We just picked up a Sierra Wireless 306 USB HSPA (SW 306) 3G+ cellular modem that runs on the CDMA carrier’s networks here in Canada.
Now, with the Sierra Wireless 598 3G modem, there was no real worry about hitting the 1GB data plan’s soft limit as the modem rarely gave us over 20KB/sec despite the 3Mb connection claim it made when it connected to the Internet.
This is definitely _not_ the case when it comes to the SW 306. While no speed claims are made when the connection to the Internet completes, we have already seen the need to do some downloading of drivers and other software packages using the new modem.
Thus, we have a very practical view of just how fast this thing is . . . and it is _really_ fast!
One Microsoft download came down at close to 1MB/Sec.
This morning, as a test, we downloaded IE8 for Windows XP:
In the above screenshot the SW 306 3G+ cellular modem is on par with our close to the Central Office ADSL 6Mb connection that runs closer to 7.5Mb.
So, what does that mean for us? It means that we need to be aware of our RDP settings when connecting to remote systems for the day. 32bit colour depth is not necessary, nor is full screen on a larger high definition laptop screen.
We will need to keep an eye on our usage via our provider’s online portal that allows us to do so.
It also means that our Canadian cellular data providers will be needing to restructure their data plans that span 500MB to 5GB per month. Obviously, even the 5GB soft limit will not be enough for bandwidth intensive users.
Though, with little competition between the providers up here, there is really not a lot of incentive to do that.
We have clients that have one of the provider’s early unlimited data plans. The provider has a policy of taking away great plans and replacing them with whatever is current, and more restrictive, than the previous plan. So, we are going to encourage our clients to hold onto that plan and their current SW 598 modems as long as possible.
And one more thing. We are required to pay an extra $5/Mth per device that requires any form of PPTP/L2TP VPN access. VPN connections are not allowed out of the box.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book