Friday, June 29, 2007

Verizon Announces That Entire EVDO Network Is Now Rev-A

Today is June 29, 2007. It is a day that all who follow technology and gadgets of any sort, are going to remember as the day the iPhone was launched.

iPhone's launch comes after months of hype that some pundits are calling the greatest product launch build-up, ever.

So if you are the communications carrier that actually turned down the opportunity to be associated with this great and wonderful iPhone... what are you going to do to try and regain some respect, on iPhoneDay? It better be good enough to steal at least some attention from all the iPhone buzz, right? Or why bother? OK, here goes nothing.

Verizon Announces That Its Entire EVDO Network Is Now Revision A


There. They said it. Now pay attention and realize what it means... and remember Verizon wants bloggers to write good things about it!

One has to wonder if Sprint is planning a similar announcement on iPhoneDay... hmmmm.

Feel like discussing the implications of making such an announcement on a day like today? Head on over to EVDOforums.com where opinions are sure to be plentiful.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sprint works around Qualcomm chip ban


Earlier this month the U.S. International Trace Commission decided in favor of BroadCom Corp. in a dispute over a patent, and announced a ban on cellular phone chips made by Qualcomm Inc.

Since that time, many industry pundits have suggested that the chip ban would seriously impact new phone releases by two major players who depend heavily on qualcomm-- Sprint and Verizon.


But last week, Sprint did manage to announce for sale and start shipping the new PPC-6800 aka HTC Mogul and many wondered how it was possible for them to to pull it off.

The answer comes from a recent Reuters news release where Sprint product manager Brita Horton admitted, "Qualcomm gave us a software patch that ... lets us keep shipping,"

With the "patch" that Qualcomm has provided to Sprint, they should be unaffected by the ban and can bring out as many new devices as that want to this year.

For more information, you can read the full Reuters news release here.

Top Global MB6000 Phoebus 3G EVDO Router On Sale for $199.99



Forget about relying on slow dial-up connections or being tethered to low-range WiFi networks! Plug in your 3G (UMTS / EDGE / EVDO / 1xRTT) card and you can have an instant WiFI access point anytime, anywhere. The 3G Phoebus allows you to share one network connection with all of your laptops, PDAs, WiFi phone quickly and securely. Since there are no drivers necessary, it is a snap to connect all your cellular devices to the internet.

Customers who buy their EVDO card with service contract can now add a Top Global MB6000 EVDO Router to their orders for just $199.99 Just select the MB6000 as your router option on 3GStore's Sprint Order Form or Verizon Order Form

Already have an EVDO card? You can still get the MB6000 for just $249.99 using this link.

All MB6000's from 3GStore ship with *latest* firmware already installed and will work with the latest Rev-A cards from Sprint and Verizon, including the ExpressCards! (pcmcia adapter needed. no USB modems, sorry) -- check out the card compatibility chart for latest info

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Verizon EVDO BroadBandAccess: Now $59.99/mo For Everyone

Great news for customers interested in signing up for Verizon Wireless EVDO service!

Quietly, (and by quietly we mean there was no announcement at all) Verizon Wireless has changed pricing for its BroadBandAccess service and no longer requires that customers have a Verizon cellular/voice plan in order to qualify for its best rate of $59.99 per month on a two year contract.

Up to now anyone wanting Verizon EVDO who did not already have a verizon cellular plan were forced to pay $79.99/month for a 2 year contract.

With their recent drop in pricing, verizon's newly introduced rate structure now matches that offered by their main competitor - Sprint Mobile Broadband.

Of course, 3GStore.com is able to immediately offer Verizon’s revised monthly pricing to all new customers purchasing an EVDO card with a 2 year Verizon contract

Why do you think Verizon decided to drop rates to match Sprint?
Join the discussion at EVDOforums.com

Saturday, June 16, 2007

3GStore.com announces new EVDO ExpressCard to USB Adapter

Many of our customers have a notebook like the MacBook Pro that comes with the newer ExpressCard slot. Naturally, they can use either the Sprint EX720 or Verizon V740 Rev-A ExpressCard options, but they would really love to use the device they buy with their desktop computer as well.

They end up pondering for what seems like hours... or days... about whether or not they should get the ExpressCard, or the USB Modem which would work with any of their computers.

When used with their notebook, the ExpressCard option is going to be much more aesthetically appealing than the USB device ... but they don't always use their notebook and the USB device would work with all their computers. Decision, decisions.

Today, 3GStore.com is announcing a new product that gives these customers one more thing to think about -- an ExpressCard-to-USB adapter that will allow them to use their ExpressCards with practically any computer that has a USB port.

We will sell and support this adapter for $49.99 which is cheaper than what we sell our PCMCIA to ExpressCard adapter for, and obviously the USB adapter provides more flexibility.

Anyone who bought their ExpressCard with service through 3GStore.com is entitled to a $10 discount. Contact us with your name and/or invoice number to request your coupon code.

