My house is in the area where the best internet is wireless. My main channel is a satellite broadband, it’s fast enough (up to 4 Mbps) and cheap. In general, I like it. The only problem is that it is one-way downlink – it needs an outgoing channel for requests tunneling and uploads.
So far, it was GPRS. Very slow, very expensive and unstable. It’s not a secret that GPRS internet traffic has lowest priority in GSM networks. So, sometimes it shuts down because of voice traffic overload. I was annoyed and was looking for an alternative.
So, it was a really good news about CDMA/EV-DO coverage. I’ve brought CDMA modem to test and it works well. There is drastic difference from GPRS. An average time of ping latency in the satellite tunnel is reduced in 4-5 times (from 600-800 to 150-200 ms), so web surfing is smoother and faster now. The speed test shows about 600 Kbps for download (satellite channel was turned off, so it’s CDMA real speed) and 80 Kbps for upload. It saves money also – the megabyte is 4 times cheaper there than on GPRS.
There is a special software for Windows, so I worried a bit how it would work in Linux. As it turned out, it needs nothing in my Feisty. I just plugged the modem in and immediately found it as ‘/dev/ttyUSB0’. After some PPP configuration (dial number and account data) i got it working in minutes.
The modem can be powered from few supplies – USB, external 5V supply or from the battery in its cradle (if I would buy a laptop someday). It’s small, light and thin, especially without the battery:
The external antenna socket is a great thing. With the antenna outdoors I found it working much more stable and fast.
They told also it can work as a CDMA phone with an external headset (a Motorola one is compatible) and send/receive SMS. But it seems those features are available with AnyData proprietary software (Win32-only). All in all, they are not my most wanted features.