×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

USB EVDO Modem Without PCMCIA

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the implant-it-already dept.

109

David Ciccone writes to tell us that he got a first look at Sprint's new USB EVDO card. The new USB wireless card can help users connect their non-PCMCIA equipped devices to the Sprint Power Vision Network. Very few details are available for the card, but David was able to capture a few pictures and the couple of speed tests he ran seem halfway decent.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

109 comments

Why oh why? (4, Interesting)

crazyjeremy (857410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857193)

I understand why people want EVDO/EDGE connections. I even understand why USB is a convenient alternative to PCMCIA connections. What I don't understand is why Verizon, Sprint and Cingular try so hard to keep people from using EVDO/EDGE via Bluetooth DUN connections. If you have a Verizon E815 and a data plan, you can already use this as a modem from your bluetooth enabled PDA or computer. The other carriers have similar devices available. A note though: If you try this this method (using existing phone line) and you do not abuse it (no bittorent) you MIGHT not be caught.

My question is why do they try to force us to buy a second USB or PCMCIA adapter when many of our existing phones will let us connect to the net just fine? Are they greedy? For another another line, hardware purchase, 1 or 2 year contract and $60 - 80 a month fee, Verizon/Cingular/Sprint will sell you these other devices to allow EVDO / EDGE connetions. But why don't they let us use our existing connections that work perfectly well already? (Or at least they WOULD work if the carriers didn't cripple them)

Is it just greed?

Re:Why oh why? (4, Insightful)

ip_fired (730445) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857216)

Is it just greed?
Yes.
It is just greed. I mean, does a 10 byte text message actually cost 10 cents? If that were the case, then it should be costing me $30.00 per minute to talk to people. It's just plain old greed.

Re:Why oh why? (2, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857333)

It's plain old "people will pay for it" nothing more. If people would stop sending SMSs at .10/min and would stop paying astronomical rates for SMS plans then they would drop the prices.

Unfortunately, too many people are obsessed with sending MMS and SMS and have no qualms about paying big bucks to do it.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

version2 (569804) | more than 7 years ago | (#15860035)

Exactly. I think "The Boondocks" correctly profiled SMS technology as it stands right now. People just need to stop using it. It takes longer to type in a message than it does to just dial your phone and tell the person what you wanted to say. I hear folks say: "It's convenient....especially when it isn't something really important." I say, if it's not important then maybe you don't need to say it at all. But, I digress...it's trendy...it's cool...so it common sense will not rule.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15860780)

Exactly. I think "The Boondocks" correctly profiled SMS technology as it stands right now. People just need to stop using it.

You know, while sometimes cartoons are informative and insightful, this is not one of those times, and an adult is expected to know the difference.

It takes longer to type in a message than it does to just dial your phone and tell the person what you wanted to say.

Sometimes, they wouldn't be able to hear you talk, or vice versa. For example, text messages work when I'm in front of the speaker at a concert. Vox messages do not. This is not a complicated concept, but a lot of other slashbots have failed to grasp it, so do not despair.

I hear folks say: "It's convenient....especially when it isn't something really important." I say, if it's not important then maybe you don't need to say it at all. But, I digress...it's trendy...it's cool...so it common sense will not rule.

If my ass itches, it's not important that I scratch it, it's only a minor annoyance. Nonetheless, I shall scratch it, because I would prefer not to be uncomfortable. Who are you to tell me - or them - otherwise?

Text messages are wonderful because one expects a delayed response. Just as IM is a useful and worthy step between chat and email, so SMS is a useful and worthy step between a voice conversation and sending a voicemail. Actually, they are far more useful than a voicemail, in that they are delivered to the device instead of stored on a remote server. I have also been known to use SMS for work purposes, especially on business trips involving a lot of people who could be in a variety of locations.

Finally, text messages work where voice conversations do not. You only need be connected for a fraction of a second to receive an SMS. I can receive and send SMS to/from home; my connection seems to come and go. I absolutely can not make a phone call - at least, not with any useful dialogue - and only once have I managed to check voicemail.

You are both ignorant and arrogant and can stick your opinion of text messaging up your ass if you can find room next to the ivory tower.

Re:Why oh why? (2, Insightful)

blank axolotl (917736) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857492)

I don't actually know how it works, but it's not necessarily so simple. There could be an initial cost of simply making the connection,
and then after that the low cost of maintaining the connection. Eg 8 cents to make connection, and then some very small cents/byte after that. Maybe that's why they charge per minute on the minute (at least mine does), so there is a minimum one minute cost.

That said, I still think you're right about greed being involved, the prices don't feel right.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857743)

"It's just plain old greed."

Well... that and people pay for it. Greed or not, it'd be silly of them to charge the fraction of a cent for the data usage when people are already happy to pay $.10 for the privilege. Besides, as I understand it, SMS doesn't go through the internet. (or at least not the same way data usage does. SMS existed long before wireless internet.)

Re:Why oh why? (4, Interesting)

awol (98751) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857813)

Don't even start me on this. SMS actually costs _nothing_ for the carriers. It is all sent via the 146 byte "header" (and I am sure some SMS expert out there will correct the details) that the handset uses to connect to the base station. If the header does not have a message then the bytes are blank. Thank they charge at all is vergin on criminal. ITs like chargin for the air that you breath in a private open space. Just criminal.

