[SATLUG] OT: Broadband cards

FIRESTORM_v1 firestorm.v1 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 12 22:06:01 CDT 2008


I'll put my .02c behind Sprint as well.  I have had the Sierra Aircard
595U (USB) modem and have been extremely pleased with it.  It works
seamlessly on Ubuntu and I use kppp to bring up the interface in X
with no issues. (If you decide to go with Sprint, contact me offlist
and I can help you get it running.)

The 595U also has a GPS receiver that for the moment only works in
Windows.  If I can get the rest of my life to bugger off long enough
to analyze the data, I may finally be able to get the GPS port working
in Linux as well.


My supervisor mentioned something about AT&T doing something insane
with $20.00/mo prepaid data plan packages that I don't remember
requiring a contract.  I can't find any link on the AT&T site that
references it so some digging may be in order.


Good Luck!

FIRESTORM_v1

On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 5:09 PM, Jonathan Hull <masterr at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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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