Broadband Connection at Home

My home today is in San Pedro, Guatemala on Lake Atitlan. The term broadband connection infers that we have a great connection. When I read broadband connection on a sign, I know there is hope, then best to test the connection.

I am testing my new Tigo Modem today, a cellular network internet connection all over the country of Guatemala.

San Pedro, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala --- Monday, April 12, 2010
By Andy Graham of


Tigo is the company Comcel
What is the best broadband connection at home? I believe the future is these thumb drive chips that have the software on them, you plug them into the USB port of your computer, the software load, and you have a connection.

Connection Interface for Tigo
I am not sure why, but you should always connect to the internet with five bars. Alternatively, disconnect and try again with five bars, the signal strength when you connect, the handshake established is better with the five bar connection.

I paid 400 Quetzals to get started with the cell phone modem.
75 for the modem
325 for the first month.
8 GIGS of transfer maybe that is just up or down I am not sure.

How do I reload, I am not sure, I think I can put the SIM card into a telephone, then buy 325 Q of time and load onto the SIM, but I am not sure, I will cross that bridge in a month.

Map of the Tigo or Comcel Coverage in Guatemala GSM as of 2010, this will increase, and normally underdeveloped countries have better cell phone coverage than the USA.

Guatemala GSM
GSM, Edge, 3g, 4g, etc… does not mean much, but a couple of terms to know, even though they mean almost nothing is GSM. If I search for Guatemala GSM, I was able to find the map above, and learn how many companies serve Guatemala.

If you want to know the names of cell phone companies available in Guatemala, search in Google for Guatemala GSM, if you were in Honduras, probably search for Honduras GSM. Then hopefully you have a list of companies, in the end, I ask three or four locals what phone system they use, and go with the winner.

Testing Broadband Connection at Home
How do I test an internet connection all over the planet, I try to make either a Yahoo Messenger call or a call.

Mom and Dad
That call you received on Wednesday morning was a test call, trying to see if that white thing plugged into my computer above works as an internet connection. I had to wait for you to get off your dial up connection to call you… hmmm

Well, Mom and Dad are using the phone, so I called directory assistance in the USA:
Area Code - 555 1212
Skype Ready Number: +12605551212

Yes, I can talk on Skype, however Tigo is a little weak, I may need move my mobile office or home to have a better broadband connection at home. I think I need to find the local cell tower and get a room whereby the window of the hotel is looking at the cell phone tower; I need a line of sight connection.

How will the world have a broadband connection in five years, I believe everyone will have either a USB cellular network internet connection with a chip, or the chip will be integrated into the computer. I believe I could buy a USB extension cord and put the chip out the window for a better connection.

I check my e-mails using my Verizon Smartphone and delete, then I connect with the Tigo Modem using the computer to type this journal post. I then send with a proprietary content management system we made, and publish the photos using WS FTP.

Disclosure of Influence: 0

Broadband Connection at Home


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I've been reading your blog for years (since you were in Iraq) but have never commented before. I couldnt resist commenting today since within minutes of each other, we made pretty similar posts. I just got a Tigo USB modem, too, and so far am really happy with it. Even when the power was just out for an hour, I kept working away on my netbook with perfect internet speeds. Post sometime if you figure out if you can buys saldo for the wifi card on double or triple days like you can on a phone.

$41 USD is a lot of money for a month of broadband. BUT, it sure would be nice to have access anytime, anywhere. A definiite good back-up if nothing else.

I looked into these in the US. Only slightly more expensive than what you have. I have been checking my internet usage, and it is averaging 1 to 1.5 GB per month. Might go super high some months with pics etc or watcing movies. What I want to know, and haven't found the answer yet is on some of these pre-pay broadband connections, do you keep your GB from month to month, so if you get 8GB the first month, and use only 4 GB, do you have 12 GB to use the next month? That is how my pre-pay phone works.

IF that is how it is, AND I could get a good signal where I live, it would be a decent option for internet service, if my neighbor ever locks me out of their WIFI.

Bob L

Two of my hosts in Syria and Lebanon were using this same setup:

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