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Viability of Mobile Broadband For Home Use?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the does-the-question-answer-itself dept.

Networking 177

mighty7sd writes "I am about to be released from my contract with Time Warner for my home internet service, and I am evaluating alternatives to my current cable modem setup. I would love to use AT&T U-Verse or Verizon Fios, but they are not available in my area. I have a good idea of the costs and limitations of Cable and DSL service, so I am considering using mobile broadband for my home internet connection. Most providers seems to cap the connection at 5 GB of data transfer per month. I am a relatively heavy internet user using streaming video and a web server, so I need decent down/upload speeds and a large data transfer cap. Has anyone in the /. community had a good experience using mobile broadband cards at their home, specifically with lots of streaming video or a home server? What has happened if you have gone over your data transfer limit? Cricket Wireless is available in my area for $40 per month with 'unlimited' service, but I am skeptical that it is truly reliable and unlimited. I also found products that act as a WiFi router for mobile broadband services, but it seems that this is against most carriers TOS. Can they really detect these, and are they comparable to a wired broadband router?"

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Signal strength check (5, Insightful)

NewmanKU (948325) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764167)

First thing to check is to make sure you get a decent mobile signal at and inside your home. If the tower is too far away you'll get horrible throughput rates.

Re:Signal strength check (5, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764295)

I used my phone company's 3g connection for inet access after I moved apartments and had to wait 3 weeks for the adsl to be installed.

Unlimited 5mbit costed 30e/month and worked quite well, tho pings in online games were around 250-400ms (usually 50ms or so). After the 3 weeks period I had used 48GB of bandwidth.

The only issue is prolly the latency, which isnt so nice in multiplayer games. I live in scandinavia, so I dont know how its in USA tho. But for people in here, its a great alternative.

"Prolly" (-1, Flamebait)

Perf (14203) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765151)

What does "prolly" mean? I checked dictionary.com, it doesn't seem to know:

From: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/prolly [reference.com]

No results found for prolly: Did you mean Proll (in dictionary) or Prilly (in reference)?

Re:"Prolly" (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765197)

"Prolly" == "Probably"

Re:"Prolly" (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765691)

It's slang, similar to:

Cya = Bye (or) See you later

It popped up years ago in online games, before we all had enough bandwidth for voice chat. Less text to type is important!

"prolly firebolt then e use lit"

"You should probably cast Firebolt on that monster, then EgorTheOgre can cast lightning on it."

Re:Signal strength check (2, Informative)

destuxor (874523) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764507)

The building I live in was erected in the 1960's and doesn't have great service for Verizon or AT&T (I would know, I've been on contract with both). A bunch of dudes in the building I live in use AT&T and Verizon air cards pretty effectively. I've heard no complaints, but for now I'm sticking with Time Warner myself.

Re:Signal strength check (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765505)

The building I live in was erected in the 1960's and doesn't have great service for Verizon or AT&T

Does one really have anything to do with the other? I imagine a building built in 1890 next to a cell tower would have great service, while one built in 2009 in the Badlands of North Dakota would not.

Am I missing something? Did 1960s construction methods introduce Faraday Cages or something?

Re:Signal strength check (1, Informative)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765559)

Well, some building materials absorb more signal than others. The more porous the stuff is, the more decibels it will soak up. I can't remember, but I think one major thing is asbestos. I'd have to do some testing to say for sure, but I can tell you that it is a major factor.

Re:Signal strength check ... Lead in the paint? (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 4 years ago | (#27766041)

Would loads of lead-based paint absorb the signal? If you look at a number of San Francisco apartments, it may be possible to find doors, walls, cabinets and other surfaces having 5 or 10 layers of paint since property owners seem to be poor or too cheap (or, conveniently environmentally supersensitive) to remove the layers and apply modern coats. The building i used to live in a couple years ago was like that. Cabinet doors not closing, who knows what under the carpets, and slanted floors.... window frames from 1945 or something. But, the building was one of the few that passed flying colors after the 1989 quake....

Re:Signal strength check (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27764581)

You can use a sprint Novatel or Sierra card with a Linksys WRT54G-ST it is a 4 port router with a PCMCIA card slot in the top. It works like a normal DSL/Broadbad router, wired and wireless clients. I know they used to be $250.00 and then the cost of the card was $60.00 per month. As far as the speed, that truely depends on your area. I have seen them as fast a 1.3 upload and 700k download and slower. If you are using the Economy bundle through warner you will notice a slightly slower connection, anything faster you will really notice a difference. For 60.00 per month I am sure you can get a much faster broadband connection. DSL is not a great option for a heavy internet user. I would definately not recommend a mobile broadband solution. If you were a casual browser or strictly e mail user and traveled quite a bit, I would say this could be an option.

Re:Signal strength check (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27764793)

The FIRST thing to do is look at their TOS. Almost every mobile carrier's TOS says "everything we implied in the advertising is a lie". Almost all of them prohibit gaming or large file transfer, yadayada.

The new WiMax critters like Clear seem to understand they have a market opportunity there though with their "no holds barred strictly on tiers of GB" policy.

Re:Signal strength check (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765159)

Or, you can look for Wi-Max providers, which are few and far between, but much, much faster than 3g wireless. Of course, you need to really study the TOS and fine print, especially if that provider is Clearwire.. Maybe approach some regional ISP's about it, or heck, go for it yourself...

WiMax vs. 3G vs. 4G Speed Mythologies (2, Insightful)

billstewart (78916) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765709)

WiMax can support very high speed connections and very long distances, and has great hype with it. But in reality, it can support very high speeds over short distances, or moderately low speeds over long distances, and ISPs have to make some tradeoff in between based on how many customers they can get in the cell around a given antenna, and by the time they're done, it's no longer spectacularly shiny. (4G doesn't really exist yet, so of course it'll be really really cool when it gets here, while 3G was really really cool last year until it was widely deployed....) The two main 3G services have technology upgrade paths that are being deployed, so services will probably get faster (though you may need new hardware), while WiMax may be faster now than after it gets more customers, at least if you're close enough to have a strong signal.

