Monday, August 11, 2008

Are the dongle's days numbered?

USB stick manufacturer dismisses embedded Sim fears UK: Mobile Magazine

Dongle manufacturer Huawei believes that USB broadband sticks will continue to outsell embedded Sim cards. The Chinese manufacturer, which produces the majority of Europe's dongles, has seen global dongle shipments surpass 10 million.

Laptop manufacturers have begun to ship a broader range of laptops with embedded Sim capabilities but the company dismissed fears that dongle technology has already reached a peak with embedded Sim cards set to overtake. A Huawei spokeswoman said: "How long it takes the market to move away from dongles to embedded Sim cards depends on the development trend of the whole product chain and the preferences of the end users."

"Embedded Sim cars are a trend, but Huawei believes dongles still have a unique market space and market opportunities, which won't be replaced by embedded Sim cards in the short term."

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3 Mobile looking to improve mobile broadband speeds to 14.4Mbps

Mobile network operator Three has told Techradar it expects to move to even higher mobile broadband speeds as it attempts to corner the mobile broadband market.

"We're hoping to bring our network up to 7.2mbps over the summer," confirmed a spokesperson from Three to Techradar. "Our network currently offers 3.6mbps, which in real terms is around 1mbps, and we're currently investing in our network. This means we might get 2mbps when we upgrade."

The spokesperson said the network is working on upgrading the speeds to an even faster 14.4mbps, but is unsure when this will be as Three is now implementing the current upgrades. "[...] higher speeds mean the network becomes more sensitive. [...] What we hope to offer is greater capacity, in order to serve more users, rather than just focusing on the top speeds."

Read the full article on

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How to use and share mobile broadband at home

Many people have already invested in a monthly contract for 3G mobile broadband at home or on the road, but the question is how to share that connection?

Typically, home users will need to share an internet connection between more than one PC. The good news is that this is entirely possible with 3G mobile broadband. Many home users are even considering ditching traditional fixed-line broadband altogether, however they require a robust system to share their 3G at home. In fact, for some in remote areas out of range of fixed-line ADSL service, 3G mobile broadband may be the only option if they want broadband.

So, what do you need to share a 3G mobile broadband connection? Well, in simple terms, all you need is a router - but one that can accept a 3G dongle instead of (or in addition to) a wired connection to the fixed-line ADSL service. 3G mobile broadband routers enable you to share your mobile broadband at home, or even to create your own portable hot spot while travelling, at shows, exhibitions, field trips etc.

One such router is the Billion BiPAC 7402GXL. Priced at a reasonable £88 incl VAT RRP, the Billion BiPAC 7402GXL is compatible with Vodafone, T-Mobile, 3, Orange, O2 (dongle not included) - you can check compatibility with your dongle here. Billion have led the market in the development and release of 3G routers and their UK MD Edward Kung has said: "[A 3G router] is the ideal product for the latest boom in 3G broadband – and Billion is enabling consumers to maximise their connection easily and flexibly. The BiPAC 7402GXL is a very useful gadget for home and business users at an unbeatable price!"

Basic setup is relatively straightforward; simply plug your 3G mobile broadband dongle into the USB port on the back of the router, connect you PC (either via and ethernet cable or wirelessly), check the router configuration and that's it; 3G mobile broadband available to your entire suite of PC's.

A word of caution though; just remember your data limit. It is obviously far more difficult to keep an accurate monitor of your data usage if your kids, granny or anyone else in the family has unfettered access. A couple of films downloaded or an episode of Eastenders on the iPlayer will quickly devour your allowance. Use our broadband usage calculator to get an idea of how much data you might need.


3 Mobile now offer this mobile broadband router designed specifically for sharing 3 Mobile mobile broadband from a single dongle.

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