Friday, December 22, 2006

Verizon EVDO Rev-A Sightings

Sprint made a big deal when it launched its EVDO Rev-A network in San Diego last October. Soon as they did, EVDO users everywhere began murmuring about Verizon's plans for Rev-A. As months have passed, the murmurs became screams: "How can Verizon continue to be silent about its Rev-A plans, and let Sprint look like the clear Rev-A winner?"

Indeed.

Then a rumor busts out last week about Verizon launching its EVDO Rev-A network on December 15th. The rumor was true and Verizon began selling its first Rev-A hardware, the Sierra AirCard 595, a Rev-A PC Card.

No fanfare from Verizon at all. In fact there was denial at first. Nobody at Verizon claims to have known about this launch. Finally, one Verizon rep implied to many bloggers - "Idiots, all the recent PR over the past few months were really for Rev-A networks."

Now that users are getting their hands on the Sierra ac595 card, Verizon won't be able to keep their Rev-A networks as a hidden secret, much longer. Reports of Verizon's Rev-A networks are already showing up on this EVDO FORUMS thread on Verizon Rev-A Sightings. Early reports include Chicago, Dallas and Washington DC... watch the thread grow quickly over the next few days, as more and more users get the Sierra 595 cards and report their results.

Could it be that Verizon has more Rev-A coverage than Sprint and is planning one major announcement, rather than Sprint's approach of tell-as-you-go? Only time will tell.

A last note about the Verizon Rev-A hardware... Mac users have long enjoyed Verizon's commitment to having a connection manager that runs on MacOSX, but the Sierra AC595 did not come with a Mac version of VZAccess Manager at launch. The card is not made Mac-compatible by Verizon.

Fear not, Mac users. EVDOinfo.com has got your back!

For their Mac customers of Verizon's Sierra AirCard 595 Rev-A PC Card, EVDOinfo.com will take necessary steps to prepare the card for Mac use... those steps include activation on windows laptop, upgrading firmware for Rev-A networks, and shipping compatible software on CD.


If thats not enough to convince you to deal with the EVDO Experts at EVDO INFO, this should do the trick: When you buy your Sierra 595 from sister site Booster-Antenna.com, you will pay $30 less than the Verizon site or store!

Order yours today!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Live, From Chicago: Its Verizon Rev-A!

Late last week a rumor surfaced that Verizon would start selling Rev-A hardware on Friday, December 15th. That rumor proved to be accurate, and just as soon as the Rev-A Sierra AirCard 595 from Verizon was available for sale, speculation began on the subject of where Verizon might already have Rev-A turned on. An interview with Verizon implied that all recent Verizon PR about new EVDO markets were Rev-A activations, but they stopped short of actually saying that, officially.

We just got our hands on the new card and are testing it on a train ride from our offices in Cary, IL into downtown Chicago and back. We are excited to report that Rev-A is definitely live in Chicago!

For additional screenshots, see our Verizon EVDO Rev A story on EVDOinfo.com.

We will maintain a list of all the cities where Rev-A has been spotted, over on EVDO FORUMS

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Novatel Ovation U720 EVDOinfo Review Available


EVDOinfo (our sister site), has just published a review of the Novatel Ovation U720 from Sprint. If you are interested in finding out more, read our review on Sprint's U720 EVDO Rev A USB Modem.

Friday, December 15, 2006

"Mac.Intosh" serves up u720 solution for Mac Users

The Rev-A Novatel U720 USB Modem has been out for about two weeks now, and there are still no 'official' drivers from Sprint or Apple. That means there is no supported method of getting the popular u720 to work on any Mac, even though we know it works on Macs.

Not one to wait around, a zealous Mac-Guru named "Mac.Intosh" has put together an installer package and has links posted on the Novatel Ovation U720 USB Rev A and Mac OS X Compatibility - EVDOforums.com

Several users have had success with the installer, and have already expressed great appreciation for the package, proclaiming "Mac.Intosh" to be royalty in the Mac community.

As with the Pantech PX-500, the resulting installation on the Mac is not perfect - you can't see connection information like bar strength, or see if you are on Rev-0 or Rev-A network, and you can't activate the u720, nor update any information on it. That still has to happen on a PC.

Regardless of the quirks, Mac users can rejoice in the fact that at least they CAN use the u720 on their Macs... and get this - reports show that Macs are getting faster u720 performance than PCs!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Verizon Ships First EVDO Rev A Card - AC595

Verizon Ships First EVDO Rev A Card - Sierra AirCard 595 PCMCIA

Verizon joins the EVDO Rev A race with their first EVDO Rev A card. This is a PCMCIA card, so it will only work in laptops that have a PCMCIA slot (not the newer ExpressCard slot). The AirCard 595 has a proprierty antenna connector and isn't compatible with many popular routers. However, IT IS REV A.

We have heard that carriers have only been able to get EVDO Rev A base stations for the last few months and that all the sites that have gone live have actually been EVDO Rev A. We will know after this card starts appearing in market.

For the latest info see the following related links:

Verizon EVDO Rev A Coverage Sightings - EVDOforums
Verizon Sierra AirCard 595 Rev A Now Shipping - EVDOforums
Place your Order Now for a Verizon AirCard 595

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"Only as good as the company you keep"

This blogpost will detail our recent Novatel U720 Rollout. We first mentioned the U720 back in April. We knew then that it would have an impact, and have watched for it ever since. Rumors started swirling in September that the device would launch in early October... and then early November -- both dates came and went, and nothing happened.

We later learned that someone goofed up and forgot to get FCC approval on a cable that ships with the device, and that was the reason given for latest delay. Rumors began swirling that the device would launch in early December, shortly after FCC approval.

Near the end of November, while searching distributors for a different product, we stumbled upon a distributor with stock of Novatel U720's we could get our hands on. Since, some customers walked into Sprint stores earlier in the month and walked out with a U720 and Novatel was approved to sell the Novatel Ovation U720 on Sprint's network, we decided the U720 was a go. We did not immediately jump on the opportunity because prior offers have always had some type of catch to them, and we learned the hard way that it wasn't always worth being the first to sell a new product. So, we really took our time and checked with Sprint to ensure that there would be no reason our newfound inventory would not work.

After checking all the roadblocks that had bitten us in the past, feeling like this device was too important, we decided to grab what we could from our distributor, and announced that we had them for sale.

In retrospect, we should have listened to our guts (and our wives) because once again, it didn't work out as well as we wanted.

