Koodo Community

Community

Solved

Can I use a prepaid SIM for data-only in a MiFi device


Userlevel 1
I'm visiting Canada (AB & BC) for just over 2 weeks in June and want to avoid roaming charges on my UK iPhone. I've bought an unlocked TP-Link 4G MiFi device and am searching for the best provider to give most data coverage (3G/4G) in the mountains (we're driving from Calgary to Vancouver, the scenic route). I saw Koodo recommended on Tripadvisor and am wondering whether a prepaid Koodo SIM with data add-on would be the right option. I don't really need voice on this SIM as it won't be in a phone but am willing to pay some relatively small base charge for voice if I have to, in order to get a decent (eg. 1Gb) data allowance.

I may also get a card for an old Nokia phone so that we can make calls to reserve campsite spots. That would be voice-only. I presume that's straightforward enough, but we'd need to pay for a second SIM on this case.

Suggestions welcome. Thanks in anticipation. 

Jez

49 replies

Userlevel 7
You can't use koodo Sims on data only devices just yet but if your Nokia has the hotspot (Internet sharing), option, just use that instead of the mifi
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Chad Burr wrote:

You can't use koodo Sims on data only devices just yet but if your Nokia has the hotspot (Interne...

Here's my Koodo SIM working in my unlocked Vodafone R208 hotspot.

Userlevel 7
Chad Burr wrote:

You can't use koodo Sims on data only devices just yet but if your Nokia has the hotspot (Interne...

Wow, learn something new daily. Does your hotspot allow text messages to show on the display or something similar?
Userlevel 1
Chad Burr wrote:

You can't use koodo Sims on data only devices just yet but if your Nokia has the hotspot (Interne...

Chad - I think I understand the issue, which is that you can't interact with (and setup) the service by text if you can't see the texts. I have a 4G router at home and it allows you to do this via a web page on its own internal web-based admin site, a bit like configuring your home broadband router.
Userlevel 7
Chad Burr wrote:

You can't use koodo Sims on data only devices just yet but if your Nokia has the hotspot (Interne...

So. I have zero clue how to configure a wifi hotspot Device since I've never used one.
Userlevel 1
Chad Burr wrote:

You can't use koodo Sims on data only devices just yet but if your Nokia has the hotspot (Interne...

Pretty similar to a broadband router 🙂
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Chad Burr wrote:

You can't use koodo Sims on data only devices just yet but if your Nokia has the hotspot (Interne...

I can read texts sent to number via app or by logging into the router gateway. The device shows a symbol when there are unread texts.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Also, in order to buy prepaid you would need a base plan that includes texting. So basically it's base plan + data add on.
Userlevel 7
Robert wrote:

Also, in order to buy prepaid you would need a base plan that includes texting. So basically it's...

So basically you could achieve everything you want with a single phone and sim.
Userlevel 1
Thanks. The Nokia is quite old and a very simple model (not a smartphone) without hotspot features so I can't see a way to combine the two at the moment. Am I missing something or is there a contradiction between Chad's and Ivan's replies? It looks like Ivan has this working in the way I would like to.
Userlevel 1
BTW, which network(s) do Koodo SIMs work on? I hear Bell/Telus use the same infrastructure and have the best coverage in the mountains. It looks like Ivan's SIM is on Telus.
Userlevel 7
Jeremy Donaldson wrote:

BTW, which network(s) do Koodo SIMs work on? I hear Bell/Telus use the same infrastructure and ha...

On non koodo unlocked devices the network may show as telus instead of koodo.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Jeremy Donaldson wrote:

BTW, which network(s) do Koodo SIMs work on? I hear Bell/Telus use the same infrastructure and ha...

My SIM is Koodo. When I had a Fido SIM in the device, it showed Rogers (their parent company).
Badge +4
I would check the specifications for this device, Jeremy. If it's the LTE-Advanced Mobile Wi-Fi M7350, M7310 or M7300 model(s), the frequencies listed on the manufacturers spec sheet are not compatible with Koodo's frequencies. For LTE, Koodo uses 1700/2100 MHz or Band 4. 3G - 850/1900 MHz or Bands 5 and 2 respectively. Koodo does not operate a 2G GSM network. Which model do you have? 7350 http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/cat-4692_M7350.html#specifications 7310 http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/cat-4692_M7310.html#specifications 7300 http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/cat-4692_M7300.html#specifications
Userlevel 1
rikkster wrote:

I would check the specifications for this device, Jeremy. If it's the LTE-Advanced Mobile Wi-Fi M...

