As part of the creation of a new
mobile communications project
, we decided to purchase equipment from various operators available in the current market in order to have a direct idea of who and how.
The first article is an introductory one, in which I will briefly tell about 7 devices for operation in 3G and 4G networks.
Immediately I will get rid of bad thoughts - all this is an exclusively voluntary start, with a tiny budget, but with a “fuse” in the form of a certain amount of enthusiasm and desire to understand. Absolutely no agreement with the operators - all just to create in the network one small resource, which without undue technical grounds could dispel the fog of ignorance about the mobile Internet created by current networks, communication standards, various devices and other operators tricks. Well, just be aware of the events of this topic.
There are more and more operators and each of them considers it his duty to offer something new, “new”. New services, services, tariffs, brands, protocols, communication standards, devices, and any other. The result is a huge amount of information noise, a lot of announcements and incomprehensible new words - everything would be fine, but many people often do not even understand what they mean. Well, there the terms "tridzhi" and "chetyredzhi" still somehow can be imagined vaguely, but a bit deeper and you understand ... that you do not understand anything.
To begin our “research” activity in the issue of mobile Internet, 7 different modems were bought (not counting two more that were already available - about them another time). Now they are all in working condition - they have a lot of work to do. But if someone suddenly wants to help us, always well.
By the way, yes, two charming ladies, Trigee
, whom we will get to know a bit later, will help to understand the mobile problems
Now let's get started. For some reason, I decided to start it with modems from mobile operators. At the moment, the “big three” have several devices, among which, by the way, have a lot in common. For example, problems :) But about everything in order.
Black oblong modem made of matte plastic - with red LEDs, the company logo and a removable cover. There is no rotary mechanism of the USB connector, so the modem will always stick out in a horizontal plane. In general, this is not the operator's own development - the modem (E1550) is made quite famous in the communications world by Huawei
Included with the modem is a SIM-card, user manual and a whole bundle of information waste paper from the operator.
When connected to a laptop, the modem is mounted as an external drive and installation of the software begins with it. All this takes no more than a minute, as a result of which a clumsy icon of the firm “oval” appears on the desktop.
The interface itself is dull enough - impractical red, not getting into the resolution of the netbook window, in which free space is inefficiently used.
But he became the only 3G-modem (running ahead), which earned immediately and almost without any problems.
And the first connection was far from Moscow (almost in Volgograd) - the quality of signal reception was quite good, which, apparently, caused the balance to almost instantly disappear to -300r (on Moscow sim card).
It was also surprising that SMS spam started to go to a completely new SIM card in half an hour:
The speed was very small - about 250kbit / s, but in Moscow everything is more optimistic - up to 3 Mbit / s.
Absolutely identical modem, only already white and with green LEDs, as well as with a cord for fastening (all this in an irrationally large box of cheap cardboard).
And, of course, the differences in software - this time everything is in firm green tones. There are small differences in the interface - for example, it is possible to check the balance. But least of all by pressing this button, I was waiting for the proposal to enter the USSD code manually :)
Unfortunately, immediately after connecting, the modem appears in the system, but the software shell does not see it.
After some manipulations, the modem began to appear in the settings, but I did not want to catch the network at all - despite the fact that I could almost reach out to one of the company's towers from the window.
Perhaps this problem arose due to the installation of a similar (after the MTS) device and a software conflict occurred - at least, this version is the most popular on the forums. However, the connection of the modem even to a “clean” computer did not help, not to mention the futile attempts to resolve the issue by removing / rearranging the software and cleaning the registry.
What is even more surprising - periodically launching the MegaFon program, the MTS program was launched and vice versa. Such is the mutual friendship between red and green.
Another modem from the company still managed to “start”, with the result that it consistently demonstrated speeds of up to 3.3 Mbit / s. Both modems are compatible with the MacOS operating system, however, as in the case of Windows, the software conflicts with each other. But you can work.