In reality, you need to look at what's available where you live - can you get a good signal or not? - and on the service provider's terms of service, and other services you may also be buying (TV? Wired phones? Mobile phones?), and on how mobile you plan to be. 3G has the advantage that you've probably got some friends who have the service providers you want to try out, and you can invite them over to find out if you can actually get good enough speeds or not.

(You've probably already figured out whether you currently hate your cable company or your cellphone company or your wired phone company more...) - but do read the service plan details carefully, because "unlimited" usually doesn't _actually_ mean "not having limits" unless the marketing people have recently gotten spanked by regulators, so it's likely that they'll have fine print you need to care about saying what the limits are and how much excess bandwidth costs. Unfortunately, for wireless providers, heavy bandwidth use translates into cell capacity exhaustion, so dealing with it may cost them actual money, as opposed to wired providers where it only translates into statistical increases in their peering and transit usage, which is a lot cheaper, and they're still only slowly getting the clues that computer users have much higher bandwidth expectations than cellphone/text/paging users, so they may not realize where the boundaries of "greedy" vs. "cheapskate" are.

Mobile broadband? (1)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764169)

Why yes, I've used it, Telecom was very quick to charge me over two hundred dollars for a few google searches.

(Yes, I do live in New Zealand)

Contact your city management! (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764185)

Tell them about what is going on in N.Carolina and tell them that it will produce friendlier and more regular income to the city than traffic signal cameras. You may get fiber at your door with high speed up and down instead of slow up and fast down.

Trail and Error without the expensive hardware. (1, Informative)

canipeal (1063334) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764249)

If you already have a data plan for your mobile phone then give this application a try: http://www.wmwifirouter.com/ [wmwifirouter.com] It will turn your cell phone into a Access point. I use this application all the time when i'm on the road or when my connection goes down at home.

Works for some (5, Informative)

avm (660) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764259)

I did it for a number of months using Sprint and a USB Sierra Wireless Compass dongle (not sure of the model number, but it did work in Linux).

It worked for me, but there is a 5Gb/mo cap and would probably not fit your usage. Reliable, reasonably fast for what it is, worked flawlessly in XP and Ubuntu, and really gave me nothing to complain about.

Re:Works for some (4, Informative)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765135)

I did it for over a year, and actually experienced service termination due to a bandwidth cap. Verizon terminated my contract (waiving the early termination fee) after I downloaded over 20GB in one month. I believe 20GB is the *real* cap. However, Verizon was later sued in a class action for false advertising. As a result, I believe they temporarily stopped terminating people.

As for stuff like streaming video, running a server, or using P2P, that's all prohibited by the TOS but not enforced. In real life they will only terminate you for bandwidth use.

This info is all slightly out of date though, it's been a year or so since I used this stuff. Up-to-date info about Verizon and Sprint's actual practices (as opposed to what the TOS says) is available on many web forums like EVDO Forums [evdoforums.com].

Re:Works for some (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27765833)

Posting AC as I am a Sprint Employee, the solution is to use Vision (Powervision, whatever) service instead of aircard/PAM. Essentially, an inexpensive PDA (like the Palm Centro) + USBModem software = no 5GB cap. $30/mo 200 minute plan + $15 data = unlimited data, cheap.

Bad latency. (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764261)

A friend of mine has a Verizon card. Latency's pretty bad (comparable to dialup), and the software is sorta crappy -- it doesn't lose signal, so much as the USB device suddenly unprobes and reconnects, always defaulting to the wrong network setup.

Re:Bad latency. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765427)

Latency on the Rev A network is generally 100-150ms even with a marginal signal for me, worse than landline broadband better than dialup. You might not want to play a twitch FPS on it for most other things it's fine. Upload bandwidth is a bit low at 300Kbps but my cable was that low until last year so it's definitely usable.

No (5, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764279)

Has anyone in the /. community had a good experience using mobile broadband cards at their home, specifically with lots of streaming video or a home server?

I'm almost certain that running a server would be against the ToS, and yes it is fairly easy to detect. Hmmm...incoming Port 80/443 traffic...

I know a couple people who've switched to mobile broadband for their main link, but they are not heavy users. Checking e-mail, searching Google, general web browsing, yes. Frequent streaming media? Not unless it is postage stamp sized.

And Cricket's data plan isn't 3G so it would be a dog.

Re:No (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764477)

I'm almost certain that running a server would be against the ToS, and yes it is fairly easy to detect. Hmmm...incoming Port 80/443 traffic...

Verizon FIOS doesn't seem to care that I'm running port 69 for http (they block 80, meh, I can append :69 and I'm out of outrage for the time being) and 443 and 8443 for https (one for apache_mod_svn, for the inquisitive). I've gotten no complaints whatsoever, despite moving 13TB outbound over the past 6 months, according to my RRD server. If they are trying to detect and enforce TOS violations, they are doing a really poor job of it.

Judging by what you've written, you need to stay on TWC's teat for a little while longer. Mobile broadband has terrible latency, signal dropping and poor upstream bandwidth -- it's just not for your application.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27764501)

Cricket is 3G, they don't even have their own network they just lease access to sprints 3G network. It could still be "dog" slow if you don't have good signal, and you don't get free equipment but i'd use it till they kicked me off if it was my only option.

Re:Yes! (1)

G0N70 (1542173) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764525)

I use 3g HSDPA Interwebz, 10gigabytes, 24euro month. bounded 24month. this is my ISP: http://www.a1.net/ [a1.net] Well, 100mb in under 5minutes isnt that bad! I also play online games with that connection, also its its Internet2Go when i use my laptop!

Re:Yes! (1)

G0N70 (1542173) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764651)

I forgot: down: with activated ISP firewall 3,86mb/s up: 1,00mb/s downloading 800mb ca 20min.