At first, it was a simple matter that Novatel forgot to submit the ESN's (electronic serial numbers) to Sprint, and so all orders were showing the devices as not being in system.

We got past that hiccup and once the ESN's were valid, our order processor was doing their best to get the orders entered into system as quickly as possible, only to find out that the order entry code used to give consumers their $150 service credit, would not work with our inventory of devices. It appeared that Sprint was only going to approve the service credits (which automatically show up on your first Sprint bill), if the devices came from Sprint stock. (our immediate reaction was... wtf?)

By this time a few days had already passed and under normal circumstances, our customers would have already had their devices. But we weren't that lucky, and our luck wasn't going to get any better, anytime soon.

We decided that the best thing we could think of to get our customers their orders as soon as possible, was to give in to the Big Sprint Machine and let them ship product from their inventory so that the service credits would apply. At the time, we felt like we were being stepped on, but we had to do what was right for our customers.

For the most part, that last step worked. All but a handful of people got their devices by the end of last week. All... but a handful.

The handful who arbitrarily did not get a device shipped from Sprint stock, are some of the most patient customers we have ever had, and truly... We thank them for still being our customers.

For these unfortunate few, Sprint sometimes gave tracking numbers that never had a package picked up, or it was the wrong tracking number, or their order was shipped to the wrong address, or their order was never even assigned a device because we now learn that "due to the Holiday Season, all orders are experiencing 7 to 10 day shipment delays, and we expect this to be the norm for some time to come".

We can't blame folks for having the opinions they hold about big companies like Sprint. Too often, customers are treated like ants, simply because to the Big Company, there are plenty more where you come from, next time they host a picnic.

We just hope that our customers can disassociate our customer support from Sprint customer support. Yes, we realize that they placed their order (and faith) with us, and we appreciate it.

But we aren't Sprint - we're a small outfit and this is our livelihood. Each person working in this company works to do whats right by the customer or they won't be working here long.

Our problem is clear.

You're Only As Good As the Company You Keep

... that company is Sprint, and they made us look bad.

We hope that some of these issues are related to growing pains (e.g. EVDO Rev A announced, $59.99 for anyone announced, First EVDO Rev A Devices including USB announced), and the surge of orders and new customers is just overwhelming Sprint's order system. Hopefully it improves over time, so that they can handle all these new customers they are getting.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sprint EVDO and Macs - December 2006


This is an update on Sprint Support for Mac users. Last month, we reported that when Sprint rolled out EVDO Rev A, they left out a lot of Mac users.

As of December 7, 2006 things are a little better. Maybe this blog made a difference! The Pantech PX-500 Rev-A Card, now works with PowerBooks that have a PCMCIA slot (15 and 17 inch only)

Pantech PX-500 Mac PowerBook Compatibility

The solution isn't perfect -- activation and updates to the the card still has to happen on a PC. Also, you will need a Windows laptop to perform any firmware upgrades, PRL Updates or to see signal strength. But diehard Mac fans will live with that, in order to fly at Rev-A EVDO speeds.

Obviously, not every Mac can take advantage of Rev-A yet. Macs without PCMCIA Slots are left out of Rev-A goodness. For those folks, all is not lost, they can still use Sprint EVDO with the Franklin CDU-550, though it won't be at Rev-A speeds. Sigh.

This week, Sprint finally made available the long awaited Novatel U720, which we initially reported as being intel-mac compatible. That turned out to be an accidental discovery that Verizon's latest VZAccess Manager software installed drivers for the U720. Forensics show us that Verizon's upcoming version is called the Novatel V720 and is the same device. The same Verizon update also supports all the other Rev-A Cards for Mac users. Whoa. But wait! -- the update from Verizon is no longer available! Hmm. Wonder why that stopped being available... Could it be the power of EVDOinfo.com? ;-)

Even more interesting is the fact that Sprint's website reported the exact same information we published, days after we did. (See for yourself at this screenshot we saved).

What we do know, is shortly after it was posted in forums that the Sprint site says the device is erroneously Mac-compatible, the Sprint site started to have all references to Mac-compatibility removed. Hmmmmm. Since Sprint doesn't currently support Macs, they are waiting on Apple to push out a software update that supports the U720, until this happens, the U720 isn't Mac compatible (see latest info on U720 Mac Compatibility - EVDOforums.com)

Oh. Still no ExpressCard solution from Sprint.
Maybe in the next 30 days?
Can anyone say MacWorld?

Speaking of which, if you go to MacWorld, look us up at Booth 304
We'll have all the latest and greatest EVDO goodies to show off!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Use an EVDO ExpressCard in a PC Card Slot


More and more these days, laptop manufacturers are starting to use ExpressCard slots instead of PC Card (PCMCIA) slots. To satisfy the new breed, Verizon launched the V640 ExpressCard in early August and in late August we tested Verizon's ExpressCard/PC Card adapter only to find out that more often than not, it did not work as advertised. Read all the horror stories here.

Recently we tested a brand new adapter and tested it in as many ways as we could, and guess what?

This one works!

We even have video proof. Check it out.

Now folks who have older laptops with PC card slots can buy the V640 ExpressCard and not worry about having to get a different card when they get a newer laptop.

We've started a new forum thread that will report success and failures of the adapter, as more and more people buy and use them.

You can also purchase one if you have a V640 ExpressCard, or purchase a V640 and ExpressCard Adapter together.



Thursday, November 30, 2006

Verizon Hints At EVDO Rev-A Upgrade

Back in October, Sprint rolled out its Rev-A network starting in San Diego. Since that time, many have asked how long Verizon can stay quiet about their plans to launch Rev-A.

We're now hearing that some Verizon customers are getting postcards (talk about old skool) that advise customers to do a firmware upgrade or else "your PC Card or PDA will no longer be able to connect to BroadbandAccess effective February 2007".

Hmmm. Upgrade or Else. Nice. See for yourself at this Verizon site: BroadbandAccess Device Update

Reading between the lines its clear that a major network upgrade is coming, which should definitely mean Rev-A, right? RIGHT?

Its curious to me that they actually leave it up to your imagination in that announcement instead of clearly saying "Our Rev-A Network Launches February 2007".

Regardless, the folks who do need to upgrade their firmware (mostly those that purchased their cards before December 2005) need to do so for compatibility with whatever the upgraded network provides. It does NOT say that the upgraded devices will be able to take advantage of faster Rev-A speeds, they won't be able to, since Rev A devices require a new chipset.

