Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CradlePoint 1.4.2 Firmware Adds Support for Verizon's BlackBerry Storm and USB760


Love your new Verizon Blackberry Storm, and wish there was a way to share all that Rev-A speed with multiple computers? 3Gstore.com has the solution: the Cradlepoint MBR1000 and/or CTR500

Thanks to the release of Firmware 1.4.2 the BlackBerry Storm and the USB760 (Verizon's newest USB EVDO modem) are now officially supported by the flagship MBR1000 and uber-portable CTR500 routers.

Verizon USB760 USB EVDO Rev-A modem and the portable Cradlepoint CTR500Verizon USB760 EVDO Rev-A modem & the portable Cradlepoint CTR500

In addition to new device support, a key new feature was enabled that make Cradlepoint's MBR1000 and CTR500 the ONLY cellular 3G routers to enable OpenDNS server functionality while using a device for the Sprint EVDO network.

Other Japanese market devices and additional information can be found in the official Cradlepoint release notes PDF for firmware 1.4.2

For those ordering the CTR500 or MBR1000 from 3Gstore.com, starting 12/23/2008, we will automatically include a CD that has the latest firmware.

Related Links

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sprint 4G U300 Announced


Sprint announced the Sprint 4G U300 today (by Franklin Wireless). This is the first dual mode 3G & 4G device on the market. Currently, 4G is ONLY available in Baltimore. The device will cost $199.99 (on 2 year plan) and the monthly will be $79.99 for EVDO and 4G. It is unclear what the limits will be (most likely 5GB as there is now on mobile broadband).

The device is NOT Mac compatible, which is strange, since all other Franklin devices have been Mac compatible out of the box. Most likely, due to the 4G network - as there is currently no Mac support.

Related Links:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

3Gstore Uses EVDO: What's YOUR Backup Plan?

Have you ever heard the phrase "eating your own dogfood"? It refers to a company actually using the products they sell, like Bill Gates showing faith in Microsoft by running Windows. Here at 3Gstore, we "eat our dog food" all the time. We don't just SELL 3G products - we actually USE them!

Like many companies, we rely on a T1 internet connection for connectivity at our headquarters, and every once in a while the network fails. It happened to us early this morning, and it took several hours for our provider to come out and fix things. This COULD have been a disaster: after all, we rely on the internet for our entire business! All of the order processing is done at this warehouse, and we also use a PBX system for our phones. Without internet, operations would have been extremely limited today.

Thanks to EVDO and Cradlepoint, we didn't miss a beat!!

See, we know that no matter how much you're paying for your wired internet, it is not fail-safe. Outages are inevitable, and anyone that relies on the internet for work or school would be wise to consider a backup plan. In our case, of course, we use EVDO! We have a Sprint U720 modem (with a fixed IP, so that our emails will go out through our mail server with no problems) set up with a Cradlepoint MBR1000 router in the warehouse for this purpose exactly. It is always connected and with the switch of just ONE cable, we can hook up to our main Cisco router and be back online in a matter of 12 seconds.

Left to right: Sprint's Novatel U720 plugged into Cradlepoint MBR1000, network cable, and our main Cisco router

Our T1 provider did eventually solve the problem, but all five computers in our warehouse were able to function perfectly with the U720 for several hours. Orders were processed, emails were answered - business as usual!

Having a solid backup plan is a great idea, especially for an internet-based business like ours - and an EVDO backup is an incredibly affordable option. At $59.99/month, it costs just $720 for a year of EVDO service - getting an extra T1 or business cable line would cost that much or more just for the installation! Add $200 or so for a powerful router like the MBR1000 and you've got an internet connection you can count on for your entire office.

Do you have an EVDO success story like ours? Share it with us at the EVDO Forums!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Novatel MiFi is first "Intelligent Mobile Hotspot"


Novatel's official press release about their "Intelligent Mobile Hotspot" can be found on our site at http://www.EVDOinfo.com/MiFi

Novatel has told us they do not see the MiFi as "just a portable cellular router", providing functionality similar to what a Cradlepoint PHS300 with an attached USB modem would provide.

How so? they say that their MiFi "has an onboard Linux processor capable of hosting software applications and additional content storage capabilities via MicroSD"

The description has us envisioning the functionality of iPhone apps, but without the phone and/or its useful touchscreen LCD interface. Of course, since an iPhone cannot (yet) tether to a computer or turn itself into a WiFi router, the MiFi has its advantages.

The MiFi is reported (on other sites) to be "under $200" at launch and should be available with embedded EVDO (probably for Sprint and/or Verizon) or HSDPA module for AT&T.

We've got ourselves on the list for a review unit and expect one in January, or sooner.

Join our discussion about Novatel's MiFi on EVDOforums.com

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Verizon USB760 Now Shipping from 3Gstore

http://www.evdoinfo.com/images/stories/USB760.jpg

3Gstore.com now has the Verizon USB760 EVDO Rev A modem in stock and for sale. The price is $49.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate). We do have the correct antenna adapter for the USB760, so all of our antennas work with the USB760.

None of our routers currently work with the USB760. We hope that CradlePoint will continue their past track record of always adding support for new EVDO devices fairly quickly after a new device ships.

Look for our EVDOinfo.com Full Review of the USB760 in the coming days.

Related Links:


Monday, November 24, 2008

Cradlepoint CTR500/MBR1000 Firmware 1.4 supports Alltel UM175, ATT Mercury - adds fixes and features


Cradlepoint's Firmware 1.4 for CTR500 and MBR1000 cellular routers
  • Adds official support for Alltel's UM175 & EC228 as well as AT&T's Mercury 885 USB modems
  • Fixes World of Warcraft / Alltel UM150 issue
  • Supports multiple VPN while load balancing
and more! read all about the latest firmware in this article:

http://www.evdoinfo.com/content/view/2590/64/

For those ordering the CTR500 or MBR1000 from 3Gstore.com, starting 12/02/2008, we will automatically include a CD that has the latest firmware.

For known issues and much more information, check out the official Full Firmware 1.4 Release Notes (PDF).

Related Links

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sprint Compass 597 USB EVDO Modem FREE with 2 year contract

Free Sprint Compass 597 USB EVDO Rev A modem

Looking for a Sprint Rev-A USB modem on a 2 year contract? 3GStore.com is now offering the Sierra Wireless Compass 597 USB modem for FREE on a 2 year contract for a limited time. No need to wait for a mail-in rebate!

The Compass 597 is also FREE as an upgrade for any Sprint customer with an EVDO data contract that is 22 or more months into a 24month contract. You can read all about the Compass in this full review.

All of the same great 3Gstore discounts on antennas, amplifiers and routers still apply when purchasing the 597U with a contract. Customers who get their new or upgrade 2-year contract through 3Gstore will recieve $20 off any antenna, router or amplifier.

For example: the Compass 597U, Cradlepoint CTR350 Router and portable booster antenna would cost only $107.94! (after package discounts, after $25 cradlepoint mail-in rebate, plus shipping)

This special pricing will only be available for a limited time, so if you're considering creating a Sprint EVDO account, this would be a great time to do so! Place your Sprint order at the link to our Sprint Order Form below!*

Order your Compass 597 from 3GStore.com now

*Please note: When you order any EVDO device from 3Gstore and cancel service during 30 day trial period, the EVDO device needs to be returned to 3GStore, otherwise you will be responsible for paying retail price for the device if you decide to keep it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

3GStore Celebrates Order #40000!