Re:Why oh why? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858073)

Getting it to and from the base station may be free, but they still have to route it over the network. If it terminates on a landline then (in the UK, at least), there is a normal phone call for the last hop, and the message is read out using speech synthesis.

The cost is non-zero, but it is much less than 10 for 160 bytes. This works out at 64/KB or $655.36/MB. If data really cost the carriers this much then there is no way they could operate. I get 40MB of data included with my plan, and this means I can connect to an XMPP server, handshake, sync my contacts, and message for about half an hour for about the cost of a single SMS.

Re:Why oh why? (2, Insightful)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858257)

It is just greed. I mean, does a 10 byte text message actually cost 10 cents? If that were the case, then it should be costing me $30.00 per minute to talk to people. It's just plain old greed.

That's a bit naive. A large telco has a lot of costs that aren't directly related to sending a single SMS message, that still need to be covered by things like SMS messages. Plus it's perfectly normal for them to want to make a profit on top of it all.

Re:Why oh why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15857243)

The reason why they do that is so they can charge someone $.001 per Kilobyte, or $80 per month for unlimited.

They will most likely up the unlimited price as well as the price per kilobyte.

Re:Why oh why? (4, Interesting)

f9dc (993613) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857250)

There are several reasons. They're not necessarily nice, but these are indeed the facts. 1) Financial reporting. They want you to have an additional line because some of their performance metrics are based on the number of active subscriber lines, rather than the actual number of subscribers. While this isn't as big of a deal with individuals, consider enterprise customers (Microsoft, IBM, etc) who may have 10,000 or more lines. Cumulatively, those make a huge difference in reporting quarterly net subscriber gains, and sometimes even 10k or so is enough to beat the next carrier. 2) Because they can. Seriously, what are you going to do about? Not use wireless? Good luck with that. Although they often allow you to add unlimited data via DUN to your voice plan, they know that they can squeeze out an extra $10/mo per customer if they make it easier for you to just get an additional line. While this sounds unfair and anti-consumer, consider that Verizon Wireless has made this type of behaviour their standard method of operation for years, and they've been wildly successful at it. Consumers enjoy getting screwed and will pay out the nose for it, time and time and time again. 3) Carriers feel that if you have one device for data and another for voice, you'll be more inclined to use the data device more often. It's a psychological thing. I haven't seen the studies first-hand, but having worked for three of the four major national carriers, I can assure you that this is the way they think. #1 is pretty much the main reason. And on #2, Sprint actually has a very reasonable (compared to Cingular and Verizon) offer: $40 to add unlimited DUN to your voice plan, covering both 1xRTT (slower, 144k) and EVDO. Sprint also has no problem with you attaching your device as a DUN modem, as long as you pay for it. I use my a900 via Bluetooth with my MacBook Pro all the time. One caveat to doing this is that you tend to miss incoming voice calls. I know the carriers all say this doesn't happen, but trust me -- it does. All the time.

Re:Why oh why? (2, Informative)

crazyjeremy (857410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857283)

There are several reasons. ... Seriously, what are you going to do about? Not use wireless?
Well, there are choices. All carriers bite you in one way or another, but one alternative option is EDGE through T-Mobile for $30/mo added on to your existing line. I think the V360 works fine for this purpose and allows Bluetooth DUN with no problems. I've used the V330 in the past with GPRS, but it's just to slow.

I think UMTS via Cingular or Tmobile would be the only service speedy enough to compare to EVDO from Sprint or Verizon, but I'm not sure if that's even available... even if it is, I don't if any UMTS phones can/will allow Bluetooth DUN.

Re:Why oh why? (2, Informative)

mr_zorg (259994) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857703)

I use my a900 via Bluetooth with my MacBook Pro all the time.

As do I, though you have to unlock it first, it's not hard to do. One thing I did notice is that if you're in a good signal area, you get about twice the speed if you use a USB data cable instead of bluetooth. It seems (sadly) the A900 is a bluetooth 1.x device, and that just doesn't have the same bandwidth. With bluetooth the best I can do is about 400Kbps, but with the USB data cable I can get over 800Kbps. Pretty rockin'...

Re:Why oh why? (1)

tompatman (936656) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858547)

What am I going to do about it? The Razr is capable of running as a EVDO modem. All that's required is a couple of configuration changes using a SEEM editor. In the end disabling these options will hurt verizon and other carriers that do this, there will always be another carrier that leaves these options on, they'll do it tostay competitive.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

rdfager (72392) | more than 7 years ago | (#15859303)

The piece that many of you are missing on thier pricing scheme are the recurring costs associated with these data services. In order to support EVDO the carrier needs to add additional T1s to each cell site (usually two T1s per cell). When you multiply this by the number of cell sites a carrier has, the cost is quite high. Also, this system is completely different than the existing voice, and for the most part data, systems that are already in their offices. So, they have had to upgrade their network infrastructure and send a huge number of their employees to training.

I'm not saying that the current pricing accurately reflects the true cost to the carriers for these services. I'm sure that in the future we will see these cost continue to fall, we have already seen Verizon go from $80 to $60. What I am saying is that many of you do not realize what it costs a provider to keep a network like this going.

Seems kinda silly!! (1)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857253)

I have been using Verizon's EVDO service by putting a pcmcia card into a pci-pcmcia adapter in my server, and enabling dhcp to share the connection out to other machines. I guess USB would be convenient for somebody, but most portable devices have a pcmcia slot... postowned ftw?