Re:No (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764531)

I'm almost certain that running a server would be against the ToS, and yes it is fairly easy to detect. Hmmm...incoming Port 80/443 traffic...

I don't think it was DynDNS that let you do this, but there are services around that let you host a server on a different and possibly including dynamic port other than port 80/443 traffic between you and the the gateway.

You still violate your TOS, but it can be done... *coughs* not that I know anything about that.

Re:*coughs* (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764551)

And I forgot the link:

http://www.no-ip.com/services/managed_dns/free_dynamic_dns.html [no-ip.com]


Don't know nothing about doing this either...

Port 80 Redirects

Many residential ISPs Block port 80, No-IP Free DNS enables you to run a webserver on a non-standard port, yet users accessing your site never have to enter a port number. For example http://yourname.no-ip.com/ [no-ip.com] can redirect to http://yourname.no-ip.com:8833/ [no-ip.com]

Re:*coughs* (2, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764963)

The ones I've looked at in Britain give you a 192.168.x.x IP address, so no-ip isn't going to work whatever you do.

Re:No (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764597)

My dad's verizon has EVERYTHING against the TOS as far as i can tell :( Pretty sure streaming video is in there too....and gaming...and audio...and BT...and...

Wouldn't a web server be connected all the time? You think they will like that? I am guessing your card connected 24/7 would clue them in. They assume over xG per month and you are doing something you shouldn't, so i would bet the same would apply if you are always connected.

I've seen the Cricket commercial where they use it for home. Pretty sure that excludes a server no matter what as even some DSL/cable exclude that. No idea on their other terms.

Like others said, the latency sucks and throughput is iffy on a Verizon card. Cricket? Can't be any better.

Re:No (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764689)

A "home server" would not need any incoming ports open via the broadband card.

I'm sure the OP meant to use the mobile broadband card as the EXTERNAL nic of a NAT router, with the other nic being either wifi or wired, serving other machines in his household.

These are harder to detect, (sometimes impossible), and I see no reason why they should be prohibited as long as he lives under the cap or pays the fees.

Re:No (2, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765103)

Has anyone in the /. community had a good experience using mobile broadband cards at their home, specifically with lots of streaming video or a home server?

I'm almost certain that running a server would be against the ToS, and yes it is fairly easy to detect. Hmmm...incoming Port 80/443 traffic...

I know a couple people who've switched to mobile broadband for their main link, but they are not heavy users. Checking e-mail, searching Google, general web browsing, yes. Frequent streaming media? Not unless it is postage stamp sized.

And Cricket's data plan isn't 3G so it would be a dog.

You have to be careful though. If you want to run a server, make sure your mobile broadband plan includes "VPN" access, otherwise you may find yourself NAT'ed and/or proxied. There are different tiers of service, and the ones you may want will be the most expensive.

The "unlimited data" plans often are for smartphones, and they often put you in a private IP space behind a NAT/transparent proxy with filtering. Even if you tether, you may still be limited to the NAT, and still be transparently proxied. If you tether improperly, you may end up paying dearly since you will use the wrong gateway/APN.

If you want a full proper publicly-accessible IP, you'll have to ask if your provider has a "VPN" plan (because a few VPN services break behind NAT, or you may be required to have a reverse probe), and these plans are often quite expensive for very little data.

An alternative might be the so-called "portable internet" devices, where you get a device that plugs into the wall, and connect to it via Ethernet. These can be cheaper, and more to what you're used to. however, they're often only available in metropolitan areas.

What about satellite? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27765869)

Are these limitations also true of satellite, or is that better than mobile broadband?

Latency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27764287)

If you are in to online gaming, FPS of any sort, never ever consider mobile broadband.

For home use?? (2, Insightful)

malkir (1031750) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764323)

Well if it's for home use.. why don't you just pay for a 10MB line and get a wireless router.

Try it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27764339)

I've never used the PC-Card wireless internet, but have used various forms of phone-to-PC wireless internet (USB cable, serial cable, bluetooth, etc). My two biggest complaints have been latency and reliability. It's not uncommon to have to reconnect frequently... which can, at least in theory, be handled automatically with a good pppd/chat configuration in Linux, but is still very annoying. And latency is bad, which makes any real-time/timing-sensitive applications choppy at best.

Even with those limitations, I have used wireless/cellular internet as my main/only internet connection before, when I was without work and cutting corners, and I survived. But as soon as I had a reliable income again, I subscribed to a cable modem service again.

My best advice would be to try it for a month or two before cutting the cord. See if you can live with whatever limitations come with the service in your area.

Of course that may be difficult if it requires buying a ~$100 PC card... Maybe you can get a month-to-month contract (likely at a premium price, but that's not a prob for a short-term test, right?) and maybe you can buy the card on ebay, and resell it if you choose to stick with a land-based Internet connection after your experiment.

Re:Try it (1)

n0084ever (1042786) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764387)

I would think that most ISP's/cellular providers that offer this solution would allow you a small window (10 - 14 days) to try it out, during which if you don't like it, you can return it with no obligation

Re:Try it (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765335)

Mobile broadband, this short video says it all,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d62jQ22w360 [youtube.com] ((hitler gets 3 broadband) Its pretty good if you've not seen the same scene done with too many variations)

Problem is if you don't think your going to be somewhere for 12 months, then you can't really sign a 12 month contract. It's going to be pot luck how well it works, badly when you really want it working, is probably going to be the answer.

However if you have no choice I'd find a pay as you go provider and maybe two sim cards depending on the overuse charge. With a Pay as you go modem you get a fixed data quantity. Get into a contract and go over, they have you by the ... In 3 months time when you decide it just isn't worth the hassle any more, you don't have 9 months worth of contract left. It might get better or worse, but you can hang on to that modem for years and only use it when have too.

