SP4 Broadband

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by lessardrp, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. lessardrp

    lessardrp New Member

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    Looks like there's no option for adding broadband to a SP4 pre-order. Anyone know when this will be available? We are thinking about rolling SP4s out to all our fleet vehicles and we don't want to do hotspots or tethering to phones etc. I want it built in and easy to manage. Thanks.
     
  2. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum

    The Surface 3 came out with LTE capability, some time after the initial release. I suspect that if things go well with those sales they will also make an LTE version of the SP4 M3.

    TBH I would much rather get a portable hotspot I could use with multiple devices rather than purchase anything other than a phone for mobile data and get into yet another contract.
     
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  3. lessardrp

    lessardrp New Member

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    These users are firefighters and paramedics. They get out of the vehicles with their tablets and go in and out of peoples' homes, warehouses, hospitals etc. all the time for inspections or with patients, often running in and out of range of vehicle bound hotspots. I don't want to deal with that. And I don't want them having to carry multiple devices around everywhere. It's too much of a hassle and interferes with them doing their job.
     
  4. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The best you can do at this time is use a USB 3.0 LTE modem. Assuming these devices would have protective cases, you could mount/affix the modem to the case and plug in with a cable or if its like the Beam plug in directly but has greater risks of damaging it.

    But if an association of Firefighters contacts Microsoft maybe they can work a deal for a custom unit like the NFL.
    Surface Pro 4 Cases | Rugged, Slim, Protection by UAG
    SFPRO4_CLOSED_RED_PT01_large.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  5. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Why have you stated vehicle bound hotspots? Do these guys not get pockets with their uniform?
     
  6. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    I'll never understand that must-have, either; it's a computer not a cell phone.

    My company provides us with Verizon Mi-Fi devices, which we use primarily with our corporate laptops. No need for IT to search for and establish a special LTE-equipped laptop model as the standard; rather, just give us the best laptop you can and when we need mobile connectivity, we'll use the Mi-Fi device.

    I'll go one step further: My company actually provides multiple brands of Mi-Fi devices. At one particular customer location, for example, the T-Mobile service was practically unusable, so we all ended up using the Verizon Mi-Fi instead. I'd rather have this flexibility for a portable computer rather than have (more-than-likely) an inferior laptop with built-in/fixed LTE capabilities.
     
  7. kayzee

    kayzee Well-Known Member

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    What you say makes perfect sense @Nuspieds but the problem is, for many people (Surface Vs iPad *sigh*) the iPad is available with 4G... therefore it becomes the default option for some people before they really see the benefits of Surface models.
     
  8. lessardrp

    lessardrp New Member

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    Give me a break folks. Just because a hotspot makes sense for one customer under their circumstances doesn't mean it is appropriate or the best option for everyone. I have already been down the hotspot road and I've already been down the tethered cell phone road. Neither are the best solution for our needs. Advertising the device as the ultimate mobile device without offering built-in broadband as an OPTION, depending on the customer's needs is just dumb when other vendors are happy to do so. I just need a Windows based product because we have apps that require that environment. Otherwise, I'd buy another product. Bottom line is I would buy 30 Surface 4 Pros today if we could order them with broadband. Until then, I'm not.
     
  9. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    I would suggest you look into Panasonic Toughbooks they have the configuration you need and are designed for the field. I deployed 300 in Police Vehicles, 80 into Fire Vehicles and around another 200 into Public Work Vehicles, all with cellular configuration, in fact we had dedicated Cell Coverage for them through Verizon Government.
     
  10. lessardrp

    lessardrp New Member

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    Thanks. We used to buy the Toughbooks for our MDCs. And as you know, you're looking at around 4 grand apiece even after govt contract. Since the MDCs sit in the vehicle, we're looking at the Surface with something like a UAG case to give us a semi rugged solution at less than half the cost. And the Toughpad is a non starter because our CAD is too small on that 10 inch display. The 12.3" Surface is big enough to be easier on the eyes and give big enough touch screen buttons when driving in a hurry while also claiming a small enough footprint to leave good access to center console controls.
     
  11. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    We deployed 12" convertibles....
     
  12. Korlon

    Korlon Member

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    I'm in a similar need as OP. Hotspot/tethering is not a very good option for those working in the field as carrying multiple devices can be a nuisance.

    The battery drain/personal management of keeping the phone charged is something no one wants to deal with. Being away from the car for hours on end, and in many instances they are very distant from their vehicle making charging while in the field impractical. exacerbated further as they are often in areas with low signal strength so hotspot would definitely drain the juice quickly.

    Fumbling around with extra batteries while working at heights is not an option, and keeping a power bank on their person just adds more bulk, weight and items to carry around. Ironically power is a problem for an electrical utility.

    More importantly carrying multiple devices are a distraction and hazard when working at heights or around heavy machinery.

    As for now our guys are stuck with the Toughbook.
     

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