January 13th, 2016 –
The 3rd annual Travel and Adventure Show is upon us! This Saturday and Sunday, travel lovers from all over come to discover new destinations, different cultures, exotic cuisine, and live music! As one of the largest travel shows in the United States, there is truly something to enjoy for everyone. Find thousands of worldwide destination experts to assist in customizing your trip of a lifetime, providing you the best and most affordable travel rates. Attend seminars held by some of the most prestigious speakers in the travel industry, including none other than Patricia Schultz, author of ‘1,000 Places to See Before You Die’.
This two-day experience is packed full of cultural performances, exclusive travel packages and prizes, and much more. You’ll discover authentic travel experiences while simultaneously enjoying hands-on adventure activities. XCom Global is excited to announce that we will be exhibiting in this year’s show for the first time.
“This is an ideal audience for us”, says XCom’s COO Joe Fennell. “We have coverage in over 200 countries and territories and are continuing to expand. Whether you’re an everyday business traveler or a backpacking adventurist, it’s important to stay connected on the go. XCom Global mobile hotspots provide unlimited data without any contracts, roaming fees, or overages, providing travelers a seamless experience – wherever their adventures may take them.”
Currently, XCom is sponsoring adventurers Ben and Sophee Southall’s trip of a lifetime! Ben, winner of 2009’s “Best Job in The World”, set out on an overland adventure that began February 1st, 2015 in Singapore and is about to come to an end in London.
“As experienced travelers, we know how difficult and expensive it can be to stay connected. And as bloggers, we also understand how critical it will be for us to have affordable, reliable Internet access wherever we go. This is the solution that XCom Global provides and we are thrilled to be taking it on the road with us.”
Whether you are looking for your next vacation or simply a fun-filled weekend, don’t miss the San Diego Travel & Adventure Show. Make sure to visit us at booth #732 for fun giveaways, prizes, and more! This year’s show will start at $15 for entry, however, we do have a few free passes for any of our customers who may be interested. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Travel and Adventure Show
San Diego Convention Center
111 W Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA, 92101
Saturday, Jan 16, 10:00 am
Sunday, Jan 17, 4:00 pm
*Picture credit to http://travelshows.com/shows/san-diego
Last year, the FCC notoriously slammed the Marriott hotel with a $600,000 fine for using signal blocking technology to prevent guests from the lawful use of their personal Wi-Fi hotspots, practically forcing customers to pay the $250 to $1,000 fee to access the Marriott’s network. Surprisingly, this hefty fine didn’t intimidate the Hilton hotel in Anaheim, California, who had similar allegations filed again them last year. In an order released last week, the Hilton hotel will be facing a $25,000 government fine for obstructing FCC investigations into their presumed Wi-Fi blocking stunt back in August 2014.
Investigation first began when a complaint was filed against the Hilton for blocking personal Wi-Fi hotspots unless the consumers paid their substantial hotel Wi-Fi service of $500! Following the complaint, the Federal Communications Commission’s requested information regarding the hotel’s Wi-Fi policies, and it appears they are still waiting for that documentation. A Hilton spokesperson has said that the company “strongly disagrees” with the enforcement bureau’s decision, adding that Hilton allows their customers to openly and securely access their personal hotspots. The FCC has announced that the Hilton could potentially face a “significantly higher fine” if they did not cooperate and provide the essential information about its Wi-Fi management practices.
Earlier this year, the FCC filed a public notice announcing that Wi-Fi blocking is prohibited, stating “persons or businesses causing intentional international interference to Wi-Fi hot spots are subject to enforcement action.” Following a popular trend of Wi-Fi jamming, the FCC had hoped this advisory warning would deter hotels from blocking consumers personal hot spots. “Hotel guests deserve to have their Wi-Fi blocking complaints investigated by the Commissions,” said Travis LeBlanc, head of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “To permit any company to unilaterally redefine the scope of our investigation would undermine the independent search for the truth and the due administration of the law.”
While several budget hotel chains have waved Wi-Fi charges for their guests, many luxurious hotels will charge between $9.95-$19.95 per day. Additionally, some of the “free Wi-Fi” offered is remarkably slow, subconsciously motivating the guests to invest in either expensive Wi-Fi day passes or pay-as-you-go plans. Instead of relying on questionably mediocre hotel Wi-Fi, we recommend investing in a mobile hotspot from XCom Global. Not only is our price of $14.95 per day for unlimited data affordable, it allows you to take your hotspot with you wherever you go, connecting up to ten Wi-Fi enabled devices at once! While XCom Global is considered a preferred solution for international travelers who want a low, fixed rate connectivity solution for when they head overseas, we have been quickly recognized as a cost-effective alternative to hotel and convention center WiFi. Additionally, XCom Global has trade show/event packages available for event hosts who would like to supply attendees Internet connectivity at a fraction of the cost of what most venues charge.
