Posts Tagged Sprint

The Best Cell For Your Money

Speaking of CricKet, sometimes people ask me what the best cell phone company is. To which I answer, “it depends.” If you want the latest high-end smartphones (I do) you’ll need to pony up for a contract with Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint or AT&T (in order of my carrier preference at this point). If you’re okay with a lower-end phone that still works perfectly well, you have more options. Read the rest of this entry »

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Common CricKet Misconceptions, Debunked

This evening I and a few friends were hanging out in front of the miniature apartment complex next to my school (I have no pretense of privacy). One had his Verizon iPhone 4 out. The discussion for a minute or two turned to how much he was paying for his cellular service ($40 per month plus change for an add-a-line on a family plan), after which he mentioned that, once his Verizon contract was, up, he’d switch his phone to CricKet and pay a little more, but in return get unlimited everything without the need to be on his parents’ family plan. “it’s the same network as Verizon anyway,” he said.


The above misconception is surprisingly common, so I don’t blame anyone for espousing it Read the rest of this entry »

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Looking back on today’s communications outage

UPDATE 4: Added a Kerrville Daily Times link for a new article on how 911 is handled. Lots of good information there.

UPDATE 3: Added another news source. Swamped by homework so tweets will have to wait, but other than those I think I’ve got all the online info on the outage linked from here.

UPDATE 2: Added another couple of news sources, corrected one of my usual typos…some how I forgot to add a “not” into the paragraph about Wal-Mart taking credit card transactions. Sorry for the confusion. Also modified information based on an article from the Fredericksburg Standard Radio-Post. The link below takes you to the subscriber-only version of the article; the non-subscriber snippet just makes the paper look bad (very little info).

UPDATE: Added some more news articles, (still) working on collecting all tweets about the incident, revised some information for accuracy (originally wasn’t sure about CricKet and Pocket, but they too were taken down by the outage…DSL was also apparently iffy in Kerrville).

Granted, I wasn’t in the area when it happened, but since I have plenty of family and friends down there I’m certainly going to talk about it! Read the rest of this entry »

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Force 3G on a Sierra Wireless aircard on a Mac…here’s how

So I bought an AT&T data plan earlier today. SIM-only, no contract. Pretty cool, since their less-than-a-month-old 3G network around here is still pretty speedy. I didn’t need an aircard as I purchased a Sierra Wireless USBConnect 881 back during the days of “unlimited” GoPhone data for $20. The card lay dormant after “unlimited” became 100MB (big difference) but today it meant the difference between signing a contract (aka not getting service) and not signing one.

One problem arose when I got home: my aircard kept switching to EDGE during the middle of a data session. Not a good thing for a $60 + taxes and fees data plan. So I needed to force 3G on the card. The problem there was that only the Windows Sierra and AT&T clients allow forced 3G. So (not knowing that settings are stored on the modem and thus once I set 3G-only on my Windows computer it would be 3G-only on my Mac) I scrounged around and found this page. I followed those instructions and was able to make sure my aircard was 3G-only.

If you don’t want to read through a (relatively short) page on how to kick your aircard into high gear, you’re in luck. Here’s what you’d do on a Mac to force-3G a Sierra aircard. Note that this procedure was performed on OS X 10.6.1 and with the Apple “native” driver installed (a tiny download from here). This is also with the latest modem firmware, which I had to use the Sierra driver (vs. the native one) to upgrade to.

  1. Go to Terminal (Applications > Utilities)
  2. Type in screen /dev/tty.wwanCMD 115200 and hit enter.
  3. Type in AT!band? and hit enter.
  4. If you see the number 02, you’re already locked into 3G-only mode. Otherwise, type in AT!band=02 and hit enter to set the mode. If you wanted to go 2G-only, the code would be 04 instead of 02. AUtoselect is 00.

Hope this helps! Now I’m cooking along with 2-3 bars of signal (-87 dBm right now) and pulling down these speeds:

Though connection quality is quite a bit more variable than Sprint’s (slower, particularly on uploads) connection at my place…

In comparison, SPrint usually pulls down 1.3 Mbps down, 300-500 kbps up and gets a B on connection quality.

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