In the world of mobile broadband access, there are three major players including Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and AT&T.Â In this landscape, Verizon Wireless and Sprint are known for having the largest network reach, meaning you can use your mobile broadband service in more geographies nationwide.Â AT&T has a 3G mobile broadband network but their 3G service is only available in major metropolitan areas.
I should note that T-Mobile, the fourth US-based cell phone network provider doesn’t have mobile broadband data service because their 3G network is now being slowly rolled out.
Using the Verizon Mobile Broadband network
For the sake of this post, I’m reviewing Verizon’s Mobile broadband service called BroadbandAccess.Â I trialed the Kyocera KPC 680 ExpressCard EV-DO Modem. This is a little card that plugs into the side of your laptop and allows you to hop on Verizon’s cellular based broadband network.
Using the latest generation MacBook Pro, I tried to get the KPC 680 to work.Â After downloading the drivers/software, I plugged the card into my MacBook Pro.Â After hours of frustration, a Verizon Representative was able to help me get online.Â Another note: I was able to get the KPC 680 to work on my Dell Windows XP laptop without a hitch using Verizon’s BroadbandAccess software.
I used the network primarily in Portland, Oregon and in the central Oregon towns of Bend and Sunriver Oregon.Â It should be known that Sunriver is a pretty rural part of the state, however I was able to get online and access all my Internet resources where I couldn’t get on a Wi-Fi network.
Network speeds varied depending on the signal quality of where I was located at the time.Â It isn’t as fast as your home cable modem or DSL connection, but the Verizon EV-DO network was definitely fast enough to browse websites, send emails, and connect to my companies network via VPN.
I would definitely recommend the Verizon Broadband EV-DO network combined with the KPC 680 ExpressCard modem.Â For business professionals and those needing to be online in multiple locations, the Verizon BroadbandAccess network is a fantastic option.Â Sure, we have coffee shops and libraries with sometimes-free Wi-Fi, but the speeds vary widely depending on that business’ wireless setup.
Having Verizon’s BroadbandAccess allows you to access the Internet quickly and easily and enough speed to do the tasks you need to do.
The KPC 680 is available from Verizon Wireless website.Â At the time of writing this article, the modem itself is available for $50 after rebates and with a 2-year service agreement.Â The BroadbandAccess internet service comes in two pricing points, $40 for 50 megabytes or $60 for 6 gigabytes of monthly data throughput.Â For practical uses and ease of use, I’d recommend getting the $60/month plan.