3Gstore hit a big milestone last week: on Friday evening, Kevin Barker of Fredericksburg, Virginia, placed the 40,000th order in our store history! As a token of our appreciation, we are fulfilling and shipping Kevin's order at no charge to him. Thank you, Kevin - and the 39,999 who came before!

3Gstore shipped its first order over three years ago in 2005, and we have truly enjoyed serving all 40,000+ of our customers. Since the beginning, we have prided ourselves on supplying the community with information and offering the best 3G products, and most importantly providing the best customer service possible. We look forward to the next 40,000 (and more!) orders!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Verizon USB760 Rev. A EVDO 3G USB modem


Update: Check out our USB760 Review:
Verizon USB760 -- First Impressions


Verizon announced the USB760 today. This is the smallest USB EVDO Rev A device available. Features include:
  • USB EVDO Rev A Device
  • "Micro Modem"
  • RF Antenna Jack (we already have high gain antennas that work with USB760)
  • MicroSD slot to add flash drive (up to 8GB)
  • Auto Install of VZAccess Manager (no CD needed)
  • NovaSpeed for increased upload and download speeds
  • Compatible with Windows Vista/XP/2000, Mac OS X
  • Supports NDIS and VPN

We have confirmed CradlePoint compatibility for their CTR500 and MBR1000 routers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reserve Your Blackberry Storm and SAVE $50!



Verizon's much-anticipated touch-screen multimedia super-device, the Blackberry Storm, will finally be released in a couple weeks (no "official" date yet - projected to be 11/23), and Verizon already has 70,000 pre-orders! If you're one of the many folks excited about the Storm and would like to make sure one is reserved for YOU, 3Gstore is happy to announce that we are now taking pre-orders for the Blackberry Storm - and new Verizon customers can save $50 by pre-ordering with 3Gstore!

Verizon's price is estimated to be $219, which means NEW Verizon customers signing up for a 2-year contract can get the Storm for just $179. The $50 discount will only be available to NEW Verizon customers (remember, if you're a customer with another carrier, you can keep your number in most cases) - if you're an existing customer looking to upgrade you can still pre-order with 3GStore at Verizon's price.

Why all the hype, you ask? What are these 70,000 loons lining up for?

Here's a sprinkling of the features:
  • Touch Screen
  • EVDO Rev A: (1900/800 MHz) - making it the ONLY Verizon PDA with Rev-A
  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE: (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • UTMS/HSDPA/HSUPA: 2100MHZ
  • Global Capabilities
  • Expandable Memory: Comes pre-installed with 8GB, can support up to 16GB
  • Camera: 3.2 MP camera plus vanity mirror
  • Audio: 3.5mm jack, bluetooth stereo
  • Tether-capable (+$15/month)
  • Browser: Full HTML. No Flash support or support for tabs.
  • Facebook and Flickr
For the full feature list and a cool video, read the full article on EVDOinfo.com!

Discuss the Blackberry Storm at the 4G Forums

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cradlepoint CTR350 EVDO / HSPA Router now $99 after rebate

Buy a CradlePoint CTR350 from 3Gstore for only $99
(Pay $124 up front - $25 Cradlepoint mail-in rebate = Net Cost $99)
Rebate offer expires December 31, 2008

Buy the CTR350 with a Verizon or Sprint EVDO card or USB modem on 1 or 2 year contract through 3Gstore and save an additional $20 -- your net cost for the CTR350 is only $79

Related Links:

* Read our CTR350 Router Review
* Order a CTR350 from 3Gstore.com
* Order Verizon Mobile Broadband with CTR350 from 3Gstore.com
* Order Sprint Mobile Broadband with a CTR350 from 3Gstore.com

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Novatel Announces Ovation MC760 EVDO Micro Modem

Novatel Wireless Launches Ovation MC760 EVDO Rev-A USB Micro Modem


Novatel Wireless MC760 USB Micro Modem

Novatel announced the Ovation MC760 Micro Modem today. This is Novatel's smallest USB EVDO Modem and is packed with features. The features include:
  • EVDO Rev A Modem
  • Weighs less than one ounce
  • Windows Vista/XP/2000, Mac OS X, Linux Compatible
  • MicroSD Slot (supports up to 8gb)
  • advanced internal dual band antenna and diversity
  • LED Indicators
  • GPS Support
  • one touch activation (if carrier supports)
Based on looking at the latest Sprint Rebate Form, we noticed the Ovation U760 is already listed. However, we are not expecting the launch of the Novatel Ovation U760 for another few months on Sprint.

We would guess this would be called the USB760, when it is lauched on Verizon.

Discuss the U760 Micro Modem on EVDOforums.com
Read the Novatel Ovation U760 Press Release
Read EVDOinfo.com's Review of the Novatel U760

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

FCC approves Verizon's purchase of Alltel: largest 3G / EVDO network created

Federal Communications Commission approves Verizon Wireless purchase of Alltel for $28 billion
Verizon Gobbles Up AlltelMerger will create largest 3G / EVDO network in USA

WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators are signing off on Verizon Wireless' planned $28 billion purchase of Alltel Corp. The deal will create the nation's largest wireless carrier.

With partial dissents by the two Democrats on the five-member panel, the Federal Communications Commission decided Tuesday to allow Verizon Wireless to move ahead with the deal for Alltel. Verizon is paying $5.9 billion and assuming $22.2 billion of Alltel's debt.

The FCC is attaching several conditions to the deal, including a requirement that Verizon Wireless honor Alltel's existing roaming agreements for four years.

The Justice Department approved the deal last week after Verizon agreed to sell assets in 22 states.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone Group PLC.

Related Links:

Monday, November 03, 2008

Verizon to STOP Refunding Activation Fees

Just a day after Sprint's new policy regarding activation fees went into effect - they will now be refunding the $36 activation fee to customers canceling within the first 30 days of their contract - Verizon has made a decision in the opposite vain.

In the past, if you canceled within the first 30 days of your Verizon contract, your only charge would be for the time the service was active. As of today, that has changed: if you cancel your service after the first 3 days, you will not be eligible for a refund of the $35 activation fee. Only customers stopping their service and returning their device on days 1, 2, or 3 of the contract will receive a refund.

It's interesting that the last two moves made by Sprint have made giving their service a try more affordable, while Verizon has decided to take away a generous gesture that had been standard for quite a while.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Another Sprint Change for 11/2

We've already heard that 11/2 will mark the beginning of overage charges for new customers (don't worry, existing subscribers - your punishment for going over will continue to be warnings from Sprint and potentially speed throttles) and a change to the ETF (which will also only apply to new customers, but in this case the existing customers are getting the shaft - no discounts for them!) and now there's word of another change: customers canceling within the first 30 days will now be refunded their activation fee.

In the past, if you canceled your new Sprint service, you would not be charged the ETF, but you would pay for the time that the service was active and they would keep your activation fee. Now, if you cancel within the first 30 days (and return the card or phone in good condition, of course), your ONLY charge will be for the time the service was active - you still wont have to pay any cancellation fee and the activation fee will be refunded.

This is a very nice offer from Sprint. It makes giving the service a try even more attractive, since you have less to lose!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sprint Gives Us All a Break on ETFs

UPDATE 10/31: According to Sprint's official press release regarding the new policies going into effect on 11/2, the reduced ETF policy will only apply to accounts started on or after November 2nd. Existing customers wanting to cancel their service will still have to pay $200, no matter how far into your contract you are.

