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Author Topic: Millenicom Update  (Read 3509 times)
JackConrad
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« on: March 05, 2008, 05:19:03 AM »

  We received our Millenicom wireless internet thingy. It is manufactured by Frankin Wireless and is model CDU-680. Download speeds have ranged from a low of 129K on a 1XRTT connection to a high of 1024K on a strong EVDO connection.
   When we were at the Florida Flywheelers Park in the middle of nowhere, we only had a 1xRTT connection and a signal strength of 88-110 Db. This is where we had the slower download speeds. We also found that downlad speeds were faster during off-peak hours (faster at 6AM than 2 PM).
    Last Saturday, I install a Wilson "through the roof" cell antenna. The antenna is supposed to give a 5-6 Db gain. Parked in our driveway, I went from a signal strength of 82Db without the external antenna to 76Db with the external antenna.
    We are leaving sometime next week for a trip through GA, SC, NC, and VA. We will staying in several remote and mountainous areas. I will post our connection results. 
    Overall, we are happy so far with this wireless thingy. In the places that it has been slow, I have tried our old Cell phone connection and it was even slower.  Jack
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2008, 05:49:16 AM »

Jack,

I can pretty much gaurantee that if you come to my place in Tennessee the only connection you will get is my WiFi ... Cell phones / EDVO don't work down here in the
valley unless you have a 24 foot pole and directional antenna up on top.... Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Cell connections are fickle in a lot of places. But generally if you are near a fair size town or city you probably can have signal.

The thing that anyone that travels needs to consider is that there are lots of places that cell service doesn't cover due to terrain and line of sight restrictions. There are ways to enhance signals but all have financial impacts or technical catches. All that I can say is consider your budget and needs before commiting to a high cost service solution.

Dave....


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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 07:15:17 PM »

Hey Jack,

How did you make out with your wireless internet thingy? I'm looking for the best method, cheap too! Wink Where did  you purchase it?

Paul
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JackConrad
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 05:18:29 AM »

Hey Jack,
How did you make out with your wireless internet thingy? I'm looking for the best method, cheap too! Wink Where did  you purchase it?
Paul


   I purchased in online www.mellenicom.com  We are very pleased with it and are finding that more and more places that were 1XRTT are now EVDO. 
   Since I bought Paula her own laptop for her birthday, we are thinking about getting one of these routers so we can both be online at the same time (at a slower speed, of course, due to sharing a signal). Any comments about this router?   Jack
http://www.wirelessnwifi.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=28&zenid=1d278d7206427743e04d8583a8959c1c
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 05:24:02 AM »

Jack, I recieved a reply from Mellincom about coverage here in Abilene, dial up is the only thing they have to offer! That just aint gonna cut it. That's like going back to the stone age. Roll Eyes

I like the price though, 9.95 month. There has got to be a better way. An aircard is just to costly, but might have to consider it. Sheesh!

Glad you're happy though! Wink

Paul
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 08:09:49 AM »

Jack, I recieved a reply from Mellincom about coverage here in Abilene, dial up is the only thing they have to offer! That just aint gonna cut it. That's like going back to the stone age. Roll Eyes

I like the price though, 9.95 month. There has got to be a better way. An aircard is just to costly, but might have to consider it. Sheesh!

Glad you're happy though! Wink

Paul

Millenicom uses both Sprint and Verizon networks (although they seem to be shifting away from Sprint to Verizon).  So if they showed that you were in a non coverage area, then neither of those company's air cards would work either. 

I went to the Verizon service map and Abiliene doesn't have EVDO (broadband coverage) they only have the 1xRTT (<150Kbps) service.  And while 1xRTT is faster than dial up most of the time, it really isn't worth the price.

I checked Sprint and it's the same and likewise for Alltel.

With AT&T it appears that if you are in the north half of Abiliene or north of town, you can get their 3G broadband, so their aircard would work, but not in the southern half or south of town.  So the good news is, it appears that AT&T is starting to set up the Abilene area for the 3G service.  If you are on the north side, you can get it now.  I would imagine the south side will be getting it soon.

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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 08:22:16 AM »

Jack

I got the MRB1000. It works great. Also just plug & play.
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 10:07:43 AM »

I have an Verizon aircard available through work for trips out of town (business or personal) and I was disappointed by the coverage.  Coverage is available along I94 in western Wisconsin, but Verizon has no roaming agreement with the carrier in the area.  $20.84 a MEGABYTE for service!  Same thing happened in Spencer, Iowa too when visiting Ron the Busnut.  The Spencer thing I can maybe understand, but not on a major interstate 50 miles from one of Verizon's larger markets.