It is nice to write about this device, if only because it differs from the previous two, and, in my opinion, for the better. Smaller sizes, glossy white plastic is of fairly good quality - all this is on a rather uncomfortable swivel USB plug. It is inconvenient only because it entered the USB port very tightly, which caused it to turn involuntarily during installation - you need to insert it very carefully. Another of the functional elements is a status LED and a SIM card installed under the removable cover. You can install an external antenna:
In the system, the modem is mounted as a CD drive with the name ZTE MF170. The modem's manufacturer is ZTE, known in our market primarily by ADSL modems, which are actively installed by STREAM.
The second pleasant thing was software. The first two considered shells do not go to any comparison - here you can see that the designer worked. Nice colors, calm design, large clear buttons - all this easily fits on the screen of the netbook. Although just in case there is a version of the interface "Light", in which there is absolutely nothing superfluous - the most THAT for moms / dads and lovers of minimalism.
But on this positive attitude ended. The set included a clear color instruction in which it was written in black and white that to get started, you need to activate the “starting amount”, for which you only need to press one button.
The problem was that after pressing nothing happened ... although no, a silent error with code 57 crashed - “ Invalid code or used card code
”. Checking the balance did not work either - “ Service is unavailable, error code: 4
”. Due to circumstances, it was not possible to call the operator to clarify the circumstances, so I had to stop testing - no reinstallation of the program and dancing with a tambourine helped.
A little later, it turned out that this was far from the only case that had already been written about and even filmed videos. And the operators on the phone will not help - all the time they called to the office, ostensibly to replace the card (with preservation of the number and balance).
So apparently, there is a large batch of defective kits that are sold throughout Moscow (repeated cases in the Connected and even in the ION).
All the problems that have arisen were solved in the Beeline service office, replacing the SIM card. The modem also works fine under Mac OS and perhaps this modem has provided the most comfortable work of all 3G modems. As for speed, the maximum that we managed to squeeze out of it in the center of Moscow is 2.5 Mbit.
If you do not consider the potential troubles (here as lucky) at the very beginning of work, the modem from Beeline left quite good impressions.
In the case of this operator, I would like to consider three 4G-devices (maybe the 4G term is somewhat inappropriate, but for now we won’t go into these details, let it be so) presented on the Russian market - this is the Samsung SWC-U200
pioneering modem, the recently released USB modem Yota Jingle
and the wireless Wi-Fi router Yota Egg
. Separately, I want to note the quality of all devices - they are pleasant to hold in their hands, they are ergonomic, managed by a pleasant-looking and minimalistic software.Samsung SWC-U200
can be of several colors - white, red and silver. Dimensions - 70x14x27 (mm) with a weight of 25g. One end is made in the form of an indicator, on the other, a retractable USB plug is located behind the retracting plug. When installing into the system, a small application is immediately installed, after which you can start working.Yota Jingle WU217 is
made in white color - it is without a turning mechanism, and for the rest, there are practically no differences from the first model. Unless inside here on 2 antennas on reception and on transfer (2x2 MIMO). Dimensions and weight - 80x26x9mm, 16g.
As an example to modems from operators, the software interface is minimalist and very pleasant - anyone can really cope with it. And what else is nice (more than that - surprised) - even if both modems were inserted at the same time, then the software shells would work independently - it was much easier to drive a car with this approach in order to compare the quality of signal reception.
And, oddly enough, he practically did not differ
- where there is no official coverage for Yota (for example, in my city of Dzerzhinsky), in some places the weak signal was barely caught, on a single “stick”. And in the same place where it is declared - usually the same 3-4 divisions. In my city on one “stick” a connection was easily established at a speed of 1 Mbit / s, in the center, it easily turned out to be 4 Mbit / s.Yota Egg is
very different from the first two Yota-modems - it is a rather simple, but unexpectedly convenient Wi-Fi router. It (the egg) is a small piece of white glossy plastic with three indicators and a power button - I have already reviewed it
The small size (110x28x62mm) allows you to carry it everywhere, be it a pocket, backpack or car glove box. And the weight (130g) is almost completely built-in battery, which works up to 6 hours in the mode of intensive distribution of the Internet.
The principle of operation is simple - turn on the device, see that the WiMAX network reception indicator is green and if everything is fine, then connect from the laptop to the appeared Wi-Fi network and use the Internet.
Accordingly, the obvious advantages are always free USB ports, the ability to access the Internet simultaneously to several people, as well as the ability to be in touch from any device that supports Wi-Fi. Really very comfortable.
