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Travel writer Patti Morrow and her brother were on their way to Aquila Safari in South Africa when she was involved in a serious motor vehicle crash on May 14, 2014. Patti found herself in a hospital with little to no connection with the outside world as she began the long road to recovery. Another travel writer heard of her plight and contacted XCom Global to see what we could do. We sent Patti an XCom Global Mobile Hotspot so she could have Internet access from her hospital bed – and here was her response:

“I can’t thank [Xcom Global] enough for taking on the mifi issue – really a wonderful and selfless thing that you did, and it made such a difference in my quality of life while hospitalized.” 

Here is the full story: http://www.pointsandtravel.com/x-com-global-helps-injured-travel-writer-south-africa/

We are always grateful for the opportunity to help in any way we can, and wish Patti a speedy recovery!

If you’re a U.S. Citizen, it means absolutely nothing. As explained in this New York Times article, the cut to cell phone roaming charges only affects people with mobile contracts from European providers. And even if you are an EU contract holder, you will still benefit from renting an XCom Global device as you cross carrier country borders. Since the average smartphone user runs through an average of 250 MB per day, XCom Global’s flat rate of $14.95 per day is about half of what you would pay for the same usage under the new, reduced roaming charges. This cost reduction basically brings EU providers in line with U.S. carrier rates, which are still very expensive given the data usage required by today’s apps.

Bottomline – if you are an American traveling to the U.S., you still take the chance of coming home from a trip to Europe to a shocking cell phone bill unless you plan ahead (like renting before you go from XCom Global) and if you’re an EU customer, your roaming fees have indeed been reduced by as much as 50 percent, but don’t be fooled by the headlines – it’s still expensive to roam.

It’s really not a sales pitch, it is simple math. If you are an average or above average data user, don’t use your carrier’s plans when roaming outside of your coverage area. Your pocketbook will thank you.

 

google-voice-features

 

Need to stay in contact with friends or family while away? Here is a new feature you can use while staying connected on your Global Mobile Hotspot.

Whether we are e-mailing colleagues, looking for a restaurant to make dinner reservations, or trying to check the score on last night’s game, we have grown to use one engine in particular for our daily needs, Google. Google has created a way for travelers to stay connected to their daily lives while abroad with a simple app that is run on just WiFi, Google Voice. You can now stay connected to the things or people that matter most whenever the time beckons. Google Voice has found a way to not only be able to place voice calls using your WiFi signal but also send and receive text messages, emails, have group instant message conversations or use their search engine all from one simple source. Google Voice has been found to not only beneficial overseas but cost affective to international travelers who are looking to save a few bucks while on vacation. One simply needs to download this easy to use application on their IPhone, Android, Tablet, or IPad before their upcoming trip for the easiest, cheapest way to stay connected.

Now speaking of savings, on a daily basis, the average person uses 200MB of data per day. This may include surfing the internet, uploading pictures to your social media site or simply day to day emails. Now who actually keeps track of how much we send or receive? Now imagine you are overseas. Your local cell phone carrier may offer you specials of 4GB for $30 but some of these plans only cover domestic use. When traveling abroad you run into issues such as roaming charges, hotel fees, or slow connections so we found a solution to your problems. Here at Xcom Global, we provide you with a mobile hotspot that you can not only connect up to 10 devices to, but also receive 3/4G speed in over 175+ countries Worldwide. We provide you with an easy to use, lightweight device, Sims, charging equipment and a convenient carrying pouch that can be simply placed in your bag while exploring the city. With a range of 350ft, you can keep your hands free to enjoy your travels all while staying connected.

One can simply not afford to not be connected overseas. What you can afford however, is the daily flat rate of $14.95. XCom Global is a hassle free, easy to use, no hidden fees, completely secure, type of service. Our friendly staff is always striving to make your next travel experience a great one. Let us help you Stay Connected.

1. iTranslate

translator app

 http://www.itranslateapp.com/

Whether it is asking locals for directions or recommendations for entertainment, communicating in foreign countries can be complicated. Fortunately, the frustrating days of flipping through the pages of translator dictionaries are over. Now you can simply download apps like “ITranslate” on your Smartphone or tablet and have words and sentences translated in numerous different languages instantly.

2. XE Currency

http://www.xe.com/apps/

currency app

Quickly obtain the currency exchange rate information with apps like this when you’re abroad. Imagine the time and money you’ll save knowing exactly what you need to pay while you are on the go.

3. Restaurant Nutrition

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/restaurant-nutrition/id285180322?mt=8

Resturant app

While you are abroad, chances are you won’t have a kitchen to cook for yourself and will have to rely solely on eating out. Menus and nutritional information will most likely be in a foreign language as well. That’s why apps like “Restaurant Nutrition” are so helpful. You can find out exactly what you’re eating and stick to your diet all across the globe.

4. Google Maps

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-maps/id585027354?mt=8

google maps app

Getting directions can be a hassle while you’re abroad. With apps like Google maps, you can be your own tour guide. This is also a great safety precaution in case you happen to get lost while you are exploring.

