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6 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 29462 7-Jan-2009 20:08
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Hey all,

I am likely to require a mobile broadband connection as my primary internet access in the near future, and have been investigating options. Thought I'd come here and share my findings and ask for any insights anyone has.

1) Selection of Provider

I'll jump straight in here and say that there is no way I'm going with Telecom. Saw a newspaper ad recently (and just looked online); they charge $56.19 for 1GB (the largest plan), with the second GB being $11.25, and then excess usage at 57c per megabyte. Say, I use 3GB, I owe Telecom $636.44 for the month. And thats on a 24 month contract.

*parp*

So looking at Vodafone, I can get 3GB on no contract (no way I'm putting my scrawl-scribbling hand near a 24 month contract) for $79.95 per month, and then double that for another ten bucks - $89.95 for 6GB. That'd be $2,347.44 on Telecom. Per month.

So although Telecom is better known for more consistent speeds, I'm really into have a decent datacap :)

2) Select of Device

This is a hard one, I can choose from a) the new Vodem Stick b) the old USB Vodem and c) the Expresscard version (Mobile Connect Card). The Expresscard is not comaptible with mac's (https://www.vodafone.co.nz/personal/plans-services/3G-broadband/3G-broadband-devices/index.jsp) so thats out.

Original USB Vodems can be had for around $100 or so on Trademe; a Vodem stick would need to be purchased from Vodafone from my initial glances (as is new). The old units are only HSDPA/UMTS (3G) 2100 MHz, whereas new sticks are HSDPA/UMTS (3G) 2100/900MHz.

From what I understand, this means that I can use the '3G Broadband' network (HSDPA 900MHz), however the coverage checker on the Vodafone site shows there there is basically no-where (well, in central Dunedin) that has coverage for this service.

To this end - do you think it is worth saving ~$150 and getting an older second hand vodem, or should I just throw down the RRP and grab the new stick Vodem?

Does anyone have experience with the new HSPDA network? Most reviews are of the older standard 3G network - unless I am mis-understanding everything ;)

And does 3G coverage and 3G Broadband coverage basically mean the same thing?

Anyway, I look forward to hearing what you all think :D

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  Reply # 188082 7-Jan-2009 20:13
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Don't trust the coverage checker

Look at the coveage map that went up just before christmas There is 3G WCDMA/HSDPA 900mhz in Mosgiel as well

John

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  Reply # 188083 7-Jan-2009 20:15
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Seeing that you're in Central Dunedin, why not look at the updated maps? The coverage checker is old.

2100MHz 3G = "3G Broadband"
900MHz 3G = "3G Broadband Extended"




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  Reply # 188085 7-Jan-2009 20:26
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All 3G sites are HSDPA as well

John



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 188086 7-Jan-2009 20:29
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Good as, thanks for the link.

I assume that the red 'best' is 3G mobile broadband and surparsses the 'extended' orange areas in terms of performance?

Looks pretty promising...

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  Reply # 188087 7-Jan-2009 20:31
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No... same performance if you've got good coverage (at least it's as far as I know, also affected by the modem you get), it's just "extended" coverage via a different frequency.

Seeing that you're in Central Dunedin, you could get away with getting an old Vodem just fine.




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Reply # 188090 7-Jan-2009 20:36
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manhinli: No... same performance


Correct

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  Reply # 188092 7-Jan-2009 20:38
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If you do get the older Vodem E220 make sure its got the latest firmware and software loaded onto it before using it

PM me and I will send you a link to 3.3.6

John

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  Reply # 188093 7-Jan-2009 20:41
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johnr: If you do get the older Vodem E220 make sure its got the latest firmware and software loaded onto it before using it

PM me and I will send you a link to 3.3.6

John

You mean: http://www.mobilenetworks.co.nz/ > "(Vodem Lite V3.3) with firmware update"?

Laughing




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 188131 8-Jan-2009 01:26
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Much thanks to all that have responded :)

I will be quite mobile in my usage, so coverage is definitely an issue. And thanks for clarifying the different frequency / what 'extended' areas mean etc.

I'll probably just get the new stick modem so I am more likely to get 3G in more places, now to see if I can find a second hand one around the place :)

Thanks again

James

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