[SATLUG] OT: Broadband cards

Jonathan Hull masterr at gmail.com
Thu Jun 12 17:09:05 CDT 2008


Thanks for the feedback, guys.

Ok here is another thing to throw in the mix. Any not require a contract.

-Jon


On 6/12/08, John Pappas <j at jvpappas.net> wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 2:44 AM, Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
>  wrote:
>
>
>  > On 6/12/08, Jonathan Hull wrote:
>  >
>  >   Any suggestions? Might not be able to match them all, but the more the
>  >>  better. I've looked at Sprint, and it seems to be okay, but I wonder
>  >>  if you guys know of any other good options to compare.
>  >>
>  >
>  > To be honest, I'd say that you should start with your software and what
>  > drivers will work with what hardware.  Then look to see if any of those
>  > carriers have coverage in your area.  None of the carriers have true
>  > universal coverage, and they're all going to have weak spots where some of
>  > their competitors provide better coverage than they do.
>  >
>
>
> I have been using Sprint extensively, predominantly with Novatel cards.  The
>  service is solid and I have not run into any of the mentioned hidden limits,
>  but it is not my primary connectivity either.  It is plenty fast for most
>  things and if you have good signal, I have done point-to-multipoint VTC (4
>  sites, all VGA+ video streams) over RevA with no noticeable issues.  Upload
>  and latency are the biggest issues vs "Broadband" service.
>
>  Sprint does not have any agreements with "roaming" into WiFi hot spots like
>  TMobile or potentially ATT has.
>
>
>  AT&T still has weak 3G coverage.  If you're in one of their designated
>  > cities, you might be able to get 3G coverage in some parts of those cities,
>  > but that's about the best you can hope for.  You'll be in 2.5G EDGE/GPRS
>  > territory otherwise, and if you're really unlucky you won't even be able to
>  > get GPRS.
>  >
>
>
> With an add on antenna, I have gotten at least 2.5G in many locations that I
>  would not have thought possible (ie Northern NM/TX between Clayton and
>  Texline), and Puerto Rico included (San Juan is 3G).
>
>
>
>  > But outside of 3G, both AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM carriers, so as long as
>  > the equipment you're using is quad-band, or even just tri-band, you should
>  > get at least decent EDGE/GPRS access, if not 3G access.  This has the
>  > advantage that it will also work overseas, and I think you might find more
>  > driver support for GSM hardware than CDMA.
>  >
>
>
> I cannot speak personally for GSM gear, but much of my research indicates
>  that the AirPrime or USBSerial drivers handle most cards, regardless of the
>  radio.
>
>
>
>  > Sprint tends to have the best overall coverage of the main carriers as it
>  > sits right now, but Verizon is in the process of buying Alltel, and Alltel
>  > is the major network partner for all of the "big four" carriers in rural
>  > areas.  Going forward, you really have to wonder how much companies like
>  > Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T are going to want to have their rural coverage
>  > provided for them by the biggest cell carrier in the country.
>
>
>
> Agreed. Time will tell.
>
>
>
>  > Of course, Sprint and Verizon/Alltel are CDMA carriers.  But they tend to
>  > lock their equipment to their network, and since they don't have a SIM card,
>  > you can't just take that equipment and go use it on another carrier.  You
>  > have to buy different equipment, even if it's from the same model from the
>  > same hardware manufacturer.
>  >
>
>
> GSM/EDGE/HSDPA is more of a global standard, and the SIM does make
>  portability more of a possibility, but there are still "locking" issues
>  regardless.
>
>
>  Sprint has hidden caps on bandwith as well as throughput, and their
>  > so-called "unlimited" data plan starts at $60/month.  Verizon is the same.
>  >  T-Mobile "Total Internet for Data Cards" is $50/month.  For AT&T, their
>  > DataConnect North America plan is $110/month, but then maybe that really is
>  > unlimited?
>  >
>
>
> I have heard of the Verizon limits, but not of the Sprint limits.   I will
>  have to try to see what they do!  Maybe I will go on an downloading spree
>  and see what happens.
>
>  jp
>
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