High-speed Internet On The Go

Alison Young
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March 14, 2007
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EX720 mobile broadband card
EX720 mobile broadband card

Mobile broadband cards are nothing new (by tech standards), but I’ve had my eyes glued on the EX720 card for awhile. This appeals to me because it’s small and I knew it would work on my Mac!

The Merlin EX720 was launched by Novatel Wireless through Sprint last month, and was finally made available to the general public. It offers the ability to take high-speed Internet with you anywhere using your laptop computer. The EX720 is extremely small, weighing in at only 1.4 ounces. It is designed to plug into the newer laptops that have an express card slot vs. a PCMCIA card slot.

With its Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Revision A capability, the EX720 gives you faster average download speeds of 600 kilobits per second (kbps) to 1.4 megabits per second (mbps) and average upload speeds of 350-500 kbps.

Location-based software is built into the card as well. It allows you to find nearby locations, such as restaurants, gas stations, banks, etc., without having to input your current location. You can perform this “locate and search” that plots your current location on a map and then searches for nearby points of interest. You can also enter your own custom point of interest query.

If you’re worried about the security of your connection as far as sending personal information (credit card numbers, etc.), you’re protected. The card uses CDMA wireless technology authentication and identification system for top-notch security. The Mobile Identification Number (MIN) and Electronic Serial Number (ESN), together with CDMA spread spectrum technology make it virtually impossible for unauthorized users to capture and decipher messages and other sensitive information.

In addition to the EX720, other available broadband cards are the Novatel Wireless Merlin U720, Novatel Wireless Merlin S720, Pantech Wireless PX-500 and the Sierra Wireless Aircard 595. The EX720 is compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista or Mac OS 10.4 or higher, and it is power efficient, using only 3.3 volts to operate. It would take a long time to drain your laptop’s battery. Additionally, for your convenience you don’t need a client to connect online.

The network adapter support allows for “Always On,” Auto-Connect, faster connection time and Intelligent Data Traffic Routing.

This mobile broadband is tremendously useful for me, and would be for you, too, if you’re always on the go. If you’re strictly a go-back-and-forth-to-work-type of person, this probably is not for you, but it’s still cool to have if you want to do Internet while you’re out and about.

The EX720 sells for $179.99 for the card, plus a $59.99 per month charge for an unlimited connection plan on Sprint’s network. To purchase the EX720 or any other data card of your own, contact Norma Parks from Sprint Hawaii at 847-9022. To see Sprint’s complete line of the aforementioned broadband cards, visit www.sprint.com.

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