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981 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 67186 29-Aug-2010 22:20
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I see from internet that the MF626 Telecom T-Stick costs $99 and is 3.6Mbps enabled.
The MF636 costs $199 and has 7.2Mbps enabled.
The Sierra Wireless 308 costs $399 and has 21 Mbps enabled.

Can anyone advise me please, whether there is a consistent and noticeable improvement in speed using the MF636 in preference to the MF626? Can you regularly get 7.2Mbps from the MF636? Does the MF636 usually download data twice as quickly as the MF626?

In addition, would there be a consistent and noticeable improvement in speed using the Sierra Wireless 308 in preference to the MF636, or is 21Mbps almost impossible to achieve on the XT network, i.e. what is the maximum speed possible on a T-stick on a consistent basis from the network?

Thanks very much for your advice.

Regards
Fred

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 374349 29-Aug-2010 23:55
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Maximum that I've heard of is 4MB/s with any modem.

Having said that, if I had the choice, I would go with the Sierra Wireless device.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 374358 30-Aug-2010 00:35
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You might find my recent findings and people's recommendations useful:
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=39&topicid=66875

593 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 374392 30-Aug-2010 08:54
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I had a 306 for a while and got 10Mbit at Canterbury Uni. This would be similar to the 308.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 374393 30-Aug-2010 08:59
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It's not just download - the MF626 has no HSUPA (high speed upload)

The 308 is a nice device but you have to be in a HSPA+ area - in Auckland i've seen speeds of 10mbps - just telecom wont disclose where the HSPA+ towers are so you could pay for the 308 but get the same performace as the MF636



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 374397 30-Aug-2010 09:13
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nitrotech: It's not just download - the MF626 has no HSUPA (high speed upload)

The 308 is a nice device but you have to be in a HSPA+ area - in Auckland i've seen speeds of 10mbps - just telecom wont disclose where the HSPA+ towers are so you could pay for the 308 but get the same performace as the MF636


That's a good point about high speed upload. Does the MF636 have high speed upload?

Regards
Fred



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 374399 30-Aug-2010 09:16
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Psilan: I had a 306 for a while and got 10Mbit at Canterbury Uni. This would be similar to the 308.


Thanks for this information, so, if you were to use a MF636, would you be confident to consistently get 7.2Mbps?

Regards
Fred



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 374401 30-Aug-2010 09:21
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quickymart: Maximum that I've heard of is 4MB/s with any modem.

Having said that, if I had the choice, I would go with the Sierra Wireless device.


Thanks, I will be using the T-Stick with a good laptop computer. So, if you couldn't get more than 4Mbps, why would anyone buy a relatively expensive Sierra Wireless device that has 21Mbps enabled?

Regards
Fred



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 374403 30-Aug-2010 09:30
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technicaljoe: You might find my recent findings and people's recommendations useful:
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=39&topicid=66875


Thanks for this link, there's some very good information there. It's mentioned in the above thread that:

"I end up getting a Sierra Wireless 308.

Did a quick Speed Test from home (West Auckland):
Xtra: 13.5MB/s D, 0.7MB/s U, 35ms P
XT Prepaid: 0.5MB/s D, 0.7MB/s U, 130ms P
Vodafone / HTC Magic: 1.5MB/s D, 0.8MB/s U, 157ms P

Slightly disappointed at the speed, but it's not meant to be used at home anyway... I guess I will find out how well it holds up when I start using it in town... "

Do you now think that a MF636 would have met your needs as well as the Sierra Wireless 308?

Regards
Fred




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 374405 30-Aug-2010 09:34
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frednz:
Psilan: I had a 306 for a while and got 10Mbit at Canterbury Uni. This would be similar to the 308.


Thanks for this information, so, if you were to use a MF636, would you be confident to consistently get 7.2Mbps?

Regards
Fred


I don't have any to test at the moment. I have a couple of 306's on my desk right now if you wanted me to test anything.
Also have a bunch of 597's Embarassed


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  Reply # 374422 30-Aug-2010 10:02
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The MF636 does have HSUPA.

The real world speeds from this device are about 1mbps upload and 4mbps download - it depends on a number of factors the actual speeds you'll get from the device.

The ZTE devices have a bit of a bad rep but I haven't had any trouble with them.

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  Reply # 374439 30-Aug-2010 10:43
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If it were me.  If you have the pockets deep enough go for the Sierra 308 or 503 cards.  I would always personally go for an Express Card if your laptop has it over the USB ones.  Just due to knocking a USB Dongle while out and about can kick you off the network.  Whereas with a Express card you have to basically remove the card from the slot to get the connection to drop, plus the express cards tend to have a better / larger aerial due to their physical size being a bit bigger and thus get better coverage.

