Many of foreigner travellers have questions about Internet in Vietnam before their trip, especially the challenges to keep live connection on-the-go. That needs lead to traditional solutions are to buy a data SIM card or to rent a 4G Pocket Wifi set. There are hot debates on the resolution. Each person all states his points to select one over the other solution and insists that you are right. IS IT CORRECT? To provide a clear vision for each of you, I consolidate the scenarios then you can map your case in and have your own decision.
To have common understanding, the different names of service to turn 3G/4G mobile data into a wifi hotspot are pocket wifi, travel wifi, or carry wifi. The decision for pocket wifi rental in Vietnam in general or its biggest cities: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang in particular, mostly depend on your need during traveling. We, still subjectively, elaborate our view on this topic through more detail analysis. Let see the benefits of 4G pocket wifi offers as people usually claim:
- Surfing Internet
- Join conference calls
- Send and receive emails (with attached photos or documents)
- Be online with any application such as Email, Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook, Facetime, …
- Use maps on your smartphone to find ways or order Grab
- Real-time search for useful information of attractions (transportation schedules, museum hours, addresses, restaurant reservation…)
- Long lasting battery
- Shareable to from 4 to 10 devices
For travelling in Vietnam, we can see that the benefits #1 ~ #6 are basically covered with Internet, or the 4G Data functionality. Thus, some of us will think about buying a data package / data SIM card is more reasonable. Also, item #7 is debatable due to the battery capacity of pocket wifi which varies from 4hours to 24hours. Item #8 can also be covered with hotspot function in smartphones. Then, do you still need to rent a pocket wifi for your travel in Vietnam?
The answer absolutely depends on your particular situation. Here is the decision matrix for this problem that I illustrate in the form of programing for your reference:
In general, if you already have a back-up or a dual phone to utilize as a hotspot, and your demand for data is not intense, then, you can buy a data SIM card only. However, either you do not have a device with you or your demand for data is high everywhere, everytime, it is recommended to lease a Carry Wifi device from KeyOn for example. The reason is that the device is dedicated for wireless data transmission from mobile service. Then, its battery last long, its data package is robust, its saving is significant.