georgebray at gmail.com
Wed Dec 30 18:14:37 MST 2009
My tests with 3G might be relevant for your great post.
I've used an Optus E169, and Telstra Sierra Wireless 301 USB modems in
pre-paid mode to maintain great, permanent 3G connectivity in places
where the service is unreliable via a 3G handset.
Both of these dongles have an external antenna connector.
I use an external antenna mounted on a tripod.
3G Long Range Antenna
To share the 3G connection I use a Draytek Vigor2820n. This ADSL/Wifi
router also has a USB port and displays the 3G radio reception signal
strength in the browser. It redials the 3G connection on demand, if
This was my setup while travelling recently. Using it I can scan the
horizon for the strongest signal (much like peaking a satellite dish).
In some remote places where there is no GSM service on phones I can
at least get a GPRS service to the outside world.
If you can get a 3G service, adjusting the directional antenna can optimise it.
There's no webpage on either carrier showing you how much traffic
you've used with prepaid, you have to put the dongle in a laptop and
(optus: send an SMS with their software, Telstra: use the connection
app to query the balance).
The latency on both 3G services I used was fine for my use. I
conduced multi-party (8) videoconferences with US and EU endpoints.
Skype video fine, YouTube fine. No sweat with the 4Mbps connection I'd
usually get. As a test, I was watching the recent Broadband Futures
event streamed live to my beachside cabin - it worked fine.
<BEWARE>Re-charging a Telstra prepaid connection takes (some time? -
48hrs). If you use the service before the credit is made to your
account, the usage on the re-charge you bought is billed at the
maximum price. Only after <some time> does the billing rate adjust to
what you've just paid for.</BEWARE>
George Bray, Canberra, Australia.
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