I’ve decided to cancel my Ezecom WiMax connection, there’s nothing wrong with the connection, it’s rock solid as ever but now that I don’t work form home very often $110 per month is getting little hard to justify.
So what to replace it with? I don’t have many options as I live out of town, 7km as the crow flies to be precise, there’s no land line connections out here so that means I need to go for WiMax or 3G. As I’m looking for a cheaper option then 3G is clearly the way to go.
From experience I know that 3G quality is very subjective, what works great in one area is poor in another. Factors like signal strength and the number of people using the tower can make big differences. So I decided the only way to choose which one to go for was to buy a sim card from each 3G operator and try them out.
So got a sim for Smart, Metfone, Hello and Cellcard (had this already). I didn’t bother with Mfone as I has a bad customer service experience years ago and swore I would never use any of their products again, similar thing with QB and I didn’t bother with BeeLine as they don’t offer 3G.
The test was as fair as I could make it. Each sim was put in my Samsung Nexus S, which I then used as a wireless hotspot and connected to from my PC where I was running tests on SpeetTest.net. I’ve also included the signal strength as this will effect the results.
Okay so here are the results in the order I did the tests:
Signal Strength: 3/4 (sometimes dropped to 2)
Price Per GB: $1.25
Signal Strength: 3/4
Price Per GB: $1.90 (Unlimited for $60)
Signal Strength: 4/4
Price Per GB: $2.5
Signal Strength: 4/4
Price Per GB: $5.14
As you can see we’ve got some very mixed results in terms of speed and pricing, with Metfone being by far the fastest, but also by far the most expensive.
Fastest Download: Metfone, Cellcard, Hello, Smart
Fastest Upload: Smart, Metfone, Cellcard, Hello
Least Expensive: Smart, Hello, Cellcard, Metfone
So it looks like it’s a case of getting what you pay for. So what will I go for? I think I’ll use Smart in a 3G router for family use and stick with Cellcard in my phone and tether to that if I ever feel like I need a little more speed. Metfone would be great if the price was more competitive.
On a side note, it’s amazing to see how quickly internet connectivity has improved in this country. If someone had have told me five years ago that now you would be able to get 5Mb/s on your phone and being paying only a couple of bucks per GB I would have laughed at them. As consumers I think we’re all very lucky to have a mobile telco sector that’s so competitive!