Friday, April 25, 2008

Activation Issues Affecting Sprint Compass 597 USB EVDO modem

Sprint's latest USB modem for their EVDO MobileBroadBand network is the Sierra Wireless Compass 597 which went on sale just last weekend. Past product launches of Sprint EVDO devices have met with peculiar issues, and this time is no exception. Take a look at this screengrab of an 'Error 3' message in Sprint's SmartView software:


*** UPDATE ***
The activation issues have now been resolved. Compass 597 orders are no longer delayed.



This graphic explains what it takes to get a Sprint EVDO device operational on their network:
What we're seeing is that Sprint's provisioning servers are really struggling with all Compass 597 activations. The process that usually takes just a few minutes in our warehouse sometimes is taking hours... and sometimes DAYS to complete. We know it has to do with the Compass 597 specifically, because we're activating all other Sprint EVDO devices without any issues whatsoever.

Read our full article about this at EVDOinfo.com

If you would rather not subject yourself to the game of "agent roulette" after receiving a Sprint device that won't activate... its best you buy your Sprint device and service from the EVDO Experts at 3Gstore.com!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Compass 597 USB EVDO modem: Now Shipping!


UPDATE: Full review of Compass 597 available -- includes video and photos!


Sierra Wireless's latest and greatest USB modem is the uber-tiny Compass 597 USB EVDO Rev-A modem, and once again it will launch first on Sprint's MobileBroadBand EVDO network, before it gets to customers on Verizon.

In fact, the Compass 597 became available online this past weekend... but unfortunately, Sprint is not moving at "light speed" with this device and none of the units we have can be activated onto the network.

UPDATE! The problem was that Sierra Wireless did not have the ESN's loaded into Sprint's system correctly. Simple as this sounds to fix, it wasn't a quick fix, and took time for the system to finally recognize all the new device ESN's.

We were able to successfully activate a new Compass 597 early this morning, so now all of our Compass 597 orders will begin to ship out today!

Here's a photo of some of our inventory, just waiting to get activated and shipped out:


If you've been waiting to get your new Compass 597, order online today!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sprint Compass 597 USB EVDO modem gets UnBoxed

Compass 597 and accessories
The Sierra Wireless Compass 597 USB EVDO modem replaces the discontinued AirCard 595U and is expected to ship on Monday, April 21, 2008 -- but we've already received our first one and have a few photos of the 'unboxing' to share with you!



Purchase your Compass 597 from the EVDO Experts at 3Gstore and pay only $19.99 after $50 rebate and get discounts on Cradlepoint routers, as well as antennas and amps. More importantly, you'll get superior customer and technical support from people who actually use EVDO every day!

Related links:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Linksys WRT54G3G Mobile Routers

A Post from the Tech Department @ 3Gstore.com

I am sure many of you have used a Linksys product at some point in your life. Linksys has become a household name for people looking to share an internet connection across a network of computers. It is for this reason that many customers initially want to try the Linksys WRT54G3G-ST or WRT54G3G-AT. It's easy to think, "Linksys makes it, they are a great
company with a known name and a good reputation, heck, it's even backed by Cisco for goodness sake! Why would I have any problems with a product from a reputable company like that?"

We here at 3Gstore have several reasons of why you may want to reconsider before making that leap of faith with your next Linksys purchase, especially if considering any of their mobile routers.

- The firmware revisions have been few and far between (releases happening only once or twice a year). On top of that, they have been far from good. Each update has been worse than it's predecessor.

- With many firmware revisions, data cards, when inserted into the PCMCIA Card Slot, lock up the Administrator configuration pages/GUI once power is applied to the router.

- The last firmware released added support for the Sierra 597 ExpressCard, BUT it would only work with cards with older firmware, newer 597 ExpressCards would NOT work.

- There has been only one version of firmware released that has proven to be somewhat stable. As a result, if your data card is not supported on that particular firmware, you will likely have little success in using this router.

- It seems that when the power light is blinking rapidly, there is no alternative procedure used to get the router working again according to the highest levels of support at Linksys Support Center. If there is no alternative to the blinking power light, and the router will not respond, what other options do you have other than calling Linksys and asking for a warranty replacement? After all, you just purchased this product, and there has to be a manufacturer's warranty, correct?

