mobile broadband for internet anywhere
Wireless mobile technology is almost good enough to make internet (almost) anywhere, in the 100+ larger metropolitan areas around the USA. I might be jumping the gun here, but individuals (and not businesses only) should be able to easily get untethered access to the Internet without having to rely on WiFi hotspots and access points. But why is this so buried with the mobile carriers’ websites? And, what do you call it anyways: mobile broadband? high-speed cellular network? wireless internet? wireless broadband? EVDO? EDGE?
So I’m digging around for (what seemed like) hours, trying to find info like this:
- T-Mobile has the Sony Ericsson GC89 PC card for $149.99 and broadband access for $49.99/mo. T-Mobile Total Internet gives you unlimited Internet access (GPRS/EDGE) _and_ unlimited T-Mobile HotSpot access. Did I read that right: for $20 more (than the $29.99 monthly subscription for HotSpots alone) I can have both internet access at Starbucks T-Mobile HotSpots and in over 100+ metropolitan areas??
- Sprint has Mobile Broadband Connection Cards costing either $49.99 or $99.99 and their Unlimited Data Plan (EVDO) is $59.99/mo. Sprint claims to cover 4x more cities and 5x more airports than Cingular’s BroadbandConnect network. [1 describes this comparison as a marketing gaffe]
- Cingular has an Option GT Max PC card for $99.99 (2-year contract required) and Laptop Connect Unlimited (EDGE) for $59.99/mo (voice plan required).
- Verizon has PC cards ranging in cost from $49.99 to $179.99 and BroadbandAccess (EVDO) for $79.99/mo. (Allegedly, that monthly subscription dropped to $59.99 in August 2005?)
EVDO claims to be faster than EDGE. Ed Bott laments a similar dilemma to choose between the two. This December 2005 article gives more detailed comparisons on some of the above.
Here’s what I’m looking for: lower cost, wider coverage, more reliability, faster speed, less fine print nickel & diming, no contract, in order of priority. Help?
I use the Sprint PPC-6700. And I love it. One key selling point for me was that the EVDO data plan was only an additional $15/month. So, for less than $60 a month, I have both voice and data. Since I live in Atlanta, EVDO coverage has been very good. Speed has been acceptable. Of course it’s not as fast as my home connection, but it’s not too bad for being able to access it anywhere I want. Being able to access Google maps anywhere is very convenient.
I had also tried the Sprint Mobile Connection Card, but since it was not any different (speed, coverage) than the PPC6700, I stuck with the PPC.
Now the next thing I want is to get a GPS to hook up with it…
For clarity’s sake I did not call the comparison between Sprint’s service and Cingular’s service a marketing gaffe. I pointed out that if Sprint is as good as they claim to be, then they should simply state the benefits. Instead they use some spaghetti western movie clip that does not appeal to the key buyers of the technology, and talk about features rather than benefits.
I’m not a user of either service, but it seems an abject marketing failure given what Sprint claims and how they present their product.
I use a Samsung A900 (Sprint) tethered to my Powerbook G4 via Bluetooth.
I COULD pay $40/month (in addition to my voice plan), but that felt steep to me. The good folks over at Sprintusers.com had a hack to disable Sprint’s ability to really track how their mobile broadband is used. Apparently if you don’t pay the extra $$, Sprint gets upset if your tethered laptop starts sucking bandwidth and will forever ban you. BUT with the hack to the phone, Sprint has a harder time telling whether you are using your phone’s browser or tethering it.
Now I normally don’t use the service for long…. I tether long enough to post up a blog or nab e-mail (and do the rest offline)… and it seems to work well enough for me even to be logged on for a while too. Coverage is ok; sometimes the phone will drop the tether, but hey… for “free”, I’m not gonna complain…
Or just pay the extra bucks for a Treo. But in my opinion, if a laptop has bluetooth and can tether with a phone… it’s worth it. I never thought I’d use Bluetooth when I used to have it on my Thinkpad. But now the Powerbook has revolutionized my life… in more ways than one.
LMAO!! this site http://www.itsfreenet.com is offering WIFi t-1 to t-3 starting at 19.99 a month! t-3 expected to be at 80 bucks a month 🙂 they have already made it possible to be able to launch in all 50 states this year! check it out 🙂 email me if you have questions