Friday, January 25, 2008

MBR1000 CradlePoint Mobile Broadband Router

The Cradlepoint MBR1000 EVDO Router Review is now available online: click here!

UPDATE 07/28/08: MBR1000 Firmware 1.3 enables LOAD BALANCING!

We are very excited about the new CradlePoint MBR1000 router. It will be the first wireless N EVDO router available. The MBR1000 will be the first EVDO router to support ExpressCards without an adapter (USB supported as well). We are currently testing it and writing a detailed review (like we have for previous products). This router can give you 10X the range of previous EVDO routers! If you have questions, be sure to see our EVDOforums post:

Help us get it write: MBR1000 and KR2 Router Reviews


Be the first to get one: Pre-Order a MBR1000 from 3Gstore.com for $249.99 (expected 2/15/2008).

Look for our full review to be posted on EVDOinfo.com within the week.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Linksys HSDPA Router Now Works with AirCard 881


The actual working title for this blogpost was "Linksys WRT54G3G-AT HSDPA Router Doubles Number Of Supported Cards - Now Works With Two!" -- but that seemed a little long.

Its newsworthy to announce that the Linksys AT&T Router now supports the AirCard 881 only because until now, that router only supported ONE card - the AirCard 875 - which AT&T stopped selling months ago.

We're happy for AT&T customers who have been calling us each week trying to find a router for their AC881 cards, and really wish that more router manufacturers were as fleet of foot and responsive to demand... like Cradlepoint Technologies.

3GStore now sells two versions of the Linksys WRT54G3G-AT Router for AT&T Customers -- one for $249.99 that includes latest firmware on CD; and one for $264.99 that has the firmware pre-installed and tested at our warehouse before shipping, as well as the CD.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

3Gstore provides customers Sprint EVDO connection fix

Does that image look familiar to you? It does for many Sprint EVDO users who have found themselves unable to surf certain websites, but have no issue surfing other sites. An EVDOforums thread started in August 2007 now has over 120 posts from Sprint customers growing tired of the widespread problem.

The EVDO Experts at 3GStore have spent hours with every level of Sprint tech support trying to understand and isolate the problem.

Some of the suggestions from Sprint tech support boggle the mind:

"its your computer" -- nope.
"its your anti-virus software -- nope.
"its your firewall" -- nope.
"its your EVDO device" -- nope.
"it must be the weather" -- please. give. me. a. break.

What it has been is difficult to reproduce -- because the symptoms can obviously have multiple causes and starting over with each customer's specifics with Sprint tech support, is sheer madness. (hey sprint. here's a clue. your scripts do NOT have all the answers. use your heads!)

3gstore is confident about one cause for this rampant/growing problem and we have developed specific troubleshooting procedures to see if certain reproducible conditions exist. We now make available a document exclusively for 3Gstore customers who bought their Sprint EVDO device and service through 3gstore.com

Of course everyone would prefer a real solution from Sprint instead of a workaround from 3gstore... but when our customers are paying $60/mo for "unlimited" service, they expect to use it without limitations.

We elaborate more on the document at this full article on EVDOinfo.com

Saturday, January 05, 2008

My First Day Working at 3Gstore.com

We had a new tech person start last week here at 3Gstore.com. He came from one of the larger carriers we deal with every day. In fact, he spent his time on the phone all day long. I asked him how many calls he would handle a day, he said 100+. I asked how long the calls would be and he said around 3 minutes. I thought, how can tech issues be resolved in 3 minutes? I asked him to write about his first day on the job, and here is his post.

Most people begin their career in any field having primarily a work satisfaction motivation. Later in your career, economic motivation often becomes a more dominant goal, sometimes as a result of a growing family. But later in life it goes back to satisfaction motivation.

That was the case with me. I used to work for a big telecommunication company before I realize that I was no longer motivated nor satisfied with my job function.

I resigned and set my goals on looking for a smaller company where my skills could be better put to use.

After searching for a couple of months I came across a company where I wanted to work and make a difference. I made contact with the owner of 3Gstore.com and after some discussion and a series of interviews I was offered a position.

My first day on the job for this company was amazing. Listening to the tech, sales representatives on the phones completely surprised me.

As they interacted with the customers on the other end of the line I noticed there were no scripts, no standard protocol. Each representative had their own style, and they did everything possible to assist the customer with their issue the first time they called.

There were many differences between the big telecommunication company and 3Gstore.com. Here are some of the differences I noticed immediately:

Big Company

1. Scripts
2. Specialized Jobs (tech support, financial services, customer services, data support, business accounts, telesales, etc)
3. AHT (average hold time) to abide by, call work, hold time, etc

3Gstore.com

1. no scripts everyone style is different I noticed the calls were more personal and ran more smoothly.
2. at 3Gstore everyone does everything. If a call arrives that requires tech support or sales support you can take and handle the call. No need to transfer the customer to put him in another Que where he will sit for another 10-15 minutes.
3. You are also empowered to handle the call without regard to AHT (average hold time) from a customer stand point I feel valued when I am not rushed off a call get resolution on my calls. This makes me want to shop at that place again.