- Once on the line with support at Linksys, just how many times do they plan on passing you around like a cigarette? And with each person you speak with (last count 4) comes the opportunity to explain the situation over again. Just how much time do you have to waste here to speak with someone who can resolve the issue?

- An interesting lapse in common sense - A Verizon PC5750 works in the Sprint version of the WRT54G3G-ST BUT does NOT work in the Verizon version of the WRT54G3G-VZ. Guess how many customers will turn bitter at Verizon and LinkSys when they waste hours of phone calls and replaced routers.

- These routers sometimes fail to power up. When calling into Linksys support, they spend time assessing how the router was plugged in, as if there were multiple ways to plug an AC adapter into the wall. Or they ask what card is being used in the router, but if the router does not power up, the card being used with it is irrelevant.

It seems perhaps that the Linksys support center representatives know of better way of powering up a router. Please do share with us, Linksys. We would love to hear how there is another way to plug the router into an electric outlet. Don't hold back! Divulge your secrets!

- A statement was made by Linksys to one of our customers claiming that 3GStore is being investigated for using the 2.00.9 firmware and supposedly hacking it to work with a Verizon PC5750 EVDO card. An investigation? For informing the public that a card that wasn't listed as supported actually does work? Seems unlikely that an investigation of that sort would get very far. 3GStore has done nothing except insert an available Verizon EVDO card into a Linksys router and inform our customers that the combination works (see above, how the Sprint Linksys works with the Verizon PC5750 and the Verizon LinkSys doesn't).

It is for these reasons we felt that this post was in order. Be sure to do your homework, and decide to work with experts (that's us!) from the very beginning. While the Linksys name is well-known and reputable in the networking arena, in the world of 3G routers, the EVDO experts at 3GStore.com will be up to date on the latest innovations and releases from all available manufacturers.

3Gstore.com Recommendations:

If you have a PCMCIA 3G Card, go with the Kyocera KR2 (which is made by CradlePoint). If you have an ExpressCard or USB, go with one of the CradlePoint Routers, like the MBR1000, PHS300 or CTR350

Related Links:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cradlepoint supports Sierra Wireless Compass 597 USB EVDO modem before it launches!

Cradlepoint PHS300 with Sierra Wireless Compass 597 USB EVDO modem
The new Sierra Wireless Compass 597 USB EVDO modem hasn't even launched on the Sprint MobileBroadband EVDO network yet, but because of Sierra Wireless' recent buyout of Cradlepoint, all three Cradlepoint routers (CTR350, PHS300 and MBR1000) will officially support the Compass 597 when it finally does launch.

This marks the first time that any cellular router has officially supported an EVDO device BEFORE the device was launched by a carrier!

Congratulations to Sierra Wireless and Cradlepoint Technologies for a first ever collaboration.

Buy Cradlepoint routers from 3Gstore.com
Buy Sprint EVDO from the EVDO Experts at 3Gstore.com
Discuss the Compass 597 USB EVDO Modem on EVDOforums

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Why 3Gstore stopped selling Top Global routers

3Gstore.com has officially stopped selling all Top Global MB6000, MB6800 and MB8000 routers.

The primary reason we've done this is that the quality of support for the routers took a turn for the worse in recent months, and the trend did not appear to be reversing itself.

We could tell you horror stories of how TG sent used routers to customers as warranty replacements after 5 weeks of "repairing a router", or how the outsourced "tech support department" would routinely just issue RMA's rather than make an effort to resolve any problem... even solve-able ones.

Let's not even get started on how they listed a device as compatible and supported without ever actually testing it, and then when we had a customer with that device that would not work, they told us "OK, we'll take it off the list".

We also won't mention that their documented features had documentation so poorly written that even a linguist would struggle with them... and let's not forget how many features were un-documented, and as a result... un-supported.

Our tech department struggled every day with the "Version Roulette". No change history on what was added and we always found things that were broke from firmware to firmware.

