Monday, February 26, 2007

CTIA 2007

Do you know what the CTIA Wireless show is? Every year, top manufacturers come out to show the latest and greatest in the wireless industry. This year, we will be blogging live from the CTIA show in Orlando on Wednesday 3/28 & Thursday 3/29. Using our EVDO cards from Sprint & Verizon, we will report on the latest.

Read about the latest and coolest EVDO products that are being announced at the CTIA 2007 show. Last year, EVDOinfo.com was the first web site to publish a picture of the upcoming USB Modem from Sprint (that was in April, and it was released in December). The year before that, you could have read about the Kyocera KR1, 10 months before it was released. So, mark your calendars, check our blog and talk about the new stuff on EVDOforums.com.

If you are a manufacturer or carrier and you are announcing cool new EVDO product(s), please contact us so we can setup a time to visit with you.

Sprint EVDO Customers can't install Pantech PX-500 Card

Once again, we've stumbled across a unique EVDO problem, and are first to publish a solution.

On EVDOforums, a post named: Pantech PX-500 doesnt like my laptop, tells of a couple of Sprint customers who recently purchased the Pantech PX-500 Rev-A EVDO Card, only to find out they were unable to get it working right on their windows laptops.

Instead of smooth sailing with their PX500, they were given messages about "error 1722" and "CMPWI: the tcp/ip protocol is not installed properly" -- after all of that, the users attempts to get online results in endless "acquiring network address" message. Um. Yeah. What-ever.

What's the fix you ask? Well in this case, to go forwards, you go backwards.

Revert to an older version of the connection manager by downloading version 3.0.2.019 from the Sprint web site. On the download page for the older version is this text:

Please note: If a customer is having issues installing software on a new laptop. Install this version of software for the Pantech PX500 first.
Once software is installed:

1. Click "menu"
2. Click "software updates"
3. Click "check now"
This will update the software to version 3.02.021
So there you have it.
Problem identified.
Problem solved.

You're welcome!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Apple WWAN Update Breaks Mac VZAccess

Apple released Apple WWAN Update recently and it added support for some new EVDO ExpressCard and USB Modems. This was great news for Sprint U720 & EX720, because, they don't have a native connection manager that offers:

- Card Activation
- PRL Updates
- Firmware Updates
- Showing Signal Strength
- Showing Network (1X vs Rev 0 vs Rev A)

However, Verizon has been offering VZAccess for Macs for the since August 2005 and every new EVDO device that Verizon ships, they have been offering a verzion of VZAccess Manager (except the AirCard 595).

The Apple WWAN update is only for Intel based Macs. If you are currently using VZAccess on your Novatel V640 Rev 0 ExpressCard or Novatel USB720 Rev A USB Modem and everything is working great, after installing the Apple WWAN Update, your Mac will no longer be able to connect. Both the Apple driver and VZAccess software will fight over the same card and neither will be able to work :(

There was a similar problem with Mac OS X 10.4.7 and VZAccess for older EVDO Cards, but this is a lot worse, since neither VZAccess or Apple drivers will work.

If you are currently using VZAccess or will soon be, DON'T install the Apple WWAN update.

We are working on a tech note for our customers that explain how to remove the Apple WWAN update or VZAccess, so that you can at least use one of them (if you purchased your Verizon V640/USB720 from 3Gstore.com, email support at 3Gstore.com for directions, include your full name and/or invoice number).

Friday, February 23, 2007

Merlin EX720 Support For MacBook Pro

Sprint recently released the first EVDO Rev A ExpressCard, called the Merlin EX720. This is great news. If you have a MacBook Pro, don't run into your Sprint store just yet. You see, Sprint doesn't support Macs (at all). When you purchase a Merlin EX720 from Sprint or a Sprint Store, when you get home and stick in the EX720 in your MacBook Pro, it won't work. The included CD doesn't support Macs either.

