Questions on Movistar data-enabled SIM; SJdS

I have a topology challenged home just south of SJdS, and I need internet to get some work done on my next trip down. I have both Movistar and Claro weak signals on the property at present- but Movistar is the more reliable. I am bringing a wideband GSM signal booster down, with amp and directional antenna. I'd like to create a small wifi zone in the house, so I will be renting the Movistar GSM router. However, I will also bring my own unlocked router down to see if it will operate with a purchased Movistar data-enabled SIM (I can always return it if not...). I only really need email and reasonably sized document file transfer rates- not video or even skype (though the latter might be nice)..

My questions:

1) Is a data-enabled SIM considered a different product than a voice SIM by Movistar?

2) If so, does Movistar sell a data enabled SIM on a prepaid and charge-up basis in SJdS? Are there complications in acquiring the data-enabled SIM?

3) As I believe that Movistar likes to rent its own router, do they take measures to make it difficult to use a data SIM in one's own router?

4) Any other tips on using GSM/3G for low bandwidth internet service, particularly with Movistar? I will probably need to adjust APN settings on the router- these settings are published on the web for Movistar Nica.

I've reviewed NL Node 17443, but could use this additional information. Thank you Techies!

John

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SIM cards allow both voice

SIM cards allow both voice and data, the 2 are no different.

You need height and directionality.

1) Try a 5 or 10' USB extension cable. Also people have had great luck with a wire basket / strainer with a cut-out at the bottom.. See this Youtube.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFd__PfpNIM&feature=related People I have described this too have had notable signal increases (Ometepe and little Corn)

Deal extreme sells a host of GSM routers that would work but the problem is to know which work , which are changeable to English for setup and of course the issue of getting it into the country.

There are routers that will accept your dongle and that is probably the easier route but again a lot of googling will be needed to know compatibility.

You only need to know the APN settings if you use a "non movistar" device. If you do buy your own be sure it has APN software easily available (Not the case with my Movistar ZTE 636 when I wanted to change it to Claro)

Here is an example of one at Dealextreme that supports a few modems.. http://www.dealextreme.com/p/usb-3g-mobile-broadband-modem-2-4ghz-150mbp... And supports the following dongles...

CDMA2000 EVDO

Huawei EC169

Huawei EC1260

Rui United EV8900UL

ZTE AC2726

ZTE AC2736

ZTE AC2746

ZTE AC580

ZTE AC560

ZTE MF637U

DLINK DWM-162-U5

Anydata

sentar ST802

Rway RW206

Rway EVDO

SRT-E800

NEW-NET CO.LTD EV2000

Vtion Technologies EVDO E1916

SR Wireless 1XEVDO Modem EVDO

In the fertile ED6000

SIM etc

Hi Bill-

Thanks for your answer- I was starting to wonder if any feedback was coming. Very helpful. Much appreciated.

If voice and data SIM cards are one and the same, then I guess that data usage is measured and charged in bytes (as opposed to minutes for voice), and that a certain quantity of data can be prepaid and then recharged when exhausted. That makes it easy.

I get an intermittent Movistar (and sometimes Claro) signal on my handheld iPhone at the property, in a certain, relatively high location just outside the house. So, to boost that signal strength, I purchased the Wilson broadband GSM booster, with a broadband directional antenna, which I will mount on a 10 ft pole at that spot:

http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/ProductDetails.aspx?Product=36&title=SIGNALBOOST%E2%84%A2+DT+Adjustable+Gain+(801247)&Category=9

http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/ProductDetails.aspx?Product=124&title=Wide+Band+Directional+Antenna+(304411%2f304475)&Category=28

I know I can rent a Movistar GSM router from someone I know down there, so that will be plan A. I am also bringing down a ZTE wireless GSM router, which accepts a SIM card, to see if that will eliminate the need to rent the Movistar router going forward. I can return it to Amazon if it doesn't work out:

http://www.amazon.com/Unlocked-ZTE-MF30-Wireless-Broadband/dp/B007OLXKSW...

APN configuration seems like the tricky part. We'll have to see. I find APN settings for Movistar Nicaragua online as follow:

Movistar's connection data: User: movistarni Password: movistarni APN: internet.movistar.ni

I've never had any problem bringing things down for the house, and these devices are pretty small, so not anticipating an issue that could be talked out of. The values aren't so high either.

Like I said, not looking for blazing speeds, just email and document transfer. All of the above is just for your own (and perhaps others) interest. Not meaning to pester you for more help or anything. I'll let you know how it works out. Thanks again.

John

ZTE-MF30

I just bought exactly the same one (The ZTE AC30 - It just says "Verizon" on the outside) - Can see no reason why it would not work.. With enough signal.

Setting the APN is actually done by a web interface (192.168.0.1) upon boot.. If you have the USB tether connected http://uFi.home should work...

The web page also has a SMS interface so you can call up your Prepaid as needed by SMS message.

Claro may be the better deal as they offer 14 day packages with more data than Movistar.. Better deal, that is why I was trying to change my Movistar ZTE636 over to Calro APN.

Just using "WEP" none of the simpler devices could see the router.. I had to use WPA2 for the Tablet and iPhone to connect there.. Not sure why.. Google could tell me though I guess.

Since the SIM will be fully open (I suggest activate internet with a phone first) the setting of APN __should__ occur by choosing "Automatic" operation.

The "basket treatment" should work for the ZTE as well.

Review This Thread

if you haven't already:

http://www.nicaliving.com/node/20306

There are some specifics as to what the modem models are. These can then be matched up to the Router compatibility list. There are at least three models that accommodate the Nicaraguan USB modems.

I think it comes down to this: If you have a signal it can probably be captured, perhaps with a higher (altitude and gain) antenna, and then enhanced with an amplifier, and finally brought down to your point of use. Every site is going to be different; separation of the remote and local antennas is critical (to avoid feedback of the amplified signal), but the key is: Do you have the signal ?

Two modem models reported recently: Claro 3G ZTE MF626 (thank you, Rebecca) and Claro 4G Huawei E153 (thanks to Felix).