Re:Why oh why? (2, Insightful)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857285)

Sprint offers a data plan for tethering or bluetoothing your phone as a modem; it's called the Sprint Phone as Modem Plan [sprintpcs.com] and it's an additional $40 on top of your usual fees.

Re:Why oh why? (2, Insightful)

crazyjeremy (857410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857300)

$40 in addition to any vision / internet fees?

No I don't think it's quite that bad. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857529)

No, at least not based on my reading of their offer; what I think they're saying is that it's $40/mo. on top of your regular voice plan, and for that you get unlimited data usage when you have the phone tethered to your computer as a modem.

Here's the relevant portion from the link:
Your Sprint Power VisionSM phone can be a high-speed Internet connection for your laptop computer anywhere on the Sprint wireless high-speed multimedia network. Connect your Power Vision phone using a USB cable or the built-in connection on Bluetooth-enabled phones.

Promotional Offer Unlimited $39.99 per month requires a Sprint PCS Voice Plan and a 2-year subscription agreement on the same device. No additional discounts apply.
I don't think that they mean $40 to tether it, on top of data charges; they mean it's $40 for data on top of your voice plan, and you can use the data plan by tethering your device to your computer via Bluetooth or USB.

Re:No I don't think it's quite that bad. (1)

RasputinAXP (12807) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858087)

Correct, though I don't think you get any Vision or Power Vision services, just the unlimited data-via-cable/bluetooth.

That Power Vision TV stuff is great for when you're working on a relative's computer and you're bored out of your skull.

Re:Why oh why? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15857511)

it's called the Sprint Phone as Modem Plan

Hey! That spells SPAM Plan!

Re:Why oh why? (2, Informative)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857292)

According two verizon, two of their phones do support bluetooth DUN

Re:Why oh why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15858016)

For the E815, and several other Verizonized (aka chintzified) Motorola phones, try dialing ##DIALUP on your phone. Seriously. They want you to pay more for them to do that.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

spongebill (941756) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857364)

they all lied. easy hacks enabled BT use as modem. infact a lot of phones had it turned on by default. and the E815 can do it.there isn't a single carrier out there DOESN'T want users to use phone as modem, they just want people to pay for it. they couldn't control it very well but, they are easily doing so now. they still allow you to connected to a slower network 128kbps which is double dialup actual speeds are 80kbps light usage and you will not get billed.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

doormat (63648) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857371)

Our company has Verizon for cell phones and wireless data.

We spent four months fighting with them to enable bluetooth DUN on four of our cellphones (out of the 100s we have). We had some special equipment (survey-grade GPS equipment) that needed a bluetooth DUN connection to receive real time correction data from the internet. Suffice to say it was pulling teeth to get our Verizon rep to understand our situation and why we needed DUN on our cell phones. We didnt spend $100,000 on this equipment to get fucked over by Verizon of all people. I still worry that they'll come back one day and turn it off for no particular reason other than to be jerks.

Re:Why oh why? (2, Interesting)

crazyjeremy (857410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857417)

The unFUNNY part of it is, most Verizon reps do not know the phones even have these features. When you finally do talk to someone who is in the know, they don't have the power to "allow" you to use that device for that purpose. "I'm sorry, we can't add that feature on that device." We battled for months with Verizon and lost. We didn't quite have hundreds of lines, so Verizon didn't budge. In the end Verizon lost out. I could have switched $200,000 a year to them, but they wouldn't budge at all. The closest we got was tethering a blackberry via bluetooth. But not everyone wanted to use a laptop. Some wanted to use a pocket pc or palm device which didn't have USB. So we just left Verizon for carriers that would not be so rigid.

I use EDGE via Bluetooth DUN.. (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857408)

On Cingular.

I have to agree that it's just greed.

But anyway, Bluetooth (1.1) isn't fast enough for EVDO, it's barely fast enough for EDGE.

Bluetooth 2.0 support should rectify that.

I buy my GSM phones unlocked so I can use data over Bluetooth. Verizon/Sprint customers don't generally have this option.

Re:I use EDGE via Bluetooth DUN.. (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857639)

But anyway, Bluetooth (1.1) isn't fast enough for EVDO, it's barely fast enough for EDGE.

Bluetooth is good for about 700 kbps. From the speed test shown in TFA (~500 kbps down, ~100 kbps up), it should be fast enough.

Bluetooth DUN also works with Linux. TFA says nothing about whether this USB wireless-data thingy works with Linux; the safest assumption would be that it doesn't.

I buy my GSM phones unlocked so I can use data over Bluetooth. Verizon/Sprint customers don't generally have this option.

Then again, Sprint doesn't cripple its phones to begin with. Bluetooth DUN has worked on my Treo 650 since the day I bought it.

bluetooth is not nearly 700kbps (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857863)

From my Mac to my phone, I'm lucky to get 35KBps. That's 250kbps.

Bluetooth has some concept of whether each slot should be allocated for upload or download, if you rig them all the right direction, you could in theory get 700kbps. But you won't ever see that.

I guess from your numbers it might be just fast enough, but it's pretty close. Many phones restrict the data rates between the Bluetooth modem and the cell radio to 115kbps or 230kbps (because they're using RS-232 in there!), which would bone you pretty bad. I think the Treo 650 is limited to 230kbps, with the 700 being a lot faster (in theory).