There is no question that compensation, benefits for the same level of employment is greater in a larger company than a smaller one.

However I noticed that working for a big corporation you play politics if you want to advance and because you are just a number any input or recommendations that you have that could make your job easier are mostly ignored.

With a smaller company satisfaction motivation becomes a big perk, At least in my situation.



Thanks for your post Dario and welcome aboard!

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year's Resolutions for EVDO Carriers

Happy New Year everyone! Its time to ponder what we think Sprint and Verizon should have on their list of New Year's Resolutions.

For Sprint:

  • Allow easier ESN swaps on all devices. (verizon users can do this via the web!)
  • Allow an account setting to block international roaming. (verizon users can request this!)
  • Drop the monthly rate to $59.99/mo for 1-year contract. (verizon already offers this!)
  • Provide a full connection manager for Mac OSX. (you guessed it. verizon offers this!)
  • Provide better customer support using people who speak english natively.
  • Stop lying about corporate discounts on $59.99/mo 'promotional rate'.
  • Stop experimenting on LIVE network. Testing should NEVER affect customers!
  • Fix your backend accounting system (Merge the 2 you have AND pay your dealers on time - Sprint is 9 months behind paying us at times AND if your customers did that to you, you would cancel them.

For Verizon:

  • Enable and Support GPS features of devices that have them. (sprint does this!)
  • Stop threatening customers with actions based on 5GB per month of data usage.
  • Stop telling people the service does not work with EVDO routers.
  • Make sure all your reps can add, and they all read from same pricing scripts.

And for all 3G carriers, these should really be a priority:

  • Improve your customer support standards. Seriously.
  • Get more backhaul out to your cell towers. A T-1 won't cut it anymore.
  • Get more towers into all populated areas.
  • We don't need no stinkin' activation fees. At least refund them after xx months.
  • Train your people better. Let them actually USE some dedicated data devices.
  • Stop promoting newest devices as faster than existing when they are the same spec.
  • Stop pushing older Rev-o technology devices at low prices. Nobody wants junk.
  • Lower your monthly rates. DSL and Cable have. You should too.

EVDO Router Manufacturers Get a Report Card from 3GStore



Being that it's a new year, we here at 3GStore.com figured we'd give the router manufacturers a report card. We've taken a look at a number of factors and assigned a grade to each router manufacturer. Here's how they fared:

Cradlepoint - A+
We have given them such a high grade for a whole host of reasons. They have shown truly impressive responsiveness to our suggestions and requests. We have asked them to write firmware to support new devices, and they've done it. We recommended that the ethernet port on the CTR-350 works as LAN, and they made it happen.

Cradlepoint is creating excellent products. Their routers are compact and very travel friendly, but they still have a robust set of features. They have released innovative products (ie: first battery-powered EVDO router), and we're anxious to see what else they have in store for the EVDO consumer. And top of it all, they offer competitive prices on these quality products.

Kyocera - B
The KR1 has been out for quite some time now, but it's still an effective piece of equipment. We have plenty of customers who swear by this router, and we still have new KR1 customers every day. The problem with the KR1 at this point is that it's on it's last leg. The KR2 is supposed to be released early 2008, and the lack of firmware released to support new cards on the KR1 has been disappointing. There is currently only 1 device sold on Verizon that works properly in the KR1.

Linksys - D
The Linksys router has always had a limited amount of cards supported. It is intended for use with the Sprint network, so there are only a couple of Verizon cards that have ever worked with the WRT54G3G-ST. But as considerably more USB and ExpressCard devices are released, this limitation is becoming even more apparent. The Linksys works only with PCMCIA cards, and as we've stated before, PCMCIA is on it's way out. So a router that has no capability of working with a USB device or an ExpressCard is going to become as obsolete as the PCMCIA cards it supports.

TopGlobal - F
The manufacturer support from TopGlobal has been atrocious. We have plenty of stories to tell about customers who had to wait 5 weeks for replacements, who were told they couldn't get replacements, or who received replacements that were used/damaged. And those are the people who are actually given replacements - many times TopGlobal will not stand behind their "supoposed" 1 year warranty and will refuse to replace a customer's defective product.

TopGlobal routers are the only routers that 3GStore.com personally tests before sending out the door because we've had so many arrive to our customers DOA. TopGlobal also contracts out their support to a US company who is not knowledgable about the products and gives customers incorrect information, and they eventually come back to us to get real tech support. The bottom line is that they do not stand behind their product, which is unacceptable as far as we're concerned. Why should we continue to sell a product that has a reputation for being of poor quality when we know it will be nothing but a hassle to get a defective unit replaced?

Effective Immediately, 3Gstore Drops Top Global