Backup WAN feed for Surf SOHO

I recently purchased a Pepwave Surf SOHO MK3 router. It is fully deployed, in service, and doing a great job. During recent weeks I also was looking for a Flip phone for my wife - she doesn’t like Smart phones. I identified an Alcatel Go Flip 3 (model 4052W) as the phone I wanted for several reasons. At this time we have become increasingly dependent on our internet service: shopping, Medical info, etc. So I was interested to have an alternate feed in case our normal Cable internet went out. This phone specs showed both Wifi Hotspot and USB Tethering capabilities. I looked at Peplink’s published list of compatible 4G LTE USB modems, and didn’t find much for the US. Most of the few US devices are no longer available, or insanely expensive.

I can confirm that the Alcatel Go Flip 3 can serve as an alternate WAN feed to the Surf SOHO, either in Hotspot mode, or via USB Tether, in case anyone is interested. I bought this phone from Tello Mobile (unlocked), running on the T-Mobile network, for $85, with a very cheap service plan. Today this phone is $219 on Amazon. If needed, I can use the phone for link long enough to upgrade the service plan to include more Data, to get thru an outage. I hope this information is useful to someone.


Thanks for sharing, many folks on the forum are always on the lookup for plans/phones that work for outages.
How much data are you able to use on this connection on usb/hotspot?
What was the plan name?
Does it throttle after plan use?

Tello has Custom Plans, where you pick the Minutes and Data. I opted for 100 minutes, as my wife doesn’t do much cellular calling, and 1GB data. If I have to deploy this cell phone as a WAN backup link, the 1st thing I will do is link into Tello and upgrade the Data cap. I believe it does throttle if you exceed the cap, but I haven’t confirmed that. Tello is a MVNO (reseller) for T-Mobile.

ok thanks for info.

A couple of other bits: If anyone is looking at this solution, it is IMPORTANT to look for the Alcatel Go Flip 3 Model 4052W. Alcatel has made numerous models of their phone, for different carriers. This is the only one I can vouch for. I had acquired a Model 4044C (Cricket), which worked as a phone on T-Mobile, but did not have the Tethering function. Be careful with this issue. This model is running their proprietary OS, KaiOS version 2.5 or later. Earlier versions of KaiOS did not support the Tethering function.

Secondly, the Tethering function is disabled (grayed-out) unless the phone is plugged into a live USB port. I was successful with the tethering, both to my laptop (old Lenovo, running Linux Mint Cinnamon 19.3), as well as to the Pepwave Surf SOHO router. Also note that activating the Tethering seems to disable the USB storage function. I had to go to Settings / Storage to re-enable this to see the contents of the MicroSD card again.