Mark is complaining that his Sprint 3G service is slow. A lot slower his AT&T iPad. Leo says it's likely that in Mark's area, there are more Sprint users than AT&T users and as such, the 3G data stream is much slower for Sprint than AT&T. Leo recommends making the switch to AT&T when his Sprint contract is up.
Sebastian Harrison of Cellular Abroad joins Leo to talk about using a smartphone abroad. Most of Leo's friends are geeks and care more about data than making phone calls. Sebastian says that carriers have more solutions that involve not using your service, than using it! Everyone has different needs, but for a smartphone, it makes sense to take out your SIM and use a local SIM which will give you $10 a GB. Leo asks if international roaming is the issue? Sebastian says yes, it is, and it's expensive.
Jeff is also becoming an "RVer" and wants to know what wireless is best. Leo says 3G/4G from either Verizon or AT&T, depending on where he's traveling. Leo recommends getting a MiFi, so he can connect all of his devices, but he should be mindful of bandwidth caps.
When Paul is staying at a hotel, he sees other people's libraries when he's on WiFi. Leo says what Paul is seeing is everyone else that's within range of him that's on the same WiFi network. It's a security issue if people aren't aware they're computers are wide open on the network.
Leo says that this is coming. Dish Network is starting a mobile company that will offer data only. This is where all the mobile companies are trying to go, dropping voice altogether and sticking with the high speed data networks like 4G & LTE.
Many smartphone owners these days claim the least used part of their smartphone is, actually, the phone. With data and the internet, it may be possible to ditch that cell phone in favor of something less expensive.
Paul has an OBI 110 VOiP box and wants to use the OBI app on his iPhone to make phone calls instead of getting an international voice or data plan. Leo says this will still use data, unless he's on Wi-Fi, then it would be free to do.
Christian is on Virgin Mobile and every time he receives a text message, his data stops for about 30 seconds. Leo says this is just a disadvantage of CDMA technology, which is what Verizon and Sprint use. Since Virgin Mobile is on the Sprint network, he won't be able to do this. AT&T would allow him to do this though because it is a GSM network. The good news is that with the move to 4G/LTE, all carriers will be able to handle voice and data simultaneously.
If Bruce gets a GSM phone and a local data plan in Belgium, then everything should work just as it would in the States. The Google maps or Open Street Maps that most services like Instamapper use both have excellent maps for Belgium. The biggest concern here is really the cost.
Another possible solution is the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger.
Since Chris has a GSM phone, the easiest thing to do would be getting a temporary SIM card from the AT&T store. The chat room suggests going to Wal-Mart or Best Buy to get a SIM card there, but data is expensive. It may be best to go get a cheap unlimited data phone with a 1 month policy from MetroPCS and then give it over to a friend when Chris goes back home.