3G/4G WWAN Wireless Mobile Broadband FAQ © 2007 Synchrotech, Inc.

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Contents
I I I I wireless connectivity to use a 3G service with my computer to provide 3G/4G WWAN Wireless Mobile Broadband service to computers on my LAN Network to use a 3G service with my laptop Laptop with PC Card slot Laptop with ExpressCard slot Laptop with no slot Other laptop options I want to use a 3G service with my desktop Desktop with PCI-Express or ExpressCard slots Desktop with available PCI slots Desktop without available slots Product Availability Timetable Mac OS X 3G Solutions, Information and Links Why aren't there as many options for robust and secure operating systems like Open/Net/FreeBSD, Mac OS X, or Linux ? Unix and Unix-Like Links and Information Elan's U132 Quick Facts Important U132 links Other Important links New Product Announcements want want want want

I want wireless connectivity
Unfortunately the computer industry is rife with jargon and buzzwords. The term wireless is used for a whole range of technologies that are completely different from each other. When discussing wireless vendors may be referring to WiFi (802.11*), Bluetooth, WWAN (mobile broadband), or several other technologies. We will deal with the first two mentioned in different documents. Many customers, when requesting wireless connectivity, are referring to 3G (third generation) wireless telephony, which in turn refers to a range of technologies including EVDO, CDMA, EDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, UMTS, and others. 3G and similar services are typically offered by the mobile phone carriers and allow access to the internet over the data portion of their mobile networks. For more information on this see the next question.

I want to use a 3G service with my computer
For the most part this is possible, but it depends on several factors including: connections on host computer, 3G hardware available, and connectivity options offered by specific wireless vendors. To make this easier to understand, we will break down the possibilities in the next question to specific computer setups and address both what is currently available, and what will be available in the near future.

I want to provide 3G/4G WWAN Wireless Mobile Broadband service to computers on my LAN Network
An excellent way of providing Wireless Mobile Broadband (WWAN) for a fixed location is a wireless gateway/router. Harnessing 3G or 4G mobile data networks (AKA cellular data networks), wireless gateway/routers handle the connectivity with mobile carriers like T-Mobile, Vodaphone, Sprint, AT&T (Cingular), Verizon, and many others. Wireless gateway/routers typically accept mobile broadband connectivity devices including 3G/4G PCMCIA PC Cards and USB devices. These wireless gateway/routers are extremely versatile, offering support for mobile (cellular) broadband data network devices ranging from the older style EDGE and CDMA to the lastest EVDO Rev. A and HSDPA cards. Wireless gateway/routers then provide an internet connection (WAN) to individual computers or local are networks (LAN) via WiFi (802.11*) or wired Ethernet just as a gateway or router plugged into DSL, T-1, or other wired WAN options do. Share a single mobile (cellular) broadband data account throughout a household, business or branch office. Connect existing wired networks to wireless gateway/router, or take advantage of built in WiFi to enable roaming connections. Perfect for rural locations, wireless gateway/routers provide a cost effective and easy to administer solution for broadband connectivity. Synchrotech has created a compatibility matrix to aid in determining wireless gateway/router compatibility with individual mobile (cellular) broadband data networking devices. Wireless Gateway/Routers Available From Synchrotech Top Global MB6000 Phoebus Top Global MB6800 Top Global MB8000 MobileBridge The Kyocera KR1 Broadband EVDO Mobile Router accepts a range of 3G Wireless PC Cards from various carriers and routes the connection over WiFi (802.11g) or Ethernet and has a simple web configuration. It is not tied to any specific platform and is client agnostic to systems on its LAN. It has many more capabilities not listed here. See Kyocera's product brochure or site for more information. For an excellent review of the device see the EVDO Info Site's review. The device costs under $300 dollars depending on where it is purchased from. Kyocera KR1 Now Supports More EVDO Rev A Devices, Including U720/USB720.