The good news, Apple and Novatel recently released Mac Drivers to help get things working. The bad news, if you have a support issue and call Apple, they will tell you to call Sprint. When you call Sprint, they will only support Windows.

Enter 3Gstore.com and EVDOinfo.com

We have been supporting Macs and EVDO since 2005. We have always provided support to Mac customers and we will continue with the EX720 and U720.

When purchasing your Merlin EX720 from us, you get the same pricing as purchasing it from Sprint directly, but you get these important differences:
  • preactivate card for MacBook Pro Use
  • include all needed Mac software on CD
  • include 8 page PDF on CD
  • provide free support (telephone, email, iChat) - we charge $75 per incident if you purchased elsewhere
EVDOinfo recently became a Sprint Master Agent, which means we can:
  • honor your existing corporate discounts you may already get with Spint
  • honor employee purchase programs you may qualify for with Sprint and your employer
  • Also, we offer discounts on antennas and amplifiers (currently 50% booster antenna, when you purchase an EX720)\
For more information see:

Merlin Ex720 and MacBook Pro - EVDOinfo.com
Order your EX720 from us from our secure web site

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sprint Rev A Required Firmware Upgrade 4.30.2007

At the beginning of the year we caught wind of some information from Sprint that sounded important enough to spread around so we posted at EVDOforums.com:

Upgrade Sprint Connection Manager by 4/30/2007

Sprint had said that customers with any of the currently available products (Merlin S720, Ovation U720, Sierra AirCard 595, or the Pantech PX-500) would have to upgrade their Sprint Connection Manager software before the end of February. If they didn't there was a strong possibility that these users would not be able to connect to the Sprint network, beyond that date.

Sprint has further informed us that they have since pushed the date back to April 30, 2007 and that the reason users must update their software is because certain towers require a setting that only a firmware update will allow.


It turns out that
in 12 markets (including: Chicago, Charlotte, Hawaii, Knoxville, and others), Sprint is using Motorola base stations and the currently available EVDO devices will not work on those base stations without an "MFPA" setting that can only be set via firmware update.
Sprint plans on sending a postcard to existing customers in the near future.

Sprint EVDO customers who may be flying through major airports in those cities need to have the new firmware in place before leaving on their trips, or they won't be able to connect. Also, anyone residing in Chicago or other 12 areas, HAVE to have the firmware upgrade, or their cards will not be able to connect after May 1, 2007. I can see lots of posts on May 1, 2007, hey, I connected at Chicago Ohare and my Sprint Card didn't work - but I got home and it did.

Everyone considering a new purchase of any of those devices, should not depend on Sprint's currently available stock to have the proper firmware already in place. There is no guarantee that just because you buy a new device, it will have the latest firmware on it. When you buy from us, ask us to activate and upgrade firmware on your device, and we'll do it for no extra charge. Its just one way we keep our customers from being frustrated over EVDO.

Reading between the lines, we're also interpreting this as an announcement that Rev-A will be turned on in those markets on or around 04/30/2007.

Also see:

Discuss Upgrade Sprint Connection Manager by 4/30/2007 on EVDOforums
Sprint EVDO Required Firmware 4/30/07 on EVDOinfo.com

Novatel V740

Novatel V740 Rev A ExpressCard for Verizon

Verizon has announced the Novatel V740 Rev A ExpressCard, to have a retail launch on 3/30/2007. The V740 will look just like the Novatel V640, except it will be Rev A. EVDO Rev A can go 25% faster when downloading and 500 - 800% faster when uploading files.

This Just In...
We are getting our first shipment of V740s on Monday 3/19/2007.


We have limited supplies AVAILABLE. Get yours delivered on Tuesday 3/20/07. Check our order form in the top left if the V740 says 'Limited Supplies', they are still available. If it says 'Backorder', the first shipment is sold out.

A quick peek at Apples current software release on 2/19/2007, mentions support for the Novatel V740 (see: Apple Supports EX720, U720, USB720, V740).

