Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cradlepoint released Firmware 2.1 for CTR350 / PHS300

CradlePoint has just released Firmware Version 2.1 that enables even more EVDO and HSDPA devices to work with the CTR350 and PHS300 routers.

Here is a complete list of the NEW devices supported by Firmware 2.1:
(complete list of supported devices is at EVDOinfo.com's 3G Router Compatibility Chart)

Sprint: SierraWireless 597E, PPC6700 HTC Apache, PPC6800 HT Mogul, HTC Touch, Motorola KRZR, Motorola Q / Q9c, Palm Centro, BlackBerry 8130, Samsung A900/A900M, Samsung Katana, Samsung SCP-6600, Samsung SCP-8400

Verizon: Novatel USB727, Novatel V740, Kyocera KPC680, BlackBerry 8130, BlackBerry 8830

AT&T: SierraWireless 875U

Alltel: UTStarcom UM150

For those ordering the CTR350 or PHS300 from 3Gstore.com, starting 03/26/2008, we will automatically include a CD that has the latest firmware, with each order.

In addition to the additional devices, the new Firmware enables the "first stage" of an evolving GPS feature set, as well as other improvements and bug fixes.

More information is available in Cradlepoint's Full Firmware 2.1 Release Notes (PDF).

Related Links

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cradlepoint serves as OEM for new EVDO Routers

Both Sprint and Kyocera (and many others) have contracted other companies to manufacture routers in the past, but Kyocera is the first to decide to change who makes their next EVDO router (the Kyocera KR2).

Sprint has a router in its current product lineup that they contracted Linksys to provide, and in over a year's time there has only two official firmware releases made available. With an adapter sold by Sprint, that router should have been able to support ExpressCards, but only recently did that happen, and for the longest time it only supported Sprint's PCMCIA cards. As capable as Linksys is as a company, one has to wonder why ExpressCards didn't happen until just last February. The latest Linksys firmware now supports Sprint ExpressCards with an ExpressCard adapter (only took a year for that support to be added). Sprint is offering a Sprint labeled version of the PHS300, called the PHS300S.

Nearly two years ago, Kyocera contracted D-Link to create their venerable KR1, the top-selling consumer-level 3G router, primarily because its been around the longest. Firmware releases for the KR1 often took months to release after new EVDO devices came to market and some popular cards like the Sierra Wireless AirCard 595/595U, U727 and Franklin CDU680 have never worked with the KR1.

For their next 3G routers, Kyocera is the first to turn to Cradlepoint Technologies as an OEM, and we couldn't be happier for all concerned.

Cradlepoint has released the MBR1000 - that will serve as the basis for Kyocera's follow-up to their KR1. The new KR2 will differ from the MBR1000 primarily in that it will have a PCMCIA slot for legacy data cards (see Goodbye PCMCIA) that the MBR1000 will not have.

Kyocera and Sprint will dictate what EVDO devices their branded units will support and what feature set the new routers will have. For instance, on the Sprint unit, they are not going to spend a lot of time supporting Verizon data devices. If you want to be sure your next router is made by Cradlepoint, look for the "WiPipe" logo.

Based on track record of releasing new firmware for their own brand nearly every month, Cradlepoint should have no issue meeting their new client's demands. Even though firmware for the OEM models will be released on client's schedule and not Cradlepoint's, end users of these new routers shouldn't suffer the same endless delays that Kyocera's first routers went through due to DLink Support.

How will these new OEM deals affect Cradlepoint-branded products? Well first of all, from Cradlepoint's point of view it doesn't matter really. Every KR2 sold, is still a sale to Cradlepoint. Its Win/Win/Win.

3Gstore.com loves working directly with CradlePoint. We have helped them beta test their latest firmware releases and have helped to suggest new features and improvements to add. They are a top notch organization that actually LISTENS to their customers. All you need for proof is to check out the CradlePoint Support Forums on EVDOforums.

Since CradlePoint is collecting information from multiple sources that means Cradlepoint-branded products will end up being the most versatile units available, and will likely work with almost every conceivable device that gets released by supported 3G carriers.

The big question will be how Kyocera, Sprint (and others) work directly with CradlePoint. Keep in mind, when you purchase a non-CradlePoint router, support will not be provided to end-users directly from CradlePoint. For non-Cradlepoint-branded routers, the first line of support will be the company whose logo is on the product (Kyocera or Sprint). Some of these companies do not have the best track record for providing end user support :(

However... everyone should keep in mind that when you purchase your gear from 3Gstore.com, your first line of support are the EVDO Experts in 3Gstore's tech support department.

In the end, it looks like everyone comes out winning. Kyocera (and others) get a more responsive OEM to make their new routers... Cradlepoint makes more money and becomes a larger player in the 3G router wars... and 3Gstore customers end up with the best deal of all - superior product selection backed up by unmatched expertise and customer support!

Looks like its going to be a very good year for 3G/EVDO routers!

Want to comment or read what others have to say on this topic?

Discuss CradlePoint being an OEM for Others on EVDOforums.com

Kyocera KR2 EVDO Router Now Shipping


Our first shipment of the long awaited Kyocera KR2 EVDO Router arrived today, and the first customer orders are being prepped for outbound shipment at our warehouse.

The Kyocera KR2 EVDO Router is made by Cradlepoint and is very similar to the MBR1000, but with an added PCMCIA slot.



Much more about the new router is available in our full Kyocera KR2 Router Review.

Purchase the new Kyocera KR2 from 3Gstore.com for $249.99 plus shipping, or get it for just $229.99 when packaged with either Sprint or Verizon EVDO device on a new contract.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Kyocera KR2 EVDO Router Review

The long awaited Kyocera KR2 will begin shipping next week, and our thorough review is now online at http://www.EVDOinfo.com/KR2

The KR2 features WiFi N radio for large wireless coverage area, and can accept EVDO expresscards, USB modems and PC cards from Sprint and Verizon.