DUELADAPTER FOR PC CARDS
EXP34-DA-001 ExpressCard 34 to PCMCIA PC Card and CardBus Read-Writer DuelAdapter 1 Slot Cross-platform adapter allows use of PCMCIA 16-bit legacy and 32-bit PC CardBus cards with ExpressCard equipped computers

MICROU2E FOR EXPRESSCARDS
USB-EXP-ADP-01 MicroU2E USB 2.0 to USB 2.0 Mode ExpressCard 34|54 Host Adapter Cross-platform adapter allows use of USB 2.0 mode 3G/4G/WWAN Wireless ExpressCards with USB 2.0 equipped computers

I want to use a 3G service with my laptop
Laptop with PC Card slot This is the easiest to address, nearly all the existing solutions on the market today use PC Card host adapters for 3G wireless services. In the U.S. most carriers (Cingular, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, et al) sell 32-bit PC Cards (CardBus) for access to their 3G networks, although ExpressCards are begining to catch up in terms of availability. In Europe and other regions a mix of 32bit PC Cards (CardBus) and 16-bit PC Cards are available. Since nearly every PC Card slot on laptops since 1996 are of the 32bit (CardBus) variety, the fact that many 3G cards are CardBus shouldn't be an issue. In truth, laptop older than the CardBus standard probably wouldn't work with 3G anyway. Several of the new Novatel Wireless Merlin ExpressCards (XU870, EX720, V740) have an optional PC Card adapter so they can be used with PC Card and ExpressCard based machines. This is an excellent option as it protects the card investment for people that have a PC Card equipped machine now, but will upgrade to an ExpressCard based machine in the future. The ECA16 also allows use of ExpressCard based WWAN Wireless Cards in a PC Card slot with the added benefit of supplying more power than 32-bit OEM versions. In this case as long as your operating system supports the card, you shouldn't have to do anything but purchase the PC Card and subscribe to the carriers' service. Shop around as 3G coverage varies by region and prices vary as well. Although some of the solutions listed below for laptops without PC Card slots would work with PC Card slot equipped laptops, it is better just to use a PC Card in this case for simplicity and compatibility. Laptop with ExpressCard slot ExpressCard is the latest standard from the PCMCIA, which will eventually replace PC Card on laptops. Many new laptops have this new standard, especially more compact models. Since the 3G carriers predominantly employ PC Card as 3G hardware, this leaves the following options for ExpressCard equipped laptops in order of availability: Use an ExpressCard to PCMCIA PC Card and CardBus Adapter with an existing 16-bit or 32-bit 3G Wireless Card. The DuelAdapter works with a broad range of WWAN mobile broadband PC Cards Purchase an ExpressCard version of a 3G Wireless device. In the case of some carriers, wait for them to release one. The following is a sampling of the available devices: Novatel Wireless Merlin EX720 EVDO Rev-A ExpressCard (Sprint) Novatel Wireless Merlin V740 EVDO Rev-A ExpressCard (Verizon) Novatel Wireless Merlin XU870 HSDPA EVDO Rev-A ExpressCard (Cingular?) Novatel Wireless Merlin V640 EVDO ExpressCard (Verizon) Novatel Wireless Merlin V740 EVDO Rev-A ExpressCard (Verizon) Novatel Wireless Merlin V730 EVDO ExpressCard (Verizon) Novatel Wireless Merlin XV620 EVDO ExpressCard (Verizon) More and more of these cards are being released each day, check with your carrier to see what they have available. Try to get an EVDO Rev-A or HSDPA card as opposed to the older ones for better speeds. Several of the new Novatel Wireless Merlin ExpressCards (XU870, EX720, V740) have an optional PC Card adapter so they can be used with PC Card and ExpressCard based machines. This is an excellent option as it protects the card investment for people that have a PC Card equipped machine now, but will upgrade to an ExpressCard based machine in the future. Additionally, a large computer maker that relabels Novatel Wireless products in an attempt to appear innovative. Purchase a USB to 3G Wireless PC Card adapter. Elan Digital Systems Ltd. has three models. The U142 is a USB to 32-bit PC Card reader which works with a select subset of 3G wireless PC Cards. Only a handful of the cards it supports work with wireless carrier supplied connection software, the rest require an arduous setup process. The U132 is a USB to 32-bit PC Card reader which works with a select subset of 3G wireless PC Cards. Only a handful of the cards it supports work with wireless carrier supplied connection software, the rest require an arduous setup process. For 16-bit cards Elan offers the U111, a USB to 16-bit PC Card reader . Like the U132, the U111 will work with a select subset of 3G wireless PC Cards. Only two of the cards it supports work with wireless carrier supplied connection software, the rest require an arduous setup process. USB to PC Card Read-Writer 1 Slot 32bit 3G Wireless U142 USB to PC Card Read-Writer 1 Slot 16-bit Wireless Datacards 3G U111 USB to PC Card Read-Writer 1 Slot 32bit 3G Wireless U132 Purchase a USB version of a 3G Wireless device. In the case of some carriers, wait for them to release one. The following is a sampling of the available devices: Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 EVDO Rev-A USB Modem (Sprint) Sierra Wireless AC595U EVDO Rev-A USB Modem (Verizon) Franklin Wireless CDU680 EVDO Rev-A USB Modem (Verizon) Novatel Wireless Merlin USB720 EVDO Rev-A USB Modem Franklin Wireless CDU-550 EVDO USB Modem (Sprint) Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 EVDO USB Modem (Sprint) More and more of these devices are being released each day, check with your carrier to see what they have available. Try to get an EVDO Rev-A or HSDPA device as opposed to the older ones for better speeds. Utilize a 3G phone tethered to a laptop. Many carriers offer the ability to connect GPRS/EDGE phones to laptops over various ways such as USB. Some carriers call this a phone as modem option. The mobile phone acts as a 3G modem and provides similar functionality as a 3G PC Card. Check with mobile carriers in your area for availability. [See Tethered in Important Links below] Germany's Nova Media USB Globesurfer ICON, an all-on-one GPRS, EDGE, 3G and HSDPA wireless data modem for the PC: product page. See the FAQ entry for Wireless Gateway/Routers for WWAN 3G/4G to WiFi/Ethernet Networks . These devices accept a range of 3G Wireless PC Cards from various carriers and route the connection over WiFi (802.11*) or Ethernet and have simple web configurations. They are not tied to any specific platform and are client agnostic to systems on its LAN. Another option, especially if if the laptop is brand new, is to see if you can trade it for a model with a PC Card slot or a model that has built 3G wireless connectivity. Examples of the later include Sony's VAIO TX series with built in support for Cingular 3G, or Lenovo ThinkPads and HP Compaq nc6140 with built in support for Verizon 3G. ExpressCard.Org lists a variety of USB Wireless WAN Modems. Synchrotech has not looked into this option, but such devices may be a viable option for some customers. Laptop with no slot