Because of chipset requirements, Verizon is going to have to announce and sell a whole new line of Rev-A devices in conjunction with their Rev-A network rollout, whenever that happens.

We have heard that for the last 3 months that only Rev A basestations have been available, so when Verizon "flips the switch" in February, they actually may have a very large EVDO Rev A footprint.

Discuss this topic on EVDOforums at:
Upgrade your firmware or else?? (Verizon Rev A Feb 2007)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pantech PX-500 now Mac Compatible

For months now, Mac users have clamored for a Sprint PCMCIA EVDO Card that would work with their trusty PowerBooks. We helped them along by coming up with a hack that allowed more technically-savvy users to get the Merlin S720 card working. It wasn't pretty, we couldn't support it, but it worked and thats all that mattered to the Mac community who have come to count on us for Mac + EVDO Expertise.

Sprint recently rolled out their new Rev-A networks in select cities across the nation, and with it came a new firmware revision that made our hack no longer functional with the S720 card. Panic among the Sprint/Mac faithful ensued. What will we do now? Can a new hack still save us? Sadly, no.

Alas, it seems one good side effect of the Rev-A firmware upgrades is that the wonderfully priced (free) Pantech PX-500 is now compatible with PowerBook 15 and 17 inch laptops that sport a PCMCIA slot. Yay! and without a hack! Sweet! and quite possibly, Rev-A Speeds! SUH-WEEET!

There's more to this report though. PX-500 users will not be able to see any sort of signal strength, nor can the card be activated in a mac, nor can you do any future firmware or PRL updates on a mac. All that still has to happen on a PC. For those ordering from us, we will gladly pre-activate, update to the needed Rev A firmware before shipping it to you.

Fine. Its not perfect. But it is much better than we've had from the Sprint folks, in a long time.

Just how fast is it when used on a Mac? that, we can show you:




There are still some unanswered questions that linger:
Will it truly provide Rev-A speeds when used in Rev-A networks?
Will it work on older Mac Laptops with PCMCIA slots? (Wallstreet/Pismo?)

Important Links:
Order a PX-500 from Us (includes Pre-Activation and Mac Setup Guide)
Discuss PX-500 Mac Compatibility on EVDOforums

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sprint Rev-A Coverage Maps

Sprint launched its Rev-A service in San Diego in late October. Its now been about three weeks, and reports by avid EVDO junkies on the best EVDO FORUMS have shown that Rev-A is actually turned up in at least 10 cities.

But some folks wanted something more official than the word of the man-on-the-street.

OK then. Don't believe the hard-core EVDO users. You want real proof where Rev-A is turned up? Sprint is now showing where Rev-A is available on their static maps.

You can learn more at this post on EVDO INFO... home of the EVDO EXPERTS!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Verizon Announces Variable Early Termination Fee (ETF)

Verizon announces the end to the $175 Early Termination Fee. The Early Termination Fee starts at $175 and for every month that you complete, you subtract $5 from the fee. So, if you are 22 months into a 24 month contract, instead of paying $175 to "get out early", you only pay $65.

We think this is a great idea and we think consumers will agree.

Lets see how long it takes before other carriers match this move.

Discuss on EVDOforums.com

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sharing Your EVDO Connection with Parallels

After Apple started using Intel chips, a lot of Mac users installed the Parallels Virtual Machine, allowing them to use Windows Applications right on their Macs.

Lots of those same people discovered it was difficult to use their EVDO connectivity within the Parallels virtual machine... leaving their windows world stuck without internet access. (Actually, the best way to prevent spam and virii, but thats a different subject.)

As a service to our customers (and our customers-to-be), we've decided to make life simpler for many folks by publishing information that will make it easier to share the EVDO connectivity with the dark side of your Mac!

Sharing Your EVDO Connection with Parallels
Discuss Parallels and EVDO on EVDOforums

Friday, November 10, 2006

Novatel Ovation U720 USB Modem Delayed

The EVDO USB Modem Soap Opera Continues :(

First, Sprint certifies the Franklin CDU-550 USB Modem back in August 2006 and Sprint decided to not completely promote the modem. How did they not completely promote the modem? Sprint decided to give only corporate users the standard $150 service credit when signing up for a 2 year service plan. So for consumers, they would have to pay regular prices and not get a deal when buying. Since, so many people have been wanting a USB device, many didn't care and grabbed the Franklin USB Modem (or if you are a business, you do get the $150 service credit on your first Sprint bill).

A few weeks after the Franklin started shipping, word leaked out that Novatel would be releasing a USB modem for use on Sprint's network (called the Novatel Ovation U720). This device would be actually sold by Sprint (unlike the Franklin USB Modem, which is sold by a few resellers, including us). First word leaked out that October 1st was the day. Next, it was pushed back to November 4th. The week before November 4th, Sprint pushed it back to November 11th. According to various Sprint sources, the release has now been pushed back another 3 weeks OR more. Why?

According to Sprint, the Y Adapter cable that is used to give the Novatel U720 additional power AND move the modem away from the computer, was never approved by the FCC. The Novatel Ovation U720 IS approved, but the Y Cable that is included is not. Sprint says that it could take at least 3 weeks for the approval, BUT it could take a lot longer.

The real winner in this saga? Franklin Wireless. They have a device that is shipping now.

To discuss this, OR to find the latest information, visit the following EVDOforums thread:

Novatel Ovation U720 Delayed, Forgot Y Cable FCC Approval
Read our Franklin CDU-550 Review
Buy a Frankln CDU-550

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sprint EVDO and Macs - November 2006


This is an update on Sprint Support for Mac users - as of November 1, 2006 things have gotten much worse!

Sprint is in the middle of moving their product line to EVDO Rev A, but as they move forward they are leaving more and more Mac users behind!

Last week Sprint released firmware that allowed their Rev-A compatible cards to actually use Rev-A towers that started turning on in San Diego (and now in other cities). One of the unfortunate side effects of this upgrade to the S720 firmware, is that they broke our hack that allowed the card to work with PowerBooks! Currently, there is NO way to revert the firmware and many Merlin S720/PowerBook users are dead in the water.

Neither of Sprint's newest EVDO Rev A Cards (Merlin S720 & AirCard 595 & Pantech PX-500) are compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.8. We have a hack that explains how to get the S720 working with your PowerBooks, but this is only for customers that are comfortable making the changes documented on our web site, and only for cards that have not been updated with the newest firmware.