The KR2 is made by Cradlepoint, who makes the very similar MBR1000 router that we've been selling like crazy since mid-February.

We think that Kyocera made a great decision to use Cradlepoint to make the KR2 and look forward to speedier firmware updates and bugfixes, unlike with Kyocera and D-Link did with the original KR1.

Read our Kyocera KR2 Review
Order your Kyocera KR2 from 3Gstore today
Discuss the Kyocera KR2 on EVDOforums.com

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"3GStore Re-Certified" U720, PX500 & AirCard 595 EVDO Devices Now Available


3GStore.com now carries "Re-Certified" Sprint Novatel U720, Sierra Wireless AirCard 595 and Pantech PX500 PC Cards for immediate purchase. These devices were used by a customer and returned to Sprint during a 30-day trial period for one reason or another, and are in excellent visible and physical shape.

If you have been wanting to upgrade to EVDO Rev-A but have held off because you don't want to pay full retail for a new device or to extend your Sprint contract for another two years, then this new offering from 3Gstore is exactly the solution you have been looking for!

The Novatel U720 was the first Rev-A USB modem Sprint started selling back in November 2006 and was a very popular item, even up to the point Sprint stopped selling it. Unlike the currently available USB offerings, the Sprint U720 does work with the Kyocera KR1 EVDO router.

The Sierra Wireless AirCard 595 is a Rev-A PCMCIA format card that is disappearing from Sprint's current line-up as stock is used up. In our opinion, it is the most robustly built PC Card and has a superior external antenna jack that stands up to a lot of use. The AC595 works great in the Linksys EVDO Router, and will also work well with forthcoming Kyocera KR2 Router.

The Pantech PX500 PC Card was a favorite of many customers primarily because it worked with the venerable Kyocera KR1 EVDO Router as well as the Linksys EVDO Router. The PX500 will also work with the forthcoming Kyocera KR2 Router.

All three of these EVDO devices are great upgrade choices for someone who is still using a slower Rev-0 device like a PC5740 or S620 PC card or a CDU550 USB modem, and wants to upgrade to a faster EVDO Rev-A device for significantly faster speeds and lower connection latency (when used in actual Rev-A coverage areas).

3GStore's re-certification process ensures that the devices have the latest firmware and have fully functional antenna jacks. More importantly, 3Gstore has also checked each device's ESN to ensure that it is clear of all overdue charges, and ready to be added as a new line or a replacement device to any Sprint account. (these devices cannot be used on any other carrier aside from Sprint USA network)

All three recertified devices are immediately available without contract/service for just $129.99 -- much less than full retail for devices like the U727 ($329.99) or the S720 ($269.99).

Purchase the U720 with one of the popular Cradlepoint EVDO routers (CTR350, PHS300, MBR1000) and you can get $50 off the combined price!

Purchase the AirCard 595 or PX500 with the Linksys/Sprint router (or the forthcoming Kyocera KR2) and you can get $50 off the combined price.

Of course, you can also get these re-certified devices with a new service contract. The U720 with 2yr contract is just $40, and the AirCard 595 or PX500 with 2yr contract is just $20!

Call 1-866-3GStore if you have any questions, or to place your order today!

Please note, when you call Sprint to do an ESN Swap, you will need to have a Windows XP or Vista computer (Mac Users can use BootCamp or Fusion) along with the latest Sprint Connection Manager

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

We apologize to all customers trying to access our websites or call us today. An unexpected internet outage caused some trouble for all of us at 3GStore.com this morning. About 10am CST, our internet provider went down, rendering us completely helpless.

All websites - 3GStore.com, evdoinfo.com and evdoforums.com were down - as well as our phone system. Customers calling in heard a message that said "Operator can not connect call", or just received a busy signal. Again, we are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused our customers, we are taking steps to ensure that such an outage does not affect us as severely in the future.

11:35 am CST - Apparently this is an upstream regional issue that is affecting others in the Chicago area (AT&T and others).

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

CTIA 2008

Do you know what the CTIA Wireless show is? Every year, top manufacturers come out to show the latest and greatest in the wireless industry. This year, we will be blogging live from the CTIA show in Las Vegas on Tuesday 4/1 & Wednesday 4/2/2008.

Read about the latest and coolest EVDO products that are being announced at the CTIA 2008 show. Two years ago, EVDOinfo.com was the first web site to publish a picture of the upcoming USB Modem from Sprint (that was in April, and it was released in December). The year before that, you could have read about the Kyocera KR1, 10 months before it was released. So, mark your calendars, check our blog and talk about the new stuff on EVDOforums.com. We expect many new products to be announced at CTIA.

If you are a manufacturer/carrier and have some cool new products, please email ctia@evdoinfo.com with additional information and perhaps we can write about it on our blog during the show.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Compass 597 USB EVDO Modem by Sierra Wireless

Sierra Wireless Announces Compass 597 USB EVDO Modem

Sierra Wireless announced today a new USB Modem called the 597 USB EVDO Rev A Modem. This modem will not be shipping until the April/May timeframe. It is unclear if it will be available on Verizon or Sprint first.

We hope to get a test unit direct from Sierra for some early testing and benchmarking and then we will know how it compares to other EVDO USB modem and other answers such as:

  • Does it work natively with Mac
  • Does it "fit" in the MacBook Air
  • How much power does it need
  • How does it compare in size to the CDU680, U727, UM150, etc.
For the latest info on the 597 USB, please see the following links: