The international mobile hotspot rental market just got a lot more interesting. While Xcom Global's offerings are still broader, Tep Wireless is expanding in a major way. Previously reserved for European nations, the upstart is now serving a full 50 nations, adding Brazil, the United States, South Africa, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and UAE to its repertoire. For those in need of a refresher, the company enables customers facing an international trip to order their hotspot and get it delivered prior to departure, with a prepaid envelope included to ship it back once they've returned.
The company's made clear that its hotspots will track data usage in real time right on the inbuilt display, and they're programmed to hop onto different networks as borders are crossed. (If you're curious, we confirmed that it all works as advertised in a recent jaunt across European borders.) The full pricing chart fo is hosted up after the break, with those needing unlimited buckets able to pay a $6.95-per day surcharge. (It should be noted that the preexisting EU-wide pricing options remain for those sticking to that region.) It'll probably look a touch pricey to light users and common tourists, but business travelers unwilling to take chances on connectivity when heading overseas will find the rates far more palatable than roaming fees from their home carrier.
Tep Wireless increases coverage area to 50 countries, adds unlimited data plans
Good news for travellers who want to use the web when abroad but don't want to pay a fortune for doing so, as Tep Wireless announces support for 17 more countries in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania regions.
London 02 October 2012: Tep Wireless (www.tepwireless.com) has extended its reach to 17 more countries, offering global travellers unlimited, affordable internet access without the risk of running up extortionate cell phone bills.
Tep Wireless' coverage has now been increased so that users can remain connected starting from $6 a day when travelling to any one of the following countries: Brazil, the USA, South Africa, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Bahrain, Israel, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and UAE.
The Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania service from Tep is available to rent by country and is a complement to the existing European-wide service; which, grants travellers uninterrupted service throughout Europe.
Whether they want to keep track of email, Facebook, Twitter or even stream music and video while travelling, Tep Wireless provides a much more cost-effective solution for travelers than established mobile carriers, putting an end to holiday horror stories about 'bill shock'.
There's no need to visit an internet cafe or pay for hotel wifi – users can connect to the web 24/7 via local 3G networks using their own computer, tablet or smartphone via the Tep Wireless pocket wifi device.
Customers simply rent the device, get it delivered to them before they leave on their trip, and use it when abroad – avoiding the risk of being hit by an enormous bill when they get back home. Once the trip is over, they just pop the pocket wifi device in the provided envelope and send it back to Tep Wireless.
Up to five internet-enabled devices can be connected to the pocket wifi which also tells you exactly how much data you've used in real time, so you'll know if you're getting close to your download limits. Users can choose to automatically top-up their accounts when data is running low, or buy extra data in 1 GB chunks.
"Now that Tep covers more than 55 nations and territories worldwide there's no reason to pay inflated roaming prices for internet access with limited usage while travelling abroad," said Tomas Mendoza, Managing Director of Tep Wireless.
"With the additional coverage areas, we have increased data allowances to give consumers more of what they want, 24/7 connectivity. By offering the Tep Pocket wifi for rent in a specific country we are able to provide the best possible price for connectivity abroad."
Pricing depends on the length of time the Tep Wireless pocket wifi device is rented for and the country you are travelling to, the longer you rent, the more data is included and the cheaper it gets – see table below for new country pricing. There is also an unlimited option – perfect for those who want to stream videos and download music wherever they are – which costs an additional $6.95 per day.
For example, the price for a 15 day pocket wifi rental in any one of the 17 new countries will run you $90 with 2.5 GB of data included.
When you compare Tep Wireless' solution to the International Data plans from Verizon or AT&T, they will cost you $625 and $570 respectively, for the same amount of data usage.
Add on Tep's unlimited data plan for $6.95/day, for a 15 day trip, and total cost for unlimited mobile internet in any of the 17 countries offered costs $194.25 or $12.95/day. So, for 200% cheaper and a lot more data than Verizon or AT&T, you can work, download or stream to more than 55 destinations with no data fears.
- An American travelling abroad for 10 days will, on average, generate a roaming bill of $2,250
- Only 10% of travellers remain connected while abroad
- The international roaming industry is worth an estimated $45bn
- Only 2% of international travellers use local SIM cards
- 90% of US handsets and devices are locked and therefore not 'Sim-compatible' abroad
About Tep Wireless: Launched in 2009, Tep Wireless offers affordable internet access to international travellers via a personal Wi-Fi enabled dongle. The dongle connects to the web via local 3G networks and can be connected to up to five internet-enabled devices.