2011 Mobile Broadband Rental Review
Cellhire, like other mobile broadband rental providers, allows you to get a broadband card for a short space of time without having to purchase any equipment. Since the 2010 Cellhire review, nothing has changed with the exception of a $20 hike on all rates.
Note: I personally reached out to Cellhire to find out more information about the company as well as take a demo unit out for a road test. I received no response. The information below is virtually identical to last year’s review.
This setup works best for one-time events such as business conferences or special occasions.
What sets them apart are two things:
- They provide national and international mobile broadband rentals.
- They quote weekly and monthly rates (as opposed to daily).
While Cellhire rents sim cards, cell phones, and broadband cards (nationally & international), this review will stick to domestic mobile broadband rentals.
Like most mobile broadband rental companies, Cellhire.com works in 4 steps:
- Order Your Broadband Card
- Receive in your mail via courier
- Install software, plug in your broadband card, use it
- Return it via a prepaid mailing envelope.
Since process doesn’t change much from provider to provider, the major differences come down to the company, how much it costs, the underlying network provider (speed & coverage) and what devices you can get.
Unfortunately, Cellhire is extremely vague about the specifics of mobile broadband providers in the United States.
It won’t take a long time browsing their site to notice the focus on cell phone rental as opposed to data card rental. It’s
You’ll be hard-pressed to find any information on the underlying network, subsequent 3G speed and 3G coverage.
Instead of daily rentals, Cellhire.com has flat fees:
1. Weekly Rental | $99.00
2. Monthly Rental | $199.00
In addition to the weekly or monthly rate is a $19.99 setup fee that includes shipping, activation and other associated costs. After factoring this in, the weekly mobile broadband rental works out to be $14.14/day while the monthly rental is about $5.97/day.
This pricing structure makes sense for weekly rentals but not for monthly rentals.
At just shy of $100 for a week of mobile broadband, its cheaper than buying a prepaid mobile broadband device for a one-time use. On the flip side, a monthly rental of $200 is much more expensive than prepaid mobile broadband provider offers.
Data Caps Anyone?
Cellhire doesn’t mention anything even resembling a data cap even within their terms of conditions. Like I mentioned before, the whole operation was constructed to serve cell phone rentals.
It’s a mystery.
There’s a severe lack of information available on their website.
Some deeper clicking around on their website brings up support information for one US data card provider. Sadly, its information on how to setup the T-Mobile’s Sony Ericsson GC89. Since that card went out of production in 2008 and doesn’t even support 3G networks, its no clue as towards what device you might get.
While it may be possible to call them and inquire, its an extra step someone like yourself shouldn’t have to take with numerous other mobile broadband rental companies supplying readily available information.
Vital information is missing here:
- No info on roaming partners. You’ll have no idea where you’ll have coverage and if the quality of service will be any good. Not good.
- No info on broadband cards. No telling if the broadband card you’ll get is an ExpressCard, USB, or PC Card. Depending on the one you get, it may not even fit your computer.
If you’re gonna shell out some cash with a company do it with one that makes the info you need readily available. You can find just that in the Mobile Broadband Rental Comparison.
However, If you’d like to take the plunge, you can get Cellhire here.