Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sprint lends a helping hand to people in California

Sprint is helping the people of California by providing tools and support to stay connected with their family and friends.

The company is distributing up to 2,000 universal wireless phone batteries based on need to the customers that evacuated to Qualcomm Stadium. They also have a support tent outside of the Qualcomm Stadium and DelMar evacuation center to charge phones, assist with free calls and provide wireless high-speed internet access. Sprint stores in the California area are giving customers a place to make free phone calls and a 50% discount on wall chargers, car chargers and batteries this week.

That’s not all they are also, donating $50,000 dollars to the Red Cross and sending the Sprint Nextel Emergency Response Team to help.

Sprint also offers these preparedness tips for those forced to evacuate:

* Keep your wireless phone and extra backup batteries charged if evacuation is a possibility, but be aware that an interruption of commercial power and wire line service also could affect wireless calls.

* In times of commercial power outages, a car charger for your wireless phone should enable you to recharge the battery. In the event of an evacuation, bring your wall charger with you as well.

* Keep extra phones and accessories in a sealed plastic bag to help avoid damage.

* Load family emergency numbers into your wireless phone and keep a copy of the numbers in your sealed plastic bag. Make sure those who need it have your wireless number.

* In situations where some portions of the wireless network have been impacted by power outages or damage from a fire, text messages might be able to get through where voice calls can't.

Region President Mike Finley said, “Our customers are priority one and we want them to know we're here to help.” He also said, “While our networks continue to perform at high levels, allowing call traffic to flow, we continue to monitor the situation closely. We were first on the scene with communications support at Qualcomm evacuation center and we will continue to support the southern California community and provide relief by doing what we do best – connecting individuals with the ones they love."

Thanks Sprint for being the best!

Discuss on EVDOforums.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Verizon "5GB Limit" is no longer an issue

The other day the news broke that Verizon was going to reimburse 13,000 subscribers they wrongfully terminated service to. The total Verizon will pay back is $1 Million dollars which means on average, each person will get just under $80 back to cover the cost of equipment that was no longer useful, and never refunded.

These customers all bought Verizon's wireless broadband product believing they were going to have "unlimited" service, when in fact the terms of service included this:
"Anyone using more than 5 GB per line in a given month is presumed to be using the service in a manner prohibited above, and we reserve the right to immediately terminate the service of any such person without notice."
When Verizon started terminating selected accounts for 'abuse' of their 'unlimited' service plans, there was an uproar. One very popular thread on EVDOforums attracted a lot of traffic, and soon the word was out: Verizon's unlimited plans had a 5GB limit.

After a lot of media coverage the pressure on Verizon finally got them to at least change their marketing materials, and last April Verizon agreed to stop referring to their plans as "unlimited". Here's a wayback machine link to the terms of service page from last February that still has "unlimited" in the writeup, and here is a link to the April version with all instances of "unlimited" removed.

For those still concerned that the terms of service is still cause for concern, the New York AG's office press release has this specific wording that we want to bring emphasis to:
"Verizon Wireless has voluntarily ceased cutting off customers based on their data usage and no longer prohibits common internet uses."
We can't imagine that Verizon's legal department is going to allow that to be said exactly that way, if they were still terminating accounts for 'abuse' that others would call 'common internet uses'.

3GStore.com has sold thousands of Verizon devices with BroadBandAccess accounts, and has not had any customer advise us that their service was terminated for abuse, since long before last spring. Many of these customers know they regularly exceed 5GB of data transfer per month, and have expressed concern that they can't stand the idea they may one day be terminated.

Its our opinion that the specific verbiage in that NYAG press release makes the '5GB Limit' a moot point, and that customers need not worry about being terminated for 'common internet uses'.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Limits on Unlimited Cost Verizon a Million

Just released the Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Verizon Wireless has agreed to halt the deceptive marketing of its internet usage plans and reimburse $1 million to customers for wrongful account termination nationwide (around 13,000 of you). They have agreed to reimburse all terminated consumers for the cost of wireless access cards or cell phones purchased by the consumer in order to utilize Verizon Wireless’s wireless internet service. Also, since April of 2007, Verizon Wireless has voluntarily ceased cutting off customers based on their data usage and no longer prohibits common internet uses.

Looks like Christmas has come early and Verizon’s lost customers are not forgotten, thanks to the Attorney General’s investigation.

Related Links:

Read Verizon Pays 1 Million to Terminated EVDO Customers

Discuss on EVDOforums
Verizon Terminated My Service - EVDOforums.com

Saturday, October 20, 2007

EVDO Built-in - Tip for Verizon or Sprint Customers

There is a little secret that Verizon OR Sprint (or AT&T) do not want you to know about. They are paying computer manufacturers to embed their mobile broadband devices directly into laptops. Why would they do that? Well, you of course, would sign up and then pay the cell phone carrier $59.99/month for access. That is how they make their money!

BUT, is this a good deal for the consumer?

It may not be the best choice! What happens if you sell, break, lose OR upgrade your laptop? You may have to pay retail for a mobile broadband card and that can run you $200 - $320.

