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

Related Links

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Verizon Updates Overage Charges On EVDO Data Plans

Customers provided 3 months with $250 cap and told to "learn how to manage their usage"

Verizon's BroadBandAccess EVDO Data plans created after March 1, 2008 were the first to be subjected to overage charges. When these overage charges were first implemented, a customer's monthly bill did NOT have a ceiling/cap, making it possible for customers to end up with insane monthly bills that they would not be able to dispute.

Effective June 22, 2008, Verizon has now changed how overage charges will affect those who exceed allotted usage per month. Full details are at this EVDOinfo article.

These changes are likely to be the result of many customers who started new lines of service after March 02, 2008, and ended up recieving crazy bills that reflected thousands of dollars in overage charges.

Nice to see that they think their original implementation of overage charges needed some updating, but these new changes really just delay the inevitable for heavy data users.

Related Links:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Alltel announces EVDO Rev-A Rollout Plans

'Rev. A' launch means faster access to Internet, video, music and more

Alltel Wireless today announced that it will continue expanding its wireless broadband network in 2008 with the launch of EVDO (evolution data optimized) Revision A technology, enabling customers to upload files five to 10 times faster than before.

Alltel plans an initial rollout of Rev. A to 18 market areas and dozens of cities, including Charlotte, New Orleans, Phoenix and Tampa. Customers using Rev. A will experience average upload speeds of 500-800 Kbps with bursts up to 1.8 Mbps. Upload speeds on the company’s existing broadband network average 50-70 Kbps, with bursts up to 144 Kbps, so the enhanced network will be five to 10 times faster.

Download speeds also will increase. Rev. A download speeds average 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps, with bursts up to 3.1 Mbps. By comparison, downloads on the existing broadband network average 400-700 Kbps with bursts up to 2.4 Mbps.

More details in full press release at: http://www.evdoinfo.com/content/view/2380/64/

Related Links:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

3G Speeds For iPod Touch Using PHS300 EVDO Router

3G Speeds for iPod Touch Using PHS300 EVDO Router
Cradlepoint PHS300 Router with iPod Touch and Sprint Compass 597 EVDO USB ModemHigh Speed WiFi For iPod Touch - ANYWHERE
Using Cradlepoint PHS300 3G / EVDO Router

Love using your iPod Touch and think having a full blown browser at your fingertips is incredible? The only problem? You need to be near a WiFi hot spot in order for Safari to work at high speeds on the iPod Touch.

How can you use your iPod Touch when you are in your car? On the Beach? At a Ball Game? In Your RV? We have a simple solution. Get an EVDO USB modem like the Sprint Compass 597 or the Verizon UM150 along with a Cradlepoint PHS300 EVDO Router... Now you will have a WiFi hotspot everywhere you go, and your iPod Touch will have high speed browsing thats faster than the 3G iPhone!

Prefer your hacked first generation iPhone and don't want to upgrade to the 3G iPhone? -- this same gear gives your existing iPhone 3G speeds that are faster than what the 3G iPhone will see, and in more places too!

With an EVDO USB modem and Cradlepoint PHS300 EVDO Router you will also have access to the iTunes WiFi Music store, so now you can download your favorite songs anywhere you go and not just at a local Starbucks.

Pictured above is the iPod Touch on top of the Cradlepoint PHS300 EVDO Router with the Sprint Compass 597 plugged in. The PHS300 also works with many EVDO USB modems from Verizon as well as 3G HSDPA USB modems from AT&T. For complete compatibility listings, check out http://www.EVDOinfo.com/routers

The entire setup fits nicely in the new PHS300 SoftCase too! check out this photo of PHS300, iPod Touch and the Sprint Compass 597 with its special USB cable, all tucked away inside of the softcase.

iPod Touch, PHS300, 597U in SoftCase


Related Links:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sprint U680 EVDO USB Modem Reviewed

Sprint U680 USB EVDO modem

The "latest" EVDO Rev-A USB modem for use on the Sprint MobileBroadBand EVDO network is the U-680. Actually, its not that new. Its the same Franklin CDU-680 that 3Gstore.com has been selling with Sprint EVDO service since Sept. 14, 2007 - nine months ago!

