Anyone using a Sprint EVDO Expresscard in MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mas90guru, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. mas90guru macrumors member


    Dec 30, 2007
    If you are using (happily) an Expresscard from Sprint in your MBP, would you share the model and length of time you've been using it as well as the average download/upload speeds you see.

    I'm looking to either get a Verizon or Sprint card - and am leaning toward Sprint because (a) it is $ 10 cheaper under their fantastic SERO plans and (b) there is no 5 GB monthly transfer limit - which I have no way of knowing if I'd ever hit but I'd rather not find out 6 months into a 2 year contract.

    Looking for recent feedback from actual users of Sprint (or Verizon) including exact model numbers used.


    (I did search this forum and the messages were all over the place in both age of message and topic)
  2. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    I use the Verizon USB720 in my MacBook and it works great just about everywhere. Really rural area will always be a problem but Starbucky's can shove their t-mobile access up their mocha shoots. It costs about $45/mo unlimited usage since I also have a Verizon cellphone contract. It seems fast enough to get all my tasks done. I went with the usb modem because a MacBook is card slotless. -GDF
  3. kellyhair macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2008
  4. mas90guru thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 30, 2007
    As an update, I sprang for the Verizon V740 Expresscard.

    I haven't had a lot of time to put it through it's paces.

    At my house the signal is weak (which I could care less about because I have full wifi which I use for my T-Mobile Blackberry 832 @ Home service).

    With a weak signal in my house I'm measuring about 400k ish (give or take) on the

    If I move out to a better signal area, I can pull 800-900k rather consistently.

    While I'd rather be in the 1.2mb to 2.2 mb area -- I'll take the 800 k.

    PS - I'm also a T-Mobile Hotspot subscriber (mostly because it is only month to month and I need a reliable source of higher speed connection) and those wireless connections are getting me an average of 1.2mb on the -- measured both locally in my town and in midtown Manhattan.
  5. Intenost macrumors member


    Feb 3, 2008
    Boston, MA
    I have the Sprint EX720 and have good experiences with it, with one exception, there seems to be a conflict between the EVDO drivers, the Cisco VPN client, and VMWare Fusion 1.1 that sometimes makes it difficult to use the VPN over EVDO. There is a workaround requiring you to use Terminal to unload the VMware kernal extensions. Hopefully this conflict will be fixed in a future release of the Cisco VPN and/or VMWare Fusion.

    I've also had good luck using the EX720 with a Cradlepoint router and an Express Card to USB adapter. That's how I'm using the card now, also sharing the connection with my iPhone and other computers (as a backup). This also resolves the problem noted above.

    Right now I'm getting almost 900kbps down and 585kbps up. I've had times where I can get well over 1000kbps down and close to 1000kbps up. I'm using it over my wifi now to the Cradlepoint router, it would probably be somewhat faster if I had the card plugged into my MBP ExpressCard slot.

    Updated: Just got 1132 down, 714 up. Also over wireless to router to EX720.


  6. mas90guru thread starter macrumors member


    Dec 30, 2007
    For the benefit of anyone who may happen upon this thread via a future search - here's an update....

    I have the Verizon Wireless V740 (EVDO A- Expresscard) which I've been testing for roughly two weeks in my new MacBook Pro (latest Leopard OS).

    The biggest variable I've found for speed is signal quality. The lower the measured db - the faster the overall performance.

    When on a fringe area with 80 to 90 db measured reception - I most typically see 600-800 down with a decent 600 up.

    I took a trip last week on Metro North into NYC and measured my speed the entire way in. Most of the time the train was moving at a pretty fast pace. The measured speed was easily in the 800 to 1mb range -- with a few sites in the 1.1 to 1.2 mb range.

    On the weekend when I assume usage would be less, I've traveled north from Glastonbury CT to Enfield CT -- measuring the speed along the way (mostly from near the highway where I'm sure signal quality is strongest). The speeds were easily into the 1.0 to 1.3 with one in the 1.5 mb area.

    One thing you should note is that many of the forum messages you will read relative to speed and performance may be from people who are using their connection in one place with an antenna (or amplified antenna) to improve performance.

    There is also very little indication in many of the speed posts that show high data throughput of how frequently those high numbers are achieved.

    My conclusion is that the typical speed for me with the MacBook Pro and Verizon Wireless V740 will be in the:

    Weak Signal (one to two bars) - 400 to 600 k

    Medium Signal (three to four bars) - 500 to 850 k

    Strong Signal (full bars) - 800 k to 1.5mb depending on factors such as if I'm moving or stationary, etc.

    So far as I've been able to see, Sprint's data cards seem to offer a slightly faster connection time. In reviewing forum posts I noted a few people with 2mb speed tests. There is however not indication if those numbers are achievable consistently or whether they represent "best case" numbers. I also noted more than one person with speeds via Sprint that were the same or less than what my Verion clocked.

    I did not test AT&T in my area (Glastonbury CT) since the coverage map showed that 3G was not yet available and I won't pay premium money for an EDGE connection.

    PS - By way of comparison, I have a T-Mobile WIFI subscription and my testing of that connection has shown they most regularly put out about 1.2 mb of bandwidth (I checked this in Glastonbury CT and Manhattan (57th and Park Ave Starbucks).

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