I have the first Bluetooth (integrated) for Sprint, the Sony-Ericsson T608. It's not crippled, but it's the buggiest phone I've ever used. I switched to Sprint to get it because Verizon was dragging their feet on Bluetooth and I didn't want to leave CDMA. I was right to leave Verizon (with their crippling policy), but I was wrong to go to Sprint. They may not cripple their phones, but their phone selection is truly awful. When I switched away to Cingular, I was using DUN on my T637 long before the Treo 650 even came out (even on GSM), and when I got mine, I was already a year behind those who did it on the T616.

I just can't be held captive to what a provider wants to offer anymore. I need a choice. It's too bad too, because GSM stinks.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

Zack (44) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857414)

FWIW, I'm on Sprint and sometimes connect my laptop via bluetooth to my Treo 650. It's enabled on the phone, and for me is as simple as pretending it's a modem and dialing #777. And poof. Online. Not the greatest connection, but beats nothing. And all that data transfer is included in the $10/mo I pay for data.

Granted, I don't use it that often. Quick connections when out somewhere odd to make a few small fixes.

I know lots of other phones have this ability as well, but don't enable it. Which strikes me a dumb.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

crazyjeremy (857410) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857427)

Well Zack, hop on over to sprintusers.com and look at the number of people that get several hundred dollars in overage fees for doing what you're doing. If they get wind of what you're doing, the fine print in your contract says you'll pay up. I know people that had a second line on sprint and used to just use it all day long downloading movies... one after another. Then WHAM, $400 in overage fees. Granted, if you use it seldomly for just email and stuff, they may not catch you. But it's still against their TOS.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

Zack (44) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857647)

The only TOS I ever signed was for unlimited data usage for $15 (not $10, sorry, just looked it up). There's no stipulation that the phone can't act as a DUN device in the agreement. Hell, this is a device that THEY provided with DUN built in (earlier realeases had DUN via bluetooth enables. Sprint enabled it on my phone). Hence they've given their approval to use it.

Never had a problem.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857528)

Sprint has phone-as-modem service options. I worked in Service & Repair when I was there so I don't know all the details, but as far as I know it is unlimited and they don't care if you bluetooth to your laptop and download torrents.

However I'm not a fan of Sprint, having worked there. The company is fundamentally broken internally. Some markets might be better (or worse) than the one I worked in, but I doubt it. And yes even as a phone repair tech. I had a surprising amount of access to upper mgmt and such - I am speaking from first hand knowledge, not as a disgruntled ex-employee.

It was becoming all about $$$ when I left. They did nothing but raise prices in the last 9 months and blamed their overworked retail staff for poor sales (to reiterate, this was in our district, but upper mgmt was in on it). And while it may be like big business everywhere, internal politics is horrid - everyone is resume building and looking for the BBD. What can you say about a company that grooms salesmen? Those slimey bastards are always just looking for a bigger paycheck. It's a year of my life I will never get back.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

prabha (538549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857534)

Bluetooth dialup can trasmit maximum of 115200bps which is just one 10 tenth of what EVDO is capable of!! .
EVDO maximum speed is 2.4mbps and on average it will give you 900 kbps.
Bluetooth in its present form cannot support this high speed datatrasfer.
USB can also be used to charge your mobile handset or data card, which is important for longer usage.
you try using Bluetooth in active for an hour and your battery is drained.

Re:Why oh why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15857667)

I currently use my bluetooth enabled Motorola v635 to connect my desktop. It's the only interent I have. Cingular has no problem with customers using thier phones for EDGE connections, not that I'm extoling the virtues of Cingular... There are problems with this method such as maintaining the connection between phone and PC (It's my cell, I travel with it...). These problems aren't convicing enough for me to purchase a $200 PCMCIA card but then I'm kinda nerdy and it's all good to me...
Greed, of course, is a factor. This is true of every corporation, greed is their mission.

Re:Why oh why? (1)

idcard_1 (953648) | more than 7 years ago | (#15859537)

Also with the E815 and just about every EVDO phone you can simply use a USB data cable... so... a USB EVDO connection isn't really news?!

Durable? (2, Insightful)

Superblargo (953025) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857221)

It doesn't look very durable. The antenna should probably be more attached to the modem. Also, I imagine that the USB connector would bend fairly easily. If I was using that setup, I would hook the thing up to a USB extension cable and attach that to the back of the device. It might not be all that attractive, but it's better than breaking it.

Re:Durable? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857450)

The same thought occurred to me, as did another.

Is it such a big deal that this is USB?
Don't they make PCMCIA --> USB adapters?

Hmm.. The only ones I saw in a quick Google search were large and expensive. I think they might be based off this company's chipset. [arstech.com]

Re:Durable? (1)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857577)

There's another EVDO usb modem around [maxon.com.au] - I wonder if they share the same asian chipset.

I've used a minimax with Telstra in .au , and it has a double usb lead (a y-lead) that you can use to boost power output if you need it. Pity all the areas I went with it were just 1x and not EVDO. Bastards.

It worked ok, but the 'skinnable' software interface was dog-slow. 20 seconds at startup loading pixmaps and graphic widgets before you could even press a button on it. It was crap.

seems a bit useless (1, Redundant)

notoriousE (723905) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857233)

I have been using Verizon's EVDO service by putting a pcmcia card into a pci-pcmcia adapter in my server, and enabling dhcp to share the connection out to other machines. I guess USB would be convenient for somebody, but most portable devices have a pcmcia slot...

