Our Experiences Using Telecom Square in Morocco
Disclaimer: Telecom Square loaned us one of their devices at no cost to use in return for a review of their product. We believe in giving our readers honest reviews; therefore all opinions expressed in the article are our own.
For many jets setters and self-proclaimed wanderers, the search for wi-fi is one of the many aspects of traveling. Although many destinations offer an abundance of public wi-fi, this isn’t the case everywhere. In many locations where there is wi-fi, it is often limited in terms of the amount of time you can stay connected to the network and/or the privacy of that network. This is where Telecom Square comes to the rescue! For those who haven’t heard of Telecom Square, they are based in Japan and provide wi-fi hotspots for use all over the world.
How It Works
You simply go to their website and reserve your device. Once you reserve and give your travel dates, the device is mailed to you before your departure and once you are done, you simply send it back in a prepaid envelope. The company offers the option of both a standard and premium device. The standard device is priced at $6.99/day regardless of the country you are using it in and includes a 300 mb/day data usage limitation (U.S and Japan are unlimited). The premium device ranges from $9.99/day for Canada, $12.99/day for the US, $13.99/day for other countries, and $19.99/day for Japan. The premium device raises the daily data usage limit to 1 gb/day, as well as in the case of Canada increases the max download speed. Both the standard and premium devices work by utilizing the existing cellular data network in the country you are going to be traveling, giving you a 4G connection. Traveling to multiple countries? Telecom Square have options for these multi country travelers. Check out the full list of countries and devices they offer!
Our experiences in Morocco
We had previously used telecom square’s service in Canada on a short weekend trip up to Montreal where they had lent us a premium device. We found it to be a great way to keep connected in between free wi-fi networks with a stable and fast connection and when they offered us the chance to use their service again for our trip to Morocco, we were eager to see how it worked!
We received our package which contained our device, a carrying case, a micro USB charger with power brick, and a plug converter. The first thing we did was to charge the device fully in preparation for the trip. We were slightly wary of how the device would work in Morocco compared to Canada due to the difference in cellular network coverage, but we can report that it worked in almost every area of the country except some of the more rural destinations in the Atlas Mountains and in the southern area of the country near Merzouga when we did our camel excursion into the Sahara. It was a great way to stay connected when we were out of our hotel and update social media throughout the day, as well as looking up directions and activities.
We did run into a few hiccups through the several weeks we had it. The first issue we had was with the charging cable. After charging the device before we left the country, we found once we got to Morocco that we could not get the device to charge. After trying the cable in the wall outlets, computer, and a battery pack we found that after using a different cable that it charged just fine. We were lucky that we had a second micro USB as it would have been hard to find one in Morocco without hunting for it.
The second issue we had was with the device not resetting our daily data usage for the first few days we were there. Luckily, Telecom Square offers 24/7 customer service, and after contacting them they were able to walk us through a solution which involved doing a factory reset on the device. The device some how got messed up when we jumped from USA timezone, to Spain's timezone (for a layover), and then finally to Morocco's timezone.
The only other minor thing we encountered wasn’t so much a technical issue as it was a system issue. As mentioned earlier, Telecom Square is based in Japan, and when the device resets your daily data allowance it does so when the day changes in Tokyo. Because of the eight-hour difference between Morocco and Japan, the device was resetting our data limit at 16:00 (4:00 PM) each day. This did cause a few occasions of us accidentally leaving our devices connected to the network overnight and ending up with very little data to use during the day before it reset. By the end of the trip however, we were much more careful to ensure the modem was shut off for the night in order to conserve data for the next day.
Overall, the experience of using Telecom Square’s service was almost completely problem free and when we did have issues, their customer support was quick and extremely responsive in helping us solve them. You can contact the team via phone, twitter, instagram or email! Since we did not have the ability to dial we used social media and the team always responded and then followed up with an email to close the loop.
The ultimate choice that most people looking to use Telecom Square’s service will want to know is whether it is better value than the other options available for staying connected. For Morocco, the options are fairly limited. You can pay for an international roaming plan with your present carrier, but with some carriers not covering Morocco it means you would have to pay a usage rate of $2/mb or go with one of their package plans which does not offer a great deal of data for what you are paying. These can also include huge charges for going over your allotted data.
The other option is to get a sim card for the local carrier to use in your phone once you get to Morocco, but again this is only an option for people who have a GSM band phone and are not bound to a carrier. It also involves finding a place to purchase the sim card and having it configured. Although the cost to top up the sim card once you have it may be less expensive than the per day rate of Telecom Square, you also have to factor in the complications of finding and setting up the sim card which is lost time that you can be using exploring.
In addition, Telecom Square is one of the more secure options due to the network being secured using WEP/WPA, which is ideal for anyone traveling on business who may need the increased safety. The devices are very compact and easily fit in a pant pocket or a small purse. On both occasions of using the device it was about the size of our cell phones! The battery life lasts a few days at a time, although we always threw it on the charger at night with our phones, and some of the devices can connect up to 10 different users at a time; great for traveling in groups!
We are strong advocates for less hassle and less stress when we travel, making Telecom Square the obvious choice. Overall, using Telecom Square is a great option for those who are looking to stay connected while traveling. The service, capability, and value of their product are all strong reasons to consider utilizing their modem on your next trip abroad, especially if traveling in a group! We look forward to investing in their devices on our future international endevors.
Check them out on Instagram to see them in action! You may even notice a familiar photo!