Rochester, Minn.-based Pace are experts at communications and connectivity, the company said. Whether it’s outfitting retail outlets with video displays or selling connectivity devices to RV manufacturers, the company is technology driven and focused on meeting the demands of the marketplace.
When it came to RVs, the company not only helps campers turn their rigs into their own personal hotspots, but it also wanted to go a step further and allow internet users to take the digital world with them wherever they go, and never lose a signal.
The company has long been serving as the connection point between a satellite TV provider and RV campers. But over time, its engineers noticed a hole in the marketplace and spent years in the design phase developing a solution. The company believes it has found it with TravlFi, and its first product, the Journey1.
“The question that always comes up when they (connect a customer with the satellite TV provider) is, ‘Hey, can I get internet as well?’” said Sam Schell, Pace’s senior director of business development. “So, this has been years in the making. There are products out there and we support them as well, but we really wanted to figure out something that we could do ourselves, so we came up with TravlFi to really just answer that one question: ‘How do I get Internet in my RV?’”
What it came up with was the portable hotspot it calls Journey1.
“Our product is portable. There is not a product out there that you can just walk around with and have internet with you. So, we saw a niche there, and we also saw a niche in the technology. That’s why we came up with this product,” said Schell.
There are a couple distinct advantages to the Journey1, he said. The small device – Schell said he carries his on a carabiner attached to his backpack – uses a “virtual” SIM card. Rather than the card that your phone uses to connect you with your service provider, TravlFi’s Journey1 uses the cloud.
“What that does is it allows us to offer plans that go across more than one provider,” Schell said. “We have service through all of the major cellular carriers in the U.S, under a single TravlFi plan.
“So, when I travel from one place to another, let’s say I’m in Texas and there’s one service that’s very dominate there, or in the Midwest out in the rural areas there’s another carrier that has the better signal, our device actually goes out and finds the strongest tower, the fastest speed and changes providers on the fly. So that’s really where we differentiate ourselves. There is no other product in the RV market that is doing that today,” Schell said.
The other distinct feature is the pay-as-you-go concept. Once you’ve bought the Journey1 device, you own it, but when it comes to your connectivity, it’s entirely up to you whether you want to purchase TravlFi’s data plan for a month or a year or something in between. You’re charged accordingly and the contracts all run on a 30-day time schedule, Schell said.
“We have data plans that start at two gigs and go all the way up to 800 gigs (gigabytes per second),” Schell said. “And on top of that, we layer in this great service through our call center.”
The Journey1 is easily chargeable and can connect up to five devices at once, he added.