Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Goodbye to Sprint's EVDO U720 Modem? EOL on 07/23?

We took at least a half dozen calls this past week, from folks who found us online after having no luck trying to buy a U720 from Sprint online or Sprint stores.

All of them were told the U720 would reach "EOL" (End of Life) as soon as 07/23. What's odd about this rumor/claim being made by Sprint store employees, is that this past Monday we discovered Sprint had raised the price on the U720 in our ordering system from $99.99 to $129.99.

When was the last time you saw the price of a soon-to-be-discontinued item increase just before being dropped? Seems like a really strange thing to do. If we didn't want something around anymore, we'd drop the price and encourage folks to buy our inventory.

Some of the callers were even told that the U720 was such a bad device that Novatel themselves did not plan on ever upgrading U720's firmware again. Thats simply preposterous. People who have been buying the U720's since last December are on 1 or 2 year contracts. If for some reason, the U720 could no longer be used on Sprint's network, they would have to offer free replacements.

What we suspect is, there is some secret marketing agreement that pulled the U720s from Sprints stores in favor of the 595U, and the store employees had to come up with some explanation for why they could no longer sell the U720.

In any case... if you have been thinking about getting a U720 and don't want to risk the chance that the EOL rumors might be true... our team tracks number of available units in system and last we checked there were over 800 available to us.

Are these the last 800 U720's? We honestly don't know.

If you want one, maybe you better just order it online now:

https://3gstore.com/sprint/cards.php

PS: for those who can't commit and are worried about the future... we're working on alternative supply of U720's, but it could be a few weeks.

Discuss this topic on EVDOforums

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hey Sprint... Update Your EVDO Router's firmware already!

We recently blogged about members of EVDOForums.com who appeared to have found a solution to a very frustrating issue with throttled upload speeds on Sprint's Linksys 3G EVDO Router...

Shortly after that blogpost, we were contacted by a Linksys engineer who shall remain anonymous. Part of the email exchange went like this:

"... problem is Sprint never asked for the fixed software from Linksys so the fixed image was never available to the customer. I am not sure how to bridge the gap between Sprint and linksys, but will ask. Maybe you can put some pressure on someone on Sprint side and have them get the software?"

No need to ask us twice.

Consider all our Sprint contacts to have been fully pressurized. We also have a beta copy of the fixed firmware and it indeed does fix the upload issue!

Now let's see how long Sprint decides to torture their customers who shelled out $250 a pop for their EVDO Routers.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fixed IP Addresses Coming to Sprint EVDO 1st Qtr 2008


For those of you in public sector, healthcare, secure environments, or requiring remote monitoring, we hear that Sprint is working on adding Fixed IP Addresses as an option. This is great news - but you may have to wait until 1st Quarter 2008. Still welcome news for those requiring a fixed IP Address.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

EVDO For Your iPhone or iPhone3G Now!

Want EVDO For Your iPhone?

Its amazing how many phone calls we've already taken from folks asking us how to get EVDO speeds out of their iPhones. Most of the callers are folks frustrated with the lack of speed on AT&T's EDGE network, and would love for their google maps to take less than 2 or 3 minutes to load on their iPhones.

Do we have a solution for them? Of course we do. Add true High-Speed, BroadBand, 3G EVDO capabilities to their iPhone.

What's that you say? There is no way to add EVDO to an iPhone? Well... technically thats correct. But that doesn't mean you can't get your iPhone to surf at EVDO Rev-A speeds. All you need is a dedicated EVDO device and an EVDO Router like the Kyocera KR1.

Through 3GStore.com you can get a free-after-mail-in-rebate PC card that works with the KR1 from either Sprint or Verizon, on a 2-year contract for service at $59.99/mo.

The KR1/EVDO card combination provides EVDO speeds to anyone within range of its WiFi signal, including users of the iPhone.

For convenience, we ship all our KR1 routers with both AC and DC adapters, so where ever you go with your EVDO and iPhone, you're all set.

The KR1 with proper firmware already installed to support the free PC cards from Sprint/Verizon, sells for $214.99 at 3GStore.com, but customers who buy their KR1 with card and service contracts through 3GStore.com save $35 on the KR1, bringing the price down to just $179.99 plus shipping.

Want to track your vehicle's progress in realtime within Google Earth? Then check out our optional KR1 GPS Add-On module. It even allows your friends/relatives/employer track your progress in realtime, using Google Earth and an internet connection.

Best of all, buying from 3GStore.com assures you are dealing with real EVDO Experts who actually use the service to the fullest, and provide the best possible customer and tech support!