Discuss the ExpressCard to USB adapter on EVDOforums.com
Order your ExpressCard to USB adapter at 3gstore.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

EVDO ExpressCard, USB, PC Card: Which is faster?

We get asked this question every day: which form factor is faster for EVDO devices? Our answer is that form factor has nothing to do with realized EVDO speeds. The devices are made in different form factors simply to accommodate the needs of different customers. Not everyone has a card slot, nor does everyone want to use USB if they have a card slot.

Seems like a simple enough answer to believe, right? But nooo... the folks who believe themselves to be technically aware always want to argue that ExpressCards have to be faster than PCMCIA which has to be faster than USB.

Yes, they are right. In general, thats the way most rank the form factors as it pertains to speed through a slot/port.

But let me give you an example that shuts up most geeks in an argument over form factor selection, as it pertains to EVDO.

Lets say we take 3 water hoses of different diameters -- 6", 4" and 2". We don't have to argue that given the same water pressure and unlimited water supply, the 6" hose is definitely going to be able to move more water in one minute than the other two hoses, right? Its a no brainer. (finally we can agree on something)

Now, let's hook up to the inlet side of these 3 hoses, a 1/4" diameter supply hose. That's 0.25" diameter for you geeks.

Which of the 3 hoses is now going to move more water in one minute? the 6", the 4" or the 2"?

(insert final jeopardy theme music here)

The answer is: they will all move the same amount of water. Why? because the available supply line moves much less water than the capacity of the hose being tested.

Exactly.

EVDO Rev-A theoretical max bandwidth is 3.1 Megabits per second. Many have experienced real life bursts of over 2.5 Megabits per second. (See for yourself. here is a link to the fastest downloads on http://EVDOmaps.com)

ExpressCard slots are capable of 2.5 GIGAbytes per second. PCMCIA comes in many flavors, but the highest spec I could find says it will move 33 MEGAbytes per second. USB 2.0 is 480 Megabits per second. (Google tells me that translates to 60 MEGAbytes per second, so it can actually be faster than PCMCIA.) Heck, USB 1.0 is already 11 Megabits per second and that has to represent the slowest of all the form factors an EVDO device will work with.

So if all of these different form factors were supplied with exactly the same 3.1 Mbit/sec bandwidth of the absolute most pristine EVDO Rev-A connectivity, how much will each form factor be able to move through it? You guessed it. the same 3.1 Mbit/sec!

The EVDO devices are made in different form factors, simply to accommodate the needs of different customers. Not every customer has an ExpressCard and/or PC Card slot, and not everyone wants a USB device if they can use an available card slot.

When a customer asks us "Since I can use any form factor, and I want the fastest device - what should I get?", we tell them that when tested under identical conditions, the devices are all the same speed. You need to make a decision based on other factors and not the speed of the device.

We're EVDO Experts and we have practical experience with each and every device sold by Sprint and Verizon. We have helped thousands of our customers put together the right combination of EVDO Gear to give them the wireless broadband solution they were after. We're ready to explain the differences that each form factor can provide you, and get you setup with the best possible EVDO solution. We look forward to serving you as our customer.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Sprint drops U720 USB Y Cable

Anyone that has purchased a Sprint U720 over the last week or so, may have noticed two changes. The first, is the logo on the U720 has been updated to show the latest Sprint logo. The second change is that the USB Y Cable is now a single USB cable, no more Y. First of all, why was there a USB Y Adapter cable? According to original Sprint information, when you are in a fringe area, you can plug the U720 into the USB Cable that has 2 USB connectors for additional power.

So, why did Sprint decide to drop the USB Y Cable in favor of a single USB Cable? We contacted Novatel to get the official reasoning on the change and here is how they replied:

When the U720 was originally launched the Y cable was included in case additional power was needed. Since that time we have received market feedback and have completed intensive testing that suggests that a Y cable for increased power would only be needed .22% percent of the time, e.g. fringe coverage areas, etc. In Jan. '07 we presented the data to our customer and they agreed to remove the cable out of the kit.

We are not so sure about this spin on things. We suspect that there were a lot of support calls because customers didn't know which plug to plug in to their USB connector on their computer. If you only used one and plugged in the wrong one, your U720 wouldn't work. Perhaps, it was a cost issue. Sprint should do what Verizon does, have the Y cables labeled "1" and "2". From a support point of view, a tech can say, plug in the USB cable labeled "1" into your computer.

Here is the issue that we have....

Based on our experience, the Y Adapter actually works when in a very weak signal area. We have talked to many customers who were in fringe areas and when talking to them over the phone, after we plugged in the Y Adapter - it help OR made a big difference.

Here is the only thing that we don't understand. How can there only be .22% of areas that are fringe areas. Think of the coverage as a radius from the cell tower - there would be a lot more than .22% of fringe areas.

So, Novatel, got any spare Y Cables you can sell us - we know lots of future customers who could really benefit. We may have found a source for the Y Adapater cables and may be selling them after they pass our testing.

Related Links:

I didn't get a Y connector with my U720, where can I get one : EVDOforums