The Novatel V740 was officially announced on March 15, 2007 and have a retail launch of March 30, 2007. There is a chance we might start getting these in over the next few days (just like we did when the V640s were announced last year, we got them a few weeks before the official launch)

Features of the Verizon Wireless V740 ExpressCard include:
  • EVDO Rev A ExpressCard/34
  • VZAccess Manager Support (and also V740 support via Apple WWAN update)
  • Built-in Antenna
  • Antenna Port for antennas and amplifiers
  • MacBook Pro Support
  • Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista Support
  • ExpressCard/34 (compatible with ExpressCard/54 too)
  • ExpressCard Adapter Option (converts ExpressCard to PCMCIA to be used in older laptops or EVDO Routers).
Verizon direct pricing is $179.99 with a 2 year service contract.

You can order from 3Gstore.com for $109.99 with a 2 year service contract (shipping on or before 3/30/07). Add a booster antenna for the V740 and save 50% off antenna.

For the latest information on the Novatel V740 for Verizon's BroadbandAccess, see:

Apple Supports EX720, U720, USB720, V740 for Intel Laptops


With the release of WWAN Support Update 1.0, Apple has provided software drivers for several broadband wireless devices:

Available on the Sprint network:
•Novatel Wireless Merlin EX720 ExpressCard (EVDO Rev. A)
•Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 USB Modem (USB Adapter, EVDO Rev. A)

Available on the Verizon network:
•Novatel XV620 ExpressCard (EVDO Rev. 0) <- current v640
•Novatel V740 ExpressCard (EVDO Rev. A) <- whats this?!
•Novatel U720 (USB Adapter, EVDO Rev. A) <- current USB720

Available on the Cingular network:
•Novatel Merlin XU870 ExpressCard (HSDPA)

Its not entirely a bed of roses though:

System Requirements
  • Mac OS X 10.4.8
  • Intel-based Macintosh Portable
To a lot of Mac users, this isn't going to make a lot of sense. We already know that those EVDO USB Modems work great with every Mac running OSX 10.3.9 and above using an installer package made infamous by EVDOforums fan Mac.InTosh... so why would Apple choose to draw the line on their own drivers by limiting the USB to only those Mac laptops with Intel processors?

Where is the love for other currently shipping Intel Macs such as the iMac and MacMini? or the venerable PowerBook?

Mac users of Sprint's EX720 and U720 should rejoice in the fact that with these drivers, you can now see signal strength in menubar.

And the rest of us? We should just be happy that Apple is making life simpler for (certain) Mac users to get their wireless world wider.

[UPDATE: The WAN Support update conflicts with Verizon's VZAccess Manager connection software.]

For the latest on this new software update, visit:

Mac OS X WWAN Support Update through Software update - EVDOforums.com
Apple Supports EX720, U720, USB720, V740 - EVDOinfo.com

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Merlin EX720 Rev A Expresscard Shipping

Merlin EX720 - Sprint ships first Rev A ExpressCard.

Today, Sprint announced the first Rev A ExpressCard/34 and it is available. The Merlin EX720 is compatible with Macs (be sure to order the card pre-activated and we will activate it AND include a CD with Mac drivers.

More info to be posted on EVDOinfo.com & EVDOforums.com soon.

Related Articles:

Place Your Order - 3Gstore.com

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Merlin XUA-1 ExpressCard to USB Adapter

Merlin XUA1 to allow ExpressCards to work Over USB 2.0

While reading a recent press release from Novatel Wireless, there was a little surprise at the end of the press release. Here is an excerpt:

"To support the broadest possible use of the advantages of ExpressCards, the Novatel Wireless' Merlin XUA-1 allows customers that do not have ExpressCard slots to use the company's ExpressCards through the USB 2.0 ports on either their laptop or desktop PCs. The Y-cable design of the adapter delivers a boost for improved RF performance and delivers improved performance in fringe reception areas."

