Virgin Islands Message Board

ATT Coverage & 3G

konung
(@konung)
Eminent Member

Good time of day to you Forumers 🙂

I'm planing on a trip to USVI (St. Thomas - most likely)

I was wondering if there are roaming rates on ATT, how good is coverage and if 3G networks are in place? (for the internet access)

Thank you

Any feedback is appreciated!

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Topic starter Posted : March 11, 2009 10:15 am
IAMolly
(@iamolly)
Honorable Member

I have the 1G iphone and it works great on the island. My internet runs a little slow but I think that I've been spoiled by my stateside connection working lightning fast. I've never experienced roaming charges personally, but I have heard from friends that they have incurred roaming charges when they are on the far north-eastern side of STJ when they pick up the British towers. They have called AT&T and had the charges reversed when they explained the situation.

Have a great trip!

Molly

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Posted : March 11, 2009 10:45 am
konung
(@konung)
Eminent Member

Thanks Molly . Edge speeds should be sufficient - this only for me to get emails from work and reply. Thanks.

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Topic starter Posted : March 11, 2009 10:51 am
TomB
 TomB
(@tomb)
Prominent Member

A lot of the villas also have wireless available
Tell your employer that it cost a fortune so if it is really important you can call but it will cost

My wife told her employer it was just like a local call - which it is with ATT and Sprint
And she was getting roped into 2 hour conference calls
Me - I was pissed.

Turn the phone off in the daytime check at night (if you must) when folks are not at work - makes for a good vacation

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Posted : March 11, 2009 11:01 am
IAMolly
(@iamolly)
Honorable Member

The USVI are all part of my AT&T nationwide coverage area, I don't get any additional charges to my phone when I am on island.

TomB, at first I was thinking how sad it was that your wife had to work while on island, then I thought, that's me! Being self employed I can go anywhere in the world, work a few hours and return right back into my private paradise.

Molly

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Posted : March 11, 2009 11:05 am
konung
(@konung)
Eminent Member

Good advice TomB - unfortunately not an option - I need to have my servers up 24/7 with 99.99 sla. So if they are down - I need to be able to advise to techs on site what to do. High stability, high security situation unfortunately 🙁

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Topic starter Posted : March 11, 2009 11:05 am
IAMolly
(@iamolly)
Honorable Member

I'm considering investing into a netbook, have any of you ever used one? It seems to make a lot of sense, a fraction of the size of a laptop but with a full keyboard. Although I love my iphone, typing can be a bit of a joke.

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Posted : March 11, 2009 11:12 am
konung
(@konung)
Eminent Member

Hi Molly.

IMHO - netbooks have very limited use - at least for now. If all you do is workwith word docs and emails I say go for it.

If you need to do more processing, have more power, better screen - they are an obstacle rather than a tool. Since I do a lot of programming, network administration and some graphics - netbook wouldn't not work for me. I simply need more screenspace and faster processor. Another example is my fiance - she is a teacher: she needs word, email , internet, power point, some specific teaching programs, excel, and she spends hours on it preparing reports (stupid NCLBA), emails, materials for class. Netbook wouldn't be sufficient for her.

Also if you have problems with vision - cosnider the fact that you have much less screen real estate, so even if you have the same resolution as on the laptop (let's say now standard 1280 x 800) , your letters are going to be MUCH smaller than on a 15 in laptop screen.

If you don't want a heavy laptop to carry around - I would recommend checking out either Apple Air (my sister has one and loves it) or Dell Vostro ( if you must have a PC or want a cheaper computer).

So go with a netbook - if you only do email/internet, word and occasional spreadsheet. I would also recommend Dell's minis. Also Apple is rumored to release one in the Summer - but who knows.

One more thing: since netbooks are pretty new - no matter which one you decide on thoroughly research it. I would recommend cnet for starters, to read reviews. http://www.cnet.com/topic/netbook.html

Hope that helps.

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Topic starter Posted : March 11, 2009 11:27 am
IAMolly
(@iamolly)
Honorable Member

Thanks!

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Posted : March 11, 2009 11:32 am
RickG
(@rickg)
Estimable Member

I'm with konung on netbooks. I have perfect eye sight and can deal with the smaller screen, but the tiny keyboards kill me. The Dell Mini 10 is okay (especially if you hack OS X onto it), but I need a real keyboard.