Sprint STILL does not offer an ExpressCard, which is the kind of port that every MacBook Pro has (Verizon offers the Novatel V640 ExpressCard). Sprint certified the Franklin USB device on their networks back in August, BUT since the Novatel USB modem is just around the corner, Sprint crippled the success of the Franklin CDU-550 by limiting the sales to only businesses (or at least only offering the $150 service credit to corporate accounts, individuals pay full price). The CDU-550 does work with Macs, it is an EVDO Rev 0 device, BUT having a Windows computer around, can be important (or required) to complete some updating and provisioning. The upcoming Merlin U720 USB Modem will be available to individuals and businesses, but Mac compatibility is uncertain at this time.

Sprint doesn't support Macs directly and chooses to rely on Apple to provide device driver support. We are waiting on Apple's next OS update (Mac OS X 10.4.8 and EVDO?) to see if any of the new EVDO Rev A Cards are supported.

Until Apple does provide more device support, what choices are available to Mac users who have to use Sprint?? Some companies are pushing the AirCard 580 but thats a Rev 0 card (which Macs support) and with Rev A turning on in more cities each day, buying a Rev 0 card on any contract is a bad decision. Other users will consider the Franklin USB option, but it too is only a Rev 0 device, and has occasionally required a Windows PC for secondary provisioning.

Some people will find a way to jump to Verizon - simply because Verizon readily supports PowerBooks and MacBook Pros, in some cases both natively with Apple drivers and through VZAccess Manager connection software as well.

Everyone else has to wait for Apple to provide more drivers, or for Sprint to provide a native Mac OS X version of the Sprint Connection Manager! Currently, Sprint's Mac support is a 2 page PDF - that is it, PLUS, that document only supports older Rev-0 cards that are no longer listed in Sprint's online store and that have or will soon be, discontinued. No native Sprint PCS Connection Manager software. In order to get up and running with the few cards that do work - Sprint requires that you activate them in a Windows PC before they will work in your Mac. You cannot upgrade firmware in a Mac, or update the PRL, so having a Windows PC around is just about required. That really isn't Mac support.

Note to Apple: Please deliver a Mac OS X update to support the Merlin S720 and the upcoming Novatel U720 USB Modem.

Note to Sprint: Brilliant decision to provide zero support for Mac users. Verizon thanks you :)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thank you Cisco... Finally!


Back in August, folks with a MacBook Pro and Verizon's V640 ExpressCard started to notice issues using the Cisco VPN Client. Many of them discussed their dismay on this EVDO FORUMS thread. A Cisco employee reported that the bug was found and fixed in early September, and yet the official release of the update just occured October 23rd.

Though it took over two months to get the fix out the door... all is well. Users of the MacBook Pro and the V640 can relax. Early reports are that the update has in fact fixed the issue with PPP connections.

So... Thanks Cisco... FINALLY!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sprint S720 Rev A Firmware Warning

Warning: Upgrading your S720 Firmware May Disable EVDO

We were very excited about the Sprint EVDO Rev A announcements today. They actually started last night as Sprint released the EVDO Rev A firmware that is required to enable your EVDO Rev A card to work at the faster speeds.

After performing the upgrade, we noticed a very disturbing "feature". Our office has had EVDO Rev 0 for many many months and we had a very strong signal. After performing the upgrade, we were no longer able to connect at EVDO, only 1xRTT. So instead of getting the 400Kbps - 700Kbps (or 1Mbps) average download speeds, we were stuck at 50Kbps - 100Kbps speeds. We tried the trick to lock in EVDO and that didn't work either.

We encourage everyone to read the EVDOforums thread below for the latest information BEFORE upgrading:

S720 Connection Manager 3.7.5 - ISSUE After Upgrade - EVDOforums.com

Sprint Launches FIrst EVDO Rev A Network

Sprint has announced that 21 markets will get EVDO Rev A by the end of 2006. The first city that has it right now is San Diego. In order to get EVDO Rev A speeds, you need an EVDO Rev A Card with the latest firmware upgrades. The next cities to get it over the next few months at:

  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Hartford, Conn.
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Milwaukee
  • New York City
  • Newark/Trenton, N.J.
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Providence, R.I.
  • Sacramento, Calif
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington, D.C.
The EVDO Rev A Sprint cards are: Merlin S720, Pantech PX-500, AirCard 595 and the soon to be released Novatel U720.

Sprint Launches EVDO Rev A Network - Discuss on EVDOforums

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sprint Releases EVDO Rev A Firmware

If you have one of the new Sprint EVDO Rev A PCMCIA cards from Sprint (Merlin S720, Pantech PX-500, Aircard 595), we have good news for you. Tonight, Sprint released updated Connection Managers that update the firmware of these EVDO Rev A cards to actually go faster when in an EVDO Rev A area. Sprint started shipping the EVDO Rev A cards with EVDO Rev 0 software, but now with the latest firmware updates released, your Sprint cards can go at the faster EVDO speeds (only when in a newer EVDO Rev A City).

To Download the latest updates visit:

http://www.sprint.com/downloads

If you would like to discuss the latest updates, visit the following threads on EVDOforums.com:

New S620/S720 Connection Manager 3.7.5 Released
New Pantech PX-500 Connection Manager 3.2.19 Released

New AC595 Connection Manager 3.3.10 Released

Also, for the latest reports of EVDO Rev A Cities, see:

Sprint EVDO Rev A Coverage Sightings

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Franklin CDU-550 Supports Linux

Franklin Wireless announced that their CDU-550 USB Modem now supports Windows Mobile and Linux. This allows a single EVDO device to support just about every major operating system currently available.

Apple built support for the Franklin CDU-550 directly in Mac OS X (EVDO support started with 10.4.7). Of course, the Franklin Connection Manager that is included with the CDU-550 supports Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Many Linux users have struggled to get other EVDO cards working, but the CDU-550 is the first EVDO card that actually embraces Linux users.

Directions to use CDU-550 with Linux
Order a Franklin CDU-550 with Sprint Service

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sprint EVDO Rev A Hidden GPS

We decided to play around with the Merlin S720 Rev A Card from Sprint and we noticed a pretty cool built-in (but hidden GPS feature). We are wondering what cool features Sprint has coming down the road for us.

To see the hidden GPS dialog, do the following:

- Make sure you are disconnected

- Put your mouse over the plus (+) sign on the upper left of the Sprint Connection Manager Windows (don't click).