Re:seems a bit useless (3, Informative)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857305)

'enabling dhcp to share the connection'? When did dhcpd start routing?

In other news - many new laptops do not, in fact, include the archaic PCMCIA/PCCARD interface; the new one is "Express-Card", and it's not compatible, backwards or forwards or sideways. Nobody, noway, nohow. But they have USB connections GALORE.

nice blogvertisement (0, Flamebait)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857246)

From the article:

"The Sprint Power Vision Network now covers 153 million people and services customers in 220 major metropolitan areas as well as 470 airports across the nation, the most of any carrier. "

What's that giant sucking noise? Ah yes, the blogger kissing the ass of Sprint in exchange for getting the "priviledge" of a "first look."

Re:nice blogvertisement (1)

saboola (655522) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858137)

No doubt the person that modded this guy flamebait cried a week when they booted the Sprint guy.

First Post! And from EVDO! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15857249)

...oh, no, beaten to it. Damn you EVDO and your lack of speed.

Re:First Post! And from EVDO! (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858555)

At least you GET the "broadband" wireless. Everytime Cingular arrives at their 3G rollout date, they push it back 2 more months and release yet another colored case for the "old" Razr so that people don't notice.

Sierra PCMCIA (4, Interesting)

spacemky (236551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857256)

I have one of the Sierra Wireless EVDO PCMCIA cards from Sprint. What is interesting about this card is that the PCMCIA card actually has a USB interface internally, which has the EVDO modem attached via USB. It's nice to see that they finally released a full-blown USB version. I wonder how the power consumption compares to this version vs. the PCMCIA EVDO cards.

I have the PCMCIA version but... (4, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857267)

...my laptop sees it as two USB serial devices anyway. My guess is that this device is the same as mine but has less hardware. (I use mine under Linux and the machine sees the device as /dev/ttyUSB0 and /dev/ttyUSB1) One of the first questions I asked myself was "why didn't they just make it a USB device?"

Another responder rightly notes that many phones with a data plan already have the ability to do "internet" for computers via a bluetooth link. Mine does that too. So why do I have a sprint card? My job got it. :) It's good though ... fairly fast though I rarely use it.

Re:I have the PCMCIA version but... (1)

Myself (57572) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857540)

Those two interfaces are explained by Phil Karn [ka9q.net].

There's a freakish USB module [psism.com] that takes some of those CardBus cards and makes them into USB devices. I think it's simply exposing that same internal USB interface, and if you look at the supported cards list, it bears that out.

So if this device has been out for a while, why is the monolithic USB version news?

You can already do this with an EVDO-enabled phone (4, Informative)

Yossarian45793 (617611) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857284)

I have a RAZR V3c, and Verizon's EVDO service, and I've have been plugging my notebook into my phone using a USB cable for months. The download speed are up to 2 Mbit/s and that's not exaggerating (you do need a strong signal, though).

Great, they support both operating systems (3, Informative)

Trelane (16124) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857310)

Windows and Mac.

Any word on Linux?

Re:Great, they support both operating systems (1)

notoriousE (723905) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857349)

Within a month of the Sierra PC5220 aircard being released, a driver was hacked together for it. I am sure there will be some hacked together driver pretty quick after release, but i'm sure the manufacturer will not support Linux, even thought it probably still has a higher desktop use percentage than osX

Re:Great, they support both operating systems (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857465)

I'm sure the manufacturer will not support Linux, even thought it probably still has a higher desktop use percentage than OS X.

Can I have some of what you're smoking?

Re:Great, they support both operating systems (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857525)

Actually, it's true. Both are somewhere around 2%. The thing Americans often forget is that while Macs are fairly common in the US, they're almost absent in the rest of the world, while Linux has had very significant penetration, even on the desktop, in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Re:Great, they support both operating systems (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857720)

The thing Americans often forget is that while Macs are fairly common in the US, they're almost absent in the rest of the world, while Linux has had very significant penetration, even on the desktop, in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

I live in Southeast Asia. There are two Mac stores within a 5 minutes' walk of my home. When I walk by Starbucks I typically see 2 or 3 Macs and 5 or 6 Wintel notebooks (running Windows; I am an incurable desktop-peeper). I went to a party on Friday, 3 people brought notebooks to DJ with, and two of those were Apple iBooks.

Conversely, the only time I have ever seen anyone but myself using Linux on the desktop is at the Linux users group meetings, and even there a good share of the computers were actually running Windows. The only person outside the LUG I know who runs it on the desktop is a foreigner (from the UK) who uses it to demonstrate high-end software that runs on Unix and Unix-alikes.

Re:Great, they support both operating systems (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858084)

I live in the UK, and about 20% of the people I know use Macs as their primary machine[1]. A few have a Linux machine for some purpose (usually a testing machine or a server), although most of those use FreeBSD or OpenBSD if they want to actually get any work done.

When I walk around, I see a large number of Windows users, and a few Macs. I have never seen a Linux laptop anywhere other than a Linux convention.

[1] Yes, I am well aware that people I know are not even remotely representative of the general population.

Re:Great, they support both operating systems (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858177)

I tend to agree. I know of only two people who actually own a modern Mac. (My 1980's vintage SE-30 doesn't count.) I know several people who use Linux on a regular or exclusive basis. I know I'm not representaive of the world as a whole, but I'd wager good money that *nix is far more popular than Macintosh in the world as a whole.