On ATT 3G, I routinely use my data card on STJ (leaving this morning and working a data center cutover remotely) and see what I call good throughput. I can run X over ssh, but streaming video is choppy. The key is having line of sight to a tower. My favorite tower is in Coral Bay STJ and I see full 3G throughput through that guy from Ajax Peak, not so good from further East.

Cheers, RickG

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Posted : March 12, 2009 6:39 am
konung
(@konung)
Eminent Member

Thanks Rick.

I mostly need it for emails, and ssh if I can get it - the rest is optional.

Didn't even think about keyboards, but he is right. I have this old Acer Tablet (about 12 in), that I gave to my mom, she likes it cause she can write on the screen, but the keyboard is killing her when she needs to type - she ended up connecting an external keyboard to it. Now - a net book is even smaller than that touchscreen. So if you have an option to look at one at a bestbuy or something - go and test drive it for at least 10minutes, and if something annoys you in that 10 minutes, then multiply it by the time you spend at a computer . It will annoy you that much more.

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Topic starter Posted : March 12, 2009 12:19 pm
konung
(@konung)
Eminent Member

Molly, Rick

Do maps on your iPhones work ok?

I'd rather use that than rent a GPS unit.

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Topic starter Posted : March 12, 2009 1:37 pm
IAMolly
(@iamolly)
Honorable Member

Nick,

I hate to say it, but I never did figure out how to use all of the features on my iphone. When messing around with my phone while on island I was able to pick up where I was on sattellite so I would think it would work. With that said, remember you are on an island and can't get too lost, part of the fun is finding out of the way places on a road trip.

Molly

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Posted : March 13, 2009 11:54 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Prominent Member

I have a netbook, and didn't get any of the "smart phones," because I knew I wasn't going to type not one word on those tiny keys.

Not all netbooks have the same size keyboards. I researched many a websites before I bought one, and based on user reviews, everyone agreed that the Acer's keyboard was the closest to a standard keyboard. Some users had tried more than one model, and when they did a comparison review, the Acer keyboard was the more comfortable of the two.

I got an Acer, only because it was the only brand they were selling in St Thomas at the time. Prices are dropping very quickly on the 8.5" screen models, because the 10" is now out, and most people prefer a bigger screen. I watch so many DVDs on one of those small, portable player, that the small screen doesn't bother me at all. I use a regular laptop for every day use, and the netbook is for walking around and backup.

When I showed my netbook to everybody, they all marveled at how they were able to see everything, and everybody commented that the keyboard looks almost regular size. One person went out and bought one the next day after seeing mine.

It's a pain, though, to install software if you don't have an external CD drive or a network to download software. If the software is available online, no problem.

Here, AT&T is offering a netbook for $179 if you sign up for a two year G3 plan. But, the netbook model they offer has the modem built-in, so the internet can only be used from that computer. I have Sprint USB modem, so I can use it on any computer.

For the price, you can't beat it as a second computer. Oh! Battery life differs on models, and Acer is known for short life. You can, of course, get an upgraded battery for longer life, which you'll probably need if you spend a lot of time in airports.

I'm having a lot of fun with mine.

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Posted : March 14, 2009 3:18 pm
IAMolly
(@iamolly)
Honorable Member

ms411,

Thanks for the info on the netbook. I was mainly thinking of buying one for traveling. Something smaller that I can just stick in my carry-on without dedicating an entire backpack to a laptop. I like to travel as light as possible but still be connected to the web to stay in contact with everyone. Although my iphone is handy, it sure makes typing anything of length a joke.

Molly

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Posted : March 15, 2009 12:48 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Prominent Member

Molly, I carry mine all the time, and what's really neat, when I'm out with friends, and we're discussing some topic (usually movies), I can google the actors/actresses and turn the screen around so everybody can see it. Somebody mentioned something they wanted, so I told them I'd check ebay, and everybody could see the item without me passing some tiny screen around.

KMart had/has a really nice Totes tote bag with a laptop sleeve inside for around $27, so now I'm all set. I do need to get the extended battery, though, at some point. BTW, it charges up pretty fast.

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Posted : March 15, 2009 4:52 pm
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