---------------------------------------------

Sprint gave us some bad news earlier this week with the announcement that they would start charging customers who went over the 5GB limit on their EVDO data plan (read more information about that and how it measures up to Verizon's and AT&T's overage charges here), but today we got wind of a POSITIVE change that will also go into effect on 11/2.

Beginning 11/2, Sprint's $200 early termination fee will be lowered for customers canceling after 4 months. The maximum fee will remain at $200, but after those first four months the fee will be calculated at a rate of $10 for each month remaining in the contract. So, if you are halfway through the 24 month contract, your cancellation fee would be $120 (12 months remaining x $10). There is a $50 minimum, though, so once you get down to the final 5 months of the contract the fee will remain at $50.

$200 was certainly an exorbitant fee, especially when Verizon has been pro-rating their ETF for quite some time now (they charge $175 minus $5 for each month of the contract you've completed), and its about time they gave their customers a break based on how long they've been with the company!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

AT&T's 3G coverage

Lately I have been getting a lot of calls from AT&T Mobile Broadband users looking for an antenna. Most of the calls sound exactly the same, "I'm getting decent to low signal strength and my speeds are terrible". With each of these calls I ask for the zip code and look it up on AT&T's Coverage map. Nearly without fail they are in a not in a 3G coverage area for AT&T.

Lets take a minute to define a couple terms before I get ahead of myself:

3G = generic term used to describe all third generation mobile phone technology
EVDO = 3G technology used by both Sprint and Verizon, typical speeds of 600-1400kbps download and 500-800kbps upload
HSDPA = 3G technology that AT&T is using
EDGE = AT&T's 2g technology 75-135kbps download
1xRTT = Sprint and Verizon's 2G technology,


AT&T's network, much like Sprint and Verizon, has two different levels of coverage. The HSDPA 3G network is capable of speeds similar to EVDO 3G from Sprint and Verizon - about 600-1200kbps download. AT&T's EDGE network, according to their website, is capable of "75 to 135 kbps". This is similar to the 1xrtt network from Sprint and Verizon, with top speeds of 144kbps.

All three carriers have been upgrading to 3G coverage nationwide with varying degrees of urgency. 3G coverage on any provider is generally easy to find in major cities. Equipping a tower in the middle of a city is an easy decision as one tower can serve hundreds or even thousands of people. As you get further away from cities, as many of our customers are, AT&T 3G coverage falls off sharply, even where EVDO coverage remains very strong.

After seeing a recent increase in the number of calls, I decided to do an experiment. I found several locations that do NOT have 3G coverage and called AT&T to ask if I could get 3G on a mobile broadband device. With AT&T's coverage map in front of me, I asked about 5 different addresses that only have EDGE coverage - not 3G. On 2 of the calls I found the sales rep. to be honest and told me that I would only get EDGE service. They did have trouble telling me exactly what that meant in terms of speed, but eventually I was given the correct speeds. The other 3 calls were upsetting. I was told 3G was available and was quoted speeds of "700kbps-1.7mbps" and "6mbps".

So calling AT&T, may be get you the wrong answer.

Don't get me wrong, I personally have been a Cingular/AT&T customer since my very first cell phone. I have an iPhone 3G that I love. AT&T's 3G network can be very fast and is great where available. It doesn't seem like the people answering the phones have been told to lie or even know they are lying, but customers deserve a knowledgeable sales person.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN, OR CURRENTLY HAVE, AT&T MOBILE BROADBAND SERVICE, I'd like to offer some advice.

  • - CHECK COVERAGE: AT&T's coverage map can be found here: http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/ After entering your address click "Data" above the map, this will turn the entire map to shades of Blue. The Darker shade of blue is the "3G/Mobile Broadband" coverage and lighter shade is "EDGE" coverage.
  • -CALL 3Gstore: Although 3Gstore.com doesn't currently sell AT&T service we will be happy to check AT&T coverage, give you a link to the coverage map, even recommend the best AT&T device based on our testing. Either call our sales team at: 866-3Gstore (866-347-8673) or send us an email: sales@3gstore.com
  • -IF YOU ALREADY HAVE EDGE SERVICE: If you signed up with AT&T before reading this post, its not too late. We will be happy to walk you through antenna options if you are on the edge of coverage, or help you find a provider that has 3G coverage in your area.


HOW TO SPEED UP MY MOBILE BROADBAND IF I'M ONLY GETTING "EDGE":

As mentioned before, both Sprint and Verizon have much better coverage nationwide. Verizon recently released a comparison between their 3G coverage vs. AT&T (the yellow on the map is where Verizon has 3G coverage and AT&T does not):


Often the best antenna for AT&T is not an antenna at all. Paying the early termination fee and signing up for another carrier that actually has 3G coverage in your area is usually the best option. I know this sounds expensive and scary but, it isn't as pricey as you may think. If $225 improved your speeds from 75-135kbps to 600kbps-1400kbps, most people would agree, thats not a bad deal.

Currently, we have USB 3G/EVDO devices available for FREE on either Sprint or Verizon (after rebate for Verizon device) on a 2 year contract. Once you have confirmed Sprint or Verizon have 3G coverage the best option is to cancel AT&T ($175 or less) pay $35 or $36 activation fee for Sprint or Verizon and pay about $15 for Fedex ground shipping, a total of about $225 for speeds as much as 100x faster. Even a POOR signal from Sprint or Verizon 3G/EVDO should get you 3-4 times faster speeds than AT&T EDGE.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Overage Charges Coming to Sprint?

Let me preface this with a disclaimer: this information is NOT yet substantiated and is, at this point, still in the rumor phase -- so take the information with a grain of salt until we are able to make a definitive announcement one way or the other.

An EVDO enthusiast started a thread on the EVDO Forums with some unpleasant (potential) news:
According to the "source" of this post [referring to an article on the internet], Sprint will begin charging $0.05/MB for overage above 5GB. That works out to ~$50/GB!!! Wow--makes the first 5GB seem cheap at ~$12/GB.
Two other users spoke with Sprint reps directly and also heard the same information:
I spoke with my Sprint rep and got some very interesting information. I was informed that they WILL begin charging $.05/mb but the new policy won't go into effect until 11/2. However, I was assured that any accounts created BEFORE 11/2 wouldn't be affected. Has anyone else heard this?

Hello,

I just checked with my Sprint rep and she confirmed the same thing...

So, if you were thinking about getting a Sprint card, get one before 11/2/2008.

By the way, this doesn't mean the accounts before 11/2 can go over 5gb, it means that Sprint will not charge you. If you are an abuser, Sprint will probably contact you to "educate".
There is no information about this on Sprint's website - all they have in terms of warnings in regards to the 5GB limit is the generic "Sprint reserves the right to limit throughput speeds or amount of data transferred" clause - but that doesn't mean it's not true. To be on the safe side, if you were on the fence about ordering Sprint service, you might want to make your move BEFORE November 2nd so that your account can be "grandfathered" and not effected by the overage charges.

If you already have an account or get one before the 2nd, remember that even though you won't be CHARGED for overages, you do run the risk of getting into "trouble" with the gurus at Sprint if you chronically go over the limit. You will probably receive a phone call first warning you and then they may throttle your speeds or even cut you off entirely.