I've broken 2 USB Dongles in my time, and it's never a good feeling if you have just spent $200+ on a card to then have it has a door stop.

In order of preference I would go:

More Expensive $200+ Option for HSPA+
1) Sierra 503 (HSPA+ Express Card one if your laptop has express card slot)
2) Sierra 308 (HSPA+ USB)

Cheaper Sub $100 option for HSDPA/HSUPA
1) 2nd hand Sierra 880 off Trademe (HSUPA PCMCIA Card, if your laptop has a PCMCIA Slot, someone is selling them for $40 on trademe)
2) 2nd hand Sierra 885 off Trademe (If you only have USB you can pick these up for ~$30-$60 or so off Trademe)
3) MF636

I would highly rate a Sierra 885 HSUPA USB device any day of the week over the MF636.  And I wouldn't personally bother with at MF626 due to the minor price difference between the MF626 and MF636.  And the MF626 is only HSDPA 3.6MB, whereas the MF636 is HSDPA 7.2MB, so that is twice the speed downloading.  I do notice a speed difference between the 636 and 626 that is well worth investing in a 636.

The Sierra diallers are way better than the ZTE one, the Sierra cards really are a whole lot better build in way of robustness of the USB connector, and that you can connect up an external aerial if you have poor coverage.





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  Reply # 374494 30-Aug-2010 19:45
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frednz:
quickymart: Maximum that I've heard of is 4MB/s with any modem.

Having said that, if I had the choice, I would go with the Sierra Wireless device.


Thanks, I will be using the T-Stick with a good laptop computer. So, if you couldn't get more than 4Mbps, why would anyone buy a relatively expensive Sierra Wireless device that has 21Mbps enabled?

Regards
Fred

What nitrotech said - (IMO) better quality products from Sierra Wireless.

NO ONE will get 21MB/s currently - you would need absolutely pristine, optimal network conditions for that to happen, including no one else being connected on the data network. Hence why I said expect around 4MB/s.

I'm just wondering why you are so insistent about having such a high upload/download anyway? Are you uploading/downloading videos or something?



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 374513 30-Aug-2010 20:31
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quickymart:
frednz:
quickymart: Maximum that I've heard of is 4MB/s with any modem.

Having said that, if I had the choice, I would go with the Sierra Wireless device.


Thanks, I will be using the T-Stick with a good laptop computer. So, if you couldn't get more than 4Mbps, why would anyone buy a relatively expensive Sierra Wireless device that has 21Mbps enabled?

Regards
Fred

What nitrotech said - (IMO) better quality products from Sierra Wireless.

NO ONE will get 21MB/s currently - you would need absolutely pristine, optimal network conditions for that to happen, including no one else being connected on the data network. Hence why I said expect around 4MB/s.

I'm just wondering why you are so insistent about having such a high upload/download anyway? Are you uploading/downloading videos or something?


Thanks for your comments. No, I have never uploaded or downloaded videos, but I sometimes watch videos that are on YouTube. I'm not insistent on having a high upload / download rate, I'm just assessing whether it's worth the extra money to buy the MF636, or Sierra Wireless 308, instead of the MF626. Do you think the MF626 can handle a web site like YouTube satisfactorily?

Now that the MF626, plus a free SIM card, plus free credit of $29.95 can be purchased for just $99 (Telecom's "Ready to go" kit), it might be worthwhile for me to try out the MF626 first, and then upgrade to the MF636 if the MF626 is too slow for my needs. With this deal, in effect, you are buying the MF626 for just $39, so it's no big deal if I later upgrade to the MF636!

Telecom doesn't have a "Ready to go kit" for the MF636, if you want a prepaid plan, you have to pay $199 for the T-Stick, and you also pay extra for the SIM card. In addition, there is no "free credit" of $29.95 given, which is given under the MF626 "Ready to go" kit.

Regards
Fred


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  Reply # 374533 30-Aug-2010 21:08
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frednz:  In addition, there is no "free credit" of $29.95 given,



Prepaid Data SIM's when purchasing a Data Card are $29.95, and come with $29.95 credit on the 500MB plan. 

nzbnw 







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  Reply # 374584 30-Aug-2010 23:03
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frednz:
Thanks for your comments. No, I have never uploaded or downloaded videos, but I sometimes watch videos that are on YouTube. I'm not insistent on having a high upload / download rate, I'm just assessing whether it's worth the extra money to buy the MF636, or Sierra Wireless 308, instead of the MF626. Do you think the MF626 can handle a web site like YouTube satisfactorily?

Yep, I've got one myself and it plays Youtube videos just fine. Note that you need to get a decent signal to make the best use of it - how much XT signal do you get where you are currently (I'm presuming you have an XT phone)?

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