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Sep 09, 2007

Sprint Mobile Wireless

Pantech_px500_2 I just signed up for Sprint Mobile Wireless.  $59.99/mo for moderately-paced broadband anywhere Sprint has coverage.  Works for me, especially since my current housesitting gig (Sep through Dec) has no internet.

A nice thing about the Sprint shop at Patterson Place -- the sales guy installed and tested everything on my laptop before I left the store.  I really appreciated that.  I hate tech installs.  I always worry that they're not going to work right, or at least that they're going to be a major PITA.

Sprint Mobile Wireless has funny online tech support.  Here is the feedback tool that shows up with your search results:

Find What You Were Looking For?
o Absolutely
o Pretty much
o Sort of
o Not really
o Not even close

In other things -- I'm thinking about an extended trip to Guadalajara at the start of 2008.*  Apparently Iusacell is already offering their "BAM" high-speed EV/DO-Rev.A mobile wireless in Guadalajara -- long before we're scheduled to get it across medium-metro USA.  Rates are about the same for what I'm paying for Sprint's low-speed EV/DO, without the long-term commitment.

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*Yes, feel free to remind me how lousy I am about following through with plans for extended trips -- I do feel shame.  But I'm actually making progress toward this goal, in part by postponing other travel hoped for in fall 2007.

04:53 PM in Misc.Blog 2007, Quotables, Reviews | Permalink

Comments

Let me know how you're liking the EVDO in RTP. The pricing is just about below my personal threshold of pain - and now that USB-attached EVDO units are available, I am strongly considered popping for one; I won't be necessarily limited to using them on a laptop with the right kind of card-slot.

Posted by: Barry Campbell | Sep 13, 2007 7:35:46 AM

Per Barry's request, a first report on Sprint EVDO in Durham:

1. I don't know how fast my up/down speeds are, but I don't feel much pain in doing my day-to-day web surfing (it feels like the equivalent of a steady ~2Mbps over some neighbor's 802.11g wifi). I know that within the Triangle I'm getting EVDO Rev0 in most places, and that RevA is available only in special hot spots (like at the airport). I'm sure I'll enjoy RevA when I get it. But I'm OK without it.

2. Here's the article that convinced me that Sprint was the best mobile internet choice:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,2000673,00.asp

3. Sprint appears to be the most liberal for allowing unlimited use of their mobile internet. Verizon will apparently whack your service when you hit ~6Gig in a month.

4. In the few days that I've used Sprint, I've needed to re-set my mobile wireless maybe three times. I don't know if that's considered bad or good, but I know it's below my own pain threshold for "dammit, why can't I get X continuous minutes of service without having to reconnect!" (Anyone remember getting stuck or dropped with dial-up? I do.)

5. I use a PC card ($30 after all the discounts and rebates) to connect. I'm told that Mac folks have to use a USB-attached EVDO units. I don't know if they work better/worse than the PC card.

So that's all I know for now. I'll report more if anything new comes up.

Posted by: Phil | Sep 13, 2007 10:33:11 PM

Update on Sprint Mobile Wireless --

Still working fine with minor quibbles:

1. Not fast enough for decent VOIP, so I don't try anymore.

2. When I'm using a wired connection to the internet, the Sprint software tries to turn itself on, anyway, which jams my wired connection until I manually turn the Sprint thing off. And then it happens again every 10 or 20 minutes.

One thing I like is that Sprint is just going to get better. From today's New York Times:

"AT&T uses a wireless data standard called H.S.P.A. (for High Speed Packet Access), while Verizon and Sprint use EV-DO Rev. A (for Evolution-Data Optimized Revision A). However, faster wireless access is expected next year when Sprint and its partner Clearwire begin to sell a mobile WiMax service called Xohm.

"Mobile WiMax is a wireless standard promoted by companies like Intel, Motorola and Samsung, and has been endorsed by the International Telecommunication Union, which means more companies may support it. WiMax promises speeds that would be three to five times as fast as AT&T and Verizon and some cable and DSL services. Sprint expects average download speeds of two to three megabits per second (Mbps), but peak speeds could be 10 Mbps or more when reception is clear.

"Sprint and Clearwire expect to introduce Xohm to a handful of cities, including Washington and Chicago, in April next year and hope to reach 100 million potential customers by the end of 2008. Meanwhile, the other cellphone carriers said they were exploring competing high-speed alternatives. AT&T, for example, is planning to someday move to a technology called L.T.E., or Long-Term Evolution, that could deliver speeds 10 times as fast as WiMax."

Full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/11/automobiles/11WEB.html

Posted by: Phil | Nov 10, 2007 11:27:09 PM

I am now in Mexico using the BAM mobile wireless. It feels like I'm getting about the same speed (with full or close-to full signal) here as I get back in Durham with Sprint (with full signal). But often in Durham I don't get full signal and the 'net comes kind of slow.

Posted by: Phil | Jan 20, 2008 9:06:48 PM