Azitech

Azimout's Linux weblog

UMTS

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I currently live in DSL desert, which means that not even the state company (telecom italia) can provide me with an ADSL connection.

One option (used by some colleagues in a similar miserable state) is the “EOLO Wireless” family of services by ngi.it, which uses the WiMAX protocol.

The other option is the UMTS service provided by most cell operators (mine is Vodafone Italia). I pay €30/month for 100 hours of UMTS. It’s not enough for downloading massively, but enough for the use I have in mind… The speeds I achieve are in the order of 40kB/s = 320kbps (much less than the advertised maximum of 3.6Mbps, but still very acceptable). 3G coverage is not terrific, at home (which is where I usually use it) I get 2 or 3 out of seven “bars” of signal (I should try to see if, in a place with stronger signal, I get higher downlink speed).

Problems:

  1. My Nokia N73 has 3 operating modes: GSM, UMTS and dual. Dual is supposed to mean that when there’s no 3G coverage it switches to GSM and when 3G coverage resumes, it goes back to 3G. However, there have been moments where it does not resume (at least not immediately), in places where I know there is coverage…
    The solution is to force it to UMTS mode (requires Symbian reboot). But then if I leave it in UMTS mode, in locations without 3G coverage my phone is offline to the network!
  2. It’s normal, but you don’t think about it before (at least I didn’t): when connected, the phone consumes power as if in a call, so after a few hours the battery is drained…
  3. Nokia provides it “Nokia PC suite” software (necessary to use the Nokia N73 as a modem) only for Windows. One work-around would be to use the external usb modem, but they sell it for €149!!!! (it’s basically the Huawei e220, for which I have found guides about how to install in Ubuntu). Corrently I use it only with Windows…

PS I discovered that 3 was the first operator in Italy and in the world (!!!) to offer UMTS services…

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Written by azimout

09/10/2007 at 12:35

Posted in Reference

One Response

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  1. For a 3Mbps(down)/512kbps(up) line (256k guaranteed 95%) I would pay €36.7/month (€440/year). The most probable BTS for me is San Salvatore.
    It would cost €45 for someone to come first and verify coverage (line-of-sight to the BTS).
    It would cost an additional €95 for the installation, unless I do it on my own, or get a 2-year contract.
    The antenna is a small 20x20cm dish. It talks 5GHz to the BTS and PPPoE to the router (I could use my own).
    I would have to ask my land-lady for permission to put the antenna on the balcony/roof, and I don’t know yet how I could get the cable inside.

    azimout

    18/04/2008 at 14:41


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