Sprint will be selling the U680 for $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, but you can save $20 because 3Gstore is selling it for $29.99 after rebate!

Read our full review of the new Sprint U680 at: http://www.EVDOinfo.com/U680

Related Links:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cradlepoint W211NU USB WiFi-N Adapter Now at 3Gstore.com


3Gstore.com has received its first shipment of the eagerly awaited Cradlepoint W211NU WiFi-N USB Adapter.

The W211NU is NOT compatible with Mac OSX, but does include the software needed for Windows Vista and XP in its onboard memory, allowing for "No CD Required" installation on most Windows machines with an available USB port.

The W211NU is perfect for those desktop PC's that do not already have built in WiFi. No need to hassle with ethernet cabling to connect to your Cradlepoint routers!

Related Links:

* Buy the W211NU WiFi USB Adapter at 3Gstore
* Buy Cradlepoint Routers at 3Gstore
* Discuss the W211NU WiFi Adapter on EVDOforums

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

3Gstore.com Now Ships EVDO Gear To Canada


That's right. 3Gstore.com now ships to Canada! Effective immediately, the home of the EVDO Experts and best place to buy Cradlepoint and Kyocera EVDO Routers as well as Wilson Electronics Antennas & Amplifiers -- is now taking online orders from Canadians and shipping products north of the border!

We've been working hard on this 'special project' for several weeks now and are very happy to finally make the announcement.

Most all of our products will work with EVDO devices used by Canadian Carriers such as:To simplify delivery, 3Gstore's online store will collects all taxes (GST/PST/HST) as part of our invoice so that the customer is not responsible for having to pay taxes when they receive their package. The taxes will be part of the FedEx delivery charge and will be paid by FedEx.

FedEx "International Priority" Service will typically be a one business day delivery service to most major cities and almost all larger provinces. Smaller provinces may see deliveries take two business days or more. FedEx "International Economy" Service adds as much as two more business days to the delivery time.

Live in Canada and aren't even sure what EVDO is? Check out our article called "What is EVDO" at http://www.evdoinfo.com/what

Think you know enough about EVDO to "be dangerous"... but want someone to double-check your research? Check out our "Easy EVDO" article at http://www.evdoinfo.com/easy

Curious why you should buy your EVDO Gear from the EVDO Experts at 3GStore? Then check out our blogpost called "Why Buy From 3Gstore" at http://3gstore.com/why

If you have specific questions feel free to call us at 866-3GSTORE (1-866-347-8673) -- you can also chat live with sales staff or email us using the form you'll find on our contact us page at http://3gstore.com/us

3Gstore.com has helped thousands of "North Americans" educate themselves about EVDO and ultimately make the right selection of EVDO Gear to suit their needs.

We look forward to doing the same for our friends in Canada!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sprint U727: EVDO Speed Champ?

Novatel Wireless pushed out a press release today to point out how their Ovation U727 USB modem was selected by PC Magazine as an "Editor's Choice" because it apparently "...provided the fastest average download/uplink speeds, beating out the latest USB modem offerings from competitors".

Each time we hear someone quoting PC Magazine about the speed of any EVDO device, it really bothers us. Why? Because the EVDO devices being tested are all built to specifications that qualify them as "EVDO Rev-A Capable", and that means they all have the same potential top speed.

What will affect the speed realized by the consumer is rarely ever going to be the device itself, and is more often than not a result of the device's signal to the cell tower; the load on that tower; the internet backhaul to that tower, or a combination of all or some of the above.

Ever since PC Mag started publishing their EVDO device reviews, we've read them with great interest. After their first few reviews, we hoped that they would detail their test methodology so we could poke holes in it. When it became obvious they weren't going to divulge the details we were looking for, we emailed the writers until we got someone to reply. Last January we exchanged several emails with Sascha Segan, a tech writer for PC Mag who has covered this technology for years. We must say, we respect his opinion.