A lot of people get turned off when they hear about the 5GB limit, but the truth is that MOST users have no problem at all staying under the limit. You would have to send a half a million emails, visit 33,000+ websites, or download 1,250 songs from iTunes to reach 5GB in a month. Check out a breakdown of what 5G gets you here: What Does 5GB Get Me?

Another thing to point out, if the overage charges do in fact come to be, they will actually be a lot less than what Verizon or AT&T charges for overage: Verizon charges $0.25 for each MB over 5GB, and AT&T charges a whopping 49 CENTS when you go over their limit! With that in mind, the 5 cents from Sprint doesn't seem as painful, but you could still rack up a hearty bill if you don't monitor your data usage.

Moral of the story: BE CAREFUL with those 5GB... and if you're looking for Sprint EVDO service, you might want to jump on it before 11/2.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Want EVDO Rev-A, HSDPA, and WiMAX? Your Wish is Coming True


The title says it all, folks: a USB device that can access any or all of those three technologies is on the way. Franklin's upcoming U300, made by C-Motech, will be compatible with EVDO Rev-A, WiMAX, and HSDPA. It won't be available until the end of the year and there isn't much information just yet.

Here is what we know so far:
-- It will work on both EVDO Rev A and the WiMAX network
-- USB format
-- NOT Mac compatible
-- HSDPA compatible

We do NOT know:
-- Cost of device
-- Pricing plans: We expect that you would be required to have both a 2-year EVDO contract as well as one for WiMAX service.
-- Availability date: it should be available by the end of 2008, but we do not have an exact release date.
-- Antenna/router compatibility.

If the u300 is as good as it sounds up front, it will likely become a huge hit.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Who needs Sprint EVDO with Static IP address?

We just announced that 3Gstore.com is now able to provide static IP addresses for our customers Sprint EVDO data devices.

We anticipate that some of our customers who see the option on our Sprint EVDO Order Request Form, will wonder what its all about, so we figured it deserved another blogpost.

First a very brief explanation. "IP" stands for "internet protocol" and an IP address is a number that represents a participant on a computer network. One analogy would be to say "an IP address is to a computer, what a mailing address is to your home". Without the IP address, instructions from network device to another network device would have a hard time being delivered, just as mail being delivered without an address, usually doesn't get where you wanted it to.

When a Sprint EVDO data device like the Novatel U727 (now free with 2yr contract) establishes an internet connection to the Sprint network, it obtains a "dynamic" IP address. Being dynamic in this case, doesn't mean your device has a great personality... it just means that whatever IP address you were assigned on this network connection, may not be the same IP address the next time you connect. Dynamic = Random (from a pool of specific addresses that Sprint has assigned).

For most users... dynamic IP addresses are perfectly fine. In fact, if you don't already know that you NEED a static IP address for some reason... then you probably don't need a static IP address.

There are however, a bunch of valid uses for a static IP address. Most of those who need one, are companies who run "web applications" for their business that are used by people and devices operating on remote networks.

Network and application administrators must keep track of remote access through some sort of "white list", and if the remote connection has a dynamic IP address that changes each time a new network connection occurs, ensuring access from a remote connection can be a nightmare, if not downright impossible.

The same logic can apply in reverse as well. What if a central operation wants to keep communication channels alive with multiple remote users or equipment deployed in the field? It would be nearly impossible for central command to do that if the remote equipment did not have an IP address that stayed the same throughout reconnections.

Other more obvious uses for a static IP address involve the operation of a variety of different "server" applications like VPN, web, ftp, gaming, video, audio, email and a whole host of others.

However, since we all know that operating any kind of server is not what "Sprint Mobile BroadBand" EVDO service was designed for, we won't mention them here.... OK?

Pundits are sure to bring up "dynamic DNS" or "DDNS" services like those provided by dynDNS.org -- and their argument is a valid one. Except when network administrators trying desperately to keep a vital line of communication open during a time-sensitive event, have to wait for a "propagation" to occur because of some malfeasant DNS server.

For those who consider communication with remote internet devices or salespeople or executives to be of the utmost importance, the option of a static IP address on a Sprint EVDO data devices is not an option -- its a must have!

If you "must have" Sprint EVDO data service with a static IP address, trust the EVDO Experts at 3Gstore.com to provide you with the highest level of customer and technical support.

We've helped thousands of users get the most out of their mobile broadband service and are ready to do the same for you!

Related links:
Mobile BroadBand Made Easy - by the EVDO Experts at 3GStore.com!

Will the Booster Antenna Work for Me?

“Will the booster antenna work for me?”

This question is heard daily by our sales team at 3gstore. Did you know 3gstore’s first (and only product for some time) was the Booster Antenna? Our website was actually boosterantenna.com. The Booster Antenna is still one of our top selling items, however, this antenna is not always the best solution for everyone’s needs. In order to help determine which antenna would work best in a particular situation, there is some information we like our customers to gather for us. It is very helpful to know the RSSI values both inside and outside of their house.

What is RSSI?

RSSI is Received Signal Strength Indicator – this is the most accurate way to measure the signal strength of your EVDO device or cell phone. The number of bars or a percentage don’t actually tell us a lot about your connection to the tower.

Since 3gstore is “Mobile Broadband Made Easy,” we have created a link explaining how to measure your RSSI. That article can be found here.

The first part of the article shows you how to find your RSSI in the connection manager for your EVDO device. There are screenshots of the different connection managers, making it easy for you to find the signal strength regardless of which carrier you are using.

The second part of the article instructs you to do a site survey in and around your house, and answer the questions listed. Once you have these answers, call us at 3gstore and give us your results. With the RSSI information you provide, we can make a much more informed recommendation as to what antenna solution would be best for your application.

Best Buy Gives Our Number to Their Customers For Tech Support

A Note from Our Tech Team


I can understand the reasoning behind offering their customers OUR number for tech support. After all, we are the EVDO experts.

Today I received yet another call from a customer who was given our number from Geek Squad at Best Buy for tech support on a Cradlepoint MBR1000 router.

I am a 3Gstore tech support representative, and this is not the first time this has happened and most likely will not be the last. And Best Buy is not the only company directing their customers to our support team.

This doesn't surprise me. I might be new here at 3gstore, but I can proudly say we provide one heck of a tech support experience for our customers. I am very proud of our efforts here at 3gstore. We consistently go above and beyond to make sure our customers are helped in every way possible.

When it comes to EVDO and 3G, we have been, and will remain to be, the best. We can walk you through any issues you may be having over the phone, and we even have the ability to log in to your computer to control your screen for added support.

I pride myself on providing exceptional tech support for all the products we sell. But this is a service we can only offer to those that purchase from 3GStore.com. It can be very frustrating telling someone we cannot provide tech support for a product we did not sell them after Best Buy directed them to us for answers.

Why isn't Geek Squad at Best Buy supporting their products? Why are they constantly giving our number to their customers to call us for tech support? It is unrealistic for Best Buy to expect our tech team to support their products, but more than that, it is unfair to their customers who are not provided with any support from the company they purchased from.

While I am a consumer and count my dollars when buying a product, I have learned that saving a couple dollars on a purchase may not always be the best deal. If I can invest that extra few dollars in a product from a company that provides free support for the life of the product, I would consider that a great investment.

Monday, October 13, 2008

3Gstore Now Selling Verizon Phones!