Even 3 months use would be a win financially, ADSL costs about 25 for line rental and 25 for ADSL per month 3 charge 20 for 10 - 20gb (I forget which) a month and the modem is 79 so in three months your actually up 10 if it doesn't drive you crazy first.

Lan usage, you can buy a special router for the job or go cheap (using existing hardware) and use a switch or a regular router and port-forward to your ethernet port. I've done some experimenting and found an Aspire One running Ubuntu makes a great little "Cable modem" just set up iptables and a fixed address for the wan port on the router and ether-net port and setup iptables (I think windows can just use ICS for the same effect). Note, its a straight cat5 cable between the wan port and eth0 on your laptop.
But watch the video and realize what you may be letting yourself in for.

The 5 GB cap will kill you cable seems to be the b (3, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764343)

The 5 GB cap will kill you cable seems to be the best that you can get for now.

I don't understand the need for a contract. (1)

orsty3001 (1377575) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764349)

How bad is their service that they need to lock you in to a contract? What are the scared of? Haha That's a warning bell right there.

Sounds like you've already worked out... (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764351)

...that it isn't viable but you're posting in the hope someone will aid you in continued wishful thinking.

It sounds to me like your best solution would be 2 broadband accounts. 1 wired and 1 wireless.

No (5, Funny)

dr_strang (32799) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764353)

Terrible idea. Just steal your neighbor's wifi.

How about asking your neighbor? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764537)

I do it with a neighbor. I have 'commercial' ISP subscription, so servers are okay.

They hardly use any bandwidth and pay less than they would if they got service on their own.

We both get a good deal out of it.

Title Answers Itself? (2, Funny)

Jon.Laslow (809215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764357)

Viability of Mobile Broadband For Home Use?
>> Viability Mobile Broadband Home Use
>> Mobile Broadband Home Use
>> Mobile Home

Hulu / Youtube unwatchable as streams (3, Informative)

frith01 (1118539) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764367)

I have mobile broadband for work / support issues, and it does not do well with video streaming. ( watch 3 minutes, wait 3 minutes, repeat )

Audio streaming is just able to keep up most of the time.

I can certainly confirm the latency issues are noticeable, but for ssh / remote support it is use-able. buy a host site plan from a friendly web provider, and just remote admin the info.

Er, why are you considering this? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764369)

While it has its virtues (notably the "mobile" part), mobile "broadband" is otherwise a hell of a mess. Higher latency than wired, generally higher cost than wired, almost definitely lower caps than wired, and, under any but the best conditions, slower than wired(of similar price, I'm not talking netzero dialup).

If you are on the road most of the time, or need an ISP now, not in three weeks when the cable guy gets off his ass and install, then fine. But why would a self described heavy user even consider going with it for home use?

Experience with Sprint (3, Informative)

SteveInMI (985850) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764561)

I am a full-time work-from-home WAN geek. I have Sprint data service, with an old PCMCIA card in a D-Link DIR-450 router; it's my backup Internet connection. From time to time, I've used it in short intervals (1 week) as my primary connection. I used to have problems with the connection resetting every 6 to 18 hours or so, although the connection state has seemed much more stable in the last few months. It still won't hold an outbound VPN connection for a full day at a time; my sessions last anywhere from 4 to 20 hours before needing to be restarted (and the same connection over DSL lasts for weeks). Throughput is more than servicable, and the rate is more constant than I'd expected. Jitter can be higher than you'd want for VoIP, especially if there's any other traffic on the line. The jitter could be mitigated if I used a decent router, but I still think I'd see a performance gap between wireless and wireline delay consistency. For mid-speed service and 99% uptime, it's a perfectly viable alternative. It's especially useful in some rural areas where the cellular data network reaches farther out in the country than DSL or cable. If you need great service 99.9%+ of the time with low latency and minimal jitter, stick with wireline.

I use Sprint (1)

netruner (588721) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764371)

I use Sprint's service which was advertised at the time of my contract as "truly unlimited". I have not had any unusual problems.

The issues to consider - I have a fairly small pipe size - Hulu is pretty rough due to not being able to buffer enough - and latency - I can't really do FPS over this connection because I can't get under the 100ms ping barrier. However the GF plays WOW on it just fine.

I pay about $60 per month which is a bit steep for what I'm getting, but it sure beats dialup. We had a wireless (housetop antenna) service, but they can't keep their networks up (constant double digit % packet loss). Ma Bell won't install DSL where I'm at and cable is also unavailable. I looked into satellite, but that can have equipment costs that are high, depending on who you go with.

I did splurge and get they Lynksis router with the PCMCIA slot in it ($300 when I bought it).

Re:I use Sprint (1)

fl!ptop (902193) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764431)

I did splurge and get they Lynksis router with the PCMCIA slot in it ($300 when I bought it).

i have used and recommend cradlepoint routers [cradlepoint.com], which are in the $140-$150 range. they have 2 models, so choose accordingly for pcmcia or usb cards. before purchasing one, call them and verify their router will work with the brand/model of aircard you're purchasing, there are a few that don't work now (but i've been told they're working on drivers).

Re:I use Sprint (0, Offtopic)

mrslacker (1122161) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764629)

I don't ;-)

Ok, I work for a competitor, and our product is quite a lot more expensive. But I personally made sure that every freakin' mobile device (I know of) available in the US over the last few years, and many more sold outside the US, work with it.

Oh yeah, our stuff does that no one else really does effectively, which is aggregation of mobile (and wired) connections. But the pricing is such that's not really a consumer level product:

http://www.mushroomnetworks.com/ [mushroomnetworks.com]

The product in particular is the PortaBella.