Their latest reviews explain what we found out through private emails: what they do is take averages of tests that include public sites like speedtest.net. We questioned their logic -- explaining that to get "true speed results", the test environment would have to be closed off to public traffic that can use up some of the available bandwidth on a test server. Sascha replied (emphasis ours):

You’re right that for testing to be perfect, you need an Agilent 8960 and a Faraday cage, which only Consumer Reports has (and don’t think I haven’t thought about breaking in there in the dead of night to use their equipment!)

You’re right that the speeds I get with cards are dependent on network conditions, but that’s OK, in my view. I’m trying to come up with real world results, not theoretical results; I want to come up with numbers that would be accurate in the user experience

We also suggested that their testing could be slanted if one of the devices were defective or otherwise less than perfect, and Sascha replied:

Now, I could be really unlucky and just happen to have hit a situation where card A gets favorable network conditions in every test, but I’m doing my best to minimize that possibility.

Lastly, when we asked why they don't show the signal readings that each device had at the time that speed tests were recorded, and further pressed to get their opinion on signal in general, we got this:

I think you’d agree that the quality of the built in antenna(s) is a critical difference, if not THE critical difference in performance between these devices. Especially in low signal areas. ... I try to review things assuming that people will not have to buy extra accessories or parts. If you’re not interested in the role of built-in antenna performance, you’re probably going to come up with very different conclusions than I will!

In short, there was no argument that the details we brought up would in fact affect the outcome of testing to determine an "EVDO Speed King" -- they just simply choose to follow a different criteria for their 'real world' tests.

Our "real world" must not be the same as their real world. If we want to test maximum performance, our testing would at least have been done with each device operating under ideal signal conditions. In fact, we'd probably sit under a tower that we know has great backhaul so that our testing is most likely to judge only the device, and is less likely to be affected by signal related issues.

Speaking of tower load, its clear to us that where they were testing these devices, the towers were under a significant amount of load. The maximum bursts of over 1.5Mbps gives us a good idea that more than a single T-1 is serving as backhaul to the towers they tested from, but if all they could manage was an average of 650 ~ 800 Kbps, then there were probably a lot of users on those towers.

PC Mag contends that their testing represents "real world" results... and we can agree, but to use their methodolgy to judge maximum performance doesn't make complete sense to us. Its not like one device is going to be able to take any more that its fair share from a loaded tower... how can you possibly declare a 'speed king' when none of the devices had any chance of getting anywhere close to theoretical speeds? That's like taking a Corvette for a test drive in a Walmart parking lot on Black Friday. Good luck with that.

We've written our opinion on the subject of EVDO device speeds before, but it warrants repeating because so many people are going to quote the PCMag results:

Having sold thousands of these EVDO Rev-A devices to customers in all parts of the nation, its clear to us that signal to tower and load on that tower, are more likely to affect your "real world" speeds, than the choice you make about which device to buy.

Your choice for a device should be made based on features, not expected performance. You can expect all Rev-A devices to perform remarkably the same, given good signal to the same tower.

For those wondering if we simply don't like the Sprint U727... that really isn't the case. We don't think the U727 is a bad device. In fact, we sell quite a few of them, and don't have any issue at all with selling more of them. We just don't like anyone making claims that one device is a clear speed freak over the rest. It just isn't that clear to us.

Below is a compilation of PC Mag's "real world" EVDO speed testing. We feel that people should see the raw data without the commentary, and see just how close things really were.

