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Old Apr 6, 17, 4:58 am #1
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Pokefi MiFi Device

I was flicking through an in-flight magazine last week and came across the Pokefi mobile WiFi device from Smartgo. I've never paid much attention to "MiFi" devices because the rates have always seemed too expensive for roaming, but this advertises a tariff of $3 per GB or $3 per day. Their website backs this up, offering 5GB or 5-day bundles for $15, which seems quite reasonable.

Unfortunately it isn't currently usable in five of the countries which I travel to with work each year, but I still think that it could be a useful device for the rest of the year. Does anyone have any experience with one of these, or a recommendation of something similar?
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Old Apr 6, 17, 7:45 am #2

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GlocalMe U2?
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Old Apr 6, 17, 8:32 am #3
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Originally Posted by chx1975 View Post
GlocalMe U2?
Thanks for the suggestion. GlocalMe U2 looks like it's usable in more countries, however it seems to be comparitively expensive. Data usage varies from $5 to $30 per GB depending on the country, compared to a fixed-rate of $3 per GB with Pokefi.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 9:45 am #4

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I found a lot of informational gaps. What LTE bands does it support? The 60 country list is pretty limited and many of them are temporarily unavailable. Can I put my own SIM in the device. Let's say I live in the US, want to use my TMobile plan for the US and them for everyone else. Can I do it?

Besides GlocalMe, also look at Skyroam. It is a nice looking unit, but I'd need to know more.
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Old Apr 9, 17, 10:14 am #5

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Originally Posted by Burnsie View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. GlocalMe U2 looks like it's usable in more countries, however it seems to be comparitively expensive. Data usage varies from $5 to $30 per GB depending on the country, compared to a fixed-rate of $3 per GB with Pokefi.
Not wanting to shill for glocalme but let me explain why gigabytes is a poor measurement. When I travel what I need is access, the traffic I generate is ridiculously little: email, maps, messages. Heck, a VoIP call consumes like 8 kbytes per second so a call with my airbnb host "hey I am outside! great, I am coming" won't exactly bankrupt me I usually do EU wide visits for roughly a month and glocalme covers that for 16 EUR meaning my access is ~0.6 USD per day. Totally works for me.

If what pokefi promises is true then yes it's even cheaper because their 15 USD 5GB data theoretically expires in two years and if I have say 60-100 travel days then yeah, that is very cheap but it requires them to be actually available in the countries I am and to be alive in two years. With these companies who knows? I need to trust glocalme for 30 days ahead, tops.

Last edited by chx1975; Apr 9, 17 at 10:21 am
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Old Apr 10, 17, 2:36 am #6
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Originally Posted by Dubai Stu View Post
I found a lot of informational gaps. What LTE bands does it support? The 60 country list is pretty limited and many of them are temporarily unavailable. Can I put my own SIM in the device (...)
I agree that there's an information gap. The 'Device' page of their website provides limited details, but there doesn't seem to be a complete technical specification anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubai Stu View Post
Besides GlocalMe, also look at Skyroam. It is a nice looking unit, but I'd need to know more.
Yes it's a nice looking unit, isn't it? Also the daily rate of $8 isn't bad. Unfortunately it isn't currently supported in the UAE or Bahrain, which - for me - is an inconvenience. This is also the case with the Pokefi device, but not the GlocalMe U2. Still weighing up the pros and cons!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chx1975 View Post
Not wanting to shill for glocalme but let me explain why gigabytes is a poor measurement. When I travel what I need is access, the traffic I generate is ridiculously little: email, maps, messages. Heck, a VoIP call consumes like 8 kbytes per second so a call with my airbnb host "hey I am outside! great, I am coming" won't exactly bankrupt me I usually do EU wide visits for roughly a month and glocalme covers that for 16 EUR meaning my access is ~0.6 USD per day. Totally works for me.
A very valid point, I very rarely exceed 1GB of mobile data while on my home network, as I'm usually connected to WiFi. I can't imagine this changing significantly while roaming. The deciding factor on which device to buy will probably be access, as you said.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 9:57 am #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnsie View Post
I agree that there's an information gap. The 'Device' page of their website provides limited details, but there doesn't seem to be a complete technical specification anywhere.
No, you cannot insert your own SIM like GlocalMe

Bought my Pokefi about 2 months ago. Just some experience to share. It is quite useful for myself traveling around Asia. The day pass or data pass purchased can be use in all supported countries.

I am happy to share more experience if you need.