Re:I use Sprint (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765019)

I use Sprint Wireless Boradband, as well. I switched after Verizon started throttling my speeds after the first 10-15GB in a month. I regularly sustain 1.1-1.3mbps, and get bursts of up to 2.5mbps. I've never experienced less than 800kbps on the EVDO Rev.A network. I've been using it for my home (wherever that may be) connection for about 2 years now. With it I've been able to sever the accursed chain of my calling/voice-plan provider.
My Setup:
1. Free (with contract) PCMCIA Card
2. Airlink AR360W3G Router (cheapest EVDO/3G wireless router ~$70)
3. 2x (4 AA NiMH Battery Pack) Each pack allows me ~1hr running of the Airlink router (for when I'm at the park/beach/hiking)
4. Power inverter in car connected to 2 deep-cycle batteries (router plugs in to here during workday/etc)
5. Nokia n810 with Skype Unlimited and SkypeIn.
Final Result: $60/mo(Sprint) + $6/mo(Skype) = Broadband everywhere I go, that I can share with others if I want + Unlimited calling without having to deal with a cellular provider

For ATT (5, Informative)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764425)

Here is the information for ATT aircards:

Aircards: Sierra Wireless 885, 881, 881u, Option GT Ultra, Ultra Express, Quicksilver
5 GB/month
60 Dollars / Month
700kbps-1.7 mbps down, ~200 ping to google (on 3g)
75kbps-125kbps down, ~300 ping to google (on 2g)

When you go over 5 gigs, data useage is charged at half a cent per KB, but service will be turned off as soon as it is detected by the switch (which can take anywhere from an hour to a week, or forever)

Coverage map:
http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/ [att.com]

Phone support: 1-800-331-0500 (24 hours).

Re:For ATT (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765075)

I have a GT Ultra with ATT for $62.98/month. I almost always go over 10GB/month and have never been charged an overage fee for data and I have never had my service cut off.

Re:For ATT (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765385)

Then you must've had your card for more than a year or two. There used to be unlimited data plans, but they stopped provisioning them in the middle of last year. All new plans are capped at 5GB though, don't believe what the salesperson may say to you.

Verizon (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27764469)

Using verizon in a metro area. I get 2.5mbps down and 512kbps up. Lowest ping time is around 80ms but usually around 100ms. If you idle a few seconds the modem will stop talking to the tower. The next packet out will wake up the modem and the initial ping will be around a second. and then back down to 100ms

I have a USB type modem hooked into debian. Have to plug the dongle into a windows box every so often to track my usage with the software they provide.

Go over and they charge me 25 cents a MB!

Sprint wants a 2 yr contract. No way around it but they only charge 10 cents a MB overage.

Verizon and ATT will allow you to buy the modem and then go month to month no contract. Its $60/m for all of them whether you go contract or not its just equipment price.

Verizon has a 10gb/m plan for $200 they don't advertise. Occasionally I have problems with getting a signal or it slows down.

The USB dongles usually get detected as multiple USB->serial adapters. However, the USB->serial driver under linux doesn't have sufficient buffer to get it over 200kbps. There is the airprime driver and 3g drivers depending on distro.

The PCMCIA and cardbus adapters usually get detected as a usb hub with multiple usb->serial adapters and the same thing happens as above.

From there its a matter of configuring PPP properly.

I'm using a verizon 760 usb modem under debian etch with the airprime driver. Had to hack the vendor id of the card into the airprime driver to recognize it. Plug in the usb dongle in, it gets detected as a usb cdrom. modprobe the airprime driver. eject /dev/sr0 and then it detects the usb->serial and attaches them via the airprime driver to /dev/ttyUSB0 thru /dev/ttyUSB14 (theres a bunch of them for measuring signal strength and txt messages but I never use them).

huh??? (5, Insightful)

massysett (910130) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764483)

I have a good idea of what the costs and limitations of Cable and DSL service,

So you are...considering getting something even more expensive, even slower, and with even tighter caps than the worse cable caps?


Local Wireless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27764515)

For the range you are talking about for the price range..

Why not go with a local wireless point to point provider. I know they are in most major cities now. And they compare nicely against cable and dsl without the evil slime feeling.

From a UK perspective..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27764519)

I have just spent the day going around all the mobile shops in my small home town. (and there are a lot >10) It would seem possible to use mobile broadband as a main internet connection however.... the prices are quite high for the amount of data you get. A standard contract will cost between 20-30 pounds/month (~44$). For that you will get around 5+GB/month. The contract will last between 12months and 24months. The shops claimed connection speeds of ~3.6Mb/s. So yes it would be possible (in the UK) to have this as your main internet connection as long as you do not want to use bit torrent or download copies of Fedora 11 dvd.
Anyway, I did not trust the 3.6Mb/s claim so I plumped for a 3 (three.co.uk) pay as you go dongle, which will cost me 10pounds (16$) per GB. (no contract). I have just got it going on Fedora 10 with no problems (it was a Huaweu E160G USB dongle - pretty much plugged and played). Now then, sitting here at my desk on the edge of my town the connection speed is at best crap (I mean very crap, 30 seconds to load slashdot). I don't know why this is yet, network speed (it is early evening here) or signal strength. I am guessing both. So from my experience so far, my answer would be you could almost use it as a primary internet. However costs are quite high/GB and connection speed would so far appear to be slow if you have bad signal strength. My verdict - fine for mobile usage however as you main (high use) internet connection give it a year or two. (This all only my opinion and you can make of it what you will)

Mobile broadband is not "broadband" (1)

fluor2 (242824) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764523)

In Norway, there is an interesting discussion whether one can define Mobile broadband as "Broadband". The Post and Telecommunications Authority has defined what may be called "mobile broadband":

"You should have seen a download speed of at least 640 kbps for the operator to be able to call the service "mobile broadband". The upload rate should be at least 128 kbps."

(Source) [google.com]

According to my tests, 640 kbps is hardly archived anywhere in Norway, and I guess it's pretty similar in the US.

My only major advice: (2, Informative)

ThousandStars (556222) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764573)

Do not get ClearWire, if they're on your radar at the moment. I made the mistake and wrote about it here [jseliger.com].

Be wary of some of the wireless providers, because they seem to impose even more restrictions on Internet usage than wired providers.

