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alternative internet option

An alternative internet option
#1
Internet here in the Canarias can either be "OMG Im in the future" with 600mbit fiber internet OR "OMG why won't my google search load" with the 4g/wifi options from Movistar and the local suppliers.
And Its a pain in the ***!!!

As someone who's work and life revolves around tech I had to investigate the various solutions to find the best one for me.

I now have fiber connected to my home (part of the reason I live where I do) but I initially had another connection, one that I've also set up for a few different people on other islands.

Movistar's 4g offering, designed for homes with no other options, is a 4G line in a modem with capped speeds of 20mbit down and 1.5 up. The issue is that they are the most commonly used telco on the islands, and they always oversell the lines to where you and 99 other people would all be sharing one single incoming line of 100mbit at the local tower.

4G is great and capable of great speeds - when it is not oversold in such a manner. So I went looking in the market and ended up with the following solution:

Vodafone released a new phone tariff last year - unlimited calls, texts, and 5g internet... for around €50/m on a month by month rolling contract.
The internet technically has a fair usage policy of 400gb/month - but that's equal to over 100 hours of watching youtube on full hd.... or over 3.5 hours per day.
For the majority of us, that is more than enough - and with speeds of around 50-75mbit down, we can enjoy the digital life.

Just get a 4g Router yourself - pop in the simcard - and you're golden.

But for one of my clients in La Palma 400gb at 75mbit wasn't enough. So for them, I installed 2 lines, connected together using some wizardry and they now have average speeds of 100mbit and 800gb of data per month - in the middle of a small town surrounded by banana plantations...

Vodafone doesn't have perfect coverage everywhere
Vodafone does have some bad reviews
Vodafone does not offer this tariff for use in 4g Modems

BUT

If they do have coverage then it will work well (external 4g Antennas are great for an additional boost)
Their bad reviews are generally for people wanting to cancel their 12/24 month contracts, just stick to the monthly
This tariff is designed for phones, but they will not punish you if you don't abuse it.

So - if youre tired of having internet slow to a crawl every evening - consider vodafone, so far everyone using it is happy.
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#2
p.s. I regularly drive all over the island. If you want to see if Vodafone will give you great coverage check the map here https://www.vodafone.es/c/conocenos/es/v...ura-movil/ or send me a PM with your location and next time I'm going by I'll come over and use my phone for a speed test! (if you can recommend great activities in your area I might come down sooner)
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#3
Sounds interesting but if a lot of people take this up won't you end up with the same situation as Movistar where the limit is the oversubscribed link capacity at the cell tower?
Working on it, one step closer  Cool
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#4
The end situation is that not much will change until the suppliers servers & supply capacity capabilities are updated. When the limit is reached then updates need to be made, which is quite obviously overdue. 
“A bucket will only hold a finite amount of water”
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#5
(06-02-2020, 06:33 PM)Pete Garyga Wrote: Sounds interesting but if a lot of people take this up won't you end up with the same situation as Movistar where the limit is the oversubscribed link capacity at the cell tower?

Yes, that is correct - but the key word there is "IF"

Movistar actively markets ( and calls their system) "Rural Internet" - whereas Vodafone is just a normal mobile sim card. Most people who are looking for a solution will not come across the voda option - and thus much less people will use it in that capacity.

IF everyone suddenly changes over to the vodafone system then there might be a similar situation - but by the time that happens I think other solutions would have come to light.
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#6
(06-02-2020, 11:47 PM)Spitfire58 Wrote: The end situation is that not much will change until the suppliers servers & supply capacity capabilities are updated. When the limit is reached then updates need to be made, which is quite obviously overdue. 
“A bucket will only hold a finite amount of water”

That is correct - but each telco company across the world has its own rules on how much "overselling" of capacity, they deem acceptable - mostly based on how many customers in an area complain and actually leave.
For Movistar they know they are one of the few options available, so they really stretch things out (Internet and phone lines too). If people complain.... they dont really have any other options.

Rural internet has always been an interesting challenge everywhere - here and back in the UK.
Have too much capacity? the business ends up losing Money on all customers in an area.
Have too little capacity? Customers complain and the company gets a bad reputation.

I think here there is another balancing act they have to account for - seasonal changes. Too much capacity in off-peak season vs too little in peak.


I have made contact with a fiber guy from Movistar. He has all the network plans for their lines and which termination points are where.
I will be meeting with him in the next few days to see if there is a way we can work together to serve the "Rural" areas with a better line than ADSL and 4G using some other tech.
Hopefully, I can also find out some of the capacity restrictions for different towns and areas.
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#7
Sounds interesting. Keep us posted.
Working on it, one step closer  Cool
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