Many compact and sub-notebook designs are so small as they include no card slots or have a CompactFlash (CFII+), SD Card or other small form factor slots. While it is feasible that a 3G option for CFII+ or the like could be manufactured, chances are they wont for two reasons. First, most U.S. carriers utilize 32-bit technology while CompactFlash, SD Card, and other small form factor slots are 16-bit. Second, laptops with small form factor slots have been on the market for some time, and to date no 3G carrier makes cards for them. Therefore, the choices for slot -less or small form factor slot equipped laptops are in order of availability: The MicroU2E USB 2.0 to ExpressCard Adapter allows the use of many WWAN Mobile Broadband ExpressCards with a USB 2.0 port. Purchase a USB version of a 3G Wireless device. In the case of some carriers, wait for them to release one. The following is a sampling of the available devices: Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 EVDO Rev-A USB Modem (Sprint) Sierra Wireless AC595U EVDO Rev-A USB Modem (Verizon) Franklin Wireless CDU680 EVDO Rev-A USB Modem (Verizon) Novatel Wireless Merlin USB720 EVDO Rev-A USB Modem Franklin Wireless CDU-550 EVDO USB Modem (Sprint) Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 EVDO USB Modem (Sprint) More and more of these devices are being released each day, check with your carrier to see what they have available. Try to get an EVDO Rev-A or HSDPA device as opposed to the older ones for better speeds. Purchase a USB to 3G Wireless PC Card adapter. Elan Digital Systems Ltd. has three models. The U142 is a USB to 32-bit PC Card reader which works with a select subset of 3G wireless PC Cards. Only a handful of the cards it supports work with wireless carrier supplied connection software, the rest require an arduous setup process. The U132 is a USB to 32-bit PC Card reader which works with a select subset of 3G wireless PC Cards. Only a handful of the cards it supports work with wireless carrier supplied connection software, the rest require an arduous setup process. For 16-bit cards Elan offers the U111, a USB to 16-bit PC Card reader . Like the U132, the U111 will work with a select subset of 3G wireless PC Cards. Only two of the cards it supports work with wireless carrier supplied connection software, the rest require an arduous setup process. USB to PC Card Read-Writer 1 Slot 32bit 3G Wireless U142 USB to PC Card Read-Writer 1 Slot 16-bit Wireless Datacards 3G U111 USB to PC Card Read-Writer 1 Slot 32bit 3G Wireless U132 Utilize a 3G phone tethered to a laptop. Many carriers offer the ability to connect GPRS/EDGE phones to laptops over various ways such as USB. Some carriers call this a phone as modem option. The mobile phone acts as a 3G modem and provides similar functionality as a 3G PC Card. Check with mobile carriers in your area for availability. [See Tethered in Important Links below] See the FAQ entry for Wireless Gateway/Routers for WWAN 3G/4G to WiFi/Ethernet Networks . These devices accept a range of 3G Wireless PC Cards from various carriers and route the connection over WiFi (802.11*) or Ethernet and have simple web configurations. They are not tied to any specific platform and are client agnostic to systems on its LAN. Another option, especially if if the laptop is brand new, is to see if you can trade it for a model with an ExpressCard slot, a PC Card slot, or a model that has built 3G wireless connectivity. Examples of the later include Sony's VAIO TX series with built in support for Cingular 3G, or Lenovo ThinkPads and HP Compaq nc6140 with built in support for Verizon 3G. ExpressCard.Org lists a variety of USB Wireless WAN Modems. Synchrotech has not looked into this option, but such devices may be a viable option for some customers. Other laptop options Many times end users or businesses need 3G access not so much for the portability factor, but because they are in a remote or rural area in which 3G is the only available "broadband." In these situations it is sometimes a simple matter of setting up a desktop machine with a PC Card reader or laptop with a PC Card slot to access a 3G PC Card and then sharing the internet connection over Ethernet or WiFi (802.11*). As long as the 3G equipped machine is running an operating system that can multihome and act as a router, this option allows a household or business LAN to access a 3G network.