<troll mode>

It is way cooler, too!

</troll mode>

Re:Great, they support both operating systems (3, Informative)

pamdirac (184338) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857422)

I'm not sure about this device. I just bought the Sprint 5740 card (PCMCIA) which is apparently sold by Verizon as well. Linux is not supported, but it is actually easier than Windows to setup. Some people claim you have to activate the card under Windows. I bought mine pre-activated, but I set it up in Windows anyway (had to borrow a laptop) to find out my user name to use in wvdial. I'm guessing if I knew that, Windows would not have been a requirement.

I used this post http://kenkinder.com/evdo-pc5740/ [kenkinder.com] to configure. wvdial wound up working better than pppd for me (Dell Inspiron 9300/FC5). In any event, the cool thing is that under Linux there was nothing to install. My card was autodetected as a usbserial device, and I simply configured wvdial to use it as a modem. Who knew we would be going back to dialup and gladly at that?. I did have to apply a kernel patch to get a performance boost though.

I guess this doesn't directly answer the question, but it may give you an idea of what to expect and what to look for. The short answer is that these devices seem (mostly) to just work under Linux, but under Windows you have to install specialized software and drivers to use the cards which actually was a PITA.

Re:Great, they support both operating systems (1)

treak007 (985345) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857831)

I am sure that if the hardware vendors aren't going to cooperate, there will eventually be third-party linux drivers created by someone who really needs it on Linux.

Re:Great, they support both operating systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15858437)

Just write your own drivers. Isn't that supposed to be the great thing about linux?

Great but.... (3, Insightful)

Cherita Chen (936355) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857316)

This is great but they (Sprint/Nextel) still have a long way to go before this technology is relevant to the majority of sprint users. Sprint's EVDO network is awesome when you have connectivity, that being said, for the majority of the United States, service is spotty at best.

Would be good for a MacBook (3, Insightful)

doormat (63648) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857318)

Since the MacBooks dont have PCMCIA (the Pros have ExpressCard, the regulars have nothing).

USB EVDO Modem Without PCMCIA (1)

BITSMT (993618) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857329)

Verizon should seriously consider expanding its network to cover 100% of the US. With today's technology, this is very duable. If they create a global multi gigabit network, they can easily create a fault tolerant telephony and data network that would rival any ISP currently in existance. It is not difficult to create a hardware solution that will route LAN packets to the Internet via the Verizon network. With VoIP quality getting better, faster and cheaper, unlimited phone service anywhere-anytime is sure to come. In Montana, a local Cellular company was offering unlimited calling for $29 a month. This is now $49 a month but is a fraction of other cell company prices. Ahh... I smell the future of elecromagnetic radiation in the air.

Re:USB EVDO Modem Without PCMCIA (1)

nbannerman (974715) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857404)

With VoIP quality getting better, faster and cheaper, unlimited phone service anywhere-anytime is sure to come.

Not if Verizon or any other mobile carrier has anything to do with it! As has been discussed before, VoIP is a pretty scary idea for mobile companies. If everyone starts using VoIP instead of making phone calls (which essentially subsidise the rest of their data plans) then I'll wager good money that data charges will go through the roof.

Voice is just another application (1)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857428)

It's coming. Everyone knows it. Sprint knows it, Verizon knows it, hell, tmobile knows it. Your handset is going to be one end of a broadband pipe sooner than you imagine. Nobody is afraid of VOIP - it's coming, and they know it. They're not afraid of VOIP, they're afraid of *screwing up* VOIP. In the end, packet switched networks are less expensive to operate than circuit switched networks.

Voice is just another application.

Re:Voice is just another application (1)

nbannerman (974715) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857446)

I should probably state that I'm in the UK, before we carry on further down this road; we've already got a 3G rollout that appears, so far, to work pretty damn well.

But I maintain my original points. You and I quite rightly agree that broadband will soon be available at a handset level. Portable, always on (dependant on coverage?) broadband. And if I've got broadband with me, I don't need a 'phone' anymore. I just need a portable device with a suitable chip in it; a covergence device (PDA+antenna+sim?).

I don't think any of the mobile carriers will screw up VoIP, but I still think we'll pay for it somewhere along the line. Skype might be free, but when you get stuffed for data charges it'll all add up I'm sure.

Re:Voice is just another application (1)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857887)

Disclaimer - I work for one of the many wireless carriers on the 3g data network... I have no privileged knowledge about how the future will be billed, but I'm wagering it's going to be a flat rate, scaled by allocated throughput (bits * seconds). I think in the end its cost structure will be similar (in overall cost) to what we pay now. I think for some time there will be a deceptive 'unbundling'; ie, you'll pay a bandwidth cost and a service cost. But I can see a time when the wireless companies will provide a wireless pipe and value-added services, with a Bring-Your-Own-Handset solution.

Re:Voice is just another application (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858214)

I also live in the UK, and have a 3G handset with data plan. While I get good bandwidth, the latency is still nowhere near as good as it should be for VoIP. With GPRS I got 2 second ping times on average. With 3G they are a bit better, but not much. The reason for this is that data traffic uses a much lower priority in the system.