Hi Rikkster - thanks for picking this up. I had intended to ask about this since it mentions "compatible with the Koodo network" on their website. I have the M7350. It says on the side of the box that it supports "FDD-LTE Cat 4 (800/900/1800/[b]2100/2600MHz)" so maybe it's now OK...? What do you think?
Userlevel 7
rikkster wrote:

I would check the specifications for this device, Jeremy. If it's the LTE-Advanced Mobile Wi-Fi M...

Koodo uses band 4 which includes two bands so if you are only showing the the one frequency then your device doesn't have Band 4. So it wouldn't be compatible. From the website, it would appear this device isn't compatiable at all.

Badge +4
rikkster wrote:

I would check the specifications for this device, Jeremy. If it's the LTE-Advanced Mobile Wi-Fi M...

I searched on TP Links' Canadian website and I get the same frequency specs for the M7350. Do you have a link to where it mentions the device is compatible with Koodo?
Userlevel 1
rikkster wrote:

I would check the specifications for this device, Jeremy. If it's the LTE-Advanced Mobile Wi-Fi M...

I don't. Why would it need both bands in Band 4? Couldn't it just operate on either?

I'd be surprised if the #1 selling MiFi device on Amazon didn't operate on most networks...
Badge +4
rikkster wrote:

I would check the specifications for this device, Jeremy. If it's the LTE-Advanced Mobile Wi-Fi M...

It would depend on which Amazon site you were looking at. My guess is that you were viewing the device on Amazon UK. I couldn't find the device on Amazon Canada. No. 1700 MHz is Band 4. Within the band, there are uplink and downlink frequencies sometimes written as 1700/2100 MHz. 1700 MHz being the uplink and 2100 MHz the downlink. The fact that Band 4 or 1700 MHz is absent from the device frequency listing, means that the device will not be able to access Koodo's LTE network. The device appears to be designed for operation in European and possibly Asian markets.
Userlevel 1
rikkster wrote:

I would check the specifications for this device, Jeremy. If it's the LTE-Advanced Mobile Wi-Fi M...

Thanks. I've mailed their UK support to inquire about this. There is no regional compatibility information on the box but the spec sheet does say "Model and hardware version availability varies by region. Please refer to your TP-LINK regional website to determine product availability" so it seems they assume you always buy the device in the country in which you want to use it, which seems a little presumptuous. 
Userlevel 1
OK so it sounds like a Koodo SIM would work for me. Question: if I don't go for the Canada-wide base plan, which region is covered? And does that apply only to voice calls anyway?
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Jeremy Donaldson wrote:

OK so it sounds like a Koodo SIM would work for me. Question: if I don't go for the Canada-wide b...

Local voice calls in the geographic area surrounding your assigned phone number prefix, Canada-wide texting, Canada-wide data.

With the exception of the National Parks, where coverage is largely available only in and around the townsites, Koodo coverage is pretty solid on both Highway 1 and Highway 3.

Is it not possible to unlock your iPhone to insert a local SIM?

Userlevel 1
Jeremy Donaldson wrote:

OK so it sounds like a Koodo SIM would work for me. Question: if I don't go for the Canada-wide b...

Thanks. I've had my iPhone unlocked and was thinking of this approach but then calls and texts from the UK to my usual number won't get through. Also there are two of us with a UK iPhone so I was hoping to share the MiFi device for Internet access using one local SIM. Maybe Koodo isn't right for me then. Sigh. Back to square one.
Userlevel 1
This is an awesomely responsive forum BTW!! 😃
Userlevel 1
Update on this - I've had a reply from TP-Link confirming that the M7350 won't work well (at all?) on 4G in Canada, but they say it should work fine on 3G.

3G: DC-HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS B1/B8 (2100/900MHz)

In reality, how much 4G coverage are we likely to get outside of the main cities? Would 3G generally be the best available anyway?

In the UK I can often get 10Mb/sec on 3G. Would that be the case in Canada?

Reply