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Re: gprs connect cards

According to Alessandro Speranza,
> Hi guys.
> I'm writing to ask your opinion on the following.
> I've got no phone at home, and I'm thinking about an easy way to connect
> my laptop to the internet, at least to read email, when I stay working at
> home. My mobile is wap, but I have no cable, plus I have no serial port on
> my laptop (presario 700). On the other hand, the other day, I found out
> there's this sim card you can stick into a pcmcia connect card and use
> gprs protocol to connect to the internet. I'm not sure about the costs of
> connection, I'll find out, but for now, I will need some ideas on weather
> there's any chance of making the whole thinkg work with linux. Does any of
> you have any experience?
> If not, does any of you have any alternative idea?
> I guess the easiest thing would be buy a gprs mobile phone with usb cable
> and use that as a modem, but I've got the same problem: do you know if
> that works with Linux?
> Cheers
> 	Alessandro

Mobile phone based:

I test drove a 2.5G phone from SprintPCS for a couple weeks.
They use 1xRTT I think, which and supports data rates up to
144kbps.  I expect this is the CDMA equivalent to GPRS,
which is the 3G extension to GSM, is it not?

The cable I purchaced was a USB cable and the phone turned
out to come in as a stanadard (AT command set) modem on 
/dev/ttyUSB0 (I think).  So setting up a pppd connection was
quite straightforward.  

Download performance was typically 100-120kbps, which was
not bad, but the latency was very poor (ping times were
around 1.5 sec).  So for interactive use it was painful.  An
ssh session was OK, but tightvnc-over-ssh was painful and
X-over-ssh was intolerable.

Wired options:

Are you saying that you have no phone line (actual wire) or 
that you don't want to have POTS service installed.  Recently 
I was told by my phone company (SBC, formerly PacBell) that I 
had to have a POTS line before I could install DSL, but when I 
ordered DSL from a competitor, they said that they could 
install it on "dry copper" too.

Other ideas:

If you are within view of someone with a better connection,
you might try negotiating a long distance 802.11b connection.  
See Bob X Cringely's column:

  "Reach Out and Touch Someone: How Bob and His Binoculars 
  Found More Bandwidth and Learned to Stop Worrying and 
  Love the Bond"

  ... and "I Network, Therefore I Am: Further Adventures in 
  the World of Bootleg 802.11b"

Enjoy.  He's a funny guy.


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