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