We've been selling and supporting everything you need to get your EVDO service up and running for years now, but we are finally expanding into a new world: phones and PDAs! Whether you just need to make phone calls or want a device that will let you do everything from watch video to act as a modem, we can help you make the right choice and get you set up with the perfect phone or PDA.

What you get when you buy your phone/service from 3Gstore:
  • The same AWESOME customer service our existing customers rave about
  • Prices even better than what Verizon offers directly
  • Expedited service - most phones can ship same day if ordered by 1pm CST. Choose next-day shipping and have it in your hands even faster!
  • Comprehensive information on features even Verizon's site doesn't mention, like whether you can use an antenna or if it can be used as a modem
  • We are happy to help you select your phone AND your plan - no more confusion about all the options and features
  • If you are switching from another provider, you can KEEP your existing number in most cases!
If you're in the market for a new phone or want to make the switch to Verizon, check out our available PHONES and PDAs. Then, take a look at our simple guide to select your calling and data plan. If you'd like to place an order, call us at 866-347-8673 or send an email to phones@3gstore.com

Links:

List of available phones
List of available PDAs
Select your plan
Phones/PDAs and plans FAQ
Discuss Verizon phones on EVDO Forums

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Register Your XOHM Modem - OUTSIDE of Baltimore!


As you may have noticed - or read on the 4G Forums! - there have been XOHM sightings in areas besides the officially announced Baltimore region.

So how can you access the network? You need to register your modem and service, but you need to use an address that IS covered in Sprint's official Baltimore network.

No problem! We have created a super-simple step-by-step set of instructions so that you can get your modem up and running in places like Dallas, Chicago, or Philadelphia. Check it out on 4Ginfo.com and start XOHM-ing!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Everybody Loves Data! And Carriers Love Money

Back in "the olden days," cell phones were used as phones (and a 5 minute call to Mom cost about 20 bucks) and people accessed the internet by plugging a phone cord into a modem and waiting through an hour of busy signals so that we could wait 10 minutes for a website to load (and a ridiculous hourly fee to AOL for the privilege).

Times have changed! These days, just about every cell phone is capable of email and/or web browsing of some sort and the use of wireless broadband service is becoming more and more popular all the time (just ask all of us who work at 3G Store!). According to a study, from June of 2007 to June 2008 the number of Americans who had access to social networking sites via a mobile phone rose 93%. The same study reported that about 58% more people sent photos with a phone than in the year before, and the number of Americans with an unlimited data plan rose 58%. With everything mobile data service can do for us (email everywhere! Better yet, Facebook everywhere!) and the uber-popularity of devices like Blackberries and the iPhone, it's no surprise that more people are signing up with data service.

The problem, though, is the COST! Over the past couple years both Verizon and Sprint lowered their EVDO monthly rates, but other than that the cost of data has risen - a lot. Despite the fact that providing data service is actually cheaper now than it was a few years ago, text messages can cost up to 20 cents, and unlimited data plans for PDAs can be up to $30/month in addition to your voice plan. What's worse, we're paying more for LIMITED data access, as evidenced by all those nasty 5GB caps, and all those fancy applications we like to use on our phones eat up a lot of bandwidth (interesting related sidenote: T-Mobile has reportedly begun offering incentives for developers whose apps use less than 15mb).

There's another problem, too: can carriers handle the demand for data? Plenty of people have experienced dropped calls and signals or slower service when demand is extra high, and if networks want to stay competitive in a market that looooves their data service, the networks are going to have to invest more money in expanding their services and stabilizing customers. If a network can't keep up with their competitors and people are experiencing slowdowns and dropped calls, there's no doubt that people will start abandoning that ship to go with companies that are more focused on expansion and improvement.

It's clear that rising costs and even bandwidth limits aren't going to slow down the wireless data trend and that even if the cost of providing the service goes down for networks they don't seem to have much interest in passing those savings on to us consumers. If prices DO go down, it's going to be due to increased competition in the industry. Until then... be careful with those overage charges on your texts.

No New Taxes From Verizon Wireless??

I think we're all used to paying taxes on everything from soda to cable TV, automatically adding a few bucks in our head to the cost of an item or service. We do this with our EVDO bills too, of course - we all know it isn't REALLY $59.99 per month.

In a very nice move, Verizon is speaking out against any future implementation of exorbitant taxes to wireless subscribers, both individuals and businesses. They sent some "expert witnesses" to a hearing in Congress last week and asked that a stop be put on "new discriminatory wireless taxes from being imposed." The bill, H.R. 5793 or the Cell Tax Fairness Act of 2008, calls for a five-year moratorium from any new discriminatory wireless taxes.

What is a "discriminatory wireless tax," though?

Read the full press release on EVDOinfo.com

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Need a Sprint EVDO Modem and Service? How Does $0.00 Sound?


If you're in the market for EVDO service with Sprint, 3Gstore.com has an awesome deal on the popular Novatel u727 USB modem! For a limited time, you can get the u727 for FREE - you don't even need a mail-in rebate. If you were to purchase the device directly from Sprint, you'd pay $129.99 minus the $50 rebate.

This offer is ONLY available to customers that sign up for a 2-year service contract through us for Sprint. If you're already a Sprint EVDO customer and are just looking to upgrade, you have to be 22+ months into your contract to qualify for this deal. Also, please note that if you order a U727 and cancel within 30 days, the USB modem needs to be returned to 3GStore - if you keep it with no service contract you will be responsible for paying the full retail price.

This deal will only be available for a short time - so if you're in the market for Sprint service and a modem, jump on this now!

One more note: Even though the device is FREE without a rebate, you will receive a rebate form when you receive the card. There is a CHANCE that if you fill it out and send it in, Sprint MAY honor it and send you a $50 rebate - meaning you would MAKE $50 on the card. Again, we DO NOT know if they will honor it, but it only costs you the price of a stamp to find out!

Order your U727 from 3GStore.com now


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

EVDO in the Sky (and a New Kind of Mile-High Club)

If that headline doesn't make you want to read on, I don't know what will.

American Airlines recently started providing WiFi (for a fee) via AirCell's EVDO service on their flights, and passengers have been pretty excited about being able to stay connected on those long boring flights.

Some folks might be getting a little too excited about mile-high internet, though. Apparently, an x-rated problem has come up: passengers are looking at pornography while sitting just inches from their seat-mates and right in the faces of unsuspecting flight attendants. The problem has become so common that flight attendants have been complaining to The Powers That Be, asking them to please do something to curtail the sexy surfing.

It's unclear what can or will be done by AA. Hopefully, they will find a solution allowing them to block "adults only" sites (just ask worried parents how they blocked Myspace from their kids) SOON - even EVDO access in the sky isn't enough for me to put up with an eyeful of my seatmate's porn-fest for 5 hours.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Verizon's New "Open Development" Policy

Verizon doesn't exactly have a good track record when it comes to relinquishing even a tiny bit of control to another company (think iPhone and Android), but at CTIA today Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam chatted a bit about their new policy: Open Development.

The policy is
designed to speed up approvals for folks who want to use different CDMA devices on Verizon's network, and they showcased an example of this today. A new voice and text phone was unveiled today that will cost just $69 and will be available on a pre-paid basis through wireless company AirVoice. It reportedly took just 4 weeks for the phone to go through Verizon's approval process (weeks or months faster than average), a very positive sign for other small wireless companies that want to hitch their CDMA devices onto Verizon's powerful network.

