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USB EVDO Modem Without PCMCIA 109

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the implant-it-already dept.
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.
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USB EVDO Modem Without PCMCIA

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  • Why oh why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by crazyjeremy (857410) * on Sunday August 06, 2006 @10:36PM (#15857193) Homepage Journal
    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? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ip_fired (730445) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @10:42PM (#15857216) Homepage
      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? (Score:3, Informative)

        by garcia (6573)
        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.
        • Ignore this. Made a mistake in moderation, replying to undo mods.
        • 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.
          • 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 fro

            • I might of said "I love text messaging" but your version will do. Well put.
            • 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.

              Come on. It was an opinion. Of course there is room next to the tower. Build as high as you want. I have always found cellphones a dangerous nuisance anyway because of safety concerns. I have seen too many wrecks and accidents caused because some dumbass was talking on their cellphone while driving. A lot of these were kids that were hurt, because my ex-wife is a pediat
              • now I look at people driving down the road typing messages and cussing because the predictive text doesn't bring up what they want. At least before people were actually looking at the road. *shrugs*

                People were ignoring the road in favor of other things before cellphones.

                Just as people were killed before guns.

                Whatever...hoorah for technology. I shouldn't let concerns like this get in the way of progress.

                Specious arguments cannot be made less specious by verbiage like this.

      • Re:Why oh why? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by blank axolotl (917736)
        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.
      • "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? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by awol (98751) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:32AM (#15857813) Journal
        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? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          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

        • While I agree that the charges are frequently outrageous, there is routing and storage while in transit. Sending and receiving using the existing data packets is just one part.

          That said I get unlimited SMS for a reasonable fee.
      • Re:Why oh why? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Scarblac (122480)

        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? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by f9dc (993613) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @10:53PM (#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? (Score:3, Informative)

        by crazyjeremy (857410) *

        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 S

      • Exactly. You need two devices, because you can only use one device for one thing at one time.
      • Re:Why oh why? (Score:3, Informative)

        by mr_zorg (259994)

        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'...

      • 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.
      • 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 in
    • Re:Why oh why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RasputinAXP (12807)
      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? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by crazyjeremy (857410) *
        $40 in addition to any vision / internet fees?
        • 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 con

      • by Anonymous Coward
        it's called the Sprint Phone as Modem Plan

        Hey! That spells SPAM Plan!
    • Re:Why oh why? (Score:2, Informative)

      by andymadigan (792996)
      According two verizon, two of their phones do support bluetooth DUN
    • 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 fucke
      • Re:Why oh why? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by crazyjeremy (857410) *
        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
        • It took me days to get my blackberry tether working (over USB at that) through Verizon. I has to install some questionable firmware, several pieces of software on my laptop, and use their propietary networking connector, no DUN. Additionaly, even when EVDO looks good with 512K+, it's been asyncronus, and am lucky to pull 56K+ upstream.
      • Verizon will lie and rip people off. I dealt with that scum.
    • 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.
      • 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.

        • 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
    • 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
      • 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
        • 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.
    • 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
    • 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? (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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
    • 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? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Superblargo (953025)
    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.
    • 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]
      • 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.
  • 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."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...oh, no, beaten to it. Damn you EVDO and your lack of speed.
    • 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 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spacemky (236551) * <nick AT aryfi DOT com> on Sunday August 06, 2006 @10:56PM (#15857256) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @11:00PM (#15857267) Homepage
    ...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.
    • 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?
  • by Yossarian45793 (617611) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @11:07PM (#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).
    • If you use an EVDO-enabled phone (such as the aforementioned RAZR), your data service is an add-on option to your voice contract which you can remove from your contract at any time.

      If you use a seperate data card (or this new USB dongle), you are required to get a contract just for data service.

      So this new USB adapter gives you less but makes more money for the provider.
  • by Trelane (16124) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @11:16PM (#15857310) Journal
    Windows and Mac.

    Any word on Linux?

    • 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-pc574 [kenkinder.com]
    • 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.
  • Great but.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cherita Chen (936355) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @11:17PM (#15857316) Homepage
    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.
  • by doormat (63648) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @11:18PM (#15857318) Homepage Journal
    Since the MacBooks dont have PCMCIA (the Pros have ExpressCard, the regulars have nothing).
  • 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
    • 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.
      • 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.
        • 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?).
          • 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 prov
          • 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.

    • 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.
  • by iPaqMan (230487) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @11:27PM (#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. :)

    • by TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) on Sunday August 06, 2006 @11:35PM (#15857353) Homepage
      Don't you know how hard it is to build invisible tubes in the air?
    • "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.
      • 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
        • 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 -

          • 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?
            • 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.

        • 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 t
          • 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
          • 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.
    • 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.

       
    • 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.
  • by arodland (127775) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:30AM (#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.
  • 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.
  • TJTMAIOH (Score:2, Funny)

    by dorianh49 (988940)
    USB EVDO w/out PCMCIA? TJTMAIOH That's Just Too Many Acronymns In One Headline.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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 rea
    • 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.
    • 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.

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