- Type in ##GPS

- Now you should see the following dialog box:


We have found, you can now Establish Data Connection and Activate or Start GPS. It looks like there are some tie-ins with Google Earth and other mapping sites.

So, what exactly does Sprint have coming for us? Either way, it looks like it will be fun.

Discuss the hidden GPS feature and latest on EVDOforums.com

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Locking on to Verizon EVDO only

Recently had to help a frustrated customer resolve a situation that has happened too often not to blog about it. The customer appeared to have been equi-distant to two strong signals, one was EVDO and one was 1xRTT. Because of this, the card he was using would constantly switch signals, which resulted in sometimes fast, sometimes slow connection speeds. Very bad.

Adding a Booster Antenna wasn't going to help because it would have boosted both signals. Sure, using a directional antenna might have fixed the problem, but this customer wasn't willing to go through a process to figure out where the EVDO tower was.

The customer's request was simple: "Can't I just lock on to only EVDO signal?"

Simple enough, right? Sprint customers have been able to do this for a while now (Merlin S720 Allows EVDO Locking) . But this customer had already tried Sprint service in his area and was unimpressed by its top speed. It never switched back and forth between slow and fast, it was just not fast. The coverage in his area was just not good enough, so he canceled the Sprint account, and decided to test Verizon.

He loved the top speed of Verizon's connection, when he got it. He just wanted it all the time. Some customers are finicky like that.

But Verizon, in all its wisdom, decided to remove the ability to lock onto EVDO-only signal many moons ago. Nothing currently available from Verizon will let a customer lock out 1xRTT and lock only to EVDO signal.

Now comes the happy ending.

Remembering that at one time, there was a way to do this with Verizon, we dug up an older (PC5220) sold it to him with Verizon service. The customer had already reviewed this article on EVDOinfo.com - Sniffing Out EVDO Towers - and was willing to see if the solution would work for him.

The night the customer got his delivery, he anxiously started following the article's instructions, and was overjoyed when he got his wish! EVDO ONLY! No more switching back and forth between slow and fast. Oh Joy!

Needless to say, we really like happy customers :)

Hey Verizon - if you like happy customers as well, why not update your current hardware/software offerings and give your customers the option to lock on to EVDO-only signal!?! For those customer directly between a fast BroadbandAccess and NationalAccess tower, you will give them an option that they do not have now (perhaps you will get less returns and cancels too).

Canceling Sprint Service - Gotcha

So, you got a new Sprint Mobile Broadband card and decided to give it a spin. For whatever reason, you decide it doesn't meet your needs and you call Sprint to cancel your service. You think you have no problem, because you are within your 15 day trial. Here is the big gotcha, when you call Sprint to cancel, the Sprint phone rep will make your cancel effective at the end of your current billing cycle. This may be too late and you may get stuck with having to pay a $200 Early Termination Fee, even if you called within the trial. Ouch!

The simple way around this, when calling to cancel, say, "I want to cancel my Sprint service immediately".

We don't believe this is a smart practice and hope that Sprint will change their ways.

Discuss on EVDOforums.com

Friday, October 06, 2006

PX-500, an EVDO Rev A PCMCIA Performer

The Cheap Card, finally hasn't missed the boat :)

The first cheap EVDO Card was the PC5740 and it was the only EVDO card without an antenna port. This meant that if you are in a "signal challenged" area, you have no options to add an external antenna or amplifier. We gained many customers who returned their PC-5740, canceled their Verizon or Sprint service and purchased an EVDO card that supported an external antenna.

Now we have a new "cheap card" (get it for free), and this time they added an external antenna port, (along with a flip up antenna). The antenna port allows you to hook up antennas and amplifiers.

So, what is missing with this card?

We have found that it performs incredible well and get this, it even comes with a leather carrying case. This card currently doesn't work in Macs or Kyocera KR1 or LinkSys WRT54G3G. The card includes support for EVDO Rev A, so when Sprint starts firing up the EVDO Rev A towers, the performance of this card will increase.

The Pantech PX-500 is a great entry level PCMCIA Card that supports 1xRTT, EVDO Rev 0 and EVDO Rev A.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hell NO, Helio

Haven't heard about Helio yet? You're probably better off.

Helio is an MVNO (they use Sprint's Mobile Broadband Network) like ESPNMobile is/was, but with recently announced EVDO data service for $85/mo. They'd like you to believe that they are a good choice because they have a neat gimmick: a PC card that handles both EVDO and WiFi.

Their actual EVDO Service is likely to be as good as Sprint/Verizon, and will depend on coverage and connection strength.

So what's the problem with Helio?

Their version of "unlimited" bandwidth is only 160mb per month!

Outrageous really, since software updates can be that large all by themselves.

Lots of people are already dissing Helio... There are just too many unknowns -- like EVDO Rev-A compatibility, quality of support, and mostly... If these guys are even going to be around to see 2007!

You can read more about Helio's TOS and see what others have to say, right here:

Helio Offers EVDO Card, $85/month - EVDOforums.com

Friday, September 29, 2006

Kyocera KR1

We have a ton of experience with the Kyocera KR1 and this router is an incredible device.

Around 4 months BEFORE the Kyocera KR1 was officially released, we received a demo unit and we wrote a Kyocera KR1 Review. We have had almost 150,000 people read our review. After the Kyocera KR1 Mobile Router was released, we immediately setup KR1 Support Forums on EVDOForums.

Since the KR1 was released on February 2006, we have sold thousands of these routers. Our support guys know the KR1 very well. We also offer our KR1 customers options to have US upgrade the firmware for them, via an advanced exchange or a mail-in upgrade.

Over the next month or so, we will be announcing some KR1 add-ons that bring some unique and interesting new capabilities to the KR1 (more on this next month).

Today, we are putting Kyocera KR1 on sale. Our sister site is now selling them for $249.99 (retail price is $299.99) (plus get a $50 mail-in rebate until 12/31/2006). If you have a PC5740 card and you do not want to tackle the firmware upgrade, we can perform the upgrade to your router before shipping (add $20).

Related Links:

- Kyocera KR1 Review
- Kyocera KR1 Support Forums

EVDO Verizon Sprint, Big News Coming

There are lots of exciting things happening in the EVDO world these days, from expanded coverage to new EVDO devices. Here's a sneak preview of some of the developments we are anticipating:

The Merlin u720 Sprint EVDO USB device: Sprint is set to make these available after October 1st, and we are all very excited. It will be Rev A capable and will have a port for an external antenna, 2 features the Franklin CDU-550 did not have. Since it hasn't been released yet we are unsure of its Mac compatibility, but we will post information on that as soon as we get ours in for testing.


