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Tep pocket wifi update


by Durant Imboden

I n mid-June, I wrote a post titled "Tep pocket wifi makes data roaming dirt-cheap." The story described a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that uses cellular data networks in various European countries to provide Internet access for laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other wireless devices.

In the article, I mentioned that I'd be field-testing the tep pocket wifi in Italy, and the results are now in. 

The good news: The tep pocket wifi connected to the Wind cellular network in the three cities of Northern Italy that I visited.

The bad news: Although my laptop recognized and connected to the tep pocket wifi, I had no access to the Internet.

At first I thought there might be a problem with my laptop's network settings, but on reflection, that seemed unlikely because I was able to reach the Internet with three different hotel Wi-Fi networks and the city of Venice's public Wi-Fi network during my trip.

I e-mailed Tep's support address with a description of the problem, but I never got a reply.

To add insult to injury, it cost me US $34 to send the unit back to London from the United States after my trip. (I could have used the business-reply envelope that Tep provided for returns from locations within Europe, but I wasn't willing to entrust an uninsured $200 device to Italy's much-maligned post office.)

Bottom line: The tep pocket wifi is a great concept, but my experience suggests that tep's Internet roaming service may not work for everyone. If you've used the tep pocket wifi or other private-label versions of the Huawei Mobile Wifi, feel free to post a comment below.


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Collinscalz Makokha

I have found this blog post to be very useful. Thanks a lot for the post.Though I have one concern. From all of the Pocket WiFis I have been using most of the them do provide international data plans to specific countries is there in Pocket WiFi that has the best services to almost all of the countries. I have been using RentnConnect though it only operates in 76 countries.

Durant and Cheryl Imboden

Another update: I'm currently traveling in Italy with the MiFi from Celular Abroad (, which uses the TIM cellular network. It's delivering good speed and has been working without a hitch.


I am traveling with a Tep right now and the Skype call I just attempted ended in frustration. The call was disconnected twice, despite being next to a window and full connectivty on the pocket wifi. I bought the 150 MB per day upgrade just so I could make VOIP calls. Gonna try to get in touch w/their support over Skype to see what happens.


Thanks for the informative update. I am sure you have saved many from making a big mistake.

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