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Author Topic: Sprint/Verizon Wireless EVDO Broadband users - are you happy?  (Read 5213 times)
DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2008, 06:18:16 PM »

JR,

The aircards are quite a bit slower than RoadRunner.  What I notice, more than the speed difference, is the latency.  There's a bit more of a delay when browsing, but it's not bad.  I'm just spoiled - RoadRunner at home and multiple T1's at work!  Grin  I was offered the same discount for a personal card that we get at work from Verizon (no fee for the cards, no contract, and $48/ month).  It's just not worth it since I can already use the work card.

Personally, I wouldn't get the USB aircard.  I don't like having all that crap attached to my computer.  I realize they can be moved around for a better signal, but with an external antenna, for the times it's needed, that shouldn't be an issue.  Plus, I use my card other places besides the bus where having anything else attached is annoying.

David
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John Z
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2008, 06:18:49 PM »

I ordered Millenicom today. I expect to have the card here Monday. I searched and read up on them a lot last night. Very VERY high marks for their tech and customer support teams. I called them last night at 11:15 pm. What a shock! I got to talk to a live person,,, and best of all he spoke perfect English! None of that feeling my call had somehow been routed to Bombay! We talked for a bit and he felt their service is even better than Sprint. When i asked him how that could be, he said they have agreements with others in addition to Sprint. Due to their multiple companies they work with, they also have a lot of redundancy in many areas. So not only do you save 10.00 a month on the service, you also save about 8 or 9 bucks on the additional fees and taxes! No contract, it is on a month by month deal! I mean, this looks like a no brainer to me. I think both Sprint and Verizon have the best coverage (except for Millenicom), but i have read lots of negative things about having to deal with both of them. This is not to say they are any worse than than other big business in our country in 2008. But this is too say that i think Millenicom is out to show everyone, you can still do business the old fashioned way. It is worth your time to take a look if you are looking for new service, or your Sprint/Verizon contract is coming up soon. Just an example - when i signed up today, i opted for next day delivery for an extra 20.00 since i am leaving soon and wanted to get it in time to cancel my old dialup service. I got a phone call from them telling me he had checked with the post office and found out that it actually would take two days to get here, arriving on Sat. He told me if i wanted, he could send it priority mail, it would get here on Mon, and would cost me nothing extra! I am kinda thinking Sprint/Verizon would have just not had the time or desire to do that for a customer,,, they would have just kept my 20.00.
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2008, 06:27:50 PM »

Thanks David.  I figured as much.  My RR zips right along.   
Oh well.   I'll just have to learn to live a little slower! Huh
Got a good EVDO signal here.   Thought about replacing the RR with an aircard.  Don't believe we'll do that.  The aircard would cause issues that I cannot resolve with our home wireless network anyway.   
Might consider the Millenicom card too...buy  it for 4 or 5 months and terminate during the winter months. 
JR
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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2008, 08:33:08 PM »

Paul, thanks for the invite. I am not sure of our final approach path yet, but if we get close, i will give you a shout.

HiTechRedneck, have you used the built in GPS on your Millenicom much yet. Am wondering how helpful it is to find gas, restaurants, etc.
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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2008, 08:48:08 PM »


HiTechRedneck, have you used the built in GPS on your Millenicom much yet. Am wondering how helpful it is to find gas, restaurants, etc.


Haven't done much with that part yet.  But in the limited playing around with that feature that I did do, it seems to be right on the ball.  It has a link to MSN's GPS based directories and maps.  The lookups I tried were right on the money.  And the map zoomed in so close on our position that if the photos were in real time, I probably could have read the number on the roof of the bus.  Grin

As for connection speed, I've done several large downloads now and have hit around 1Mbps each time.  Upload seem pretty fast too, but I haven't measured upload speed yet so I don't know exactly how fast.  I am just amazed at some of the locations I have gotten 5 bars.

As for the awkward factor of the USB card that David was concerned about, when the cord is undesirable, it plugs directly into the laptop's USB socket and doesn't pose much more of an obstacle than a PCMCIA card modem. (in my opinion anyway)  The cord is just something extra I implemented to get the absolute most signal possible.
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John Z
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« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2008, 09:17:48 PM »

HTRn, that sounds good to me! And i agree, it is no problem for me to use the USB card rather than one of the others. From all the reading and talking i have done, it seems the most prevelant. Plus i plan on using this card at home for my service too, so the USB gives me the most portability.

Great to hear you have been happy with the signals you are getting. I stopped at a business that does all the police/sheriff/fire vehicles systems today to look at antennas. The cute little 3" guy gave a 1 db gain. Mag (on a aluminum GM) mount was about 3 db. The wilson trucker 5 - 6 db. The signal booster kits they had were all the way up to 30 - 40 db gain! I do not have a feel for what the gain amounts do to performance. How many db does it take to improve your reception 50%? Can anyone explain this?

Regardless, i will make this trip without an antenna and just use the built in one. Hopefully i won't need to go this route. But if i did need too, i would prefer the shorty antenna with the booster kit, but that is the most spendy way to go also,,, but i really like the idea of not being able to see the antenna!
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« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2008, 09:54:51 PM »

HTRn, that sounds good to me! And i agree, it is no problem for me to use the USB card rather than one of the others. I do not have a feel for what the gain amounts do to performance. How many db does it take to improve your reception 50%? Can anyone explain this?