In hindsight, we sold Top Global products because router choices were limited and the competition had even more issues, or even less device compatibility...

That's all changed now that we have Cradlepoint ... not just as a supplier, but an honest to goodness "strategic partner" who is willing to work closely with us to deliver the best product possible, backed by the best support in the business.

Goodbye Top Global.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sprint and Sierra Wireless announce Compass 597 USB EVDO modem

The new "smallest" USB EVDO modem was on display at this years CTIA show, and we were able to get our hands on it.

The first thing that impressed us was Sierra Wireless's decision to demonstrate the Compass 597 by using a MacBook Air -- quickly answering the question of "will it fit"?


The Compass 597 has a MicroSD slot, an integrated antenna (as well as a jack for external antenna), weighs less than one ounce, and measures out at 1.2 x 2.4 x .4

Sierra Wireless describes the Compass 597 as being "about the size of a pack of gum". Here it is side by side with the popular Franklin CDU680 as well as the AirCard 595U that it replaces.

Aside from being the tiniest USB modem to date, the Compass 597 will be the first Sprint device ever to ship with a connection manager that will work with Mac OSX. The new Sprint SmartView connection manager was demonstrated working on OS X 10.5 aka "Leopard" on the MacBook Air. The Compass 597 utilizes Sierra Wireless' TRU-Install feature, which means that connection managers for Windows Vista/XP/2000 and Mac OS X are on board and the install process begins upon insertion of the device to a computer.

The Compass 597 is a Rev-A USB modem, so we expect it to perform as well as prior Rev-A devices. Expected to be available near the end of April, it should be priced at $49.99 after a $50 mail in rebate, on a new 2-yr contract.

Read the press release on EVDOinfo.com
Discuss the Compass 597 on EVDOforums
Order Sprint EVDO from EVDO Experts

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sierra Wireless Announces Acquisition of Cradlepoint, Inc.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Sierra Wireless will pay cash consideration of $21.8 million and will issue 462,963 shares to the shareholders of CradlePoint.

The combination of Sierra Wireless' leading mobile broadband solutions and CradlePoint's mobile networking technology and expertise is expected to deliver significant benefits:

- Establishes an immediate presence in the emerging, and potentially high growth, Mobile Broadband Networking category

- Expands our mobile computing product line up and addressable market, while leveraging our established global channels

- Strengthens our differentiation through enhanced IP networking and embedded software capability

- Expands our product offering and value proposition for key Vertical OEM customers in the industrial handheld segment

Much more at the full release on EVDOinfo.com
Discuss this news on EVDOforums.com

Sprint EOL's Sierra AirCard 595U - EVDO USB Modem

Sprint has dropped the Sierra 595U from their inventory and it is no longer available.

Effective immediately, Sprint is no longer offering the Sierra AirCard 595U USB EVDO Rev A modem.

As of today, the current shipping Sprint USB Modems include:

  • Novatel U727
  • Franklin CDU680
You can order either Sprint USB modem from 3Gstore.com

Saturday, April 05, 2008

UT Starcom UM175 USB EVDO Modem

We spotted the UM175 at the UTStarcom booth and were able to talk to a QA engineer familiar with the device. We were told that no carrier has decided on this yet, and that it was still a couple of months away before being finished with internal testing.

Here are the specs that were on display:
  • Dual Band CDMA (800/1900 MHz)
  • Rev-A EVDO Capable
  • Windows Vista/XP/2000 and Mac OSX
  • MSM6800A Chipset
  • NDIS Driver support
  • 2.8" x 1.1" x 0.6"
We'll keep an eye out for this, later this year.

*** 7/25/2008 Update ***

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mac EVDO Connection Manager - Sprint SmartView


Sprint is about to release a Mac Sprint Connection Manager called Sprint SmartView. This will be a Mac OS Native connection manager for Novatel and Sierra Wireless Mobile Broadband Cards.

Mac users will be able to activate, update PRL and even have full access to GPS and GPS features all from their Mac.

For screen shots and more info see:

Sprint Smartview - EVDOinfo.com

Discuss Sprint SmartView for Mac on EVDOforums.com