5. The Weather Channel

http://www.weather.com/services/mobilesplash.html

weather channel app

Preparing for travel overseas means usually means you’ll be in a new climate. With applications like these you can be prepared and dress accordingly. What a shame it would be to invest the time and money to travel, only to have your day ruined by a storm you didn’t anticipate.

6. Skype

http://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/

skype

Skype is a must have during your travels. Feeling home sick? This is a great way to stay connected with loved ones, hearing their voice and seeing their faces while you share your travel experiences.

Running apps requires an internet connection as well a substantial amount of data and that’s where XCom Global comes in. For a fixed daily flat rate you can take the internet in your pocket and use these apps and more as much as you want, wherever your travels may take you. Safe travels!

Why the Promise of LTE Never Happened

The carriers have done it once again, in an effort to protect territories and margins, they have over-complicated yet another communication “standard”. Originally, the idea with LTE was it was supposed to be more harmonized globally, but carriers quickly figured out that they could keep control in their markets by blocking outsiders. This keeps consistent connectivity as you cross borders impossible and costs higher than they should be.

Cell data networks around the world are becoming more locked and harder to work between. If you’re in the United States, it has gotten to the point where, if you buy, say, an AT&T LTE-band phone and then try to use it overseas, chances are it won’t work.

That’s where XCom Global comes in.
We contract with local carriers and negotiate the best rates in the country you are visiting – allowing us to offer you a flat rate data connection with unlimited data access.

In addition, and perhaps most importantly, we rent out a device to you that we know will work in that particular country. You do not have to worry about hardware compatibility. You can connect all of your WiFi enabled devices through our device. We offer the most affordable, easiest, worry-free way to access the Internet while you travel overseas.

To read more about the LTE dilemma read this article by Jonathan Blum on The Street.com
– inspired by a conversation we recently had on the topic
http://www.thestreet.com/story/12477487/1/digitalskeptic-fragmented-lte-hangs-up-global-web-access.html

XCom Global Marketing

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Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you’ll want to have consistent, reliable access to the Internet – no matter where you’re traveling to. In some countries it can be relatively easy to find a connection, but in others it can be almost impossible to connect unless you bring your connection with you.

XCom Global’s wireless Internet cards and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots can be programmed to work in 175 different countries across the globe, from the most industrialized, connected nations, to many of the most difficult places in the world to find an inexpensive, secure connection. Their devices work in the US, Canada, and Mexico, Europe, Australia, most of Asia and South America, and even Africa and the Middle East.

Wherever your travels take you and for whatever your Internet needs are, XCom Global has you covered. Don’t leave your ability to find a wireless signal in a strange land to chance, because wherever that strange land is, chances are XCom can connect you.

Find the Plan That Works Best For Your Trip

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International travel is a complicated undertaking, and one of the reasons for this is that there’s no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” trip. Every trip and every traveler has a unique set of needs and wants that have to be met in order to have a fun, successful, and safe trip. No one knows this better than XCom Global, who offers multiple different devices and plans so that no matter who you are or where you’re going, you’ll be able to stay connected with work and the people that you care about.

XCom’s MiFi aXcess plan offers customers two different devices: a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot or a USB modem wireless data card. You can add a Google Nexus tablet to your order, add insurance, and more. They can also program either of these devices for any of 175 different countries, and will even add a second country for free, or more countries for a nominal surcharge. If you’re traveling to Europe, there is also a Europe 40 Travel Plan that covers you in 40 different countries for the same low flat rate.

Snowflakes and fingerprints are unique, and so is every trip. Don’t just do what everyone else does; look at the options that are available to you and choose the ones that suit you best. XCom Global exists to make staying connected while traveling internationally easy while still ensuring that you get all the services that you and your trip require.

When you travel overseas, your phone will no longer be in range of its carrier’s network.  If you choose to use data abroad, you will most likely connect to another carrier’s service who will then charge your own carrier for “renting” their network.  These data roaming bills add up quickly for everything you use on your phone that involves data.  Below we will identify the culprits that use data, provide step-by-step details on how to disable them for Android v4.3, and show you tips on how to avoid data roaming fees for a much more pleasant and stress-free trip.

1. Turn Off Data Roaming

When you begin using another carrier’s network overseas, your Android phone will notify you that you are roaming with an “R” appearing next to the signal bars.  To disable data roaming on your Android:

1. Go to “Settings”
2. Go to “Wireless and Networks”
3. Mobile Networks -> Data Off

data roaming android

You now have the option to disable data roaming over mobile networks.

 2. Turn On Airplane Mode

In airplane mode, your Android phone will be unable to make or receive calls, texts, or connect to local cellular towers for Internet access.  It disables all cellular, wireless, Bluetooth and GPS connections  so you don’t receive unexpected data roaming fees. To enable or disable Airplane Mode:

1. Navigate to “Settings”
2. Select “Wireless and Networks”
3. Switch  Airplane Mode On/Off.

android airplane mode

3. Disable Push Notifications

Each time your applications sync or update they notify you of the changes made via push notifications in the form of a sound, badge or text.  Every push notification requires a connection to the Internet.

To disable push notifications:

1.  Go to “Settings”
2. Click on “Device”
3. Tap “Application Manager”
4. Uncheck the box that says Show Notifications

Disable Notifications

4. Disable Auto-Syncing

To improve or modify an existing app, you must download an update for each application.  Most apps connect to the Internet automatically and download these updates themselves.  When traveling overseas, this can lead to unwanted data roaming charges.  Follow these steps to disable automatic updates.

1. Click “Google Play Store”
2. Navigate to “Menu”
3. Click on “Settings”
4. Click on “Auto Update Apps”
5.  You can choose to either completely stop automatic updates or only download updates through Wi-Fi.

Disable auto updates   Android_auto_update_apps

5. Track Your Data Usage

 If you are going overseas and intend to use your data plan, make sure to monitor your data usage.  Once you begin going over your data plan’s limit, you will be charged an increased amount for your data usage.

1. Click “Settings”
2. Tap “Data Usage”
3. Select the date range for your trip

data usage 1   data usage 2

For a more detailed report on your data usage, you can download My Data Manager or Onavo Count.  Both apps create alerts when you are about to go over your data limit and also widgets that display your current data usage.

 6. Bring a Mobile Hotspot

Now that you have customized your data usage and can manage how much data you are using,  you final step is a reliable source of Wi-Fi for all of your business needs while traveling abroad.  With XCom Global, you can rent a mobile hotspot for a flat rate of $14.95 per day with coverage in over 175+ countries.  XCom Global’s mobile hotspot devices offer extended battery life, feature download speeds of up to 21.6 Mbps, and offer advanced WPA2 security protection to keep your connection reliable and secure.

XCom Global Mobile WI-Fi Hotspots in Sochi

 7. Make Voice Calls and More

With your mobile hotspot, you can utilize your Wi-Fi access to make calls, send text messages and connect to your company back home without relying on a mobile phone plan.  Skype and Viber are two such applications that allow you to share image, video, and audio messages over the Internet with fellow Skype and Viber users.  There are currently over 800 million combined users of both applications.  Accomplish your tasks through Wi-Fi and forget about paying for international calls.

In Conclusion

Even if your Android is not the newest model, each phone has a similar way to configure data roaming and syncing with your apps.  Follow these simple steps and take control over your data roaming.  Bring a mobile hotspot for your overseas travel to utilize secure, reliable Internet access for a productive and enjoyable experience.

We’re sending out an S.O.S. for Carnival! Don’t worry, the only saving that needs to be done is on your first day! For the month of February, all XCom Global rental orders placed for Brazil (and everywhere else you go) will receive the FIRST DAY FREE! Simply use the promo code when placing your order:  FIRSTDAY

If you’re one of the many who will be flocking to Rio de Janeiro for one of the biggest parties of the year, be sure to secure your Internet connectivity with us before your trip. The XCom Global Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot units provide high-speed data connectivity without long-term contracts or roaming fees, allowing you to upload and share photos of the over-the-top celebration and stay in touch with loved ones without worrying about returning home to an outrageous bill.

Shocking displays of make-up, glitter and feathers is fun, but a shocking bill from your wireless carrier is not. Travelers arrange for their coverage with us before they head abroad so they can have a fixed-rate, affordable data connection upon arrival. No technical expertise or unauthorized unlocking is required to receive a private and secure Wi-Fi connection, including support for WPA2 and VPN pass-through. Customer service is available 24 hours a day.

Place your order today and S.O.S.!

Offer expires 3/18/14

travel_adaptor_xcomlogo

XCom Global’s new travel adapters

XCom Global is excited to announce that in addition to our international mobile hotspots and air cards, every rental now includes a multi-national travel adapter for your traveling needs. The compact design features three different plug-ins for the U.K., Europe, Australia, Asia and the United States. This adapter charges your XCom Global mobile hotspot with a built in USB connector and includes a standard outlet to charge an additional device such as a smartphone, laptop, or tablet.

In addition to the travel adapter, each rental comes with an updated, more comprehensive User Guide to help you on your trip and answer any questions you may have. Inside the guide you can find tips on how to avoid data roaming on both your iPhone and Android Smartphone, step-by-step troubleshooting processes for common issues, and instructions for connecting to the Internet. Each page provides details alongside user-friendly images. If you have any additional questions or feedback, XCom Global’s 24/7 customer service team is ready to assist you, reachable from the toll-free numbers on last page of the guide.

When traveling for business or pleasure, you no longer need to worry about foreign power outlets and spotty or expensive Wi-Fi services. Rent from XCom Global today and let our mobile hotspot with multi-national travel adapter and in-depth user guide provide you with safe, reliable EASY access to the Internet while you travel abroad.