What is 3G

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Data Card WAR

A tale of two data cards


(Huawei Technologies Co Ltd)
3G data card
Network band: GSM900/1800 (2G), GPRS (2.5G), WCDMA (3G)
System requirements: Windows 98SE and above, Pentium 100 or above, 32MB RAM, PC Card slot Type II, CD-ROM drive
Other features: antenna, microphone and earphone port for voice service (earpiece included)
Price: RM1,549 and monthly access fee depending of 3G plan
Review unit courtesy of Celcom (Malaysia) Bhd, (03) 3630-8888

(Lucent Technologies and Novatel Wireless Inc)
3G data card
Connectivity: GSM900/1800 (2G), GPRS (2.5G), WCDMA (3G)
System requirements: Windows 2000 and above, 16MB of hard disk space, 64MB RAM, PC Card slot
Type II, CD-ROM drive
Price: RM1,599 and monthly access fee RM149
Review unit courtesy of Maxis Communications Bhd, (03) 7492-2123

FRET not when you're on the go and your WiFi-enabled laptop is out of any WiFi coverage area. Thanks to 3G mobile technology, you can now still surf the Internet wirelessly.
Although users could surf the Net on a mobile telecommunications network before the advent of 3G, it was via a GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) connection that is limited to about 40Kbps (kilobits per second).
When Celcom and Maxis announced the availability of commercial 3G networks that offer surfing speeds of up to 384Kbps (seven times that of GPRS), yours truly immediately jumped at the opportunity to test out their services with two separate data cards.

The data cards can be used with almost any laptop with a PC Card slot to provide high-speed Internet and e-mail access.
Celcom uses the E600 data card from Huawei Technologies while Maxis employs the Merlin-U530 data card from Lucent Technologies and Novatel Wireless Inc.

Both cards offer seamless connection to GPRS and WCDMA 2.0 (3G) networks, so if you're in an area with no 3G coverage, the cards will switch to the well-established GPRS networks automatically. You can keep track of things by referring to the data card software’s network signal indicator (3G or 2.5G). But the best indicator for me is when your swift download speed suddenly reduces to a crawl.

Simple installation

Both solutions are easy to install. All you have to do is to install the bundled software – Huawei E600 (Celcom) and MobiLink (Maxis). Once completed, just slide in the data card (with the 3G SIM card) into the laptop's PC Card slot. The card will then be initiated upon a PC reboot. Once the software is loaded, you will be greeted with a dashboard-like control panel. If everything goes as planned, you will be able to surf right away.

It is that easy – there is no need to tinker with any settings as the software has all the bases covered.
Through the dashboard, you can immediately access the Internet or your e-mail. Both data cards also allow you to send and receive SMS messages while you're surfing the Web.

However, the Celcom data card offers extra features that the Maxis data card doesn't.

These include an external antenna to boost reception, as well as a microphone/headphone port for connecting a handsfree kit. This means the Celcom data card allows you to surf the Web, send and receive SMS messages and make a voice call at the same time. To be fair, Maxis will launch their 3G integrated voice service tomorrow, so we might soon see a Maxis data card with similar features.

The cost of convenience

Both service providers claim that their 3G services allow up to 384Kbps for downloads and up to 64Kbps for uploads. I tested the cards in several locations around Klang Valley where the signal strength varied considerably. In Shah Alam, where there was only a two-bar reception, I managed to get a mediocre connection of around 160Kbps.

In the more upmarket areas such as Damansara, where the reception was stronger, the speed increased to about 285Kbps.
On average, I managed to get speeds of around 200Kbps to 350Kbps when there was strong reception.
While this is still slower than a streamyx connection (512Kbps), the 3G connection is still plenty fast for the kinds of applications mobile workers are likely to use, and it's certainly a massive improvement over GPRS. You can even stay connected to the network for however long you want because you only pay for the amount of data you send and receive.

To subscribe to the Celcom 3G network, users have to purchase the data card for RM1,549. On top of that they will have to decide which 3G package (pay-per-use, 3MB and unlimited plans) that they want to subscribe to.

Those interested in Maxis 3G must also buy the data card, which costs RM1,599 (inclusive of the 3G SIM card). Unlike Celcom, however, Maxis has a flat rate of RM150 per month for unlimited surfing.


The main draw of using a 3G network connection is its speedy Internet connection via a mobile telecommunications network.
However, thanks to its high cost, only mid- to high-end users would find this an acceptable business expense.