The most interesting thing noted by McAdam is that he has high hopes that the Open Development policy will open the doors for advances in EVDO machine-to-machine communications - he would like to see a future where every appliance in your house connects to your network (I can't figure out why our popcorn poppers need broadband, but what do I know?). A CDMA EVDO device sure would be nice, though...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Long Live EVDO Rev A!

If you've been concerned about your EVDO equipment and service becoming outdated as the 4G technologies we keep hearing about start making their debut, don't get too bent out of shape just yet. WiMAX, the technology that carriers like Sprint and Alltel will be using, may actually be on its way, but its competitor, LTE, is going to take MUCH longer to make its way to consumers.

LTE, which is the 4G broadband technology that Verizon (and others) have decided to hitch their 4G stars to, has been talked about as becoming available in the USA sometime around 2012, but industry experts are now speculating that it will be more like 2015 when it finally rolls out on a major scale.

Here is what wireless consultant Andrew Seybold had to say about the matter at his conference (which is being held in conjunction with the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment conference in San Francisco):
  • There is no huge rush on the part of the carriers to provide 4G services
  • LTE likely wont become available until 2015
  • LTE download speeds of 71-143 Mbps are entirely theoretical and will be considerably slower when they are applied to the real world.
  • Handset and chip-makers are pushing to get LTE out there, not carriers
Seybold failed to mention anything about how WiMAX will effect 3G technologies, though - which is unfortunate since that is the technology that is actually becoming available as we speak...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Say Goodbye to Verizon Rebate Checks


Don't worry - Verizon IS still offering rebates on MANY phones and data cards, but they have officially abandoned the tried and true "send us your form and we'll send you a nice check" policy. Effective this week, customers will instead be receiving pre-paid Verizon-branded Visa debit cards in partnership with CitiBank.

From Verizon:
"Effective September 2, 2008, Verizon Wireless branded Prepaid VISA cards will replace Rebate Checks for all mail-in rebates, offering customers more choices to access rebate funds. Customers will have the option of spending their rebate card immediately, redeeming for cash, completing a bank transfer or requesting a paper check. Customers will also have the ability to track the status of their rebate by visiting www.verizonwireless.com/rebates or by calling Parago (800) 457-0864. Customers can check the balance of their cards by visiting www.verizonwireless.com/rebates, emailing VZWrebate@citiprepaid.com/rebates, text messaging BAL to #VZWR (8997) or by calling Citi (877) 899-8980. The rebate card may take up to 6 weeks to process."
At first glance, this doesn't sound like a bad idea. You get the card in the mail in the same timeframe as you would have received your check (up to 6 weeks or so) and the new format allows you to use the rebate as you would use your debit card or a any pre-paid card. To some folks, this option is a lot more convenient than having to go to the bank and cash a check or deposit it and wait for the funds to clear - you can access your money immediately.

On the other hand, what if you don't WANT to spend your rebate money? Surely there are some of us that just want to put it in the bank. Verizon does say that you will be able to request a paper check or a bank transfer, but how long will that take? And is it worth the wait?

They also state that you can redeem it for cash immediately, but they didn't elaborate on how you would go about doing that. Can you do it at an ATM? Another downfall is that they explicitly say that if your card is lost or stolen, it can't be replaced. With a check, if it hasn't been cashed, Verizon has the option of canceling the lost check and re-issuing a new one. That seems like a major downfall.

We'll be very interested to hear how consumers feel about the new rebate format. Are we ready to ditch the old-fashioned check and go plastic?

Discuss this topic on EVDO Forums

Friday, August 29, 2008

Linksys/Sprint EVDO WRT54G3GV2-ST Router Review Now Online

Linksys/Sprint EVDO WRT54G3GV2-ST Router Review Now Online

Linksys has launched a revised EVDO router for use with 3G mobile broadband devices on Sprint's EVDO network. The Linksys WRT54G3GV2-ST (or 3GV2 for short) allows multiple computers to share a single EVDO connection, rather than having to swap the Sprint EVDO card or USB modem between computers.

The 3GV2 works with current Sprint EVDO devices like the Compass 597 and Ovation U727 USB modems (but not the U680), as well as the Novatel EX720 and Sierra Wireless AirCard 597E ExpressCards (adapter required but not provided).

The 3GV2 also shares the same dimensions as the older version, still has one ethernet WAN port to allow use as a Cable/DSL/Satellite router, four ethernet 10/100 ports for LAN networking, a PCMCIA slot for EVDO cards, and still uses the same WiFi "G" radio and 3.3 dBi external WiFi antenna.

Check out the FULL REVIEW, now online at http://www.EVDOinfo.com/3GV2


Related Links:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Verizon XV6800 Gets EVDO Rev A Upgrade (And More!)

xv6800xv6800
Verizon's XV6800 is a very nice smartphone with its cool slide-up design, nice touch screen, back-lit QWERTY keypad, and relatively compact size (2.3 in x 0.7 in x 4.3 in, 5.8 oz), but it was lacking in a couple areas. For one, internet access was limited to EVDO Rev 0, despite the fact that Sprint's version of the same phone is Rev A compatible; it also contains just 64MB of on-board installed memory. Either one of those oversights might have been a turnoff to potential users, so UTStarcom wised up and created an downloadable upgrade that will improve the functionality of the phone. It's available for FREE on their website, and the upgrades include:
  • VZ Navigator compatibility with built-in GPS
  • Support for memory cards up to 16GB
  • Threaded SMS client
  • Updated MMS client
  • Windows Mobile 6.1 OS
  • Most importantly: access to the EVDO Rev A network
With these new upgrades, Verizon has themselves another top of the line smartphone. The VX6800 now offers essentially all the same capabilities and features as PDAs like Blackberry and Treo, but with a unique design. We'll be testing out how the Rev A speeds on this phone compare to its old Rev 0 browsing speeds ASAP and will post our findings here and on EVDOinfo.com!


Discuss the VX6800 updates on EVDOforums

Friday, August 22, 2008

Verizon Goes Google

Verizon has rebuffed and criticized Google in the past, being the only major operator to publicly denounce Google's Android initiative (a "software stack" they've developed for mobile phones that is based on Java and and includes such features as an integrated browser and media support) and their open-spectrum plan - but they've let bygones be bygones and are working on creating a mutually-beneficial relationship.

The deal, which is currently still in the works, would make Google's search engine the default search option on Verizon's handsets, and Google will in turn give Verizon a share of ad revenues. The main problem at this juncture is Verizon's aversion to Google's desire to save info from the cell phone searches; a stance I'd venture to guess a great deal of consumers can agree with.

According to the report from Yahoo Finance, the deal could be finalized within a couple weeks, so if you're going to be upgrading your Verizon cell soon, be prepared to see Google right on your home screen.

Discuss Verizon's partnership with Google on EVDOforums

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

CradlePoint CTR500/MBR1000 1.3.1 Firmware Provides EVDO / HSPA Load Balancing


The wait, is finally over... CradlePoint has just released Firmware Version 1.3.1 that enables LOAD BALANCING across multiple 3G / EVDO / HSPA cellular devices, and oh yeah - even more EVDO and HSDPA devices for their CTR500 and MBR1000 EVDO / HSDPA routers.

