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.