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Summary:

Verizon Wireless told us last week that its EVDO Rev A network is already live in a few markets — today the company announced it has started selling its first Rev A-ready card (yep, that one that Engadget had the details on). It’s the Sierra Wireless […]

Verizon Wireless told us last week that its EVDO Rev A network is already live in a few markets — today the company announced it has started selling its first Rev A-ready card (yep, that one that Engadget had the details on). It’s the Sierra Wireless AirCard 595 PC card and Sierra Wireless says it offers 3.1 Mbps on the downlink and 1.8 Mbps on the uplink over an EVDO Rev A wireless network. Nice.

It’s for sale online now for $99.99 (but only after a $50 rebate with a new two year customer agreement) or through stores in January. The card works with regular (read older) EVDO, and Verizon Wireless says an over-the-air download will crank the card up to Rev A speeds once the Rev A network is turned live in your city.

Sprint also offers the card for its EVDO Rev A network users (check out this review), and Sierra Wireless says the card supports Vista, XP, 2000, and will add Mac OS X “at the end of Q4.”

A lot of readers have been wondering about Rev A hardware compatibility with the vanilla EVDO networks. Unless Verizon Wireless specifies compatibility, like in this card’s case, your old equipment is likely out of luck.

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  1. Why do I find it so hard to believe these Broadband numbers (“it offers 3.1 Mbps on the downlink and 1.8 Mbps on the uplink”) when all the technical resources I monitor tell us that real world numbers for both EVDO-A and HSDPA(under real world pressure) are still in the 500-700Kbps, with occasional burst to 1Mbps down and 384Kbps up.
    I would love to see an expert (other than a propagandis from one of the CellCo)address what is real today and what will really & consitently happen when the consumers start downloading and exchanging video (YouTube) and gaming on these congested Narrowband Cell Networks. Watch what happens when The Venice Project releases its HD TV/Video Peer to Peer Network and brings these Narrowband networks to their knees and makes them try and salvage their voice services by teaming with and shifting these true Broadband Services off to the Muni Wireless Mesh Networks.

    Jacomo

  2. Glenn Fleishman Monday, December 18, 2006

    There’s always this mismatch between nominal rates and actual rates — in addition to Jacomo’s point about network saturation.

    The nominal rates may be 3.1/1.8 Mbps, but Verizon isn’t promising anything remotely like that. It sounds like 800 Kbps/350 Kbps will be the upper end of the average range, with most users seeing more a mix. The uplink rate will be substantially higher on average than Rev. 0.

  3. Ronald Bruintjes Tuesday, December 19, 2006

    I’m not so much worried about the data throughput, as I am about the charge per Kb – will it be .002 cents, or .002 dollars…?

  4. wireless internet bob Thursday, January 11, 2007

    OM, you are correct. there is NO upward compatibility with evdo rev a on any other card except the sierra aircard 595 on the verizon network.

    BUT that doesn’t mean that you should immediately dump your kpc650 of v620. both of these cards are faster than the sierra 595 in non rev a markets (most everywhere for another year yet.)

    we put up a comprehensive comparison at: http://evdo-coverage.blogspot.com/2005/09/5220-vs-v620-vs-v650-vs-5740-mimo.html

    and there is a Free 595 offer at http://wireless-internet-broadband-service.com

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