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Author Topic: Sprint/Verizon Wireless EVDO Broadband users - are you happy?  (Read 5131 times)
John Z
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« on: February 06, 2008, 10:14:58 AM »

I am about to purchase a wireless broadband card and service. It comes down to either Verizon or Sprint! There costs, programs, cards, terms etc are pretty much equal. I have been told that Sprint has more agreements with other carriers and can provide better coverage for wandering all over the country. Also, Sprint does not have a cap on useage. I would like to hear from people using either of these services before i lay down my money.  Also, are you using an external antenna or amplifier with your card? If so, what brand and how much improvement did they make?   TIA  John Z
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 10:34:55 AM »

I think it's going to depend a lot on your location.  I have a Verizon wireless card - PC5750 - from work.  It's great around town and on interstates... places where there's decent cell phone coverage.  On some non-interstate roads in fairly rural areas, the speed will occasionally drop or the signal disappears completely.  Of course, this is while moving (I was the passenger, not the driver, btw!).  Overall, I was impressed with it.  There are some fairly nice external antennas that can be used with these cards.  Here's an example www.wilsonelectronics.com/ViewProductB.php?ID=2.  Wilson also has adapters for these antennas and cards.  If signal strength becomes an issue, I'll probably try one of these.

David
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John Z
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2008, 10:50:54 AM »

Both companies supposedly offer a strong signal for my home location, so it looks like a draw there. Last year on my trip south i relied on wifi connections, and i am looking for something better and more widely available than that, especially in travels off the freeway. I know both companies are rapidly rolling out EVDO coverage as fast as they can. Do you have a feel for which one has better coverage when you get away from the big cities?
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 11:02:23 AM »

Hi John,

I use Verizon. My dad uses Sprint. Both air cards seem to work everywhere..

Good Luck
Nick-
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 11:07:26 AM »

They will both work just about everywhere, but which service will have broadband speeds more often?  You're not too likely to have broadband speeds outside of major metro areas or off major highways.

I have access to a Verizon card through work and I used it on my last bus trip.  When in non-broadband areas it was pretty slow even though National Access is supposed to be 128K or better.
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 11:27:26 AM »

John,
I use a Verizon package, but not the air card. I hook my laptop to the phone with a cord. I get broadband speed, my Motorola charges while I'm on line, and I can answer the phone, it just puts the internet on hold while you talk.

I went this way because the cost is the same monthly, but you don't have to sign a 2 year agreement with the large monthly charges while you are not using it. If you are going to use it a lot, the air card is probably the way to go.

It is normally $60 per month just like the air card but you can ask Verizon to set you up on a 30 day trial and they will not charge you. In fact, the last two vacations i took, I had them set me up on the trial both times for no charge other than the minutes used. Same deal on minutes, after 9 and weekends free.

On my last trip from Wisconsin to Arizona, I was only denied access once while in the boonies and my phone was roaming.

Jim
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 12:05:45 PM »

I was using a Verizon Air Card a friend was letting me "rent" while he didn't need it.  I found it to be very good in town.  But out at the park campgrounds, it was ok at one that was closer to town but at the park further out it was often getting one bar or less and dropping to slower than dial up or dropping out completely.

In looking around for my own air card, I found a company named Millenicom.  They subcontract the Sprint network (so it is the same network as Sprint users) and provide service at $50 per month with no contract.  Another perk was that they have no bandwidth limit.  Verizon promotes theirs as unlimited usage, but if you go over 5gb in a month, they cut the speed to nearly dial up speed.  5gb is a lot and most people won't go over it.  But if you download music or video much, it can exceed it and then your up a creek.

Another interesting feature of Millenicom is that their service uses a USB card rather than a PCMCIA card. (I think you can get that with the other services, but it is not the standard promoted modem.)  I put a 10' USB extension cord on it and can move it as helpful to get the strongest signal.  Also, I can plug it in to my workhorse PC directly rather than network my Internet access through the laptop.  There are even wireless routers available that you can use with it to create your own hotspot.

I've had the Millenicom unit for about 3 weeks and spent time at both parks and in town.  I am getting 4-5 bars everywhere I've taken it, including the place that had almost no Verizon signal.  So I feel comfortable in recommending Sprint or Millenicom to anyone planning to use it in areas that Sprint is established in.

