Overland - Mobile Phones & Data on the Road

OverlandSphere

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Just few years ago you would be hard pressed getting a decent mobile data connection whilst overlanding

With the constant roll out gprs, edge, 3g, 3.5g, and now 4g in most countries a decent data connection is available at a reasonable cost.

This allows us to surf the web, use online mobile apps and skype.

Data & Call Packages
Rates vary from country to country and between different providers , the Prepaid Sim Card Data Wiki appears to be the most up-to-date and complete resource comparing data prices by country and service provider.

Hardware
To access sim card based mobile data no the road you will need an unlocked mobile phone or usb dongle.

You can contacted your mobile service provider to obtain an unlock code, sometime they will charge for this, and other time they may refuse to unlock your phone if you are still in the early stages of your contract.

There are also many websites that offer unlocking services for as little as $10.

Some mobile phone and wifi adapter can also act as an access point allowing several devices (computer, tablet, phone) to connect to the internet connection at the same time.

Which Mobile Band / Frequency?
Different regions and countries use different mobile phone frequencies, for global travel its recommended to obtain a quad band phone covering all GSM bands
  • GSM network: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz
GSM 900 / GSM 1800 MHz Most parts of the world: Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East, Africa.
GSM 850 / GSM 1900 MHz United States, Canada, Mexico and most countries of S. America.
1587976346782.png
Picture: GSM World Coverage Map- GSM Country List by frequency bands


You may also want to take advantage of improving data speeds and should check that the phone is 3G / 4G compliment.

Picture: GSM World Coverage Map- GSM Country List by frequency bands

4g Coverage
1587976301695.png

5G coverage
1587976266534.png

WiFi

A large numbers cafes, restaurants, hostels, hotels, service stations and even campsites now provide wifi internet access (paid & free).

You can find the your nearest wifi hotspot / or free connection using a wide variety of mobile phone apps.

External Wifi adapters / extenders are popular to increase the range and strength of your wifi single, these can also double as an additional access point, allowing you to share a paid connection.
 

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mark

New Overlander
Jul 18, 2017
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Morocco had good 4g coverage right down to the border with Mauritania. On the main road and the town's.