The Pantech PX-500 PCMCIA card: Pantech's card will be released for Sprint's Rev A network next week. The card will be available for FREE to customers who sign up for a new 2-year contract!


Expanded Verizon EVDO Coverage: All week EVDO users have been posting to EVDO Forums, informing us of new broadband areas in the country. Nashville, TN and High Point, NC, Greenville, Boise, Stockton, Tucson, most of Florida are a few of the areas that were upgraded from 1xRTT to broadband this week, and we are hoping that next week will bring broadband to even more cities!


Verizon Rev A? Sprint has been the leader with Rev A devices thus far, but there are rumblings that Verizon is working to catch up. Could they be gearing up for a Rev A device launch? Stay tuned!!

Related Links
Join the Sprint Rev A discussion on EVDO Forums
Join the Verizon Rev A discussion on EVDO Forums

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pantech

Who is Pantech?

Many are seeing this company for the first time as Sprint is getting ready to introduce the Pantech PX-500, a new Rev A PCMCIA card. However, Pantech has different product lines, including Curitel, which produces the inexpensive PC-5740 that both Verizon and Sprint sell.

Besides EVDO cards, Pantech is releasing OR soon will be releasing different inexpensive phones for all the major carriers. We have heard that Pantech will be releasing a cool PDA through Verizon for only $99.

So, keep an eye on Pantech and related Cards, Phones and PDAs!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

EVDO-Coverage Con Artists

EVDOinfo.com & EVDOforums.com, has an excellent reputation for customer service, knowledg and being EVDO Experts. We take pride in our service and support we provide to our customers, along with the service our web site provide to the community.

A EVDO con man named Robert Kim, has been scamming customers for the longest time and we have many threads on Robert Kim on EVDOforums. This guy claims that EVDO can go 3000Kbps, or you can buy an amplifier and get 10 additional miles, or that he can SuperCharge any device and make it go faster (same free tip from us), and many other WILD claims.

Once again, he is trying to steal our identity and confuse customers. If you search in Google for EVDO, you will see the listing below. If you were looking for EVDOinfo or EVDOforums, you might accidently click on this link. Look closely, it is a different web site pretending to be us.



Feel free to call him and let him know what he is doing is wrong :)

Sprint First To Embed EVDO Rev A in Sony Laptops

Computer manufacturers have been embedding EVDO cards into certain laptop models for several months now, but Sony's new Vaio TX Series series will be the first to embed one of the newest EVDO Rev A cards. Laptops with embedded EVDO cards allow users to connect to Sprint's or Verizon's network (depending on the card embedded) without having to buy an external PC Card, ExpressCard or USB modem. Users simply activate their internal EVDO cards on the proper network (depending on whether the internal card is from Verizon or Sprint) and will have EVDO access wherever they go with their laptop!

Verizon has had many laptops this past year that include EVDO Rev 0 Cards. The Sony Vaio TX Series is the first laptop that has Sprint Mobile Broadband built-in AND is the first laptop with an embedded EVDO Rev A Device.

Related links:

Discuss Embedded EVDO laptops on EVDO Forums
Activate your Sprint Embedded EVDO

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sprint EVDO and Macs - September 2006


Sprint is in the middle of moving their product line to EVDO Rev A, but as they move forward they are leaving Mac users behind!

Apple added support in Mac OS X 10.4.7 for the AirCard 580 and Novatel S620, but in the last few weeks Sprint has discontinued both of those cards and replaced them with the new EVDO Rev A Versions (Merlin S720 & AirCard 595). Neither of these new cards are compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.7. We do have a hack that explains how to get the S720 working with your PowerBooks, but this is only for customers that are comfortable making the changes documented on our web site.

Also, Sprint doesn't offer an ExpressCard, which is the port on the MacBook Pro (Verizon offers the Novatel V640 ExpressCard). Sprint certified the Franklin USB device on their networks last month, BUT since the Novatel USB modem is just around the corner, Sprint crippled the success of the Franklin CDU-550 by limiting the sales to only businesses. The CDU-550 does work with Macs, it is an EVDO Rev 0 device, BUT having a Windows computer around, can be important (or required) to complete some updating and provisioning. The upcoming Merlin U720 USB Modem will be available to individuals and businesses, but Mac Compatiblity is uncertain.

Since Sprint doesn't support Macs directly and relies on Apple to provide support, we are waiting on Apple's next OS update (Mac OS X 10.4.8 and EVDO?) to see if the new EVDO Rev A Cards are supported. Until then, Mac users who have to use Sprint, will have to wait (unless you jump to Verizon - where every one of their cards support PowerBooks and MacBook Pros).

You may still be able to find some of the EVDO Rev 0 cards (AirCard 580 or Merlin S620), that work - BUT getting locked in for 2 years isn't the smartest thing as the industry moves to a new standard.

Another issue that Mac users face, is that the current EVDO Rev A cards, are shipping with EVDO Rev A hardware BUT EVDO Rev 0 software. A firmware upgrade will be required to support EVDO Rev A. Since Sprint doesn't currently support Macs and the Apple drivers don't handle firmware upgrades, you will have to stick your Merlin S720 in a Windows PC to complete the future (but needed) upgrade.

So, if you are a Sprint customer and a Mac user, you have the Franklin CDU-550, but it might be smarter to "Wait and See"...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

EVDO Rev A Cards Only Have EVDO Rev 0 Software

As you may have read on this blog or on EVDO Rev A Cards, Only Have EVDO Rev 0 Software on EVDOForums, Sprint has been making a big push to release new EVDO Rev A compatible PC cards in anticipation of their upgraded Rev-A system. Everyone is very excited about but the new development, but we have been hearing that the EVDO Rev A Software has not yet been completed by Qualcomm - There are 2 pieces that make EVDO cards work: the EVDO hardware and the EVDO software or firmware that is on the cards. If Qualcomm hasn't completed the software yet, how can Sprint be releasing these new EVDO Rev A PC Cards?

Apparently, the new EVDO Rev A Cards (Merlin S720 & AirCard 595) have the hardware to support EVDO Rev A, but the firmware that is included is only compatible with EVDO Rev 0. This means that at some point in the future there will be a firmware upgrade required in order to support EVDO Rev A.

