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Author Topic: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!  (Read 376 times)

SargeW

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Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« on: October 27, 2017, 07:45:00 AM »
I have a unique set up. I was recently "moved" from my 3G Verizon grandfathered unlimited plan to a Verizon 4G new "Unlimited Plan". We all know that "unlimited" is a misnomer.

But anyway, I purchased a Pepwave BR1 Mini router with an embedded 4G LTE modem. The modem will work with any carrier signal, and here is the cool part. For the modem to function with any carrier, all you need is a SIM card from that carrier. And the really cool part is the router has 2 SIM card slots, and works with different carriers simultaneously.

So in 1 slot I have a Verizon SIM, and in the other I have a T-Mobile SIM.  I was able to sign onto my son's T-Mobile account as an "additional user" for $20 a month, since he already has 4 lines on the account. So now I am getting 52 Gig of 4G LTE for $20.  The "Not So Unlimited Plan" from Verizon is $110 a month plus line charges and like.

After I do some more checking on T-Mobile coverage around the country, I may be dramatically reducing the Verizon plan, which will make me VERY HAPPY! I hav been in Florida since I started using the T-Mobile plan, and it rocks here.  I will see what it's like in the mid west.  They claim to have a coverage area equal to Verizon.   
Marty--
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Larry N.

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 09:56:20 AM »
Quote
They claim to have a coverage area equal to Verizon.   

That's a big change in a handful of years, then. When I tried them just a few years back, they had no coverage in many areas that I've had no problems with since I changed to Consumer Cellular (AT&T network).
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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SargeW

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2017, 10:18:29 AM »
True. T-Mobile has purchased a ton of bandwidth in recent years. Their coverage map is pretty big. And I was just reading where their merger with Sprint has been approved, so that is on the horizon. Here in Florida, Speedtest has shown download speeds in the 20-30 Mps range.  My Verizon account hasn't been able to match it.
Marty--
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Isaac-1

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 01:21:08 PM »
For those that are considering this, I want to add a bit more information, I am at the FMCA Six state rally, and just attended a benefits seminar this morning, FMCA is rolling out a program through Verizon unlimited internet (throttled after about 25 gigs per month) for $49 per month with a 2 year contract, however it does also require having FMCA membership paid up through the length of the contract.  This goes live in the next week or so. (either Nov 1 or Nov 7, they are also rolling out a new roadside assistance plan, and I can't remember which one goes live next week, and which the following)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 01:22:53 PM by Isaac-1 »
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 01:51:32 PM »
The radio station has been using the Pepwave BR1Mini modem/routers at mountaintop transmitter sites for 5 or more years.  The multicarrier option has only been available for the last few years.

You can configure it to use one SIM as the primary, then fall back to the other SIM if/when the first one fails.

It also works well with panel or other types of gain antennas connected directly to one or both antenna inputs.  We used one panel antenna pointed at the primary cell tower and kept the omni antenna on the other input in case it had to fall back to a different cell site.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 01:56:17 PM by Lou Schneider »

SargeW

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 03:54:39 PM »
Good explanation Lou. I have it hooked to an outside Omni-directional multi band antenna.  I am routinley seeing RSSI numbers of -52 to -59. I am pretty happy with it. 
Marty--
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johnhicks

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2017, 09:48:44 AM »
  I'm using the BR-1 with two BoatANT omni antennas for wifi as wan and cell; works great.

SargeW

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2017, 01:31:07 PM »
  I'm using the BR-1 with two BoatANT omni antennas for wifi as wan and cell; works great.

I was wondering what the difference between the BR1 and BR1 Mini was. Yours already comes with WiFi as Wan capability?
Marty--
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2017, 02:08:27 PM »
Only the Pepwave MAX BR-1 has automatic fail over if the primary carrier fails, along with using Wi-Fi or an external modem as a WAN source.  These aren't in the Mini but can be purchased as a license upgrade at any time.

Physically, the BR-1 has 3 RJ-45 jacks, two on the local LAN and one on the WAN.  The Mini only has two jacks and both are on the local LAN unless you purchase the upgrade.  The Mini is about $150 less than the non-Mini version.

We were using the BR-1 (not the Mini) at the transmitter sites with older Sprint 3G external modems as the failover source.  Sorry for the confusion.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 02:52:48 PM by Lou Schneider »

garyb1st

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2017, 02:33:53 PM »
I have a unique set up. I was recently "moved" from my 3G Verizon grandfathered unlimited plan to a Verizon 4G new "Unlimited Plan". We all know that "unlimited" is a misnomer.

Sarge, great post.  We also have the old 3G Verizon unlimited plan.  They throttle us on a regular basis.  We use it maybe 4 months out of the year and pay $90.00 a month for the entire year.  That works out to $270.00 a month for the times we actually use it.  Still I can't convince the DW to move on.  She has one Gig of 4G on her Android phone which works quite well.  For $270 we could buy a lot of Gigs from Verizon.  Only problem, she like to watch Netflix and streams when we have a connection.  Does Verizon throttles your 4G before you exceed the monthly paid for Gigs.   

I also like the idea of a second carrier.  Your set up sounds like the ideal plan.  Our monthly Verizon is about $180 and I don't have a smart phone.  If I upgrade, we'll be over $200.  I'm OK with that if we can get better service.  If you don't mind sharing, what is your combined monthly charge. 
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SargeW

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2017, 07:19:22 PM »
Not at all Gary, our monthly Verizon is $192 with all taxes and fees. That includes the two smart phones and the BR1. Each phone is good for 22 gig of data, and that includes 15 gig of "Hotspot data" that I can tether up to 5 other devices. We are in a plan called the "Beyond Unlimited" plan.  After you hit the 22 gig wall, your speeds get throttled to 600 mps, which is considered 3G speed. Here is the BS part of their plan though. Because the embedded router is considered a Hot Spot by itself, I only get 15 gig of data on that line instead of the 22 gig that is advertised. I have pitched quite a fit about it, and they are pretty tired of hearing from me. I don't care though, the squeaky wheel analogy applies here. 

The extra sim from T Mobile is $20 a month because my son already has 4 or 5 lines on the account. If I was on my own T-Mobile account with the sim, it would be $70 - $75 a month. Because of the amount of lines he has, there is a good discount for the extra sim line.   
Marty--
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garyb1st

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2017, 07:25:38 PM »
Thanks Sarge.  Not sure if any of our 5 offspring have T Mobile or whether we can tie in on another network, but I'm sure going to check into it.   
Gary B1st

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johnhicks

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2017, 09:19:25 AM »
  Yes, the BR-1 Max has wifi-as-wan and failover.

John From Detroit

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Re: Pepwave BR1 Mini router rocks!
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2017, 02:15:27 PM »
T Mobile 55+ is something like 90/month (all fees) 10 gig hot spot. per phone. 2 lines. unlimnited high speed to phone itself.  New plan not yet heavily marketed you must be 55+
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