ON SPEED

Finweek English Edition - - Economic trends & analysis - BENE­DICT KELLY

VO­DA­COM’S AN­SWER to peo­ple who don’t have a PC card slot on their note­book com­put­ers or use desk­top PCs but still want ac­cess to the high speed HSDPA net­work is the USB HSDPA mo­dem.

This shiny white mo­dem con­nects to the note­book via a short USB cable.

As some­one who uses an Ap­ple note­book, this mo­dem per­fectly com­ple­ments the looks of the note­book. Once con­nected to the 3G net­work, the speeds achieved, while not close to the promised 1,8Mbps, were about twice the speed of my 384Kbps ADSL link at home. How­ever, be­cause it’s a con­tended ser­vice, re­sults tended to dif­fer de­pend­ing on the time that I at­tempted a test.

In short, the speed was good and fast at times, but also a bit on the slow side oc­ca­sion­ally.

My real crit­i­cism of the mo­dem comes from the way the soft­ware works on the Ap­ple plat­form. Con­sid­er­ing that one of the key mar­kets for this mo­dem is the Ap­ple com­mu­nity, the Voda­fone soft­ware is com­pletely il­log­i­cal in the way it op­er­ates.

Run­ning the Voda­fone soft­ware gives you the op­tion of ac­ti­vat­ing the card but you then have to use the Mac’s built-in In­ter­net con­nec­tion wizard to con­nect to the In­ter­net. This is a process that must be re­peated each time you want to con­nect, which strikes me as very strange. Why the Voda­fone soft­ware doesn’t just au­to­mat­i­cally fire up the con­nec­tion man­ager each time is a mys­tery.

PC users, on the other hand, have noth­ing to worry about be­cause the Voda­fone Con­nect soft­ware works with­out a hitch on the Win­dows plat­form.

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