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post #1 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 10:02 am Thread Starter
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Best mobile broadband?

I am looking for advise from those of you who are experienced with the latest generation of mobile broadband.

Here is the situation: Emily is starting to travel on her job between Houston, Atlanta, and New York. I will do some travel, mainly to catch up with her. We have overpriced Comcast broadband as part of our cable service in The Woodlands. Home computer is a MAC, but we both have Windows laptops.

I am looking at buying two of these:

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/s...edPhoneId=3324

If I understand it right, I can use it with my MAC at home and take it with me on the road on the PC laptop.

Is there anything out there that is is more suitable or less expensive? We had a Verizon PCIMA aircard several years ago and it worked well.

Any advise is greatly appreciated!

Wolfgang

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post #2 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 10:20 am
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Thumbs up Re: Best mobile broadband?

Buddy at work has the same USB based card and service from Verizon. He is very happy. I used to have a Verizon PCMCIA Aircard and a Sprint aircard too. I liked the Verizon better than the Sprint card. FWIW, up here in the DC area, Verizon service is definitely a tad better than Sprint. I've been a Sprint Mobile phone customer for over 5 years now and am very happy so far.

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post #3 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 12:37 pm
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Re: Best mobile broadband?

I use the Verizon Aircard, and I've also used the AT&T version but not nearly as much. First, the AT&T network is TERRIBLE - at least around here. The coverage is OK when you're in a city, but for those of us who travel, you WILL drop calls as you move from one city to the next. When you do have a signal, the AT&T aircard seems to be about as fast as the Verizon version. With Verizon, I rarely drop calls so I don't want to change networks. I actually just shopped for a new phone, and really like the Iphone, but just can't bring myself to switch networks - Verizon, if you're listening PLEASE get the Iphone (NOT that Voyager POS).
Anyway, back on topic, I've used mine a pretty fair amount, and have been fairly happy with it. It's a definite time-saver and will allow you to use the Internet "almost" (half) at broadband speeds.
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post #4 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 12:45 pm
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Re: Best mobile broadband?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KMC1
I use the Verizon Aircard, and I've also used the AT&T version but not nearly as much. First, the AT&T network is TERRIBLE - at least around here. The coverage is OK when you're in a city, but for those of us who travel, you WILL drop calls as you move from one city to the next. When you do have a signal, the AT&T aircard seems to be about as fast as the Verizon version. With Verizon, I rarely drop calls so I don't want to change networks. I actually just shopped for a new phone, and really like the Iphone, but just can't bring myself to switch networks - Verizon, if you're listening PLEASE get the Iphone (NOT that Voyager POS).
Anyway, back on topic, I've used mine a pretty fair amount, and have been fairly happy with it. It's a definite time-saver and will allow you to use the Internet "almost" (half) at broadband speeds.
HTH
I'm a soon-to-be iPhone buyer too, Kevin. Heard the next version is due out soon, so I'm waiting to see.

BTW - what ed zachery do the aircards do? Allow you to use your laptop thru the phone, or your phone thru the laptop? Wonderin' if you have to have both together in order to make thangs work? Just curious.
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post #5 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 1:47 pm
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Re: Best mobile broadband?

I have a laptop with an EV-DO wireless card built in. EV-DO is used by Sprint and Verizon (possibly others). I use Verizon. I've been using it for about 3 years and it keeps getting better. Even when I don't have full speed EV-DO in smaller markets, it reverts to 1xRTT at about 38kbs. EV-DO usually provides around 640kbs and can burst to over 1.5mbs. In Red River, NM this weekend I had full EV-DO (last year it was 1xRTT) so they are definitely still expanding their coverage. The connection in Red River *felt* faster than my office T1, but I never checked the actual speed. I have had excellent coverage with Verizon everywhere in the US. AT&T has been trying to get us to switch at the office and gave me an HSDPA card to try in my laptop last summer when I traveled to Alaska. It also had fair coverage, but the Verizon card provided consistently higher speeds and much better coverage. HSDPA has a better Global availability, but EV-DO is clearly better in the US.

I switched carriers to AT&T to get some iPhones for key personnel in the company, but we will keep Verizon data for now.

Randy Prade
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post #6 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 1:51 pm
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Re: Best mobile broadband?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
I'm a soon-to-be iPhone buyer too, Kevin. Heard the next version is due out soon, so I'm waiting to see.

BTW - what ed zachery do the aircards do? Allow you to use your laptop thru the phone, or your phone thru the laptop? Wonderin' if you have to have both together in order to make thangs work? Just curious.
The aircard is a separate data card for your computer. It will be assigned a different telephone number, but is only to be used for data. It is in addition to a cell phone, not instead of a cell phone.

There are also certain phones that can be interfaced with a cable to a laptop, but a separate data card is usually faster and much easier to use. Additionally you still have your cell phone while you are on line on the road, instead of tying your phone up while you are online.