Based on my experience:   With the Millenicom card I have been getting 5 bars all around here at -85db right now and just did a download at 1Mbps.   But when I was using the Verizon card, a signal strength of -86db was about as good as it would get and that generated acceptable speeds around 600Kbps (it hadn't been upgraded to their highest speed plan, so that was about it's top potential speed) .  By -96db (showing 1-2 bars) it was getting pretty slow, comparable to dial up.  At -100db it was useless, no bars.  So a span of 15db can make the difference between good and useless.

Technical explanation:   The Decibel Defined

Quote
The following table helps to indicate the order of magnitude associated with dB:

 1 dB attenuation means that 0.79 of the input power survives
 3 dB attenuation means that 0.50 of the input power survives
10 dB attenuation means that 0.1 of the input power survives
20 dB attenuation means that 0.01 of the input power survives
30 dB attenuation means that 0.001 of the input power survives
40 dB attenuation means that 0.0001 of the input power survives



Based on the table, a -100db signal has only 5% of the strength of a -85db signal.

A 1db gain antenna would add about 20% more signal strength.  3db would be about a 50% gain.   I would think the 30-40db gain amps should only be needed when a person is going to be way outside of the normal coverage areas.

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« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2008, 01:20:55 AM »

I have two Verizon accounts, one for the phone and one for the aircard. Here in Central Florida....they both $uck!

At home in NC Verizon is the only coverage in the mountains so I'm stuck with that until the contract runs out this spring.  The aircard does a reasonable job but it ain't what told me (now ain't that new) it would do.

Somehow I can't help feel that I was sold a bill of goods by Verizon and I could have handled both situations with one account and one phone. If it turns out that I'm right they'll wait until hell freees over before I spend another dollar with them.

Bob
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« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2008, 04:27:22 AM »

 About 4 year ago I cancel my land line & start to use T-mobile that was faster then the land line cie, last year I switch to sprint, use it from Fl to East end of Qc, & even got broadband speed in the bonnies(few place) & get broadband speed everywere I go in Florida. Having a steel siding at home I use a yaki antenna & get 100% signal. My vote to Sprints. Bought from 3Gstore.com.
PC card sierra 595, moving it between 2 laptop.
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2008, 07:52:14 AM »

I'm posting this while riding down US 74 West.  It's pretty rural here.  I've got got full signal, but I see towers every so often that are probably for cell / data transmission or retransmission.  I'll likely have a good signal 'til we get close to the SC-GA border near Lake Russel.  I'll probably have maybe 7 minutes of no signal on this 6 hour drive.  Needless to say, I'm very impressed and happy with my Verizon card!  We tested these extensively in our area (and outside our area) before getting them.  We tried Sprint, AT&T, Alltel, and Verizon.  Verizon had the best deal for us and the best performance.  I'd definitely try to take what ever you're considering for a 'test drive' for 30 days or so before signing any sort of contract.

David
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John Z
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« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2008, 07:57:43 AM »

Hi David. That sounds great! I am really looking forward to putting Millenicom to the test. The card should be here Monday. And they too have a 30 day trial period, but from all the responses here, i am sure i will be happy with it. I have lived with dialup forever, so any thing will seem blazing fast to me. I have heard that Verizon and Sprint share their towers, and Sprint is one of the companies that Millenicom uses, so my results should be pretty much the same as yours. Are you using an external antenna with yours?
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« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2008, 08:08:57 AM »

I bought a Sprint aircard, if I had known about Millenicom that is what I would have bought. I hate these companys and thier two year contracts. I've had a sprint phone for 7 years, so I no longer have a contract. I will not take there "free" upgrade phones that they want to give me for being a loyal customer.  They will extend my contract for 2 years on acceptance. If I am such a loyal customer why do they want to handcuff me to thier company?
 I do not have a laptop so the USB type aircard works best for me, If I had a laptop I might think differently.
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« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2008, 08:18:58 AM »

Well, I just purchased a Millenicom wireless broadband thingy.  They do not sell the external antennas, but referred me to www.3gstore.com  They said not to buy an external antenna until I try it, that I probably will not need it.  3G Store sells several external antennas as well as wireless routers if someone want to run more than 1 computer off the wireless broadband thingy.  Although Millenicom is based in Portland, Oregon, they said mine would be shipped from Orlando. I should have it tomorrow or Monday. Can't wait.  I am presently sitting in a 45' MCI in Jacksonville, FL using my cell phone. I just checked my connection speed.  129/72. Jack
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« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2008, 08:25:58 AM »

jjrbus, it is just like the way magazine companies reward you for years of being a loyal reader/subscriber. They will offer the longtime customer a renewal for 23.00, and offer the same mag to a new customer for 14.00! I understand the need to attract new customers, but i think you need to take care of your existing customer base too. Reading the fantastic reviews about Millenicom's serv depts really sold me ( well that and no contract and not taxes or fees).

Jack, i will be very interested in your speeds when you get the new card. Let us know how it works.
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« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2008, 08:31:25 AM »

Jack, if you have read much of the forums on wireless broadband i am sure you have visitied the forums hosted by 3Gstore. I find it curious that they do not allow any posts concerning Millenicom!!! Yet Millenicom sends customers to them. I asked the Millenicom tech about that, saying i thought it said alot about Millenicom. He simply said "we can appreicate another business for what they do well."

If you decide to go the antenna route, but the adapter cable for the CDU 680 (the air card from Millenicom) from 3Gstore. So far they are the only place i have found that have one. They are 13.00. Then you can go to Radio Shack or online and buy your own Wilson Trucker or whatever antenna you like. Saves a few more bucks that way.
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