I want to use a 3G service with my desktop
Desktop machines are surprisingly easier to support than slot -less laptops in may cases. As long as a machine has open PCI slots there are a range of PC Card readers available that work with 3G wireless PC Cards. To make this easier to understand, we will break down the possibilities in the next question to specific computer setups and address both what is currently available, and what will be available in the near future. Desktop with PCI-Express or ExpressCard slots With ExpressCard Slots Use an ExpressCard 3G device in the ExpressCard slot. Use an ExpressCard to PCMCIA PC Card and cardbus Adapter with an existing 16-bit or 32-bit 3G Wireless Card. To add an ExpressCard slot to a PCIe based computer, see our PCIe to ExpressCard host adapters. Also see the options for Laptop with ExpressCard slot . With PCIe Slots Add an ExpressCard slot to a PCIe based computer to gain options above. PCI-Express to PC CardBus readers should be available soon, allowing the use of 3G PC Cards. Desktop with available PCI slots Desktops with available PCI slots can take advantage of PCI to PC Card readers, which provide identical functionality to a laptop based PC Card slot. A 32-bit cardbus capable reader is essential for devices from U.S. based 3G carriers, while others may be able to use a 16-bit reader depending on whether they have a 16 or 32-bit card. PCIe based desktop machines are also able to add a an ExpressCard slot to gain all the options of an ExpressCard based laptop as discussed above. Synchrotech carries a range of these devices, with the following recommended for most end users: 32-bit one slot Ricoh based suitable for Windows XP (requires a genuine retail Microsoft XP CDROM)

