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I'm looking at signing up for T-Mobile's GPRS unlimited Internet access for $30 per month, which I plan to use at home for web surfing and e-mail. There are plenty of free Wi-Fi hotspots around town, so I don't really need to shell out $70-80 per month for a phone line and DSL. I was curious what experiences people have using T-Mobile or other cellular providers? I expect speeds to be similar to dial-up, maybe marginally faster, and that's fine (a phone line and dial-up access would be the same price, and I would only be able to log on at home!).

Plus, I found that resellers on eBay offer rebates for the full price of the PC card for new T-Mobile customers, so I'm definitely taking advantage of that deal.
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What are the limitations on the GPRS service...

what is the bandwidth (bit/second rate)?

do they have an overall transfer limit (such as say, 20GB/month)?

If you can get a reliable, fast connection at home why would you even want DSL or Cable internet?
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If you can get a reliable, fast connection at home why would you even want DSL or Cable internet?

Considerably lower latency and considerably higher throughput.

- IC -
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T-Mobile's website doesn't specify the bandwidth, but jiwire.com says it's 56 Kbps. Sprint and Verizon's bandwidth is pretty decent at 2 Mbps, but they want $80 per month (They use a more advanced type of network called 1xEV-DO). Here's the info from jiwire: http://www.jiwire.com/cellular-data-cellular-data-the-plans.htm

All of these plans are for unlimited access (no transfer limit). Cingular has cheaper plans, but for $30 you only get 10 MB for a whole month. T-Mobile's unlimited access for $30 is a great deal, except that their PC card is somewhat more expensive. However, I've found resellers on eBay who offer the card for free after rebates to new T-Mobile customers. That pretty much makes it a no brainer at that point, although I am curious about some of the security issues (and making sure I can even afford this $30 monthly bill).
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Careful!

Haise,

<< T-Mobile's website doesn't specify the bandwidth, but jiwire.com says it's 56 Kbps. >>

It's not. We are talking two different animules. Even with a class 10 modem card on GPRS and PEAK ~118 kbps, you'll max at ~40 kbps downlink effective throughput which is not altogether different than a V.90/V.92 dial modem, but it's like night and day because of the latency inherent in all available cellular technologies v. dial.

Cingular's nationwide EDGE (EGPRS) service is about 2.5X faster - still latency issues an priced like Sprint and Verizon's unlimited 1xRTT or 1x-EV-D0 service but much more available than either

<< Sprint and Verizon's bandwidth is pretty decent at 2 Mbps >>

Careful! On Verizon that's 2 Mbps PEAK in those cities where they have launched 1xEV-DO (covering maybe 25% of their total footprint today). PEAK is not what you get. What you get is 300 to 500 kbps effective throughput. Fallback is 1xRTT which is ~45 to 70 kbps and high latency.

Sprint is behind Verizon, just beginning to launch 1xEV-DO. Available in very few cities and no suburban areas today.

Careful!

- IC -
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It's not. We are talking two different animules. Even with a class 10 modem card on GPRS and PEAK ~118 kbps, you'll max at ~40 kbps downlink effective throughput which is not altogether different than a V.90/V.92 dial modem, but it's like night and day because of the latency inherent in all available cellular technologies v. dial.

So is an Internet connection over GPRS similar to using dial-up, or is it even slower? I remember that even with a 56K modem, the connection was effectively trasmitting data between 20-30Kbps.
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If i understand correctly, Incards is saying that there is a big delay between transmitting and receiving on any cell phone internet service.

So the thru put may reach the advertised rate at maximum, but you may be sitting for a while waiting for the transmit to start.

Sounds like i can wait a few years yet, cable and dsl are both becoming very competitive.

Besides, no way could i live with 10MB per month(bits or bytes, still too little)!
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If i understand correctly, Incards is saying that there is a big delay between transmitting and receiving on any cell phone internet service.

So latency must be the time waiting for the connection to start transmitting data. I wasn't sure what he meant by that term.

Besides, no way could i live with 10MB per month(bits or bytes, still too little)!

T-Mobile's service is unlimited, which is why I'll go with them if I decide to do cellular over dial-up. Most of my time online will be at coffeeshops or wherever. I just want to check e-mail or pull up something off the Web when I'm at home, so I'm not asking for much... and don't want to pay much (unfortunately, $30 a month is as cheap as it gets).
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