Wireless home providers.... (3, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764589)

    I had some good success with Verizon Wireless. Really, it depends on where you are , to how good the service will be. I've had better than 1Mb/s down while driving. Then again, I've had what felt like double digit bytes per seconds in not so great areas.

    After one move I had a problem. The DSL provider said they could service the house. We gave them two weeks notice to get the new line ready. They were "provisioning" it for 3 weeks, until they finally said they couldn't do it. {sigh}

    So we put in an order with the cable company. It took 2 weeks for the "install package" to come in, and 3 more days after I plugged it in for it to actually work. During that period, I had a PC with my Verizon Wireless air card up, and it acted as my NAT for the other computers. It wasn't a great area for cell service, because of the mountains. Even the wireless service was hit and miss. I swear, when it got windy, the service would go down. More likely, trees were blowing between my card and the tower, but I still blame the wind. :)

    I highly recommend getting a card that has a jack for an external antenna. It makes a HUGE difference in service quality. Check out evdoinfo.com [evdoinfo.com] for good information on the card offerings from Verizon and Sprint.

    The Verizon card gave me one thing that you can't get from a residential or business provider. I had my laptop running on a cross country drive, feeding telemetry (GPS data and video) to my web site, so friends and family could see what I saw and where I was. I got a call in the middle of the desert, asking if I was ok. I showed to be about 20 feet off the road, not moving, and facing desolate nothing. In reality, I was tired, pulled off into a rest area, parked the car facing away from the only building there, and was taking a nap. The rest area was new, so it didn't show on Google Maps yet, which is what I was using to show my location. I hadn't looked when I stopped, I just saw a place to sleep so I took it.

    I opened one eye enough to look at the screen, saw where I was on the map (100 miles from nowhere, parked 20 feet off the road), confirmed that's where I was, told them it's a rest area now, and went back to sleep. :) After a couple hours, I woke back up, checked my email, did a little online recon to see what was ahead (not a damned thing), and then started driving again.

    Sure there were some dead spots. My phone would drop, and the Internet connection would usually follow behind by about a minute. The card's antenna was suction cupped to the windshield, so it had a better signal than the phone. That was very intermittent though. Most of the time I had at least some sort of service. :)

Unimpressed (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764667)

I really didn't have anything too pleasant to report on my experience with mobile broadband. After a month I repackaged everything they sent me and mailed it back. I wouldn't recommend mobile broadband to anyone that wasnt, ... mobile, and in need of a connection just about anywhere at any time.

First, I had very little success sharing a connection (and it was a violation of the TOS).

Second, I encountered what I believe to have been a queue system on the cell towers hosting the service. (I was using QWest.)

During the peak cell phone usage hours (around rush hours) I would consistently get disconnected. I could reconnect and stay connected with a completely clear signal, but get dumped again after a short time. This could happen as much as 4-6 times per hour, starting around 4pm and continuing to about 7pm. It happened in the mornings some, and on holidays like Christmas when everyone was calling home. The more saturated the tower became, the more I got dumped, and it wasnt signal lost or signal degredation. It was signal terminated.

When you're tunneling in through VPN's or using persistant services these types of disconnects can make what you're attempting to accomplish online nearly impossible. By the time you reconnect and get tunneled back into your services and get back to work you get dumped again.

To be fair, I was near a major interstate highway, and during the rush hours there were tens of thousands of cars. But really if it is billed as a stable and reliable service very little should cause your connection to terminate except unpredictable and rare environmental variables.

I would instead recommend you investigate both radio and microwave broadband if cable or dsl are not available. I've had much greater success with both (currently radio) than with mobile.

From my experience (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764813)

Having used this kind setup at two different locations, it is good for browsing and email, but streaming video is marginal at best, impossible at worst. If you are into S&M, you could run a server on it, but you would have to have some kind of dynamic DNS so the world could find you, and it would violate the contracts I have seen. Speed seems to be determined by signal strength, plus other network factors, like oversubscribing, but I can not say for sure. That is just a guess from watching the data rate over several weeks.

Both locations used a wireless router for multiple machines to connect to the service. This was Alltel, and their sales rep told me multiple machines on the link was allowed. They also sell an access point the USB cellular data do-dad plugs into, so she must have been right. One location used Alltel's stuff, the other used a MikroTik with a Sierra data card.

I don't remember about caps, but there were the normal usage charges. I am not paying for it, so I didn't pay much attention to the details.

talk about painful (1)

blckholehorizon (957701) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764825)

i would rather poke a pencil in my eye than run my home network over wireless "broadband". even if you get it all to work, good luck in trying to stream HD videos over the net. torrents? not a chance. you're going to hit some type of limit with them and someones going to get pissed. too bad FiOS isn't available yet in my area.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27764851)

I am a network administrator and I use Verizon 3g wirless (usb dongle) as my primary network connection at home. I also telecommute from home a few days a week using the 3g internet.

I moved out to the boonies and the only options were dial-up, or pricey satellite. Verizon had coverage way out there for some reason so I went with them.

The 5G cap is easy to hit if doing much video streaming but a little is fine. SSH works well for the most part but every once in a while some latency hits.

I don't have disconnects or anything though, just periodic slowdowns that are only noticeable with latency sensitive applications.

Positioning the usb antennae is very critical to get a good signal within a house. Near a window is generally better, and I run a USB extension to the USB dongle so I can have it mounted up high and by a window.

It is 'good enough' for me that I don't complain about not having broadband and I can do Hulu every once in a while and it mostly keeps up.

My Experience (1)

adler187 (448837) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764863)

I have Alltel data service as I live in a rural area where the only alternatives are 24-36Kbps dialup or 400-700k satellite. I pay about $60 per month and Alltel is "unlimited," however with the Verizon takeover I'm not sure how this will affect things. I typically get speeds between 400-800Kbps, but have gotten up to 1Mbps on occasion. If you want more information about the various services look at www.evdoforums.com. Note that like any wireless technology, the total bandwidth at the tower is shared by all clients and as more people use the service, the speeds go down.