Even if carriers allowed VoIP, they could still make more money by allowing you to choose the priority of each packet you send, and charge you more for the higher priorities. If you want to download something from the web, then you stick it in the lowers priority band and get 5 second RTTs, but don't pay much. If you want to make a VoIP call then you stick it in the highest priority band, get guaranteed 100ms RTTs, but pay more per byte.

About Verizon (1)

Electrawn (321224) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857449)

Verizon's "network" is a congolmerate of roaming agreements between Verizon, Sprint, Alltel...a breakdown of the PRL is at http://www.mountainwireless.com/prl/50558.htm [mountainwireless.com] .

"If they create a global multi gigabit network, they can easily create a fault tolerant telephony and data network that would rival any ISP currently in existance. " I have heard that phrase before....from fiber company Level 3.

Any "push-to-talk" service not by Nextel is VOIP over cellular data. Nothing new there.

Re:About Verizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15857559)

Funny you should say "Nothing new there", that's how I felt about your entire post.

verizon is urban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15858011)

in rural areas you get Alltel. Between the 2, you've got seamless coverage.

I've got a Moto V60 metal shell with a data cable, it works just fine dialing in when the motel doesn't have wireless. I have CDMA Tracfone, it is honkin great and cheap.

Wireless Data Pricing (4, Interesting)

iPaqMan (230487) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857338)

There are at least 150 Million wireless subscribers in the united states. Lets say that the top 4 wireless companies spend 20 billion on capital investment per year (they don't). The average revenue per user in the US is $50 (conservatively). The wireless carriers capital expenses are paid in the first 3 months. They have to cover their other expenses the next quarter. Where does the money go?

Why are data/voice rates so high?

Why doesn't the FTC go after these bozo's for collusion? They are obviously avoiding real competition because they are afraid of what happened to the long distance industry.

If I can pay $20 for local telephone service, something that requires burying miles of cabling, why are wireless prices so high???

Sorry for the incoherent babbling but I just paid my wireless bill. Just slightly frustrated. :)

Re:Wireless Data Pricing (1)

daemonenwind (178848) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857355)

"If I can pay $20 for local telephone service, something that requires burying miles of cabling, why are wireless prices so high???"

Because it's all the same satellite-and-landline based backbone.

Let me put it this way...what do you think happens to your call after the tower gets it? How do you think landline customers get your call?

Think, McFly.

Re:Wireless Data Pricing (1)

iPaqMan (230487) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857375)

I think the data goes on one wire back to the central office. This is an efficiency over wireline because you don't have to run a wire to everyone in the wire center. How do you not see the efficiency in that??

Let's look at it this way. Consider a 10 sq mile area with 10,000 customers, in the wireline world this requires building a wired connection to all 10,000 customers from the central office. A very expensive proposition. Now think of the wireless world, you have 10 towers that have 10 connections to the central office serving the same 10000 customers.

Again, I pay $20 monthly to have my wireline phone and pay $60 to have the wireless phone. Yet the wireless network is much more efficient.

You think.

We need to demand lower prices!

Well the FCC won't let me be or let me be me (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857394)

Consider a 10 sq mile area with 10,000 customers, in the wireline world this requires building a wired connection to all 10,000 customers from the central office. A very expensive proposition. Now think of the wireless world, you have 10 towers that have 10 connections to the central office serving the same 10000 customers.

But then each of the 10,000 customers has her own dedicated waveguide over which signals can be sent on unregulated baseband. A cell tower's hardware has only one waveguide -- the air -- and has to split out 1,000 simultaneous signals if all phones are turned on. All this last km technology is patented, unlike decades-old Bell technology. Worse yet, wireless needs higher frequencies than baseband, and higher frequencies are regulated by the FCC and foreign counterparts to promote national defense and emergency response.

Re:Well the FCC won't let me be or let me be me (1)

iPaqMan (230487) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857424)

Ok I agree, mostly. The part I don't agree upon is that these IP payments (for the patents) cost more than maintaining a wireline network. The rest I do agree on but, it makes my point. I think you would agree that the ablity to have all 10,000 customers make a call is a benefit. Right?

Now yet again, I pay less montly for a superior quality and capitally less efficient wireline network. Now, why does the inferior quality and capitally efficient wireless network cost more per month?

Re:Well the FCC won't let me be or let me be me (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858391)

The part I don't agree upon is that these IP payments (for the patents)

IP? [gnu.org] What does Internet Protocol have to do with patents?

cost more than maintaining a wireline network.

Did you take into account the FCC spectrum lease payments? I was talking about those more than the patent royalties.

Re:Wireless Data Pricing (1)

Smitty825 (114634) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857436)

It's much more expensive to run a wireless setup. The phone company hasn't changed the way that they do business much in the last 30 years, as far as I know. Everything there is circuit switched, and once they laid down the telephone lines to your house, their new expenses stop.

First, wireless companies had to switch their wireless technology from AMPS (analog) in the late 80s/early 90s to some sort of digital-based system (TDMA/GSM/CDMA) in the mid to late 90s. Now, everybody is transitioning again to some sort of "3G" (CDMA-EVDO/WCDMA) system. (Speaking about the USA in particular, it's a fairly spread out country with a population that isn't very dense, which means that they carriers have to buy more antennas to cover large areas)

Secondly, everytime you goto your favorite wireless carrier (at least in the USA), you get a free/heavily discounted phone. The carriers make up the cost of the phone over the long run by charging you a higher rate for your wireless bill. (Granted, as a phone connaisseur who pays full price for my phone, I've never had a carrier offer me a discount for providing my own phone...)