This really isn't a big deal, since the Sprint Connection Manager (Windows 2000/XP Only) will automatically handle the firmware upgrade later, when Sprint decides to push the firmware upgrade out. However, if you are a Mac User, using our directions to hack your Mac into working, this will present a problem, since you will need to stick your card in a PC to do the firmware upgrade (users only using a Router will have the same issues with doing the firmware upgrade - you will need to access a computer with a PCMCIA slot to run the upgrade)

Sprint is estimating that the firmware upgrade will be available early 4Q’06.

Buy Sprint EVDO Products
Join the REV A discussion on EVDO Forums

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

AirCard 595 Shipping, AirCard 580 Discontinued

In their continued effort to phase out EVDO Rev 0 devices in favor of new EVDO Rev A models, Sprint has bid farewell to the Sierra AirCard 580. The new Rev A-compatible Sierra AirCard 595 was officially released today and is available for $99.99 with a new 2-year contract. Sprint does not provide Mac-friendly drivers or support for this card, and we have not received ours for testing yet, but we anticipate that we will be able to preactivate it for Mac users like we do for the Merlin S720. Stay tuned for updates on the AirCard 595!

We will be getting in an AirCard 595 this week and we will report on antenna port, Mac compatibility, Kyocera KR1 compatibility.

Buy Sprint EVDO

Sierra AirCard 595 EVDO Rev A (AC595) - More on EVDOinfo
Join the Rev A discussion on EVDO Forums

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sprint to Release Pantech PX-500 and Sierra Aircard 595 EVDO Rev A Cards

Just weeks after releasing the Merlin s720 card, Sprint announcedTuesday that they will be offering 2 more Rev A-capable broadband cards by the end of this year. The s720, Pantech PX-500, and Sierra Aircard 595 wil all work with the current EVDO network, but once Sprint upgrades their network to Rev A the cards will seamlessly switch over and offer their users faster download speeds and much zippier upload speeds.

According to Sprint, the Aircard 595 (left) will feature a high-performance, durable, built-in antenna and will be sold later this year. Suggested retail price for the AirCard 595 is $249.99 without a new contract or $99.99 with a new two-year contract. The Pantech PX-500 (right) will cost $199.99 without a new contract and is available for free with a two-year subscriber agreement and mail-in-rebate!

All 3 of the Rev A-compatible cards are in PCMCIA format, so MacBook Pro users or anyone with an ExpressCard-only computer will not be able to use the cards without a router. The techies at Booster Antenna have tested the S720 and have created a hack to allow it to work with PowerBooks that do have PC card slots, but they haven't received the AC595 or PX-500 for testing yet. Check back with EVDO Info and Booster Antenna for updates on Mac compatibility of the 2 new cards!

Purchase a Sprint Card Securely From 3Gstore.com
Join the Rev A discussion at EVDO Forums

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Improved Coverage Maps for Sprint EVDO!

Wondering if Sprint has EVDO or 1xRTT coverage in your hometown? Finally, Sprint has created improved address-specific maps! Once you input your street address, the map zooms in to show you the coverage.

These maps are soon to be announced by Sprint AND may not be functioning, OR Sprint may decide to pull them until the official announcement. The link is currently NOT working.

The maps allow you to look at the Broadband coverage (called "Sprint Power Vision") as well as coverage for the slower-speed 1xRTT (called "Nationwide Sprint PCS") network.



Here is a map of the coverage at the EVDO Info office in Cary, IL. As you can see, we are well-covered by the broadband network.


Here is the same map, zoomed out to see coverage in the surounding area. The green area indicates that if we were to travel out towards Huntley we would leave the EVDO area and enter the 1xRTT area.


These new maps will be a huge help to people trying to determine whether to choose Sprint or Verizon for their EVDO needs. Existing Sprint users will also love it: you'll never have to wonder whether your travel destination will have Internet access again, just check ahead!

Buy Sprint EVDO from Booster Antenna
Check Your Sprint EVDO Coverage
Join the Sprint EVDO discussion on EVDO Forums


Monday, September 11, 2006

Novatel V640 VPN MacBook Pro Issue

There have been a handful of early adopters of the Verizon Wireless V640 (Novatel V640), that have discovered their MacBook Pro and V640 card do not work with Cisco VPN. This VPN Issue is not present if you boot your MacBook Pro under BootCamp/Windows XP.

According to sources at Cisco, they are currently testing a fix and it should be released to the general public in the next few weeks.

For the latest news on this topic, see the following thread on EVDOforums.com:

EVDO with VPN with MBP with 640 card - ISSUE

Friday, September 08, 2006

Verizon vs. Sprint, Battle Of The Coverage Maps?

Something big will happen in the coming weeks.

Verizon & Sprint are getting smart. EVDO all comes down to coverage and being able to let future customers be able to see coverage for specific areas. Neither Sprint or Verizon have been very good at keeping their maps updated (see this story). However, they both have been getting better.

Soon, we will see some big improvements, when it comes to showing current EVDO Coverage.

Verizon will be displaying "Future EVDO Coverage Areas" on their maps. This will really help people decide if they are going to get EVDO or not (I wonder if they will say when, unlikely). The current internal maps at Verizon are 3 months old.

Sprint has already started displaying "Future Coverage Areas", but they are going to do something even better. They are going to show on their maps what signal quality is like for your location. Now, there are a lot of factors involved to get this right (or guess at it), but it will allow consumers to determine if they get EVDO signal.

We feel that giving customers the tools to get answers will only lead to more customers signing up.

Check Sprint Mobile Broadband Coverage Maps

Check Verizon BroadbandAccess Coverage Maps

This just in, check out the more detailed coverage maps at:

http://coverage.sprintpcs.com/IMPACT.jsp

Still Waiting for a V640 ExpressCard?


After weeks of backorders and very limited stock, Booster-Antenna.com now has the Verizon Wireless V640 ExpressCard in stock! All preorders have been shipped and the cards are available for purchase for anyone who would like to order the Verizon V640 along with a new 1- or 2-year Verizon service contract - order by 4pm PST, get it the next day :)

If you are an existing Verizon EVDO customer already under contract with an older card and are looking to purchase the V640 as an upgrade (i.e. transfer your existing contract onto the new card), stock may be limited for the reset of the month. Due to the high demand for the cards with new service contracts, we will not be selling the V640 without a contract in the immediate future. The best bet would be to contact Verizon directly and ask about an upgrade - if you're in the 2nd year of your 2-year contract Verizon may offer the ExpressCard to you at a discount, but they will extend the contract another 2 years.