Here is the tip.

If your laptop is running Sprint, purchase the cheapest card you can from Sprint with a 2 year plan (go USB for most flexibility). If your laptop has Verizon, purchase a Verizon USB card (or PCMCIA, whatever you want). After purchasing the card, do an ESN swap from your new card TO YOUR Built-in mobile broadband. You not have access with your built-in mobile broadband AND you have a backup EVDO card (just in case). Heck, you can even sell it on ebay if you want - but we recommend hanging on to the card, just in case.

If you need help, just contact the EVDO experts at 3Gstore.com, they can help.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sprint Novatel U727 allows simultaneous GPS and Data Use

Windows XP and Vista users can now have the best of both worlds. They can download and upload data and get directions at the same time, using the Sprint U727. Previous EVDO devices did not let you do this. So this saves the busy individual a lot of time and headaches!

This device works with GPS applications, for example Microsoft Streets and Trips, Google Earth, Microsoft MapPoint, Delorme Earthmate GPS LT-20, Delorme Street Atlas USA 2008 Plus, Delorme Earthmate GPS Streets, Magellan MapSend Direct Route and many others.

For our mac users the CDU-680 has GPS capabilities. Read the full CDU-680 review on this device.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kyocera KR2

We love the Kyocera KR1 EVDO Router, it has been around for almost 2 years and it is starting to show its age, or is it? 3Gstore.com delivers a modified KR1 that supports GPS tracking via GoogleEarth (very cool). But a lot has changed over the last two years. As new cards have come out, Kyocera hasn't always been quick to update the firmware to support the latest EVDO cards. At times, this has been painful. The current KR1 Firmware (RK1011) does support many of the Sprint PCMCIA cards and some of the Verizon ones, BUT not the latest.

The Top Global MB6800 supports ALL of the latest EVDO cards, but has a power issue with USB modems and the MB6800 requires an external powered USB hub to work correctly. There are some exciting developments coming around the corner with the MB6800 - so keep a close eye on this router.

We are also very exicted about the CradlePoint CTR350, it supports most of the current USB modems, and can even support many ExpressCards with a ExpressCard to USB Adapter. We are excited about the CradlePoint, BUT what about Kyocera?

Lets talk about what we would like to see in the Kyocera KR2

Edit: Two days after we blog about it, Kyocera announces their KR2 ahead of the CTIA show. Just a coincidence... or really good timing? maybe it was just luck.

Check out the full press release with details about the KR2's features.

Here's a picture of it as well:
Oh, the KR2 is expected to drop during 1st Quarter of 2008.

Live from CTIA San Francisco 2007

CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment 2007


The twice yearly CTIA show usually brings new product announcements and a roadmap for the "near future". The CTIA show is October 23 - 25, 2007 and we will be reporting live from the show next week. If you are a manufacturer/carrier and have something new (or updated), please contact us before the show, so we can visit. We have a few already lined up and we expect to report on some new items next week.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Novatel U727 Antenna Connector

Watch out! There are some "places" on the internet that are claiming they have a cable for the Novatel U727 USB Modem. The cables that they have are the same cable for other EVDO modems and these cables will probably damage your U727.

The picture to the right is the actual schematic we received from Novatel of the U727 / USB 727 EVDO modem. We have been reading up on this connector and it is different than any other connector that has been used in an EVDO modem previously. We have tried some existing connectors and they "kind of fit", they don't and the middle pin appears to be larger, so when you are inserting it into your connector, you may actually be damaging the internal connector.

So, if someone out there, claims they have one, be sure they are reputable, they may be out there making wild claims that MIGHT damage your brand new USB modem.

BTW, the ONLY reputable place that might have the first cable is Verizon Wireless, they list the cable as an accessory, BUT it is on backorder.

Friday, October 05, 2007

CradlePoint Travel Router CTR350 for Sprint/Verizon EVDO


3GStore.com now sells and supports the tiniest EVDO router on the market, the CradlePoint Travel Router CTR350 EVDO Router.

Pictured with the CTR350 are Verizon's USB720, a permanent marker and some quarters, to show just how small this thing is.

The CTR350 works with many USB EVDO Modems and even a couple of expresscards using an adapter. Much more info at review link below.

Related Links:

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sprint Sierra AirCard 595 and AirCard 595U RIP

Sprint AirCard 595 PCMCIA and AirCard 595U Dropped From Sprint

It looks like Sprint will soon be "retiring" the Sierra AirCard 595 and the Sierra AirCard 595U EVDO Rev A modems. The AC595 is no longer available from Sprint's warehouse and the 595U is out of stock and it looks like Sprint may not get any more.

The AirCard 595 will stop being available in many Sprint channels this week.

The AirCard 595U will soon follow the same fate. The 595U was around the shortest for any Mobile Broadband card, it was introduced in late April 2007.

It looks like Sprint is betting on two new hot USB devices, the Franklin CDU-680 and the Novatel U727. If you are in need of an AirCard 595, you should purchase very soon, you can always check for latest availability at 3Gstore.com