The only issue I encounter is the VitualSIM took at least 3-5 mins to be ready. Once experienced flight landed at SIN Changi, the device still unable to connect to network when the aircraft parked at gate and door opened!
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Old Apr 11, 17, 9:10 pm #8

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I've used Skyroam in the UAE, but you are right that it is not there now.
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Old Apr 11, 17, 11:43 pm #9

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I've got coverage in ~100 countries with my company via Webbing
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Old Apr 13, 17, 3:08 am #10
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Originally Posted by zzz997 View Post
Bought my Pokefi about 2 months ago. Just some experience to share. It is quite useful for myself traveling around Asia. The day pass or data pass purchased can be use in all supported countries.
The Pokefi sounds useful (even though you can't insert a SIM card) and I'm glad that the only issue you encountered is a delay of the Virtual SIM registering on a network. Unfortunately - as with the other devices - it lacks coverage in some of the countries that I travel to with work.

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Originally Posted by shuuy View Post
I've got coverage in ~100 countries with my company via Webbing
That looks interesting, I'll forward the information to my manager. Hopefully he'll raise it at board-level!
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Old Apr 30, 17, 9:24 am #11

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I used Skyroam for 6 months but the problem in skyroam it has slow connection and a weak battery which u need to recharge several times a day. I saw the pokefi advertisement at Cathay Pacific and bought the device . I used it for 15 days in China, Hong Kong and Philippines and I think it is the best Mifi ever for the below reasons:

1- I bought 10 GB for 30$ which are valid for 2 years . In 15 days I used only 3GB so you are not obliged to buy daily data for 8$ a day

2- connection is 4G LTE and is very fast
3- the device has a very long lasting battery, I am really impressed
4- It suits me as it covers all Europe and Asia

I stopped using skyroam . Pokefi is the best
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Old Apr 30, 17, 11:00 am #12

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The previous spammy-sounding post notwithstanding, my friend is happy with his PokeFi device so far, which he's used in HK and Taiwan. The salesperson noted it's selling quite well.

It's available for sale for $990hkd ($127 USD vs $169 on website) at HKG airport


I do question the sustainability of this business model since $3/GB seems like it could be potentially around at-cost and with a 2-yr expiration, breakage will be negligible. My friend blows through his phone plan's data allowance by streaming NBA playoff games and it makes more sense for him to use this device than top-up data for the month.

Last edited by Coolers; Apr 30, 17 at 12:37 pm
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Old Apr 30, 17, 12:20 pm #13

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SmartGo PokeFi

I just purchased the PokeFi while onboard a CX flight to use while I am in Canada and can happily report it works great. Im looking forward to using this whenever I travel now... no more hassles with changing sim cards or looking for somewhere to buy data in other cities/countries. Rates are great and comes with initial free 5GB to use. Loves it~ However, once you deplete the intial 5GB, it costs $6USD for 1GB (not $3USD) or $15USD for 5GB for top-up, so please take note.

Last edited by jsmn; Apr 30, 17 at 12:23 pm Reason: Adding information
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Old May 3, 17, 10:07 pm #14

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POFEKI 2 month user report

Purchased from: Sound and Vision, HK airport T1

Price $990 HKD with 5g loaded.

Countries used: Canada, US, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia(KL Penang), Thailand(Bangkok), Indonesia(Jakarta), China(GZ BJ SH)

While I did not do a scientific test speed seem normal compare to my LTE speed.

Connection: first time in a new location there is a lag compare to a local SIM in your device. This is probably due to the roaming and logging in process.

Device is really a dumb on/off only device. There is no sim options. The only button is the on off button, no display screen, only two indicators of charging(blue) and connections(red/green).

Features that I love:
  • As I am on VOIP on earth I have no need for a SIM with local number. This is a one solution device as long as your destinations are supported.
  • No changing cards and setups
  • The 5g/$15US is a good deal, great in Canada. At this price shopping for a cheaper alternative is not worth my time.
  • The 5g is good for two years and you top up as you go.
  • There is a web address for the device that you access through your browser to top up or use their website. (Have not tried by one is supposed to be able to top up even if you have used up your data)
  • Easy to use for DW and DD when I am not with them

The major drawback is carrying the device plus the handset.

The only alternative I have seen and used (being HK based) is a 14day 5g 4G/LTE card for $120HK retail at the flea market. It is Thai base and all literature and messages are in Thai.
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Old May 4, 17, 2:07 am #15

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolers View Post
The previous spammy-sounding post notwithstanding, my friend is happy with his PokeFi device so far, which he's used in HK and Taiwan.
Said friend reports no service in Vietnam for the entirety of his 3-day trip, even though it's on the list of available countries.
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