E600 Pros: Headache-free installation, speedy broadband connection; can make voice calls
E600 Cons: Pricey

Merlin Pros: Easy installation; fast broadband connection
Merlin Cons: Pricey; cannot make voice calls.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

BroadBand on Mobile

3G is like broadband for mobile phones. It offers
voice, video, picture message, e-mail, the Internet
and more, all in one portable device.


There is currently no single global 3G standard, but the principal technologies of 3G include:

WCDMA which has been chosen for 3G mobile phone systems in Europe, Asia and the US. It first converts raw data into a narrowband digital radio signal and then attaches a marker or spreading code to each data packet to identify it as belonging to a particular communication.

CDMAwas first introduced in 1995, and works in similar fashion. Many of the leading operators are currently creating CDMA networks). CDMA phones have longer standby times
than current models, and in-built reverse compatibility means that over 100 million customers worldwide who already use CDMA can easily upgrade to newer models. CDMA2000 1xEV-DO provides ‘always-on’ packet data connection, like landline-based broadband, for more convenient mobile internet use.

EDGE is the technology that allows existing GSM networks to provide 3G services and allows GSM to transmit data at transmission speeds of up to 384Kpbs.


3G chops each call or transmission into little packets of data, marking each one with an individual code to show which connection it belongs to. This is a much more efficient way of transmitting data, allowing 3G networks to deliver larger files – like pictures and even video – at much faster speeds.


3G provides flexibility and portability, allowing you to do more on the move. Some of the benefits include:

Instant communication – you can make and receive phone calls, fax transmissions, and quickly send and receive e-mails, including large attachments, wherever you are – so you never have to be out of touch.

High-speed internet access– you can make high-speed internet connections for web browsing, and fast downloading of data files or software from websites, or even image or music files.

Ad-hoc video-conferencing– 3G can be used for video calling and conferencing as well as picture messaging.

Information at your fingertips– many 3G devices also provide navigational features and access to maps and can receive television transmissions with sports events or news coverage streamed directly to your handset.

Keeping you organised– 3G handsets can also function as personal organisers, with electronic diaries, contact lists, and automatic reminders.

Never out of touch –most 3G networks are likely to offer global roaming – that is the ability to access these services from anywhere the world.

Info extracted from UK on line for business.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

What is 3G


3G - Third Generation Mobile Telephony

EDGE - Enchanced Data Rates for Global Evolution

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

3G is short for third generation mobile telephone technology. It provides the ability to transfer both voice data (a video call) and non-voice data (such as downloading of information and multimedia services, email, instant messaging) at greater speed.

3G promises increased bandwidth, up to 384 Kbps, and that's 6 times faster than today's GPRS network. With 3G, you can make and receive video calls from your friends and colleagues as well as send and receive high-density data files such as video clips and music videos at greater speed and in lesser amount of tim

3G Connect the speed of data transfer is up to 384 kbps, which is comparable to broadband. This is significantly faster than EDGE.
As a comparison, our drive tests have shown that you can expect a minimum 3G speed of 100 kbps in 98% of instances. For EDGE, this is only achieved in less than 50% of instances.
In short, 3G is 6 times faster than GPRS and 3 times faster than EDGE.

3G services can be access by using a DATA Card connected to a computer or by a 3G mobile phone with a 3G sim card.

Most 3G operator allow their 3G network to automatically hands over to the 2G network when you leave the 3G coverage area. When you are on a voice call, you will see no interruption of service and will be able to continue your voice call uninterrupted.

3G DATA Card or mobile phone will automatically be connected to the 2G network. All data services will work, though at slower speeds. However, video calls from the mobile phone are not possible outside of 3G coverage areas.

Communication between 3G and 2G networks is supported. When you’re on 3G, you can call, SMS and MMS who are not on 3G. However, they will not be able to receive video calls and video mails.

You can enjoy seamless and wireless connectivity to the Internet via our 3G Connect data card. As for the mobile phone services, most 3G support operator provided a comprehensive range of services such as video calls, video mail, video messages, video streaming, and other value-added services.

With video calls, not only will people be able to talk to each other through their mobile phone, they can see each other as well. This adds an exciting dimension to mobile communication.

In general 3G is the way to go for the future of telecommunication the application of 3G is vast, the internet or the WWW is really in your hands.