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Sprint brings EVDO Rev A to Mac and Windows laptops through Novatel Wireless ExpressCard modem: The EX720 will run $180 with a two-year commitment. The announcement explicitly states support for Mac OS X and Windows. Sprint’s monthly service is $60 per month for unmetered usage with a two-year commitment, but no voice plan is required. The ExpressCard is found in most new laptops sold to professionals, and Apple’s single MacBook Pro high-end laptop model. (I write unmetered because it’s not unlimited: there are limits to use.) Sprint already offers a Novatel USB modem, and three PC Card modems.
The EVDO Rev. A network operates at substantially higher upload speeds than Rev. 0 and somewhat better download speeds—average speeds tend to be reported as 200 to 350 Kbps up and 450 to 800 Kbps down. Sprint is claiming in a release 350 to 500 Kbps up and 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps down!
The card, like all EVDO Rev. A modems, works with Rev. A and Rev. 0 networks, as well as 1xRTT, a modem-speed standard.
Novatel Wireless has Active Notifications support for EVDO, HSDPA: The Microsoft technology lets an Exchange messaging server push notifications to a cell data modem that’s got this Novatel technology to then alert the mobile user. This is akin to push email and even old pager networks, but it’s more generically available between the modem and the operating system. Active Notifications works while a Vista computer is sleeping, and can work with the tiny external panels that some laptops will sport for displaying limited information, called SideShow.
They’re coming thick and fast these days, tracking an obvious trend as 3G networks become ubiquitous: The Reactor product is similar in description to several cellular bridges that allow travelers, workgroups, and transit vehicles to bridge cellular networks to a WLAN or LAN connection. Pricing was not disclosed.