PCM-CR-PC1IC3 http://www.synchrotech.com/products/card-rw_11.html 32-bit two slot Ricoh based PCM-CR-PC2IC3 http://www.synchrotech.com/products/card-rw_01.html 32-bit one slot TI/Ene based PCM-CR-PC1IC2 http://www.synchrotech.com/products/card-rw_06_p111_p222_elan_pcmcia_pc-card_reader_slot.html 32-bit two slot TI/Ene based PCM-CR-PC2IC2 http://www.synchrotech.com/products/card-rw_06_p111_p222_elan_pcmcia_pc-card_reader_slot.html All others, including 16-bit readers http://www.synchrotech.com/products/card-rw_00.html#pci Router See the FAQ entry for Wireless Gateway/Routers for WWAN 3G/4G to WiFi/Ethernet Networks . These devices accept a range of 3G Wireless PC Cards from various carriers and route the connection over WiFi (802.11*) or Ethernet and have simple web configurations. They are not tied to any specific platform and are client agnostic to systems on its LAN. Desktop without available slots In the rare, but occasional case of a desktop computer with no PCI, PCI-Express, or ExpressCard slots, the options are the same as Laptop with no slot and Other laptop options with the understanding that purchasing a different laptop or desktop should be read where the FAQ entry mentions purchasing a different laptop.

MB8000 WIRELESS GATEWAY
TG-WANLAN-805283 MB8000 MobileBridge Wireless Gateway/Router for WWAN 3G/4G to WiFi/Ethernet Networks Utilize a single mobile broadband data WWAN connection to provide network wide internet access over WiFi or wired Ethernet LANs

MB6000 WIRELESS GATEWAY
TG-WANLAN-605482 MB6000 Phoebus Wireless Gateway/Router for WWAN 3G/4G to WiFi/Ethernet Networks Utilize a single mobile broadband data WWAN connection to provide network wide internet access over WiFi or wired Ethernet LANs

Product Availability Timetable
Platform Option CardBus 3G ExpressCard WWAN ExpressCard to PC Card and CardBus ExpressCard 3G USB to WWAN ExpressCard USB to 3G Wireless 3G PC Cards 3G PC Cards Select CardBus 3G * Select CardBus 3G * Novatel Wireless Merlin 530/630 partial Select 16-bit 3G * CardBus 3G ExpressCard 3G ExpressCard to PC Card and CardBus USB to WWAN ExpressCard USB to 3G Wireless PCIe to Express Card for ExpressCard options 3G PC Cards 3G PC Cards Select CardBus 3G * Select CardBus 3G * Novatel Wireless Merlin 530/630 partial Select 16-bit 3G * 3G Product NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW Availability Earliest Laptop Options PC CardBus Slot PC Card Slot ExpressCard Slot ExpressCard Slot USB 2.0 Ports USB Ports Top Global Routers Kyocera KR1 Router Elan U142 Elan U132 Elan U111-530 Desktop Options PCI Slot to PC CardBus Reader ExpressCard Slot ExpressCard Slot USB 2.0 Ports USB Ports PCI Express Slot PCI Express Slot Top Global Routers Kyocera KR1 Router Elan U142 Elan U132 Elan U111-530 Likely

USB, Bluetooth, IrDA, RS-232 Tethered 3G Phone

USB, Bluetooth, IrDA, RS-232 Tethered 3G Phone

PCI Express to CardBus Reader and CardBus 3G October 2007 December 2007

Mac OS X 3G Solutions, Information and Links
MacBook Pro See Laptop with ExpressCard slot and the following: ExpressCard to PC Card Adapter MicroU2E USB 2.0 to ExpressCard Adapter