XCom Global is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Southern California-based record label Pacific Records to keep recording artist, Alfa, connected on the go. This is an exciting time in the young artist’s career, as she is preparing to release her latest single “Blue” on November 7th. Additionally, Pacific Records has recently partnered with Ivory Music & Video, Sony Music’s exclusive licensee and distributor for the Philippines. This partnership has opened up a new market for the 26 Pacific Records recording artists, facilitating the distribution of SoCal music across the pacific music scene. As XCom Global’s coverage extends in the Philippines, we are excited to see this partnership flourish. Ivory Music & Video is known to provide the best of international sound such as One Direction, Beyonce, Meghan Trainor, Britney Spears, and most recently producing the OPM album of American Idol alum David Archuleta. Los Angeles-based pop signer and songwriter, Alfa, has an extensive history of touring the Philippines. According to Pacific Records and Ivory Music & Video’s recent press release, “Blue” is set to released on November 7th through Pacific Records in the United States and Ivory Music & Video in Asia, Middle East, and the Philippines. We are excited to be a part of Alfa’s journey and have teamed up to provide you with 10% off your next order with XCom Global. Use coupon code ALFABLUE at checkout for 10% OFF. Additionally, we encourage you to check out more and follow the development of her album here!
XCom Global has once again expanded its worldwide coverage, announcing the addition of 23 new countries around the globe. Now, whether you’re exploring active volcanoes in Cameroon or moseying the castles of Kastelholm in the Åland Islands, XCom Global will provide you the coverage you need to stay connected. “This is an exciting time for Xcom Global”, says Chief Operating Officer, Joe Fennell. “As the world becomes more connected, we are always looking for ways to expand our coverage to meet our customers increasing need to connect wherever they travel.”
With the continued development of social media, data usage has soared to new and unexpected heights while roaming fees have become nothing short of outrageous. According to RCR Wireless, U.S. businesses paid their carriers an exorbitant $7.3 billion in roaming data charges last year for employees traveling abroad. With XCom Global’s mobile hotspots, say goodbye to roaming fees, contracts, and unsecure Wi-Fi networks. International travelers can freely roam on up to ten of their wireless devices, with unlimited data at a flat daily rate of $14.95.
As the wireless industry continues to advance, XCom Global is constantly increasing areas of coverage to keep up with the demand. One of our most anticipated new countries we will service is Greenland. Known for its rich, cultural history and its wealth of beauty, Greenland is a very popular tourist destination. Travelers from all over the world come for the famous hot springs and a chance to experience the phenomenon knows as the “Aurora Borealist”, also referred to as the Northern Lights. But with all of these extremely beautiful landscapes and excursions, it would be ideal to have access to wireless data to use Google maps, email, photos, and more. However, the standard options for connectivity include premium priced hotel Wi-Fi or rationing of data on a shared network. Should you decide to settle with hotel or public Wi-Fi to minimize spend, you will likely connect to a slow, shared, and unsecure network. With XCom Global, roam freely without the need to be at a hotel or café at a rate substantially below standard international data roaming fees!
For a full list of our newest countries, please see below and make sure to stay tuned -we are constantly adding to our areas of coverage!
-Aland Islands (Finland)
-Bosnia & Herzegovina
-French Polynesia (Tahiti)
-Ivory Coast (Cote D’Ivoire)
-Mongolia, Rep. of
-Papua New Guinea
Free: The second most persuasive trigger word in the English language. But these days, is anything actually free? Last week, the Today Show unveiled how hackers can easily set up “free Wi-Fi” networks in popular tourist destinations, hoping to lure unexpecting victims by offering them a connection. This alarming revelation comes as no surprise, as it appears our growing need for Wi-Fi on the go sometimes outweighs our need for security.
Skycure, a mobile threat defense company, recently released a list of the top tourist destinations that are most likely to be affected by malicious software. Not shockingly, Times Square in New York City landed at the top of the list, followed by the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and Disneyland Paris in France. According to Skycure, the most common way to attract a visitor’s eye is to place the word “free” at the forefront of the hotspot name. Once connected, you’re practically inviting hackers into your private data vault, allowing them access to your credit card information, passwords, email, photos and more. The security
Although unplugging from the world of Wi-Fi while traveling seems enticing, it isn’t quite realistic. Between Google Maps, Social Media Apps, and even mobile banking, data is typically a required amenity when in a foreign location.
So what is a traveler to do to prevent hackers while simultaneously staying connected abroad? We first recommend avoiding the ever so attractive “free Wi-Fi” networks that run rampant in popular tourist locations. Secondly, as mentioned in the Huffington Post, don’t disregard warning messages that may pop up before or after connecting to a network. Although it is almost human nature to click “continue” or “yes” in order to proceed, pay attention to these warning signs. And last, but certainly not least, we recommend investing in your own personal hotspot with XCom Global.