Read more about this exciting new firmware at: http://www.evdoinfo.com/LB

Here's a screengrab showing admin page for EVDO LOAD BALANCING across a Verizon V740 expresscard and a Sprint Compass 597 USB modem.

Here are NEW "U.S. Carrier" devices supported by Firmware 1.3.1
(complete list of supported devices is at 3G Router Compatibility Chart)

Sprint Verizon AT&T nTelos

BlackBerry 8330
Samsung SPH-m520

Palm 700w
UTStarcom UM175

HP iPAQ 910
GT Ultra Express
(requires adapter with
proper voltage)


Franklin CDU680

There were also many "International Carrier" devices supported with this new firmware release:

Rogers
(Canada)
Telus
(Canada)
Generic GSM*

Novatel MC950D
Novatel X950D

Sierra Wireless 595U
Sierra Wireless 597E

Huawei E220
Novatel MC950D
Sierra Wireless 880U
Sierra Wireless 885U
Sierra Wireless 880E

*These devices were tested using the AT&T network in the United States and may or may not work with other UMTS/GSM carriers internationally.

Canadians! -- Don't forget that 3GStore now ships to Canada!

For those ordering the CTR500 or MBR1000 from 3Gstore.com, starting 08/22/2008, we will automatically include a CD that has the latest firmware.

More information is available in the official Firmware 1.3.1 Release Notes (PDF).

Related Links

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

4G Won't Usurp 3G - Yet, Anyway

4G technology LTE (along with WiMAX) may be the wave of the future of wireless service, but does that mean that the progress being made on EVDO and UMTS/HSPA will all be for naught? Will the promise of faster uploads and better cost-effectiveness cause providers to focus more on 4G development or consumers to hold off on subscribing to wireless internet service until 4G service is available? Makes sense, right?

Not necessarily.

Tireless tech researchers ABI are reporting that in just one year the number of EVDO Rev A subscribers jumped an impressive 800%, and they even project that the number could rise to as many as 54 million by 2013 with another 25 million using EVDO Rev B. The improvements that EVDO Rev B and HSPA+ will bring to the market will bring the service close enough to promised LTE speeds - within about 100 Mbps for downloads for HSPA+ - to make migrating to 4G an unnecessary hassle for some customers. Unlike the switches to Rev B and HSPA+, which will likely be very smooth/gradual migrations, LTE adoption will require new components since it operates on an entirely different technology (OFDM).

Obviously, 4G technology will replace the likes of EVDO and HSPA eventually, it just might take a while - such is the usual natural progression of new technology adoption. Even if LTE and WiMAX blow 3G out of the water with everything from speed to devices to cost, it's certainly not going to be an overnight transition.

For more 4G scoop, check out EVDOinfo.com's 4G blog and 4G forums!

Friday, August 15, 2008

DNC Goes 3G With Sprint EVDO

Democratic National Convention attendees may have to worry about altitude sickness later this month, but thanks to Sprint, there's one thing they won't have to worry about: wireless coverage for all their cell phones and EVDO-enabled devices. In anticipation of the thousands upon thousands (upon thousands and thousands... you get the picture) of people that will be converging on the area, Sprint has increased their coverage everywhere from hotels, the airport, downtown Denver, the Pepsi Center, and INVESCO Field, where Obama will be giving his acceptance speech. Network engineers have installed and tested new antenna systems throughout the city and a cell-on-wheels system at INVESCO Field and Sprint's Network Operations Center will be testing their service throughout the event to make sure everyone can stay connected.

It's not just the attendees that will benefit from the extended and enhanced coverage, though. Sprint has partnered with other telecommunications providers to provide wireless coverage to the FBI-created Multi-Agency Communications Center, which will be the communications and security hub for the event.

It speaks volumes about Sprint's coverage in Denver that they have been entrusted with the uber-important responsibility of keeping everyone from the public to the government connected at such a high-profile event. Are they up to the task?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Use Sprint PCS Mail? Not Anymore!


If you've been using Sprint/Nextel's PCS mail service for your email needs, be prepared to make a switch to one of the other providers come the new year. Sprint announced this week that they will be discontinuing their "@sprintpcs.com" email service on December 31st, 2008. Their website provides no reason for the decision, but one can imagine it's most likely an attempt to cut costs in a downward-spiraling economy when Sprint is really looking to invest in the future of 4G services.

While their email service never caught on to the level of, say, Yahoo or Gmail, the folks that have been using their Sprint email addresses for years are going to feel very inconvenienced. Sprint's official website kindly offers directions on how to sign up for AOL, Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail and instructions on how to import your emails and address book, but it doesn't offer any tips on getting all of your friends/family/coworkers to memorize your new address.

Discuss the termination of Sprint PCS mail on EVDOforums

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sprint EVDO: 5GB Cap Crap

Many customers of Sprint's MobileBroadBand EVDO service signed up with an understanding that it was "unlimited"... as in no restriction on how long you can be online (minutes) and no maximum amount of data that could be used.

For the most part, they were right. Unlimited meant they could use it as much as they wanted to.

At least until last May when it was learned that Sprint was going to change its "Terms of Service" (TOS) in such a way that they would now have the right to take action on contracts that consumed more than 5 Gigabytes of data. Here's the relevant part added to TOS:
Sprint reserves the right to limit throughput speeds or amount of data transferred and to deny, terminate, modify, or suspend service if usage exceeds 5GB per month in total or 300MB/month while off-network roaming.
On dozens of internet forums, many interested parties interpreted this text in different ways -- check out this 50+ page thread on EVDOforums.com and you'll find over 750 forum posts discussing what the change in terms really means.

In addition to explanations of phone conversations that members had with Sprint's agents, that forum thread even has some chat transcripts provided by members who discussed the new terms with Sprint online agents. The results were the same no matter which way you played the frustrating game of "agent roulette" -- many official Sprint agents denied any change to the TOS existed, while still other agents gave different scenarios to explain what the new terms meant.

Among the key questions on everyone's mind were:
  1. Are contracts that were in place before the TOS change, "grandfathered" in such a way that their service remained unlimited?
  2. Will existing customers who do not like the change to TOS be allowed to walk away from their contracts without being subject to an early termination fee?
  3. Will customers who exceed 5GB of data consumption be subject to overage charges?
  4. Does this change in terms apply to both individual- and corporate-liable contracts?
As a Sprint Master Agent, 3Gstore took the matter up with as many people in the food chain as we could... and found the same thing everyone else did -- clueless people who had no idea a change occurred or was occurring, and told us "let me get back to you after I research this". What did we learn after these "higher ups" got back to us? That they knew nothing definitive and had as many different explanations as everyone else had already provided.

We finally came across some internal documentation and updated our EVDOinfo article with this text:
The new terms of service described above, will be in place for all accounts created on or after July 13, 2008 - regardless if the account is individual or corporate liable.
We are comfortable stating that much in public. Everything else we wanted to say would be speculation and impossible to substantiate.

What was our opinion? Simple, really. Sprint had NO way to legally take any action against customers who were affecting network performance because of their data consumption.

With the change in their TOS, they would now have a legitimate reason for getting rid of these contracts that were causing problems.

What about all those other important questions? Surely someone had to be able to provide the "real" answers with some way to validate the answers beyond "they told me on the phone".

On July 31st, Sprint officials were involved in a moderated chat on Sprint's own public forums. It was made clear that Tony Jackson was a "Director" at Sprint, and that he and his team would be "discussing the answers to each of the questions to ensure they are providing accurate information".