Verizon does have roaming agreements with many carriers, but I wouldn't be surprised if Verizon's agreement with Mellinicom excludes some or all of the roaming areas.  Mellinicom uses both Verizon and Sprint for a reason.  A Verizon aircard may very well get service in an area via roaming where Mellinicom doesn't get service if neither Sprint or Verizon is a carrier there.

Most everyone I talk to says Verizon has the best aircard coverage, but I'll have to look at Mellinicom closely if I get my own aircard since they use multiple carriers.
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 10:52:32 AM »

MilleniCom/Number/Networklist
Quote from above link "Millenicom's national network is comprised of many different backbones which allows us redundancy in all major cities. Each network operates independently of each other. You must use the access numbers of the network you originally sign onto. If you sign on using an access number on the B network, your account will activate on any number listed in any city shown on the B network ONLY. It will not activate on the C network." unquote

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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2009, 12:35:56 PM »

HTR, Thanks for the update!

I have an ATT aircard for my work laptop and I only get 2G service right now, and yes we do live on the south side of town. Glad to hear we'll have 3G service soon.  Smiley That will help me out a bunch on speed, cause 2G is kinda slow. That's why I'm using my wifes PC most of the time when I'm home. Shhh, don't tell her!

When we moved here we had Verizon, had to switch to ATT because Verizon could not give us a local number, that was two years ago though.

I appreciate your response!  Cool
 
Paul
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2009, 12:49:28 PM »

MilleniCom/Number/Networklist
Quote from above link "Millenicom's national network is comprised of many different backbones which allows us redundancy in all major cities. Each network operates independently of each other. You must use the access numbers of the network you originally sign onto. If you sign on using an access number on the B network, your account will activate on any number listed in any city shown on the B network ONLY. It will not activate on the C network."


You're looking at their dialup network information, not their wireless broadband network information.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2009, 03:48:00 PM »

Millenicom has a flat billing model.  The bill is $59.95.  Period.  No roaming charges (unless you go international), no taxes (they pay the taxes out of the $59.95), no over bandwidth charges (since they impose no limit).  They have used a combination of Sprint/Nextel and Verizon/Alltel backbones (Sprint was primary).  They seem to be shifting away from Sprint at this time.

Last year their rate was $49.95 in spite of a rate increase from Sprint to them early in the year.  As a result, they had a net loss as a company on their broadband service.  I suspect that has something to do with their shift away from Sprint as a primary backbone.

Personally, I like the "personality" of their company and the U.S. based tech support.  I hope it holds true to its business model so far.
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belfert
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2009, 03:59:50 PM »

Don't no roaming charges simply mean there are areas where the service doesn't work even if there is an available carrier?  I find it hard to believe they have agreements with every wireless provider out there.

Regardless, Millenicom will my choice for wirless broadband if I ever lose my employer paid aircard since they are shifting to Verizon now.  They charge the same as Verizon, but it appears they have better coverage through multiple carriers.
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JackConrad
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2009, 04:01:35 PM »

They charge the same as Verizon, but it appears they have better coverage through multiple carriers.

Actually, their charge is slightly less, because Verizon adds taxes to the 59.95, Millenicom does not.  Jack
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2009, 04:11:18 PM »

Don't no roaming charges simply mean there are areas where the service doesn't work even if there is an available carrier?

That may be, I don't know.  I've only used it in the Southeastern U.S. where Sprint and Verizon have pretty full coverage and I haven't been in a place that I couldn't get at least a 1xRTT signal.  Given that Sprint now includes Nextel and Verizon now includes Alltel, that provides a pretty good coverage map.
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2009, 04:20:44 PM »

Millenicom has a flat billing model.  The bill is $59.95.  Period.  No roaming charges (unless you go international), no taxes (they pay the taxes out of the $59.95), no over bandwidth charges (since they impose no limit).  They have used a combination of Sprint/Nextel and Verizon/Alltel backbones (Sprint

I didn't notice the part of your post about no limits the first time.  Do they have the no limits on bandwidth in writing?  I'm skeptical mainly because both Sprint and Verizon now have a 5GB per month limit.  Millenicom also has a 5GB limit on prepaid accounts.  I'll have to call Monday I guess.

With the no limits I might consider replacing my DSL with their service even though it would get used at home of the time.

I used to run an ISP and we originally offered "unlimited" usage on dialup accounts.  (Users had to be at their computer and actively using their connection or idle timeouts applied.)  We eventually had to cut back to 200 hours a month because a few percentage of folks were using 20% of all dialup time.  One person was connecting every day at around 5 am and not disconnecting until midnight or so!  I know nobody is actively using their computer that much without running programs to fool the idle timer.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2009, 07:18:10 PM »

Jack and others, I thought I would bring this to the top again and see what your experience has been over the past year.

Since this was last active, I have heard that Millenicom now has a bandwidth limit as well.  Is that the case, and is it an issue?

Jack, since you have been all over for the past month or so, I would like to know how your reception has been.  