We agree that adding another $60/mo charge isn't going to be for everyone - BUT if you want to get around the AT&T SLOW EDGE - here is a way to get blazing speeds on EVDO.

Related Articles:

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sprint Terminates Clients Over Excessive Inquiries: WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal around 1000 Sprint subscribers who call customer service too frequently are being terminated. The third largest wireless carrier has mailed letters dated June 29 to disconnect customers stating: "The number of inquiries you have made has led us to determine that we are unable to meet your current wireless needs,". The Wall Street Journal reported that terminated subscribers called on an average of 25 times a month at a rate 40 times higher than average customers, according to Roni Singleton, a spokeswoman for Sprint. Some of the calls were related to billing issues, she said. Customers have been given until the end of July to find new service.

UNBELIEVABLE.

First Verizon terminates customers for using too much unlimited bandwidth and now Sprint terminates users for calling customer service too much. What is going on here? Verizon has finally stopped calling their service unlimited, but how is Sprint going to get out of this one? We have written about Sprint Customer Service in the past, and once in awhile you get a great rep, most of the time it is frustrating (hint: outsourcing doesn't save too much on the bottom line).

Another hint - purchase from 3Gstore.com, so that you can deal with Sprint less!

Discuss on EVDOforums:
Sprint ditches customers who complain too much

Thursday, July 05, 2007

EVDOforums user Fixes Upload Issue on LinkSys WRT54G3G-ST 3G EVDO Router

Back in October 2006, 3gstore.com started selling and supporting the Linksys WRT54G3G-ST 3G EVDO Router and shortly thereafter our customers and other members of EVDOforums.com noticed that upload speeds through the router were significantly slower than if the same EVDO card were used directly in a laptop, or in other compatible routers.

After the first few months the router was available, new firmware was introduced that allowed for more cards to be used... but the upload problem remained.

Linksys and Sprint were both advised of the issue and folks who claimed to be associated with Linksys admitted that they knew of the problem and that Linksys was working on new firmware that would fix the problem "real soon now".

The wait for a fix became so unbearable for some frustrated members of EVDoforums that they started to dig into the problem themselves, realizing that the router was similar to Linksys models that use Open Source software.

This week, one of the forum members appears to have put together a version of "OpenWRT" that fixed the upload problem on the Linkys EVDO router. The EVDO community wants to thank HeavlyArmdPokey for his efforts to find the solution.

Nine Months. Linksys couldn't do it. Sprint wouldn't do it.
Thank goodness the router uses open source software so that someone could fix it, and EVDOforums could help get the word out.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sprint Ahead?

Sprint has started a new advertising campaign and slogan.

Instead of "Power Up", the new slogan is "Sprint ahead".

This entry is going to talk about how Sprint ISN'T ahead or even close to being ahead. Sprint needs to look at their customer service and how they can improve it. We deal with carriers all day long and it is the hardest to deal with Sprint. We are even a Sprint Master Agent and we run into the same things that everyone else does :(

Yes, sometimes we are on hold being transfered back and forth for an hour as we try to resolve a customer issue.

In the latest embarrassment, we use the Sprint direct ship program. When we get your order at 3Gstore.com, we enter it into Sprint's order system and they ship it directly to us (for pre-activation or for us to include routers/antennas/amps/etc), OR Sprint ships to you. For the most part, it works well. Place your order by 3pm CST and 95% of the time, it ships the same day.

However, we have seen a recent problem. For those ordering ExpressCards (EX720 or 597E) AND also ordering an ExpressCard Adapter, We have had many cases, where we order the Adapter, BUT Sprint fails to ship it and then it is an hour phone call trying to resolve it and we still never get a solution.

To solve this problem, if you are ordering an EX720 or 597E with an PCMCIA ExpressCard Adapter, please order it pre-activated, so that it comes to us first. We will grab an ExpressCard Adapter from our stock and then you (or WE), won't have to deal with resolving a problem - problem will never be created. If you are in a hurry, we can still ship the card from Sprint to you directly, BUT we will ship the ExpressCard adapter from our stock directly. There will be an extra shipping charge, BUT it will be worth it.

We used to think that the most important reason for dealing with 3Gstore.com is that our tech support is is LEAPS above what you will get when you call Sprint. We will have to add, that 3Gstore's Sprint Customer Service Department is now providing service LEAPS above what Sprint does and offers another reason to use 3Gstore.com (let us deal with the missing $150 service credit, or preventing the missed item, so that YOU don't have to waste your time on the phone calling Sprint).