One thing about Sprint (and hence Millenicom), there are large parts of the Northwest that they don't cover very well. A year and a half ago, when I brought my bus home from Seattle, I had a Sprint cell phone.  I was surprised at the week signal in much of Seattle.  I was even more amazed to find that I didn't have any signal at all much of the time from central Oregon to Nebraska.  And I was travelling mainly on interstates and a few other major connector routes.  I have no idea how Verizon does in those areas.


FWIW.
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 01:57:27 PM »

I recently purchased a Sprint aircard. I went with sprint becuse I have had a sprint phone for years and have been satisfied with it. Sprint seems to be no better or worse than the other companys. You do need to look at the coverage maps of all companys and choose the one that best serves you.
 
 I purchased my card from the eplace, it cost $0.99 after rebates. The main reason I bought it on ebay is the monthly charge is only $49!!! for unlimited access. This seller is the only place I could find that had a monthly charge of $49. I do have a 2 year contract.
                               Ebay link is not working, I tried. Seller is not selling anything today.
 
  I also like the website www.sprintusers.com

 With a USB type air card I can use a USB extension cord, mine is 12 feet. I can dangle the air card out the widow and move it around to get a stronger singnal.


 
                               
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 06:29:46 PM by jjrbus » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 02:04:04 PM »

We use the sprint USB setup too, we've only had it for a month so really don't know much about it yet but so far it's worked great, we also bought the wilson magnetic roof antenna but haven't getten around to hooking it up yet, so far we get a strong 5 bars on the signal. The reason we went with sprint is because the coverage maps looked the best for the area's we go too.
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John Z
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 05:50:03 PM »

Thanks everybody for your input. I now feel more at ease about going this route. From talking to people in my area, i am leaning towards Sprint. It seems they are pretty equal, but i have talked to people who are using Sprint around here and it works. I live in a small town of 800 people. I currently have dialup service. I do believe our phone carrier, last fall offered their version of speedy service, but it would cost too much when added to the air card service. So my plan is to select either Verizon or Sprint; cancel my current dialup, and more than likely cancel my land line phone service also. I really have not used the land line for anything other dialup for the last several years. So i would be using the air card full time.

The Millenicom is interesting, both for the lower rate and not requiring a contract. I will try to read up on that tonight.

I am running down to southern TX in a short while for a couple weeks, and i would like to take advantage of the 30 trial period. I need to find one that works good both on the road and at my house.

Thanks again everyone,,,, you all are great!
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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2008, 03:47:06 AM »

JohnZ,

If you are ever through the Abilene TX area give me a holler! 32five.66zero.463five.

Paul
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Jerry32
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2008, 03:34:40 PM »

I have used sprint as verizon was not available in my area, I found that sprint worked better in some areas of the west. Jerry
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2008, 04:36:56 PM »

Has anyone tried Millienicom?   I like the no contract part.  Jack
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2008, 04:58:31 PM »

Has anyone tried Millienicom?   I like the no contract part.  Jack
I'm still impressed with it, for all the reasons I mentioned earlier in this thread.
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2008, 06:07:42 PM »

I recently purchased a Sprint aircard. I went with sprint becuse I have had a sprint phone for years and have been satisfied with it. Sprint seems to be no better or worse than the other companys. You do need to look at the coverage maps of all companys and choose the one that best serves you.
 
 I purchased my card from the eplace, it cost $0.99 after rebates. The main reason I bought it on ebay is the monthly charge is only $49!!! for unlimited access. This seller is the only place I could find that had a monthly charge of $49. I do have a 2 year contract.
                                  http://http://cgi.ebay.com/SPRINT-OVATION-U727-727U-BROADBAND-AIR-CARD-mircoSDSLOT_W0QQitemZ110220553832QQihZ001QQcategoryZ41355QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
  I also like the website www.sprintusers.com                      


I tried that Ebay link and my computer's posting a "phishing" warning??   How does my computer know this?  Is there something in the link that sets off the filters?   It does the same thing on some other Ebay sights. 
These new Vista computers do some weird stuff. 
Plan to get one of the aircards before the season starts. 
Reckon Verizon would have a 'demo' unit?  Do they let you fly it buy it and sign a contract? 
How does the speed of aircards compare to Roadrunner? 
Ya'll keep posting what works best!   
Best, JR


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