So, the XUA-1 will allow an ExpressCard to be used via USB. WOW! What a great idea. Buy an ExpressCard and then hookup via the XUA-1 to any desktop or laptop.

We already have been selling a version from Novatel that converts an ExpressCard to PCMCIA (to be used in Routers or PowerBooks), and this device works great.

We will post more information to EVDOinfo.com & EVDOforums.com as more information on the ExpressCard to USB Adapter becomes available.

Discuss the XUA-1 on EVDOforums.com

Monday, February 12, 2007

Verizon Ships PC5750 Rev A PCMCIA Card

Verizon Announces 3rd EVDO Rev A Card

First Verizon shipped the Sierra AirCard 595 Rev A PCMCIA, today, they started shipping the Novatel USB720 and now they are shipping the Audiovox PC5750 Rev A PCMCIA EVDO Card.

This is the "cheap card". It is Verizon's entry level card. Here are a few things we DO know about it:

  • Mac Compatible (if you have a Mac with a PCMCIA slot, PowerBook 15/17)
  • It has an external antenna port (we do not know if it is an industry standard connector or a proprietery one.
  • It is Vista Compatible
For the latest news on the PC5750, visit these pages:

PC5750 by Audiovox - EVDO Rev A - EVDOinfo.com
PC5750 Antenna Connector - EVDOforums
PC5750 EVDO Rev A and KR1 Compatibility
Order a PC5750 Securely from 3Gstore.com

Friday, February 09, 2007

Sprint EVDO and Macs - February 2007

This is an update to explain new developments for Mac users who want to use Sprint's EVDO mobile broadband service.

Yes Virginia, some things have indeed gotten better, but its not as good as it should be.

With the obvious help of Novatel Wireless, Sprint recently made an installer package available that provides the drivers necessary to allow certain Macs to connect onto Sprint's EVDO network with their Merlin S720, Ovation U720 and the forthcoming ExpressCard EX720.

The drivers work on all Macs running with OSX version 10.4.8 or later. The S720 needs a PCMCIA slot, so this helps owners of the venerable PowerBook G4 series (except 12"). The U720 needs an available USB slot, which means just about every Mac can use it. The forthcoming EX720 needs an ExpressCard slot, so it is destined for use with all MacBook Pro laptops.

While the arrival of official drivers is welcomed by the Mac community, Sprint still doesn't offer a native 'Connection Manager'. This is a problem because without it, Mac users cannot tell which flavor of Sprint network they are on - am I in Rev-A? or is it Rev-0? 1xRTT? Oh well... has to be one of those 3 so your odds are 33.33%

Without a true GUI for connections, Mac users also cannot easily tell what their connection's signal strength is like. Do I have only 2 bars? 3? ... Not knowing signal strength means a user also won't know how likely they may benefit from a booster antenna or an amplifier... unless they just buy 'em and try 'em. Sure, they can use one of the online speedtests... but those can't take into account the load on a cell tower, or congestion over the internet.

Overall, we Mac users should be happy. At least Sprint has sourced and provided drivers in an honest-to-goodness installer package.

But... hello... hold the phone.

Do you think the average Mac user can now simply walk into a Sprint store, buy an *720, download the installer from the Sprint site, and merrily get online via Sprint EVDO?

Folks... we are the Mac + EVDO Experts and we can tell you right now that Sprint's "Mac Solution" is far from complete. What they've got now will certainly entice many more Mac users to take a chance that Sprint is really Mac-savvy. But many of them will be sadly disappointed and frustrated when the "solution" turns out to be more like "snake oil".

If you are a Mac user, and want to get online with Sprint's EVDO Mobile Broadband... we can help you keep the hair on your head, the smile on your face, and your faith in the Mac.

Just give us a call, and we'll keep you from finding out the missing pieces in Sprint's Mac Solution, before you step in it.