Alrighty then, lets submit a question and see what answer we get:
EVDOinfo asked: Is sprint actively notifying ALL customers who exceed 5gb per billing month, and if so, what exactly is being told to these customers?

Tony Jackson : As you know, today the phone-as-modem option cannot be added to the Simply Everything plan. We are always evaluating our policies but currently do not have any plans to change this policy.
My immediate reaction upon seeing the question and answer was: "Hmmm... WTF?"

Actually, I wasn't surprised. It was straight up stupidity and from a Director, no less. No wonder all the lesser agents don't have a clue, right?

Time passed slowly, and a few minutes later they dance with this:
Tony Jackson : Clarification... prior answer was specific to SE and phone as modem. Answer to the 5Gb question shortly...
"Specific to SE" meant his answer had to do with a question about the "Simply Everything" plan... but hold up... there was NO prior question posted that related to an SE plan. Not by me, not by anyone. Sigh.

More time passes. And I mean slowly. I've been "chatting" online for over 15 years and never before have I endured so little actual "chatter" in an hour, than I experienced in this moderated chat. There were only a total of eleven "questions" posted, even though the forum asked for questions in advance and took live questions like mine. Its ridiculous to think that this "team" did not have proper/accurate answers prepared in advance. Finally, there was this:
Tony Jackson : Re: Is sprint actively notifying ALL customers who exceed 5gb per billing month, and if so, what exactly is being told to these customers? Yes, are / will be reaching out to notify and educate affected customers about the 5GB T&C... note these customers number
O.M.G. Which is it? they are, or they will be? What "education" will you provide? and why does it look like you had more to say at the end.... can't you guys even finish a sentence?

We posted play-by-play commentary during the moderated chat in this EVDOforums thread, and noted these key points:
Tony Jackson : ... Existing business contracts that are signed prior to 7/13/08 will remain under existing terms and conditions for each contract.
We interpret that as meaning ONLY corporate liable contracts would be "grandfathered" and have unlimited service as it existed before any change to terms of service. That sounded good to us, until this showed up three posts later
redhatnick asked: Just to clarify as well, there is no such thing as being grandfathered in where the unlimited would still apply after the June notification?

Tony Jackson : That is correct... no grandfathering
I don't know about you, but the two statements made sure look to contradict each other, don't they? We really shouldn't be surprised anymore. In fact, it becomes less and less that we are surprised, and more and more that we shake our heads in disgust. This moderated chat by a Director and his crack team of experts who are taking their time to ensure answers are accurate... have done nothing but prove that Sprint is truly clueless about all issues surrounding the changes to the terms of service.

It doesn't end there. It gets worse. Now they tell us something we haven't heard before:
Tony Jackson : The new 5GB cap became effective mid July this year. Customers exceeding this threshold for 2 of 3 consecutive months will be contacted to inform / educate. New overage pricing structures -- e.g., $ / MB -- will be coming soon.
We interpret that to mean that there WILL be overage charges of some kind, further reinforced by this separate reply posted later in the chat:
Tony Jackson : ... As I said earlier, we are considering some new connection plans that will include overages and hopefully enhance your overall customer experience
Yay. Overage charges. Brilliant. Genius. This will definitely increase subscribership and prevent more loss of existing subscribers.

That moderated chat happened on July 31, and it ended with this:
Tony Jackson : Thank you all for participating in this Buzz Chat today! I realize that we may not have been able to get to all of your questions in the hour that we’ve had, but as Tristan mentioned, we’ll try to answer as many of those that have been submitted and re-post them in a few days
We had hoped that they would have the sense enough to post carefully crafted answers that answers all the burning questions. Nearly two weeks later, nothing new has been posted by any official... which makes sense because we believe nobody at Sprint has any clue what the specific details are.

Its hard to provide a conclusion to this blogpost. We could go on and on about this subject, but really won't get anywhere. Only thing worth adding is the struggle we had to come up with a good title. Our other choice?

Sprint EVDO: FUBAR

Sums it up nicely, doesn't it?

Feel free to join in the discussion at EVDOforums.com

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Verizon UM175



We first saw the UM175 back in April and now Verizon has released the EVDO USB Rev A Modem for use on their network. We will be comparing the UM175 against the other USB EVDO Modems in the coming days. Be sure to read our Verizon UM175 First Impression on EVDOinfo.com.

Related Links:

Friday, July 18, 2008

3Gstore Special! Free 12v Adapter For CTR350/PHS300/CTR500 EVDO Routers

PLEASE NOTE: This Promotion ENDED on August 05, 2008

3Gstore bought a special shipment of Cradlepoint 12volt adapters at a really good price and for a limited time only, 3Gstore is including a FREE 12volt Car Adapter with every purchase of a Cradlepoint CTR350, PHS300 or CTR500 3G router!

The portable 3G routers from Cradlepoint have always been very popular with traveling business executives, roadwarriors, bloggers and RV owners -- and now we're giving away the 12volt car adapters that make them truly "mobile hotspots"!

Act fast, this promotion will only last as long as we have stock from this special purchase. Sorry, this promotion is NOT for the 12v adapter that fits the MBR1000 or KR2 routers.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Sierra Wireless No Longer Buying CradlePoint

Sierra Wireless has announced their plans to no longer acquire CradlePoint, Inc. From Sierra's press release, it says:



VANCOUVER, July 7 /CNW/ - Sierra Wireless, Inc. (NASDAQ: SWIR, TSX: SW) announced today that the agreement to acquire CradlePoint, Inc. previously announced on April 7, 2008 has been terminated. As is customary in agreements of this nature, there are certain conditions that need to be met prior to closing. One of these conditions has not been met, resulting in the agreement being terminated by Sierra Wireless. As a result of the termination, we expect to incur approximately $700,000 of transaction related expenses in the second quarter of 2008.


We don't know exactly what the one condition that was not met.

Discuss Sierra No Longer Buying CradlePoint on EVDOforums.com

Monday, June 30, 2008

CTR350/PHS300 Firmware 2.2 adds Bell/Telus Canada EVDO

CradlePoint has released Firmware Version 2.2 that enables more EVDO / HSDPA devices for the CTR350 and PHS300 routers.

Here are NEW "U.S. Carrier" devices supported by Firmware 2.2:
(complete list of supported devices is at 3G Router Compatibility Chart)

Sprint Verizon AT&T nTelos

BlackBerry 8330
Samsung SPH-m520

Palm 700w

HP iPAQ 910
GT Ultra Express
(requires adapter with
proper voltage)


Franklin CDU680

There were also many "International Carrier" devices supported with this new firmware release:

Rogers
(Canada)
Telus
(Canada)
Generic GSM*

Novatel MC950D
Novatel X950D

Sierra Wireless 595U
Sierra Wireless 597E

Huawei E220
Novatel MC950D
Sierra Wireless 880U
Sierra Wireless 885U
Sierra Wireless 880E

*These devices were tested using the AT&T network in the United States and may or may not work with other UMTS/GSM carriers internationally.

Canadians! -- Don't forget that 3GStore now ships to Canada!


For those ordering the CTR350 or PHS300 from 3Gstore.com, starting 07/01/2008, we will automatically include a CD that has the latest firmware, with each order.

Full release has more information: Cradlepoint Firmware 2.2 For CTR350/PHS300

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