Another adventure in being high-tech on the road concerns satellite TV…but that’s another story. Stay tuned.
I like my technology to be a magical tool that just works whenever I have need for it. I don’t want to take the time to learn about 2G, 3G, and 4G areas. Sigh…Now I call T-Mobile in advance of wherever we are going and have them check their maps. 3G will work, but 4G is the best. I called them before we headed to our campground in South Carolina and confirmed that we would be able to stay connected. (Also, we found a different campground closer to Phoenix, so next time we stay in Arizona, we will be high-tech.)
I had a string of family-related multiple-person texts going on at the time and my lack of connectivity was really annoying. I was alerted each time a text came in but could not read them because they couldn’t download. We had to drive about 20 miles to get into an area that was at least 3G. So when we went there, my texts download, but since it was after the fact, I couldn’t respond in real time.
Oh, another thing about being in a 2G area. Your smart phone won’t work either. You can still call people and get texts…if the texts are short and only to you. Texts sent to multiple recipients will just sit there trying to download. And you may or may not get photos. I found a great infographic that you can look at if you want it all explained: https://www.qualcomm.com/
The campground offered Wi-Fi through a local company, but it wasn’t free. So we set up a contract to try it for a month. It worked…sort of. Or I should say it worked sometimes and was often very slow. Every once in a while it would simply not work. This became apparent when I got up early one day determined to finish a project that I needed to be online to do. Nothing but Frustration! In fairness, it was working later that afternoon, but I confess I have become addicted to instant connectivity.
I found this out when I tried to log on to the Internet the first day we were in Tonopah, Arizona. Nothing. Our wonderful Wi-Fi hot spot didn’t work at all. After trying all my tactics (removing the hot spot battery, turning it off and back on, restarting my computer, etc.) I could not get it to work. So I called T-Mobile. And found out we were in a 2G area. Nothing could be done about it. No Wi-fi hotspot would work. T-Mobile let us put our service on hold until we got to an area that would work.
We thought we’d settle in for the winter and get on a regular work-out routine. I could get back into writing, which had been on hold while I was buried with freelance projects, and I was almost finished with those. What we hadn’t bargained for was living in a 2G area. Like when cell phones first became mainstream. Not smart phones…cell phones.
After leaving the Northwest in October, we planned to spend the winter in Arizona. We had found an RV campground about 50 miles west of Phoenix. “What’s 50 miles?” we reasoned, “we can be in Phoenix in an hour.” Which was true. And the place was cheap—half the price of other places we had checked out. It also had lots of amenities. Like spacious lots, a year-round heated swimming pool, a game room, a work-out room, a clubhouse, and even a small library.
It’s not such a big deal when we are actually traveling. I do what I need to do online when we are stopped or near populated areas and try to have what I need (research done, documents downloaded) so I can work while we are driving through remote places. That works out pretty well, but I still prefer to travel between freelance projects, rather than during. However, sometimes being stopped doesn’t help.
When I was young, I thought living in the country far away from civilization would be blissful. As I grew older (read kids and responsibilities) that dream began to fade away. Now I realize that not only do I not want to be physically far away from civilization, I don’t want to be virtually far away from it either.
2G? 3G? 4G? What does it all mean? I learned that the G stands for Generation, so if you have 4G, you are using 4th generation technology. (I’m getting smarter all the time, just like my phone.)
How We Roll