[sclug] sclug Digest, Vol 51, Issue 1

Malcolm Napier malcolm.napier at 14cc.com
Fri Dec 7 16:46:59 UTC 2007

> I don't recall seeing any posting about this.  But Carphone 
> Wharehouse seem to have a good deal here.
> http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/commerce/servlet/gben-server-
> It would seem to me to be a much better deal than buying hot 
> spot time.
> They talk about Windows and Mac but not Linux.
> Does any one know more than what is on that link?
> Regards,
> Tom.

Carphone Warehouse wouldn't oblige me with the details - so I can't comment
on the deal.

I have implemented a small number of laptop servers using T-Mobile 3G cards.
Most are Suse 9.3. They act as mobile Internet access points, routers, DHCP,
file and print servers. The application is for mobile classrooms to support
adult learning in community settings such as village halls and community
centres where it is not worth installing a broadband link for one or two
classes per week. The laptops use the PCMCIA 3G or 3.5G card - depending on
when the contract was taken out.

I also tried to build an Ubuntu version but gave up at the router/DHCP
server bit as Ubuntu seemed to be much harder to set up and I had spent a
lifetime googling to get the Suse version running. I got the PCMCIA 3G card
working though.

We also run a number of Windoze XP laptops with the same PCMCIA cards. I use
one of these cards instead of using hot spots.

We have also experimented with using the USB modem as a fallback Internet
connection on a Draytek Vigor2800 router and will be intalling one of these
for a client this month.  I have no experience of the USB modem on Linux but
it can't be harder than PCMCIA cards can it?

When they work they are great because they have wide area coverage. However,
they suffer from the usual mobile network problems - variable coverage and
network reliability problems. Generally I have been happy with mine but I am
an occasional user. 

T-Mobile are the best provider for HSDPA in my opinion. They made a
commitment last year to cover the wider south east of the country - the
bottom right hand corner bordered by lines south and east of Birmingham. I
have had reasonably good reception in Reading, Maidenhead, Slough and
Bracknell. Coverage stops at Theale if you are going West.


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