ExpressCard 3G Devices USB 3G Devices Elan is beta testing drivers for using the U132/U142 with Mac OS X PowerMac G5 or Mac Pro See Desktop with PCI-Express or ExpressCard slots and the following: PCIe to ExpressCard host adapter ExpressCard to PC Card Adapter MicroU2E USB 2.0 to ExpressCard Adapter ExpressCard 3G Devices USB 3G Devices Elan is beta testing drivers for using the U132/U142 with Mac OS X PowerBook With PC Card Slot See Laptop with PC Card slot and the following: USB 3G Devices MicroU2E USB 2.0 to ExpressCard Adapter Elan is beta testing drivers for using the U132/U142 with Mac OS X MacBook, iBook, and other Macintosh Systems See Laptop with no slot and the following: MicroU2E USB 2.0 to ExpressCard Adapter USB 3G Devices Elan is beta testing drivers for using the U132/U142 with Mac OS X Miscellaneous Mac Related Information Use an ExpressCard to PCMCIA PC Card and cardbus Adapter with an existing 16-bit or 32-bit 3G Wireless Card with MacBook Pro. To add an ExpressCard slot to a PCIe based computers (G5 PowerMacs, Mac Pro), see our PCIe to ExpressCard host adapter. ExpressCard Options USB Options Elan is beta testing drivers for using the U132/U142 with Mac OS X Germany's Nova Media USB Globesurfer ICON, an all-on-one GPRS, EDGE, 3G and HSDPA wireless data modem for the Mac. Article , product page. See the FAQ entry for Wireless Gateway/Routers for WWAN 3G/4G to WiFi/Ethernet Networks . These devices accept a range of 3G Wireless PC Cards from various carriers and route the connection over WiFi (802.11*) or Ethernet and have simple web configurations. They are not tied to any specific platform and are client agnostic to systems on its LAN. Novatel Wireless Merlin V640 EVDO Express Card/34 Initial Feedback on Verizon's EVDO Express Card/34 Sprint now offers a simple USB EVDO solution--the CDU-550 EVDO USB Modem by Franklin. Sprint also offers the Novatel U720 Ovation EVDO Rev A Modem, another USB device. EVDOInfo.com sells the U720 preset to work with Macs. Vodafone offers 3G modem for Mac Mac OS GPRS Franklin Wireless Products Novatel Wireless Merlin EX720 at EVDOinfo

Why aren't there as many options for robust and secure operating systems like Open/Net/FreeBSD, Mac OS X, or Linux?
Unfortunately, many carriers focus exclusively on the volume rather than quality market. These means if you are using robust and/or secure operating systems your options are much more limited. The Elan U132 will not be available outside of the Windows platform. Approved tethered phone options, such as those by Cingular, rely on Windows only software. There are workarounds to GPRS phone issues, the following links are suggested as a starting place. Unix and Unix-Like Links and Information See the FAQ entry for Wireless Gateway/Routers for WWAN 3G/4G to WiFi/Ethernet Networks . These devices accept a range of 3G Wireless PC Cards from various carriers and route the connection over WiFi (802.11*) or Ethernet and have simple web configurations. They are not tied to any specific platform and are client agnostic to systems on its LAN. Linux GPRS GPRS Networks There is limited support in the BSDs for GPRS modem support and the like. For example see OpenBSD's ubsa man page. Franklin Wireless Products Franklin CDU-550 Linux Directions U132/U142 and Linux

Elan's U142/U132 Quick Facts
Only works with Windows. Only works with cards listed as supported, no exceptions. Support for other cards may be added in the future, but there are no guarantees. Does NOT work with cards NOT listed as supported. Orders can be placed with Synchrotech http://www.synchrotech.com/products/card-rw_24-U142_elan_wireless.html.

Important U142/U132 links Elan Product Page Elan's product page for the U132 Supported Card List Elan page with additional model support other than those listed on product page Frequently Asked Questions Elan's FAQ page for the U132

Other Important Links
Cingular Tethered Information Verizon Treo 700p EV-DO instructions EV-DO Cost/Benefit: Treo 700p vs. AirCard EVDOinfo.com Franklin Wireless USB EVDO Card Review Franklin Wireless Products Novatel Wireless Merlin V640 EVDO Express Card/34 Datasheet Novatel Wireless Merlin EX720 at EVDOinfo ExpressCard.Org: ExpressCard Wireless WAN Solutions Bluetooth WiFi CDMA ExpressCard.Org lists the following USB Wireless WAN Modems: Laipac Round Solutions Multicap Dynalink NETAC

New Product Announcements
Novatel gets their XU870 HSDPA ExpressCard out the door Novatel ExpressCard/34 to PC Card Adapter Novatel Merlin XU870 ExpressCard 34 'super 3G' datacard Kyocera KR1 Now Supports More EVDO Rev A Devices, Including U720/USB720

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