Personally, I can't wait to move and get cable or DSL.

Re:My Experience (1)

adler187 (448837) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764941)

Also, I forgot to mention my ping times are usually between 200-400ms, but can get up as high as 8000ms (yes 8 second ping times) under high load. I do live down in a valley and have no line of site to the tower and need a 15dB antenna to get decent signal.

I'm on a boat (3, Informative)

kindbud (90044) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764873)

No really. I'm on a boat. I live aboard at the marina. Can't even get a POTS line, let alone DSL or FIOS or cable. But I have a very strong 3G signal at the docks, and even out in the Catalina channel.

I've lived aboard my boat for the past 8 months with Verizon Wireless as my only internet access. I play Xbox360 games, EVE Online, and download songs and the occasional video from iTMS. It's got better performance than the WiFi ISP that covers the marina. They charge $40/month and rate limit to 1Mb/sec download. I usually get at least that, and often up to 2200kb/sec. Latency is OK, 100-200ms. Fast games do not seem to lag.

I use the CradlePoint CTR-350 router on the boat, and carry a PHS-300 battery-powered hotspot with me on the commute to work which I use to listen to Pandora or surf the web on my iPod touch.

I have a grandfathered unlimited data plan for $59.95 that I've been using for three years before moving onto my boat.

Fido's stance (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764905)

Fido is a cell phone service provider, here in Canada, and they called me asking whether I wanted their 3G USB dongle for my computer. It went along these lines:

Fido: Sir we would like offer you a USB stick to allow 3G connectivity from your computer
Me: Sounds interesting. How much is it?
Fido: 30$ a month for 1GB
Me: Do you think I'm crazy?

Re:Fido's stance (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765283)

I read that as "Gigabit WAN for $30/mo Canadian" and didn't understand why you wouldn't jump on it.

Semi-OT (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764969)

Can you get U-Verse as just internet -- no TV?

Re:Semi-OT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27765063)

Yes. AT&T has recently unbundled all their U-verse services so you can pick what you want. Up to 18Mbps is available and I suspect even more with pair bonding technology. See here:

Keep your cable modem (1)

xda (1171531) | more than 4 years ago | (#27764979)

You said you would love to have FIOS, DOCSIS 3 should be rolling out for most systems this year, that will have the same speeds as FIOS.

Mobile Broadband should be used for mobile devices, I hate the idea of people using mobile service as a home service it just makes the mobile experience suck for the rest of us.

Don't do it (1)

jacqdesign (1274478) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765107)

We are full time rv'ers that travel and work, we have 2 with Verizon, and they work great. But you do any audio, any video, and much photo, you will easily jump over the limit. And like cell phones, you do that, and your dropping a lot of money very quickly. I just did for work. I was earning money, so it's our cost of doing biz when I need it. But we travel and use wifi rv parks and business networks and coffee shops when we can, and our cards when we can't. We use macs, they work great, and except in the absolute middle of nowhere they seem to do ok, for basic stuff, like reading slashdot, coding, emailing, uploading work, vpn etc. But vid/aud super slow. And quickly expensive.

not recommended... (1)

dogfolife69 (1005455) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765121)

my folks in Upstate NY have an ATT aircard because they cant get cable or dsl, and the dail-up connection was so slow that banking sites were timing out there browsing. According to ATT their house is supposed to be in a HIGH coverage area, for phone, data and 3G, but after using for a couple hours, I soon realized it was not. There are spots in the house, where the aircard would say it has a signal but not be able to transmit or receive anything. It would say that its connected at 3G speeds, but I dont think that the through put was anything close to what you might get on a 128Kbps DSL connection. I think an aircard is great if you need to use your computer on the go, or if there are no other sources of internet available. But due to the cap in capacity, and there lack of speed, I WOULDNT recommend them for permanent home use.

Jailbreak 3G service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27765189)

jailbreak your iphone and use pdanet, 3G service 220Kish down and not too bad. enough to play WoW on and any streaming video I've come across so far. I've been without landline internet for a while now.

Why are you even thinking this!? Note the limits (1)

willzzz (701172) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765223)

Mobile Broadband is not perfect and wireless can always be finicky. 1. The problem with Mobile Broadband is the connection between you and the tower/backhaul. This is ALWAYS variable in a wireless environment due to shared spectrum, carriers per sector, # of users on the tower, backhaul bandwidth (mostly NxT1s to the switch site) etc. 2. In relation to #1, Mobile Broadband is a MORE SHARED MEDIUM than wired broadband. Yes all consumer broadband is shared and aggregated at some point but mobile broadband has less available at the air interface. (This would be the currently deployed EV-DO Rev. A 3.1Mbps/1.8Mbps, or ATT's HSPA 3.6 (soon becoming 7.2 with this summers iPhone release being rumored)). Those are THEORETICAL SPEEDS for only 1 person sharing the same sector/backhaul/RF enviroment. In reality with all the traffic you're going to get less than 1/2 that. This will not change until the capacity of the air interface dramatically increases with 4G technologies being deployed (LTE, WiMax). 3. The other limitations already noted, ping times (200-400ms), and bandwidth limitations (5GB mostly). 4. There is a REASON carriers theoretically want to keep mobile broadband from being a replacement for wired cable/dsl/fios broadband due to the fact that the air spectrum is SHARED. Think about it, most cell sites/carriers have only 1 1.25MHz/5MHz sector deployed sharing 3.1Mbit down and less up. Your competing with all the mobile phones data traffic too. Finally the backhaul. Most cell sites only have NxT1s as the backhaul to the switch site. This is changing though with LTE. 5. Personally I would never replace wired broadband /w mobile unless it's an addition. I would wait until LTE as the data rates can dramatically increase matching what the current DOCSIS/DSL standards can do and even more with enough backhaul (once LTE launches the backhaul should be comparable to current cable/dsl/fios).

