Dawn has been providing some travel log entries so I though it was time to give you some more geek info!
When we were a few months out from leaving Seattle I broke the screen on my aging iPhone 3G. I was tempted to get an Android phone because they are cheaper, but I loved all my iPhone apps. So, I broke down and decided to get the then newly released unlocked iPhone 4. Coughing up the small fortune for the unlocked iPhone 4 allows me to use the phone with any carrier in the world.
The other day, I finally had some free time to take my iPhone 4 to the local TelCel support center here in La Paz and bought a new sim card (\$150 MXN) and signed up for a month to month 3Gb data plan (\$500 MXN). They were having computer problems and it took HOURS to get my sim card setup so they even gave me 6GB for the first month and said I’d probably get 6GB again next month too!
You can refill your account at any OXXO store (like 7-11) or TelCel store or franchisee. By the way, everyone here in La Paz says you do not want to buy 3G modems or Sim cards from the franchisees or other stores.
Now that I have the data plan, I can tether the iPhone 4 to my laptops, ship’s computer, iPad, etc via WiFi, Bluetooth or with a USB cable and use the cell phone to access the internet from any device! Apple calls this iPhone Personal Hotspot. It works great and I still have an iPhone I can carry around and look at maps, etc while we are roaming around the town!!
I’d highly recommend using a phone that supports tethering. You could use other phones which are cheaper than the iPhone, I’m not sure which ones though. Getting the 3G USB modem is also great but it doesn’t give you the freedom of using a handheld mobile device in your pocket.