Well my Sprint Novatel USB Ovation U720 arrived yesterday and after three tries with Sprint was able to get the ESN from my old card swapped to this new one. Overall the performance is great but I was surprised to see that the you have to use a Dual USB Port Dongle with the unit. Thus running the device on your laptop requires the utilisation of two USB ports.
The antenna access for the device is under the flip-up antenna and I am already concerned about the longevity of the card as looking down into the antenna port hole I do not see a lot of supporting material in and around the connection. Only time will tell if the external port will hold up or not.
This card is Rev A. capable but seeing Hawaii does not get Rev A. till the first of the year I will not be able to report on speeds. In download speed test the unit is comparable in transfer speeds of the PCMCIA version of this card.
I think the folks at Novatel would have been smart of they would have provided a power port for the USB card so as to allowed those that were using it in a permanent location to not have to use two USB ports to run the device.
I paid full retail for this card as I had existing service so I am hoping that in the long run this card works out ok. Meanwhile I have a Sprint PC-5740 card for sale if anyone wants to purchase it.
Update: The Novatel U720 does work with the Kyocera KR-1, I was concerned about this, but my testing here validates the KR1 works with the U720!
If you have been listening to my Podcast you will know that I have had a dilemma, since the acquisition of the MacBook Pro I have been scratching my head on how I was going to have them both connected to the net when I was on travel or on the move. Yea I am one of those nuts that travel loaded to bear. Well I have been using Sprint EVDO service now for about 8 months and while it is faster than dial up but not as fast as ASDL I really did not like the idea of buying another card or having to pay for another broadband account that just does not make sense.
So instead what I have done is picked up a Kyocera KR1 Mobile Router this thing is awesome and testing it tonight setup took about 5 minutes the evdo card plugged in turned power on setup the wifi and I was in business. This allows me to share one EVDO card with 2 computers.
The box was a bit pricey but rumors are on the street that Sprint is going to be coming out with a USB EVDO card so that you can easily swap them if needed. But I like the setup I have better now.
With the upcoming Podcast Expo we are going to need connectivity in the booth and this will be the perfect configuration in that we will be able to use the the Mobile Router to stay connected and demonstrate things live. This will allow people to setup there accounts etc straight from the floor. [Kyocera]
Well I am glad Sprint has a 14 trial period, I am sad to say both of the locations I needed 3G service in only has 1G and I’m not paying $79.99 for that. One of the main Sprint Representatives swore to me that the areas I needed where covered. Well guess what he was wrong.
I drove all over trying to find a 3G signal, I actually had to drive 5 miles before I picked up the service. I can understand a mile or so but 5 miles from where they claimed the service was. Pisses me off that I spent a couple of hours getting the service setup. It’s better than dial up but not that much better.
We live in a digital world and these companies better hurry up and get their service rolled out to bigger areas I and many others need high speed 24/7 not just when we are at home.
Ok I have been playing with a Sprint EVDO card this evening that is activated and on a 14 day trial. The Sprint sales representatives did not have any Maps but a person I met a couple of weeks ago said the two areas I need coverage in are covered. It appears that the first location which is close to the Stadium is good to go. I am seeing transfer rates of 386K on some of the speed test.
But when go and do some FTP download test I am not so sure what the speed is as I am only seeing 14k transfers where my cable connection is pulling the same data at about 400K big difference. I will be giving this card a workout thats for sure and will be pushing the 14 day satisfaction guarantee trial.
If anyone has access to Sprint Hawaii EVDO coverage maps I would love to see what Sprint is claiming.