Travelers typically have a full agenda, and with our device feel free to stay on the go, rather than squatting at a café or hotel. You won’t have to worry about other travelers gobbling up all the data and slowing down speeds either, our hotspot operates on high-speed 3G/4G networks and connects up to ten of your devices at once. Most importantly, we offer only secure Wi-Fi connectivity (WPA2, WPN-IPSec) and you are virtually untouchable from the hackers lurking cyberspace. So you may want to think twice next time before accessing public Wi-Fi hotspots, because that “free Wi-Fi” you have been using probably comes at a cost.
Pick pocketing isn’t the only form of robbing that occurs while overseas these days. Simply power on your cellular device once at your destination, jump on your browser, and boom – your U.S. carrier just slammed you with outrageous international data fees. But this day and age, people quiver at the mere thought of leaving their mobile devices behind while traveling internationally. With our growing digitally reliant world, staying connected has proved to be more important than ever, evident in several studies claiming that “Wi-Fi” is the number one amenity people are looking for when booking hotel reservations.
Whether you are traveling for business or for leisure, there are several options to stay plugged in abroad. A favored choice is to modify your current phone carrier plan to include international roaming. But before you decide on which option you are going to choose to stay connected, it is imperative that you do your research. Make sure to read the murky fine print and plan ahead or there will be an absurd phone bill waiting to greet you upon your arrival home. Monitoring your usage in real-time is a bit difficult while traveling internationally, and it sure adds up quick. For arguments sake, we looked at how much data a traveler uses on an average 10 day trip overseas, discovering the number to be about 250MB/day.
Though most major carriers offer different travel plans including talk and text, data seems to be the most important factor when selecting an international roaming plan. After all, data is essentially present in all of your everyday cellular activities – streaming music, uploading Instagram pictures, posting a Facebook status, or pulling up Google Maps to find your way back to your hotel.
We have lined up four big-wigs in the wireless industry – AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile to compare 250MB of data consumption a day for each company.
They offer three “passport” roaming packages which include the following:
The first choice is practically saying you will use only 4MB a day, and by using their data calculator, you can see this will allow you 8 minutes of music or simply opening one of your phone apps. If we were to go with plan 3, “Passport Gold”, which contains the most data, a ten day trip of consuming 250MG of data will cost you $120.00 plus $255.00 in overage charges. Landing you at $375.00 for your trip.
Sprint offers an “International Speed Data Roaming Pass” with three different options.
For sprint, let’s select the third option as well, which gets you the most data of 500MB. This option assumes you will use about 36MB per day, or the equivalent of 18 minutes of video streaming. Although, there are no overages on the above plans, your service will revert to 2G speeds once you hit your cap. You heard me right, 2G.
If you want to look into a pay-as-you-go plan, you’re looking at $2.05/MB in Canada and a whopping $19.90/MB in the UK. Yikes.
Verizon’s Global Plans are as follows:
The big kicker here: Overages are $25.00/100MB used. Going with plan one, you would still need 2400MG of data for a ten day trip, which would equal a frightening total of $625.00.
T-mobile is unique in that it now offers free international data roaming on its “Simple Choice” plan when traveling in 120 countries. Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is. With this plan, your speeds will be limited to 2G, in a very 3G reliant world. If you feel the need to upgrade to 3G, T-Mobile’s “High Speed Data Plans” are as follows:
The downside? You will be reduced to 2G speeds once you hit your cap of 500MB in two weeks. Alternatively, if you wanted to settle with pay-as-you-go, your looking at $1.00/per minute, $0.50 per text, and at least $2.05 per MG of data.
Sim cards are another consideration, but of course this comes with a few caveats. Most phones are locked by your carrier, and they are more than happy to refuse unlocking it for you. Additionally, you will be operating on a local number, without any of your contacts or personal information. This is troublesome in twofold: you most likely haven’t remembered a contact number by heart since the early 2000’s and anyone who calls or texts you will incur major international rates, which may come back to bite you in the end. This is why we highly recommend our XCom Global Mobile Hotspot.
With our services, forget contracts, preset megabyte packages, and roaming fees. Operating in over 200 countries and counting, we have been a leading wireless hotspot provider in the industry for over 20 years. Unlike the other guys, feel free to connect up to TEN of your devices to one XCom hotspot, without adding additional lines, plans or sim chips. Our pocket sized device offers 3G/4G coverage with 24 hour customer support in case you encounter any issues. Don’t worry about recharging your data plan or overage fees, our services provide unlimited data for a flat $7.77/day. Using the example above, a ten day trip with our service amounts to $77.70 – a fraction of the cost of securing a plan with a wireless carrier. International roaming fees can be daunting, let us keep you connected without all the headache!