The quality of signal reception is very good - where no USB modems were caught (a meter away from the window), the “egg” was shining with an orange LED, which signaled a “weak signal”. What is surprising - on the windowsill itself the Internet was very much caught, and the indicator was already green.
But the best part about the Yota network is the prices - unlimited Internet costs 900 rubles per month, and the opportunity to get in touch (without a monthly fee) for a day now amounts to 90 rubles (until July 1, 2010 it was 50 rubles). But there is also a reverse side of the gold medal - coverage of the network is not yet the best - even in Moscow there are places where the network does not catch at all. Not to mention the Moscow region and even more so about the provincial cities. For speed measurements, I used the standard service on the iota website - the speed was also in the megabit area, which can already help out if necessary. In general, the young brand causes only positive emotions.
Another modem for work in the 4G network, but this time from another operator - Comstar.
The familiar form of the device, but this time it is smaller and lighter, which means that without a battery and the ability to work autonomously. The guesses were confirmed after the USB-cord for connecting to a computer was found in the kit - after a minute it becomes clear that the “egg shape” is extremely inconvenient with this type of connection.
Also included was a beautiful and clear color instruction.
As in all previous cases, the software is installed immediately after connecting - this time it is the next decorated (in blue) interface, in which the average user does not need half of the functions.
Unfortunately, it was not possible to immediately access the Internet - I had to call the office of the STREAM company so that they created an account that did not want to be created with the data that was issued at the store upon purchase. When the modem was activated in half, the speed averaged 3-4 megabits.
Unfortunately, the modem did not manage to get to work in the MacOS operating system.
I do not know what is there and how - I did not see the intrusive advertisement of Comstar in Moscow (unlike the iota). But in general, I think you can live with the Internet. But I repeat - it will not be very convenient to use such a modem in everyday life. And in some places it is not possible at all :)
After the “test” of several devices, a strange sediment remained - it would seem that in the battle for users all manufacturers should try to outdo each other, providing the most simple and convenient service, not to mention the speed and coverage. After all, I initially wanted to equalize and pick up, but the first thing I had to do was tinker with installing and configuring modems. And this is despite the fact that at the computer I am far from the first day and I know in about which vectors I need to dig in order to solve this or that problem. In general, it was necessary to tinker - but unfortunately, the “non-advanced” moms and dads will hardly cope with this themselves - it will be very difficult to explain even by telephone.
As for the rest, apart from the rake on the way to online, you can go online with any of the devices described. Another issue is quality and speed (well, the operating system,). So, for example, the same Yota is relevant only in Moscow, the Moscow suburbs and in several million-plus cities, while the modems of the “three operators” allow you to access the network almost everywhere (there is already a question of price). By the way, in the province with the Internet everything is much worse, which I will write about in a vivid living example.
I will not hide - most of all I really liked Yota. Good speed, exceptionally pleasant devices, working like a clock (from the tested set, all three devices earned immediately and without problems), and, of course, reasonable prices. But Yota is not everywhere, oh how far. Comstar is similarly not everywhere, but the service is not at all the same, and the modem is very mediocre.
You can talk about the three operators for a very long time, but on the whole, I didn’t get what I was waiting for, which is why I was a little disappointed. The impression was involuntarily created that the company’s profit was put in the head of everything, and the service and customer care were somewhere TAM, at the end of the list. But they have the opportunity to provide service ... at adequate prices!
Now it is necessary to approach the choice of tariffs with great responsibility and accuracy - almost everywhere there are a lot of “pitfalls” - the unlimited Internet is in fact not at all unlimited, then the speed after a certain amount of traffic is slaughtered to almost zero, then ... well, it is only in commercials that it seems that everything is simple, but in reality it’s a complete confusion.
Well, prices - the issue of pricing for services of operators for me is still a mystery. Yes, and the devices themselves - in order not to waste time and nerves, I advise you to check the performance of modems (and sims) still in the store, under the supervision of consultants.
But now at least there is an idea of what and from whom to expect. In the near future on gToday
we will provide the results of our testing of all operators in Moscow, which we are currently conducting. Anyone can join - we are preparing something interesting.Successes and stable connection!