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Summary:

Tom Hanks, is a mighty fine actor, who does such a spectacular job of playing the every-man, that one can forgive him for occasional lapse of judgement, like The Terminal. One of the most improbable yarns, Hanks plays a visitor from the Balkans who is denied […]

Tom Hanks, is a mighty fine actor, who does such a spectacular job of playing the every-man, that one can forgive him for occasional lapse of judgement, like The Terminal. One of the most improbable yarns, Hanks plays a visitor from the Balkans who is denied a visa at the JFK Airport in New York, and he makes the terminal his home. He keeps waiting for the visa, falls in love and you know the whole story. His desperation to get to the big city is the agony I am currently feeling when it comes to EVDO.

Many folks across the country are right now enjoying the higher speeds of EVDO networks, but in San Francisco, arguably the city with highest concentration of early adopters, there is no EVDO. Last month, someone had tipped me off and said that EVDO is here in San Francisco if you can get a VZW compatible device. That clearly turned out to be a false alarm.

In my possession are two might fine EVDO devices, the Samsung i730, and Novatel’s Merlin v620 PC Card. Thanks to good folks at EVDO Coverage, I also have the driver to make the card play nice with my Powerbook. What I don’t have is the damn EVDO network. I can connect at 1xRTT speeds, and get about 75 kbps down/60 kbps up, but that’s about it. This is even more frustrating because if you head down to the San Francisco airport you will get serious taste of EVDO but that’s almost pointless if you are not traveling.

It is difficult to find out when and if Verizon is going to roll-out EVDO in the Bay Area anytime soon. Sprint folks assured me that certain parts of San Francisco – namely the financial district and shopping areas of Union Square – will have EVDO turned on by end of the month, but it means getting their PC Card. (Thankfully I reside on the outer edges of the Financial District, so I might take a gander at Sprint’s service.)

A friend from New York hearing me lament about the lack of EVDO in San Francisco was quick to quip: reason #9999 to move back to the Big Apple. I think he might be right!

  1. The Terminal may be improbable, but it’s based on a true story (see http://imdb.com/title/tt0362227/trivia), albeit in Paris, not the USA…

    Better hope your EVDO experience turns out to be based on a true story too ;))

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  2. Jesse Kopelman Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    I’ve heard that some parts of Verizons NYC EVDO network are already experiencing capacity challenges. I think it is fear of such things that makes them move slowly in their rollout. Hopefully pressure from Sprint will start to speed things up. I’m thinking 2007 might be the year that 3G finally becomes a mass market in service in the US. That should also be about the time that serious construction of Mobile WiMax networks get underway.

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  3. [...] e at the SF airport since June, and now they are prepared to turn on the rest of the area. About time. The Sprint EVDO is working in some parts of San Francisco Bay Area. Meanwhile [...]

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  4. San Francisco, broadband and GoogleNet

    Om continues his remarkable reporting on the local broadband front. First, he raves about the introduction of the EVDO protocol by Verizon in San Francisco (see here too). EVDO is a wireless radio broadband data protocol, and is important because it al…

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