Randy Prade
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post #7 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 1:54 pm
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Re: Best mobile broadband?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy
The aircard is a separate data card for your computer. It will be assigned a different telephone number, but is only to be used for data. It is in addition to a cell phone, not instead of a cell phone.

There are also certain phones that can be interfaced with a cable to a laptop, but a separate data card is usually faster and much easier to use. Additionally you still have your cell phone while you are on line on the road, instead of tying your phone up while you are online.
Thanks much, Randy. Looks like they're beyond my needs, butt still cool. I'm anxious to turn my BB into a skipper-rock and do the iPhone thang.
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post #8 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 3:15 pm
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Re: Best mobile broadband?

AT&T will soon be turning up their 3G network which is supposedly faster than Sprint or verizon. The new iPhones (due out in Jun or Jul) will use the 3G.

Incidently, the 3G will allow you to surf the web AND receive calls at the same time. The current EDGE network does not allow that.

I hope they allow 1st gen iPhone owners some kind of discount to upgrade to the new version. 3G is going to be great!


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post #9 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 4:44 pm
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Re: Best mobile broadband?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy
The aircard is a separate data card for your computer. It will be assigned a different telephone number, but is only to be used for data. It is in addition to a cell phone, not instead of a cell phone.

There are also certain phones that can be interfaced with a cable to a laptop, but a separate data card is usually faster and much easier to use. Additionally you still have your cell phone while you are on line on the road, instead of tying your phone up while you are online.
Ed Zachery!!!
The Aircard runs $61/mo here in CT, and the phone plan I use is another $120. Usually it's around $185 or so combined, depending on how many days in the month, taxes, texts, etc.
I really like the fact that using the aircard, I have access to the full Internet, which is what the appeal for me with the Iphone is. (also the small size, big screen, and touch pad interface) I need it for business use mostly; calendar, contacts, to-do list, calculator, memo pad or note pad, not so much for spreadsheets... oh yeah, and it's nice if it works like a phone too.....
Bascially I really want to wrap my cell phone, laptop and Palm Pilot into one unit. The bb is too small a screen, their bb plan is expensive when added to the costs of the phone plan, and their Internet format isn't really that great to me. With the Iphone the bb Internet plan equivalent is included, but the Internet format is just so much nicer. (IMO)
I would probably still keep a laptop with aircard for larger mobile projects, but for the bulk of my communicating would be able to consolidate into the Iphone so I would not need to fiddle with the laptop as much, and won't be carrying around the phone, the palm and the laptop all the time.
Btw, I was NOT aware they are introducing the new 3G with a new Iphone... I really wish Verizon would get on the badwagon and allow the Iphone onto their (our) network..... Thanks for the info on that!
Off on a tangent I know, but this is really great info sharing for something some of us can really use - without the ad propaganda! The feedback Randy gave is really valuable IMO. The fact that the AT&T network phone coverage is at least acceptable now, is a BIG step up from what my experience has been with them, so maybe I can start looking at them again when the 3G comes online.

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post #10 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 5:23 pm
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Re: Best mobile broadband?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang
I am looking for advise from those of you who are experienced with the latest generation of mobile broadband.

Here is the situation: Emily is starting to travel on her job between Houston, Atlanta, and New York. I will do some travel, mainly to catch up with her. We have overpriced Comcast broadband as part of our cable service in The Woodlands. Home computer is a MAC, but we both have Windows laptops.

I am looking at buying two of these:

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/s...edPhoneId=3324

If I understand it right, I can use it with my MAC at home and take it with me on the road on the PC laptop.

Is there anything out there that is is more suitable or less expensive? We had a Verizon PCIMA aircard several years ago and it worked well.

Any advise is greatly appreciated!
I have tested them all and the Verizon cards or tethering are the best of the bunch. Right now I tether a Blackberry 8830 instead of having a seperate Aircard and it work great.

Some of the other options are less expensive, but this is one situation that you get what you pay for.

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post #11 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 6:00 pm
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Re: Best mobile broadband?

I have Sprint here in the house. It works fine for me. No Verizon service here. Have not tried it on the road, so I'm not sure about the coverage area.

Neil '00 K1200LT '08 KLR
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post #12 of 12 Old May 18th, 2008, 7:55 pm
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Re: Best mobile broadband?

I had Sprint phone service for a while and jumped ship to AT&T to get the iPhone. I can tell you from my experience, I really do get more bars in more places than I did with Sprint, BUT I have also had more dropped calls in the 4 months I've been with AT&T than I ever had in 7 yrs with Sprint.

Supposedly, the reason for dropped calls is a handoff of your signal from one tower to another. It may be ok going an AT&T tower to another AT&T tower, but the problems happen when your handed off to another carrier, like T-Mobile. The switching just isn't as seamless. But all that still doesn't explain why I get dropped whist I'm standing still. I guess it's the wind.........


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