The past two days I’ve been in Tahlequah and Stilwell, Oklahoma, sharing some presentations and providing some coaching/mentoring for teachers at Maryetta School on behalf of Storychasers. I was delighted to find LTE cellular data service through T-Mobile was available in Tahlequah at my hotel. This meant my laptop could access the Internet MUCH faster tethered to my iPhone than it could using the hotel’s free wifi. As a result, I did all my work online the past two evenings via my cell phone, which includes 2.5 GB of monthly “tethered” data. Yesterday I burned through 1.7 GB of data, mainly by using my laptop connected via wifi to my iPhone acting as a “hotspot.”

I accidentally left my hotspot on overnight, and I suspect some of my devices (like my Nexus 7 tablet) did some updates which consumed extra bandwidth. In any event, this morning I was greeted with this message on my laptop when I tried to go online again via my iPhone hotspot accessing the local T-Mobile LTE network.

I do have “unlimited” data on my actual phone, so I could still access the web and do many of the things I needed to do without using my laptop. Unlike phone data service with T-Mobile, which becomes “throttled” for users on non-unlimited plans after a fixed amount of data (2.5 GB each) but still works, the tethering actually “shuts off” after you reach the monthly cap. I also travel with a Verizon MiWi mobile hotspot, which I pay $50 per month to have 5 GB of mobile data. If I go over my cap using the Verizon hotspot, however, I get charged $10 per extra GB. That’s actually nice, since sometimes I NEED more cellular data.

Part of the moral to this story is that laptops and smartphones can consume a LOT of mobile data in a short amount of time. I hope telcoms / cellular companies will continue to increase the monthly quotas for data to keep pace with the increased consumption trends of mobile devices. It would also be nice if hotels would not only increase their Internet connections to fiber (like Google Fiber, which is unfortunately just available now in Kansas City and Austin) but also provide a way to numerically see and compare “just how fast” their provided connectivity is. Saying “we have high speed wifi” isn’t enough anymore.

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Made with Love in Oklahoma City