View Full Version : Vodafone USB Modem
1st February 2007, 10:59 AM
Well, I've finally got my hands on a Vodafone USB modem. I'll be updating this thread with my experiences of the device and I welcome anyone else who uses one to do the same.
To get us started, here are a few (slightly shoddy) pictures of the little gadget from my N73. Excuse the office lighting.
It's a small device, not as small as 'memory keys' and such, but small enough to survive daily life with ease. It's also light, which is a bonus. There's a mini USB port and two USB cables supplied, a single, short, USB cable and a dual-ended USB cable for older machines that don't support USB2.0.
As promised by Vodafone, retail units are shipping with a Mac OS X driver CD enclosed. The device has built-in Windows drivers, but the OS X ones were, unfortunately omitted. Other than this slight oversight, the package looks promising.
HSDPA USB MODEM
Manufactured by Huawei
As you can see, it looks about as nice as a USB modem can look - and it'd look right at home hanging out of a white MacBook. The beauty of this device is that it's broadband, Vodafone coverage permitting, in a small device that can plug in to almost any computer and needs nothing else. The possibilities for this device are endless, and I'd argue that, at the right price, this gadget could be enough for a lot of consumers Internet needs and not just businesses.
1st February 2007, 01:50 PM
i have heard there is a field about 4 miles south of Canturbury with an oak tree along the left hand side ... twenty nine paces NNE from the tree there is a stone wall , and if you stand on the stone wall you'll get a Vodafone HSDPA signal
..... Not sure how true it is though ;)
1st February 2007, 02:57 PM
LoL! What's taking so long to get HSDPA rolled out is beyond me, but Vodafone hasn't acquired 200,000,000 customers worldwide through rushing into anything - and good lord do they like to remind us of that.
Now, do you have any more information as to the location of this field? ;)
Edit: Speedtest results in normal 3G show 352Kbps down and 58Kbps up. Not bad. FWIW, signal strength is reportedly higher than the datacard usually reports, but that could be because the modem is extended away from the laptop on the (short) cable. I can confirm that the automatic installation works well in Windows XP, and I like the Mobile Connect Lite client - it's clean and simple.
1st February 2007, 04:23 PM
Some tests into packet loss and latency under standard 3G signal:
Average Latency 284ms
0% Packet Loss (0 packets lost)
Performance is very similar if not identical to the Huawei datacard. I do hope that HSDPA brings considerable improvements in latency, one of the biggest downfalls of mobile data currently.
Whilst downloading about 70MB the modem held steady speeds of 43KB/sec from Microsoft.com. The device did get very hot on the underside, you certainly wouldn't want it against your skin for any length of time, but not worryingly so. Since I stopped downloading it has cooled down again.
1st February 2007, 10:58 PM
We have Mac touchdown!
I'm only on GPRS at the moment due to poor 3G coverage here, but I'm on. Installation was, well, interesting, and went something like this:
Insert the Vodafone CD
Mount the dmg file
Run the installer
Reboot (I mean, really, what moron coded this)
Run the Vodafone Mobile Connect program
Vodafone Mobile Connect asks you to pick mixed/gprs only/3g only and confirm
VMC quits and tells you to connect now and in future via Internet Connect
Internet Connect now contains an entry for the modem and, sure enough, hooks you right up without any additional software running.
So no usage counter, text messaging or anything fancy like that - but the little modem does look rather cute on top of the Mac mini ;)
So far, so good I must say. One of these hanging out of a MacBook in HSDPA coverage would be a scream.
2nd February 2007, 12:32 AM
LOL @ reboot the Mac Mini!
That Vodafone device is really neat - with HSDPA you'd be cooking on gas, literally :D You are getting similar stats to what I get with T-Mobile WNW via my 6280 over USB. Not run the stats via Bluetooth with the same handset but I'd anticipate the same, notwithstanding any BT overheads.
So whats the deal? You using this f'real or just having a bit of an expensive play? The thought of using such a device with a laptop/Macbook is appealing.
To digress slightly ...... network availability ......
I was out in Marden (nr Maidstone) last week and needed some 3G data ..... there was stuff all, nothing, nada! I couldn't even get 2G on T-Mobile. Vodafone fared little better, just one bar on the signal meter. Okay, its a lot of farmland in the area, but people do drive about and through and won't appreciate getting cut off or not being able to make calls.
Really, adequate national coverage is an issue the mobile networks will have to address. Especially with the large-scale urbanisation of [at least the South East] countryside. Homes house people. People want communications these days. Its no good the mobile networks playing Chicken and Egg - they need to have the infrastructure in place to cope with static and mobile requirements.
2nd February 2007, 09:40 AM
Population coverage should not be the benchmark for mobile networks anymore, they should be forced to report in geographical coverage terms now. I mean, after they start reporting 99.x% population coverage doesn't the regulator think that consumers deserve a better benchmark to help them make purchasing decisions?
As for the little gismo, it's a toy for now (thank you to Vodafone for providing it in my upgrade) but I'm hoping to get my hands on a MacBook Pro later this year, assuming Apple release an updated model, and having a 3G-capable device would be essential for this. So, it'll get used in time.
Very impressed overall I must say.
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