Just for kicks, if you've never done a speedtest before, go do a dozen or so tests right now at SpeedTest.net and see how much variance you get across your tests. More often than not, tests from one minute to the next can easily vary by several hundred Kbps, and the difference in average download across the top five devices was only 85 Kbps.

click on device to see fastest test results by EVDOforums members on EVDOmaps
Carrier/Device
Avg. DL
Avg. UL
Peak DL
Peak UL
Sprint U727 USB Modem
776 Kbps
454 Kbps
1.99 Mbps
638 Kbps
Sprint EX720 ExpressCard
649 Kbps
458 Kbps
2.1 Mbps
619 Kbps
Sprint 597U USB Modem
722 Kbps
389 Kbps
1.8 Mbps
618 Kbps
Sprint 597E ExpressCard
733 Kbps
465 Kbps
2.3 Mbps
666 Kbps
Verizon UM150 USB Modem
670 Kbps
403 Kbps
1.77 Mbps
817 Kbps
Verizon KPC680 ExpressCard
639 Kbps
420 Kbps
1.46 Mbps
710 Kbps
Verizon 595U USB Modem
773 Kbps
419 Kbps
1.56 Mbps
736 Kbps
Verizon USB727 USB Modem
691 Kbps
377 Kbps
1.35 Mbps
675 Kbps

When you're ready to get Sprint or Verizon EVDO, get it from the EVDO Experts at 3Gstore.com!

Cradlepoint CTR500 Router Now Shipping!

The Cradlepoint CTR500 EVDO / HSPA Router is Now Shipping from 3Gstore.com


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

The CTR500 is the first portable 3G / cellular router to have an ExpressCard slot. The CTR500 works with all the same EVDO and HSPA devices that work with the Cradlepoint MBR1000. A complete listing of compatible devices for CTR500 can be found at http://www.EVDOinfo.com/routers

Much more detail, photos and video of the CTR500 at our Full CTR500 Router Review: http://www.EVDOinfo.com/CTR500

Buy the CTR500 from 3Gstore.com
Read EVDOinfo.com's full CTR500 Router Review
Discuss CTR500 on EVDOforums.com

Monday, June 09, 2008

EVDO data roaming

Everyone who has ever used a cell phone has heard of 'roaming' before... though they may not have always understood exactly why it was important.

Wikipedia provides this definition: "extending of connectivity service in a location that is different from the home location where the service was registered"

Laymen understand it as using your cellphone on another carrier's network, instead of the one you pay for each month.

Beyond voice roaming that cell phones do, there is also 'data roaming' that happens with dedicated cellular data devices, like the EVDO modems from Sprint and Verizon.

All the major players have 'roaming agreements' that states the carrier whose customers had more roaming data consumed, ends up paying the other carrier a specified price per megabyte.

New rumors about Sprint data caps point to the possibility that Sprint is growing more and more concerned about the cost of data roaming:
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
From these rumors, its now evident just how quickly a customer can cost Sprint a lot of money... It wouldn't take long for an RVer to rack up over 300mb while roaming into a Verizon or Alltel network where Sprint does not have a presence.

Other news sites have made it clear that Verizon's recent purchase of Alltel Wireless made sense in many ways, one of which was how much money Verizon would save in roaming fees paid to Alltel. If that's the case, imagine how much worse it becomes for Sprint with one less partner to 'roam' with...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Cradlepoint CTR500 EVDO Router Review

UPDATE 07/28/08: CTR500 Firmware 1.3 enables LOAD BALANCING!

The latest offering from Cradlepoint Technologies is the CTR500 Cellular Travel Router - an EVDO / HSPA router that is portable, yet features both a USB port as well as an ExpressCard/34 card slot!

Check out our complete CTR500 Router Review at http://www.EVDOinfo.com/CTR500

The first shipment of CTR500's is already on its way to 3Gstore and we will begin shipping them sometime next week.

Order the CradlePoint CTR500 from 3Gstore.com

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Verizon Trying To Buy Alltel?


News wires are reporting that Verizon Wireless is in deep discussions to buy Alltel Wireless for close to $28 Billion.

That would certainly sway the EVDO Coverage Wars well over to the Verizon side, and will probably affect the existing Sprint/Alltel roaming arrangements in some fashion.

Its still too early to know for sure what the acquisition will bring to existing and future customers of both parties, or to even speculate when changes may take place.

Rest assured that we will be watching and reporting as more details surface.

Discuss the Verizon/Alltel buyout at EVDOforums.com