Sprint Releases Mac Drivers for U720 S720 EX720

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Kyocera ExpressCard KPC680 Rev A for Verizon

http://www.evdoinfo.com/images/stories/kpc680.jpg

The Rev A ExpressCard market is about to heat up. Novatel has just announced the Merlin EX720 to be available on Sprint by the end of February 2007. So, the big question, is what is Verizon going to do with Rev A ExpressCards? They were the first to have an ExpressCard (Novatel V640), a Rev 0 ExpressCard. But, what about Rev A ExpressCards? They delivered the Novatel V740.

After the V740, we expect Verizon to have the Kyocera Rev A ExpressCard, called the KPC680.

Verizon has a special relationship with Kyocera. Verizon had the best performing Kyocera KPC650, not Sprint. The KPC650 outperformed all other PCMCIA EVDO Cards. So, can Kyocera do it again with a Rev A ExpressCard? According to sources at Kyocera, "We are not first to market, but we enter and clean up". Time will tell, if that is going to be true.

It may be hard to test the Merlin EX720 against the Kyocera ExpressCard. One is going to be for Sprint and one for Verizon. They use 2 different networks - so it may be hard to benchmark one against the other - BUT we will, as soon as they are available.

There is one thing we can probably guess at. Verizon will offer native Mac OS X support for the Kyocera Rev A ExpressCard, and it is too early to tell about Sprint. Sprint has yet to offer native Mac OS X support for any of their cards.

Related Links:

Verizon KPC680 EVDO Rev A ExpressCard Notification List
Kyocera KPC680 Product Info

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Verizon Rolling out EVDO Rev-A Quickly

REV A WARS

In less than a week, Verizon Wireless has put out several press releases touting their Rev-A rollout.

Chicago, Rhode Island, Indianapolis, Connecticut, New Mexico, Texas, California, and Hawaii. (Maybe more by the time this blog is posted)

Verizon went from being very quiet about Rev-A to being very, very noisy.

The funny thing is, it all started to happen just a week after we launched EVDOmaps.com - which was leaking information to the world, about where Verizon's Rev-A networks had been confirmed by our 'man on the street'.

The timing was just a coincidence? maybe. maybe not.

We were the first to break the news to the world that Verizon had Rev-A turned on in certain cities when we blogged about it here: "Live from Chicago: Its Verizon Rev-A"

Just before Verizon made their Rev-A announcement, EVDOmaps.com already had over 50 locations identified by members of EVDOforums.com - in an attempt to get the word out as early as possible.

Now that Verizon has got its PR Machine in overdrive, telling the world which cities 'officially' have their Rev-A networks, some think EVDOmaps.com may have lost its purpose.

Not really... Because our forum fanatics are constantly testing for more Rev-A 'sightings', and it will always show more useful information than the carriers official coverage maps.

Sierra Releases EVDO Vista Drivers

Sierra Wireless today released Windows Vista drivers for the following EVDO Cards:
  • AirCard 595
  • AirCard 580
  • Embedded EVDO Modules (MC5720, MC5725, MC8775, MC8765, MC8755, and EM5625)
In addition, all future Sierra Wireless products, including the company's upcoming ExpressCard and USB modems, will ship as Windows Vista Ready.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Verizon USB720 Announced


Verizon Announces Novatel USB720 EVDO Rev A Modem

Verizon will be shipping the USB720 device around February 18th. This device is similar to the Novatel U720 offered by Sprint. There is one interesting difference... Mac OS X support via VZAccess software. Any Mac G3/G4/G5/Intel running 10.3.9 (or greater) can use this device.

Verizon will be selling the USB720 for $129.99 (after $50 rebate).

We are selling it for $79.99 (after $50 rebate). Also, as an incentive, anyone that pre-orders the device before 2/18/2007, you can purchase a booster antenna for 50% off. Regular price $57.95, price with USB720 is $28.50

Pre-Order a USB720
USB720 Discussion on EVDOforums.com
Antennas and Accessories for USB720