Thirdly, the "wires" that they pay for are really, really expensive. When the FCC auctioned off the 1900MHz spectrum in 1994-1997(?), they raised _trillions_ of dollars from the wireless carriers. (Especially the 'newer' ones such as Sprint, who had to buy a nations worth of spectrum) Those debts are still being paid off, and hence the higher rates you pay.

Don't get me wrong. I too think that the wireless companies are behaving like dinosaurs. If they offered cheaper data, I'd love to pay to occasionally hook my powerbook up to the internet. No carrier really has a good plan to support the occasional web surfer. The text-messaging plans are a joke. Why should one have to pay for an incoming text message...regardless if you wanted it or not? (Don't get me started ;-) )

Re:Wireless Data Pricing (1)

iPaqMan (230487) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857473)

You are wrong on many levels... It's getting late so I will just reply in bullets.

Copper cable has a life of 10 to 15 years, that means it has to be replaced. Fiber last longer but also has to be replaced. Even if it lasted forever, this does not account for cuts made by other parties, forced move of cable (for roadwork), storms, etc.

The wireline companies have gone through simialar changes. The moved from mechanical switching, to electronic switching, to packet switching at the central office and have made many changes to their cabling, such as shortening loops for DSL, line conditioning, replacing copper with fiber, etc.

Trillions? Seriously you need to get a better grasp on how much money that is. Anyhow, the FCC keeps track of how much is spent for wireless spectrum in the US, here:

http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/default.htm?job=a uctions_all [fcc.gov]

This is tens of billions at best. Keep in mind this list has other services other than wireless telephone in them.

Your last point is dead on. Lets hope that public spectrum wireless like WiMax will be the meteor that destroys these dinosaurs.

Re:Wireless Data Pricing (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857630)

Minor point -- I used to have a prepaid plan, with a really crappy phone, and when I received a text message, it would show me the sender, and give me the option to delete the message without reading it -- and not pay any fee to receive the message.

Because you're willing to pay (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857869)

That's it. No other reason is necessary. Don't you know how a market works? Why are you complaining? It's not as if having seen how high your bill is you're switching to another company. Do that and you'll see the prices come down.

 

Re:Wireless Data Pricing (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#15858023)

Just as another data point, in the UK I pay £11/month for landline rental and £11.50/month for my mobile, which includes 100 minutes, 20 text messages and 1mb data.

What I'm waiting for (2, Funny)

arodland (127775) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857455)

Is the USB EVDO card with PCMCIA.

Submitters: learn to write in decent English.
Editors: Edit, dammit. Or reject the crap. Or resign. Or at least change the job title to something less misleading.

Re:What I'm waiting for (2, Informative)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857782)

As strange as it sounded to me, there apparently was already a PCMCIA version [slashdot.org] running the USB EVDO [slashdot.org] interface. So the title is very factual and correct.

Complainers: do your fact checking.

Already possible with the PPC-6700 (1)

Mean_Nishka (543399) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857463)

Hi all, Although it gets lousy battery life and is a bit sluggish compared to a blackberry, the Sprint PPC-6700 [sprint.com] allows you do the very same thing without having to open a $60 data only account with Sprint. Even better, they allow the phone to not only work in a tethered USB mode, they also support bluetooth if you happen to be on a Mac. Speed is pretty decent, tethered to USB I get about a half a megabit. I get less bandwidth with bluetooth, but it's certainly much zippier than a 56k dialup.

MAXON USB EVDO modem (1)

kingchicken (993648) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857855)

EVDO USB modems are hardly new like the minimax from MAXON (http://www.maxon.com.au/) I have been using one of these in Australia for some time now.

Please use fewer words! (1)

OldManAndTheC++ (723450) | more than 7 years ago | (#15857940)

Out of the five words in the title of that article, four are acronyms, and the remaining word can be replaced with a common abbreviation:

USB EVDO MODEM W/O PCMCIA

Much better. As to what it means, I have no idea. But there is absolutely no fucking wasted space in that title! And that is something to be proud of.

ETHERNET (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 7 years ago | (#15859182)

USB? USB, really? Why bother. Anything that has USB has ethernet. With ethernet, you cover a very large array of devices and you dont need special drivers or special support for specific OS's. I am still baffled as to why no one makes a wireless 'client' side device that just has an ethernet port. I can see PCMCIA for laptop folk, due to it being compact and no extra wires. But for anything that hasnt got PCMCIA, I don't see the point of bothering with USB rather than just going with ethernet. Are there really laptops out there that have USB but not an ethernet port? Is there some advantage of using USB over ethernet?

Re:ETHERNET (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#15859217)

All these EVDO modems use Qualcomm cell phone chipsets, which have a USB device port built-in. The CardBus versions add a PCI-USB bridge. Putting an Ethernet port on that chipset would require adding an SOC that has USB host and Ethernet ports and a bunch of software like a PPP stack, probably IP routing, etc.

Re:ETHERNET (1)

rdfager (72392) | more than 7 years ago | (#15859429)

Actually, when Qualcomm was first developing EVDO they had a unit that had ethernet, a DHCP server, and a router with NAT. It was nicknamed "Hornet" This was a very cool device but was very expensive. I'm sure the cost is the primary reason we don't see more devices that do this.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...