

We understand your disclaimer only too well, but as you have understood from the project, it is integral part of the installation to make things explicit (art of over-identification)
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Postby ibdave » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:13 am

Maybe Dadara could get hooked up at " Media Mecca " for internet access.
The internet should be fast there.. 8) 8) 8)
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Re: Monthly cost? & Interoperability Mexico, Nevada en T

Postby CapSmashy » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:33 am

bliin wrote:Thanks for the tip thisisthatwhichis, and thank you very much CapSmashy for the generous offer to set Dadara up with a company phone on your account when he gets here. Dadara will be in USA for a (interupted) total of about 8 months. To be able to use a phone (without having to sign a 2-year contract) would be great! What would the monthly cost be of a cell phone with internet access? Is it a flat rate internet access, or some maximum in therms of MBs?[/b]


I'll need to check the rates for Internet plans and find out what the phone would run (like a Blackberry or similiar).

We already guessed that, in terms of internet access, Gerlach would be nearly impossible. Dadara can, every now and then, access the internet at the center camp. Not ideal, but it at least allows him to upload material.

Dadara hopes to record his travel through the USA (via GPS and internet access on mobile phone). How is the interoperability for the states: New Mexico, Nevada en Texas? Does he need different plans, or can this be done by one operator/plan?


One plan will cover him across the country.

Thanks again, bliin


No prob. I should be able to get this info together this weekend.
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Postby CapSmashy » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:35 am

ibdave wrote:Maybe Dadara could get hooked up at " Media Mecca " for internet access.
The internet should be fast there.. 8) 8) 8)


Great suggestion.
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Media Mecca

Postby bliin » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:09 pm

What and where exactly is 'Media Mecca'?
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Postby skibear » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:03 am

Cell phones do not work on the BRC Playa.
Satellite phones -Yes. Cell phones with a Yagi antenna and a booster
amplifier (wilsonelectronics.com etc) MAY work at a cost of $300
to $500 USD.

For more info see this "sticky" ePlaya link:
viewtopic.php?t=9711

My Verizon, FWIW, with a rooftop car antenna worked as far north
as Empire but not Gerlach. (w/ dropouts in low spots on the road)

HTH



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Postby Ugly Dougly » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:38 am

skibear wrote:My Verizon, FWIW, with a rooftop car antenna worked as far north
as Empire but not Gerlach. (w/ dropouts in low spots on the road)


Possibly OT but would a really tall tower with an antenna work? Maybe someplace where various cell-phone users can plug in temporarily?
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Postby skibear » Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:27 pm

I tried such experiments such as climbing tall towers with an antenna and
the cell phone. No luck -I got no signal at all. (Verizon)

The antenna on the roof of a steel school bus got a faint signal. Too weak
to be useful. Rumor is there is a new very weak T-mobil cell in or near
Gerlach. Someone with T-Mobil could repeat this experiment !

A Satellite phone or a $5 Green Tortouse bus ride to Bruno's in Gerlach
with 3 pay phones always works.

I do see topic drift so it's best to go to the still current topic where
a lot of this has been discussed:

"Telephones, Mobile Phones, WiFi and Email on the Playa";
viewtopic.php?t=9711

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Re: Media Mecca

Postby ibdave » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:58 pm

bliin wrote:What and where exactly is 'Media Mecca'?


http://www.burningman.com/press/media_mecca.html

It's for those in the news press corp. But you just might make it work with a few emails... Good luck..... 8) 8) 8)
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