My experience (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765227)

Do you already have a wireless phone with mobile dataplan? If so, you might be able to tether the device to a laptop if the phone uses a USB cable. I used to use it with my Motorola phone and laptop before switching to the iPhone. Since the iPhone I've had a company issued USB cell card for AT&T. Our cap is higher than 5GB a month (15GB I think), but it's really designed for business travellers who are checking Email, remoting in via VPN, and downloading power point presentations and word documents, not heavy broad band usage.

Typically I use maybe 450MB a month doing just that plus FTPing/SSHing into our servers from home. (Since I got the wireless card, I cancelled cable/DSL at home).

Granted I did all my heavy downloading at work.

you were getting more than 5M? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765281)

You actually got more than 5M of bandwidth out of Time Warner? There must have been an alternative carrier in your area.

If you have no other choice.... (1)

Escape From NY (1539983) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765313)

Where I live Mobile Broadband and Satellite are my only options. I was a little wary about MBB because of the 5G/month cap, but I found millenicom.com that resells Verizon but doesn't have any stated caps. But I have read that people using over 40G in a month have gotten emails asking them to keep their usage down to 10gig.

The big problem with MBB is that you're connecting to the net through cell towers. So you need to have good reception before you can hope to get any decent speeds. But you're also limited by the capacity of the tower. So even if you have a great signal, you could get crappy speeds if there are a dozen other people fighting for that tower's bandwidth. Most towers will be hooked up to a single T1.

That being said, at my house I get a decent signal - 3 bars Rev A. And I think I'm the only person on my tower. So I get between 1 and 1.5m down. I can watch vids online most of the time without any problem.

Wimax (1)

mako1138 (837520) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765331)

Wimax is supposed to be available in a lot of places Real Soon Now, and it's definitely better than mobile broadband.

Sprint + Verizon (0)

sirhan (105815) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765359)

I've used Sprint's mobile broadband (just a blackberry, tether, and sprint's software) in downtown Chicago for quite some time, and it's acceptable for web browsing and the such. I definitely would NOT use it for anything more. It's just got too much latency.

Also, I've used a Motorola T720 with a tether and a SLIP script with Verizon. It only got me basic dialup speeds, and it's been a while since I've written any kind of script for pppd, but it got the job done in a *very* rural area of Illinois.

When it's all said and done, I'd stick with wired if I have any kind of choice.

Verizon card home usage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27765515)

I run the verizon card at my house - 5 gb limit is brutal - any moderate usage will take you over every time - I travel alot so my wife is there with it most of the time, and she's not as much the internet user as I am - but when I'm home, we will consistently go over -- they cap the overage charge around 200 bucks - or something like 5 cents a kb over until then. Rather expensive way to operate, but there's no other choice where I live except satellite, which from what I hear is slower than the evdo -

Read the ToS (2, Interesting)

LinkX39 (1100879) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765579)

A coworker of mine who lives in a rural area out of range from all the cable and DSL providers was looking into going with a mobile broadband solution. Knowing nothing about the topic he handed me a Kricket brochure and asked if it was a good deal, and it was a good thing for him that he did. His intentions were to set up a webcam in his backyard so he could watch the animals as they came out of the woods. With that in mind I scanned the brochure and happened upon their terms of use, which stated that the service could only be used for normal web activities. Sounds reasonable, until you read their definition of "normal" activities which excluded server hosting, online video gaming and streaming video of any sort, meaning his webcam was out.

The moral? Make sure you read the terms of use to find out what the service allows before committing to it, otherwise you may end up paying for something you can't use.

3g router (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27765707)

We use the kyocera 3g and wireless firewall/router. If by "can they detect it", not sure, but we can skype via iphone over 3g through it.

Just connect the iphone wireless to the kyocera that's already maintaining a persistent 3g connection, and voila.

Wireless Home Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27765719)

From my three years of experience supporting wireless ISP clients: Don't do it.

Ass end of no where (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27765793)

I am in IT professional and made a choice to live way out in BFE to get away from the city.

I use a Verizon card with 5GB limit for encryped and normal traffic, I offset this with a Hughsnet connection, that is capped at 350MB per 24 hour period. But has unlimited downloads between 3-6 EST.

Do I pay out the ass for internet. Yes. Do I have a happy life way out of the city. Yes. This works for me because I work from home 90% of the time and travel the other 10%.

As SOON as wired anything comes into my area, I'll be switching!

Sprint Novatel727 + cradlepoint router (0, Flamebait)

profBill (98315) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765865)

I live in the sticks where my options are few. Too far away from anything for cable or DSL and satellite is just a joke. I finally bit the bullet and bought a mobile card from sprint. I plug it into a cradlepoint (mbr1000 cellular, wireless N) router and the mobile card provides wireless service for the house. Yes, there is a 5Gb limit but the service is quite good. 200-300Kb down, 100Kb up on average. Sometimes quite a bit better, occasionally poorer but not often. Streaming video is not terrible and music seems good.

Anyway for rural use it is far and away the best solution

Sprint via tethering for over a year (3, Informative)

RJFerret (1279530) | more than 4 years ago | (#27765993)

I used my phone tethered exclusively for over a year and was satisfied.

However I didn't do much with videos, just Second Life and streaming music there and the like.

Download rates from DSLReports ran about 750 down at my tower (below average), if I drove down the highway I could get 1100 down from neighboring towers. I forget what the upload rate was, maybe 250ish?

SL daily plus music streams was tons of data, but I had Sprint's unlimited plan.

The only other issue was when it would reconnect, which happened fairly frequently and was only an interruption of a sec, but disrupted SL and would need a reload if a page was in the midst of loading. There were a couple outages impacting just my local tower, once for a week. However all outages still provided dialup speeds, only the EVDO was out.

It was possible to watch streaming video if you let half the video download first.

IMO the needs specified are greater than what EVDO will provide.

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