Monday, May 04, 2009

Kyocera KR2 Reaching End of Life

Kyocera's KR2 router has only been on the market for a little over a year, but it's already on the way out! Kyocera has confirmed that there will be no further firmware updates for the KR2, meaning that even if your current aircard is supported you will likely not be able to use the KR2 with your next device when you upgrade! Similarly, without firmware updates, there will be no new features added to the KR2 in the future.

Kyocera has never been very consistent with their firmware updates (for comparison, they released just 3 firmware updates for the KR2 in the same amount of time that Cradlepoint released 10 updates for the MBR1000), but the confirmation that they are choosing to let the KR2 "die" is very disappointing. At EVDOinfo/3Gstore we have generally recommended the Cradlepoint MBR1000 over the KR2 for most customers, as the two units are actually nearly identical and both were developed by Cradlepoint. However, the KR2 has a PCMCIA card slot, which made it the better and often ONLY option for customers using aircards like the AC595, PX-500, PC5750, etc. Since the Cradlepoint routers do not support PCMCIA cards and the Linksys V2 only supports a very limited assortment of Sprint models, there are now going to be a lot of customers asking themselves (and us) "if the KR2 is on its way out, which router can I buy for my PCMCIA card??"

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for that question. If you have a PCMCIA aircard and need a router, you have three options:

  • Purchase the KR2, knowing that it will become outdated and likely won't support any future devices if you ever upgrade.
  • If you have a SPRINT AC580, S620, PC5740, AC595, S720 or PX500, you can purchase the Linksys WRT4G3GV2-ST (please note that this router has problems of its own and we don't often recommend it - Linksys does not release firmware updates often and it is unlikely that THIS router will support future device, either!)
  • Upgrade your PCMCIA card to a USB or ExpressCard model and purchase a Cradlepoint router.
While it may sound like a hassle to upgrade your PCMCIA aircard if it's still working, we HIGHLY recommend going that route rather than buying a KR2. PCMCIA as a format is on its way out itself and upgrading to a USB modem will give you much more versatility - all computers have USB ports, and you'll also have more options for routers. For more info on upgrading a Sprint or Verizon aircard, check out this article: Upgrading Your Sprint/Verizon EVDO Modem.

Discuss the end of the KR2 on EVDO Forums.