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How Will You Celebrate Oktoberfest?
That time of the year is approaching…Oktoberfest! How much do you know about the world’s largest beer festival? Here are a few fun facts:
If you’re planning to attend Oktoberfest, be sure to reserve your XCom Global World WiFi Hotpots so you can stay connected while you drink, eat and party like it’s 1810! Use promo code “Beer15” for 15% off any Germany rental!
Can’t make it to Germany? There are Oktoberfests held all over the world! The largest outside of Germany was founded in 1969 by ethnic German residents of the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo in Canada. It is estimated that around one million people attend each year. http://www.oktoberfest.ca/
And the largest Oktoberfest in the United States is Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati in Ohio, which draws about a half a million visitors each year. http://www.oktoberfestzinzinnati.com/
No matter where you live, you can probably find some kind of Oktoberfest event – large or small they are all good fun! There really is no excuse not to join in on this wunderbar German tradition. So, tell us, how will you celebrate Oktoberfest?
Earlier this month, Thomas Boyle, an 11 year old from Utah, reached out to XCom to see if we would be interested in providing Wi-Fi for his upcoming family trip. We were delighted to see why Thomas was looking for connectivity for his trip to Europe! Thomas runs an Instagram page about himself and his brother and his wheelchair, called MeMyBrotherAndHisChair. The goal of their thoughtful Instagram page is to teach others about how people with disabilities are still able to live abundantly, travel and enjoy great cities like Paris.
Thomas and his family had an epic time traveling through Europe, and were followed by nearly 20,000 people during their journey! XCom is grateful that we were able to be a part of this memorable experience!
Check out this awesome video featuring Thomas and his family while in Europe and make sure to follow them on Facebook!
Last December, Cigar aficionados rejoiced as the ban on the legendary Cuban cigars was lifted, proving to be the biggest move for U.S. – Cuban relations for the past 50 years. But this event has only manifested the growing ties between the two, once very hostile, nations. Recent hype in the travel industry has begun, as Obama’s administration announces their efforts to weaken the current travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba. This plan would seemingly occur at an executive level, skirting past the strict limitations already placed by Congress and further developing normal relations between the two nations.
According to ABC News, “the Treasury Department is now considering new regulations that would allow all Americans to travel to Cuba as individuals and not in tour groups or with other third-party arrangers.” If this plan came to fruition, traveling commercially from America to Cuba would be as simple as traveling anywhere else. Currently, the only permitted travel is by way of charter, placed by the regulations of the embargo. Although a bill already exists attempting to lift the embargo, it has yet to go through committee.
Although his intentions seem good, Obama’s goal to renew trade and economic relations with Cuba has sparked some serious controversy. Critics argue that mending diplomatic ties will only empower the Castro regime, therefore facilitating even more adversity for the Cuban people. “In the eyes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state, the Cuban people are suffering because not enough American tourists visit the country, when the truth is that the Cuban people are suffering because they live in a tyrannical dictatorship”, stated Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in a speech last week.
Although no solid time frame exists, The Wall Street Journal reported that airlines will likely begin regular service between America and Cuba by the end of the year. But for now, travel between the two nations will be strictly limited to government purposes and monitored cultural charters. But in the meantime, you can still enjoy one of those once forbidden Cuban cigars.
Soon you could be strolling to the trash can for more than just disposing old junk. Bigbelly, a waste management company from Massachusetts, announced that it aims to transform its trash cans to double as wireless hotspots throughout New York City.
According to Citylab, Bigbelly currently has over 170 solar powered bins operating the streets of Manhattan. Each bin contains a high-tech chip that alerts local garbage companies to make a pick-up when it is full and when it is becoming extremely potent. But Bigbelly’s creative developments don’t stop there. After recently partnering with Downtown Alliance, the waste management company plans to turn two of their solar powered bins into fully functioning hotspots with built in Wi-Fi units. After a bit of pilot testing, the signal proved to be strong, operating at 50-75 megabits per second. Huffington Post points out that “there is enough bandwidth to power a start-up”. Bigbelly is hoping to soon expand in several-hundred garbage and recycling bins, filling the streets with Wi-Fi in one of the most populated cities in America. If their grant is approved by the mayor, they will be able to install their solar powered “smart” bins in underserved neighborhoods, assisting those who previously may have not been able to afford connectivity.
This movement will also provide a large revenue source for the city, by offering paid and sponsored ad placements on the outside of the containers. Of course this creative idea raises questions of security, distance, reliability, etc. But will this promote anti-littering by guiding our technology reliant society to the trashcans? Perhaps.