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Reply # 75607 22-Jun-2007 09:10
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nzbnw: So Grant, how did you find EVDO and more importantly did you get to experience EVDO Rev A?

Thanks for the prompt NZBNW, I just finished using the card last night and tallied up my usage:

600MB total for Rx + Tx

During a similar period last year when we attended a conference followed by Fieldays, I used about 80MB through GPRS.  It was "heinously" slow as Jama would say Tongue out and basically I just gave up on a lot of things because it took too long.

This year, it really was like having a Mobile Broadband connection.  My wife and I both downloaded Windows Updates to our laptops which I would not have dreamed of doing with GPRS.

Regarding coverage -- I did not find Rev A to be available in many areas, but when I managed to use it, here is what I found:

Using www.speedtest.net Rev A Download 1.4Mbps Upload 600kbps whereas Rev 0 gave 1.4Mbps Download 130kbps Upload

These are the areas where I found Rev A coverage:

Penrose Auckland (in Rockfield Road)
Mystery Creek showgrounds Hamilton (only in the low part where the actual show took place)

These are the areas where I only got Rev 0 coverage:

Mystery Creek Hamilton (beside the road above the showgrounds)
Lynfield Auckland (between Hillsborough and Blockhouse Bay)
CBD Whangarei
CBD Kerikeri
Waikare Inlet Bay of Islands (near Russell)

In one place only, 1xRTT was all that was available:

Aboard the Fullers Car Ferry Bay of Islands

And in another place, I could not get coverage at all:

Opua Car Ferry Ramp Bay of Islands

As I walked along by the Opua shops, a small amount of 1xRTT coverage was available, but not really strong enough to be useful.

In summary:

*  At the various places I have been over the past couple of weeks, EV-DO coverage is available just about everywhere, without needing to go out of my way to find it.  This is a very different story to Vodafone's 3G coverage which is really not useful outside the main cities at all.

*  The Sierra Wireless "Watcher" software is very easy to use (even my wife found it easy!!!) and it provides useful information like Signal Strength, which mode you are working in (1x / Rev 0 / Rev A) as well as Data Usage for the current session and Total Usage.  FAR more useful than the data counters on my cellphone and much quicker to access.

*  With Rev A coverage, I was able to use SkypeOut without the called person noticing any degradation in call quality.  With Rev 0, I did manage to use SkypeOut OK but only at night when network traffic on the base station was low.  Otherwise, some breakup of my voice was heard by the person at the other end, even though I could hear them perfectly well.  I guess this is due to the slow upload speed of Rev 0 compared to Rev A

*  I was surprised at how much the network performance degraded during times of heavy network usage.  On the Friday afternoon at Fieldays (in the Rev A coverage area), I attempted to use VNC to access my PC back at home, but the response was so slow as to be unusable.  Access to Geekzone was slow but still usable (just).

*  At nights, in our camper van with Rev 0 coverage, VNC response was excellent and SkypeOut was good as well because the network traffic was light and signal strength good.  In Rev 0 areas with lower signal strength (such as Waikare Inlet Bay of Islands), SkypeOut did not work too well because the available bandwidth was too low.  Web surfing and VNC were still OK however.

As a result of this very positive experience, I will look to buy a Rev A device of some sort, probably second-hand on Trade Me.

The new 595U would be ideal as it provides some future-proofing should I change my laptop to a new one that has Express Card slots.  However, I can't justify $482 for the few weeks every year that I really need Mobile Broadband.

So I will probably settle for a Rev A Data Card the same as Mauricio has loaned me, for $200 or thereabouts.  And then sign up to the $10 per month Open Term plan so I can use a few Megs @ $1 per Meg whenever I have an occasional need, and switch to the 1GB plan for a month when we go away somewhere around NZ.

Thanks once again to Mauricio and to Telecom for providing such a useful wireless network Cool

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Reply # 75612 22-Jun-2007 10:15
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This year the field days has 3G WCDMA/HSDPA coverage

Are you using a WCDMA card or HSDPA

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 75615 22-Jun-2007 10:29
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johnr: This year the field days has 3G WCDMA/HSDPA coverage

Are you using a WCDMA card or HSDPA

Before going to the Fieldays I checked the Vodafone 3G coverage maps for the Hamilton area carefully to see what was available.  Mystery Creek was outside the coverage area according to the maps here:

http://www.vodafone.co.nz/personal/coverage-and-roaming/nz-coverage-maps/3g/index.jsp?area=hamilton&zoom=2&image_id=5_4

On this basis, I decided to give EV-DO a try and I certainly don't regret that decision Smile

P.S.  Vodafone's entire network at Fieldays was down for most of the first day (Wednesday) and I missed some calls.  This doesn't inspire confidence in relying on their data network either Frown

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  Reply # 77488 9-Jul-2007 18:10
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Wow! I'm impressed with ALL of the performance figures quoted in previous posts!

Here is what I am getting from my rev A card.



I'm sure that if I know that this was the sort of performance that I would get, I would NEVER have wasted my money.

Does anybody have any ideas why the performance is so poor? And before I waste everybody's time, it is pretty much the same wherever I go - Central Auckland, Remuera, Tauranga, Whangaparoa. So I have the feeling that it might be related to my installation.

Another problem. Watcher keeps going into Dormant mode - often in the middle of a download. If it stays there too long (say ten minutes) it never comes out. So I have to disconnect and reconnect. But even that is problematical - often I get an error mesage saying PPP protocol failed. The only way to recover from that is to remove the card, wait fir Watcher to wake up and start searching for it, and insert it again.

Not the way a communication device should work.

Telecom support are no use - they didn't even know what an AirCard is!

Anybody got any ideas?


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  Reply # 77528 9-Jul-2007 21:58
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KiwiExpat: Wow! I'm impressed with ALL of the performance figures quoted in previous posts!

Here is what I am getting from my rev A card.



I'm sure that if I know that this was the sort of performance that I would get, I would NEVER have wasted my money.

Does anybody have any ideas why the performance is so poor? And before I waste everybody's time, it is pretty much the same wherever I go - Central Auckland, Remuera, Tauranga, Whangaparoa. So I have the feeling that it might be related to my installation.

Another problem. Watcher keeps going into Dormant mode - often in the middle of a download. If it stays there too long (say ten minutes) it never comes out. So I have to disconnect and reconnect. But even that is problematical - often I get an error mesage saying PPP protocol failed. The only way to recover from that is to remove the card, wait fir Watcher to wake up and start searching for it, and insert it again.

Not the way a communication device should work.

Telecom support are no use - they didn't even know what an AirCard is!

Anybody got any ideas?



I would call mobile faults 0800 400 909, opt 3 and get a case logged with them. They should be able to assist, raise it if need-be. It might be interesting if its only started in the last couple of days, however if its always happened it might be a datacard issue.




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