Purchase a V640 with a 1 or 2 year contract

Join the V640 discussion on EVDO forums

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Merlin S720 Mac PowerBook Hack

As promised, we figured out a way to get the Merlin S720 working on on PowerBooks with a PCMCIA slot (sorry, MacBook Pros have an ExpressCard and Sprint doesn't have an ExpressCard solution - they do have an EVDO USB Solution).

Over the last 2 years, we have always figured out a way to allow all the Verizon and Sprint cards to work on Macs. The Merlin S720 was introduced last week and it doesn't work with Macs without hacking it first. It isn't supported in Mac OS X 10.4.7, but with a simple modification to Mac OS X 10.4.7, we have a way to get the card working.

It is important to know that the Merlin S720 needs to be pre-activated in a Windows PC before it will work on a PowerBook. As a service, we can activate the Merlin S720 before sending it to you if you do not have access to a Windows PC (option on our order form).

The hack involves modifying Mac OS X 10.4.7 so that it recognizes the Novatel card. We basically modify the Novatel 620 settings to recognize the Novatel S720 card. Once this simple hack is completed, you will NOT see signal strength, BUT you can connect from your PowerBook.

Here are the directions:

Merlin S720 Hack For PowerBook

Friday, September 01, 2006

Merlin S720 Rev A Card and PowerBooks

PowerBook Hack for Merlin S720 Rev A - Coming Soon :)

The brand new Merlin S720 Rev A card is not compatible with PowerBooks (Apple's Mac OS X 10.4.7 doesn't support it). However, that will change this Tuesday, we will publish directions to make it work, so check back in a few days. Since, the Merlin S720 is a PCMCIA card, it will work with any PowerBook with a PCMCIA slot (MacBook Pros have ExpressCards, the Novatel V640 is the ExpressCard, only available from Verizon).

Discuss on EVDOforums.com

Novatel V640 ExpressCards: Shipment #3!

The incredible demand for the Novatel V640 has been tough to meet, especially with Verizon pushing back the launch date several times. We've got good news from the V640 front, though:

We have received our 3rd shipment and have fulfilled all of the backorders. We now have the ExpressCards IN STOCK. If you order before 4:30 PST (2 hours from now) your card will ship TODAY, meaning you can receive it as early as TOMORROW if you select Saturday Delivery!

Sunday 10:16pm CST Update. We have only 15 V640s left. We will update our order form when they are out of stock.

Click here to order the V640 NOW!
Read about the V640 on EVDOforums

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Verizon V640 ExpressCard, Shipment 2

We shipped our second batch of Verizon's Novatel V640 ExpressCards (1/2 shipped on Wednesday 8/30, the remaining shipped on 8/31/2006). If you ordered one, all backorders have been shipped, check your email for your tracking number. If you have credit problems, check you email and/or voice mail for more information (tip, if you want one, order quickly, as there will be credit cancels and we will ship to the top of the list).

Verizon has once again delayed the official launch of the Verizon V640 (retail stores, indirect channels), until September 7th, 2006. see Verizon's Continued V640 Mislaunch.

After this official launch, ordering a V640 should be more available for immediate shipment (but the demand is still huge). If you are interested in getting one, you should order one, so that you can get in a line. We ship in the order that we receive your V640 order. If we get in a quantity sooner, you will get it sooner.

If you are planning on using the V640 ExpressCard Adapter, be sure to read this first: V640 ExpressCard Adapter Compatibility Warning


Sprint's Merlin S620 RIP


Sprint announced today that the popular Novatel Merlin S620 connection card has been discontinued. As the EVDOguy reported last week, Sprint is moving towards upgrading their system to EVDO Rev A, and it appears the Sprint has decided not to continue selling the S620 card now that the new S720 card is available. For PC customers, the lack of the S620 should not prove to be an issue, since the new S720 works perfectly with the current EVDO and has the benefit of being able to automatically switch to EVDO Rev A as soon as it becomes available. For Mac users, though, this could pose a problem since the new S720 card is NOT supported for Macs quite yet. The EVDO pros at EVDOinfo.com are working on creating drivers so that Mac users will be able to use the S720, but it will be about a week before those modifications are ready. If you are a Mac user and need to purchase a Sprint EVDO card, your current options are as follows:
  • Purchase a Sierra AirCard 580. This is an older card (one of Sprint's first), but it IS supported for Macs and has an antenna port for external antennas.
  • Purchase a Franklin CDU-550 EVDO USB modem. We ship these pre-configured for Macs, so as long as you have an available USB port you will be able to use it. The only problem with this option is that Sprint is currently only selling these to coporate customers with federal tax ids (or EINs); we cannot sell to individuals. Read more about that issue in this article. We are hopeful that Sprint will change their minds and allow individuals to order. When/if that happens, we will report it immediately.
  • Wait for the S720 to be supported for Macs. Since the EVDOinfo team should have the necessary drivers/modifications completed within a week or so, this is the option we recommend (unless you need a card TODAY). If you can afford to wait a week or so for the S720, you will have the newest card and will not have to buy a new card when Rev A becomes available!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

EVDO USB Modems, Here They Come


EVDO USB Rules!

Many manufacturers are finally realizing that consumers want their EVDO in the USB form factor. Franklin has released a CDU-550, which is certified on the Sprint network. According to the Franklin EVDO USB Forums, there are many satisfied customers.

Novatel is next in line to have an EVDO USB Modem. They are rumored to be creating a new device for Sprint, which will be out 4th quarter 2006. Latest info, is it will be called Merlin U720.

Today, Sierra Wireless announced that they would introduce a USB EVDO modem in 1st Quarter of 2007.

The only manufacturer that has yet to announce a USB EVDO Modem is Kyocera.

We applaud this direction, since USB is a smart form factor. Not every computer has a PCMCIA slot, not every computer has an ExpressCard. Just about every computer on the planet has a USB connector. A USB form factor brings EVDO to Tablet PCs, Desktops and many laptops with PC Slots (iBook, PowerBook 12, MacBook, etc.).

There is another advantage of an EVDO USB Modem. When you insert a PC Card or ExpressCard into a computer, the card is very close to the RF interference of the computer. This interference or noise can impact the EVDO signal. If you can move the EVDO Modem away from this noise, you can actually improve the performance.