Have others tried the service?

Jim
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2009, 08:40:54 PM »

I'm still using them too.  Coverage has been excellent.  Overall I am satisfied and I really like not having a contract.

But they have a serious problem with communicating with customers.  Things change and  you don't find out until it happens.

The things happening are out of their control - they are just a reseller, Verizon and Sprint control what is available and what is allowed (i.e. bandwidth caps).  Verizon got upset at some of the "kids" running bit torrents and heavy video usage, racking up 50-100GB+/month and put their foot down.  Initially Millenicom tried to mitigate the damage and tell people to keep it under 10GB/month.  But apparently that didn't work or Verizon didn't go for that either once their attention was aroused.  So it got capped at 5GB/month.

Millenicom apparently worked a deal with Sprint to offer a new "unlimited" plan for an extra $10/month and is not offering any new accounts at the $59.99 rate on Sprint.  So they now offer 5GB on Verizon (where Verizon has coverage) for $59.99 or Sprint with unlimited (within reason I am sure) where Sprint has coverage, for $69.99.  The are also part of the rollout of WiMax.  They are offering a pretty good plan with that in the limited markets where it is available.  But unless I am mistaken, it isn't intended for mobile access at this time.  The person signs up for coverage in a single market.  But in that area they get something like 7Mbps download speed with no bandwidth limits.

I am on Millenicom's Sprint based unlimited plan.  My connection speed varies between 400Kbps - 1.3Mbps depending on the tower and how/how many people are using it.  For example the tower I am on right now must have either one of those heavy users on it or several regular users in the evening/night.  Resulting in a speed report like this even with a strong signal:



Note, somebody is uploading heavily on the tower right now to get the upload speed down so bad.  Also, the reference to the city is just where the number it "dialed' into is at.  I am in Chattanooga, TN but the number it dialed into was in Jacksonville, FL.  I have used some the methods posted on the Internet to try different dial in locations and found no significant difference.  The bottleneck is usually the local tower.

Another benefit of Millenicom (besides no contract) is the taxes (or lack of).  Whereas the other carriers add all kinds of taxes to their plans, the rates at Millenicom include the taxes.  So on a $59.99 plan, that is exactly what you pay.

And even now, when you call customer support, you get somebody that is U.S. based and speaks English as their first language.  I'm not prejudiced about languages, but I speak one language for practical purposes and bits of a couple others.  If I need support, I want somebody that can understand me clearly and that I can understand them clearly.

Further in praise of their support personnel, when you call them and it turns out to be a problem with the backbone provider (i.e. Verizon) they don't just give you another number to call and say bye.  They conference call the other support with you and they stay on the line.

So in conclusion, I am happy with it.
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2009, 09:02:22 PM »

What advantages does Millenicom bring if it is now capped at 5GB like everyone else?  Why not go directly to Verizon instead?
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2009, 09:41:24 PM »

What advantages does Millenicom bring if it is now capped at 5GB like everyone else?  Why not go directly to Verizon instead?

Verizon, Sprint, and most others = 2 year contract and rate + taxes.

Verizon or Sprint via Millencom = No contract and taxes are included in rate.

And in the event someone is has credit issues in their recent past,  a loaded credit report that they would rather not have one more contract bill entered on, or an unresolved squabble over billing with a wireless carrier, the others require a credit check and add your account to your credit report.  Millenicom doesn't.
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« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2009, 03:30:10 AM »

The last time I checked it is not available in Abilene TX. So I'm stuck with going with Verizon when the time comes. Cry
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« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2009, 04:42:36 AM »

      We have used our Millenicom air card, plugged into our CTR-500 router in Fl, AL, TN, KY, IL, IN, & MI so far on this trip.  We have had a little slower speeds in a couple areas, but never without a signal. We also have a permanent mount antenna on the roof and we added an amplifier to increase speeds a few weeks ago, but even without the amplifier, we have never been unable to get on line. We are finding more cell towers are coming online giving better reception and higher speeds.  Jack (a very satisfied Mellinicom user)
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« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2009, 06:50:04 AM »

The last time I checked it is not available in Abilene TX. So I'm stuck with going with Verizon when the time comes. Cry

If you are in the Verizon coverage area, you can get it through Millenicom.  If at first they say no, look up your location on the Verizon data coverage map to make sure and then call them up and have them look closer.  That would still leave you with the 5GB cap, but you would have the other benefits of M'com.
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« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2009, 06:51:32 AM »

Well we had one for almost a year and were happy with it until we had a problem with it that they could not fix during almost a month of trying.  Our card got shut down and they could not get it to reactivate. They kept saying it was fixed but it would not work each time we tried it so i finally got tired of calling back and forth and went out and got a Verizon air card. So far so good for the last 4 months.
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