Feeds
90%

Novatel Wireless Ovation MC950D USB HSUPA modem

Mobile broadband in stick form

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Installing the drivers is straightforward, and we were up and running in moments, connecting initially to Vodafone's 3G network. There's a single, small panel on the face of the Ovation that lights up in different colours to tell you what technology you're able to connect with - green for GPRS, yellow for HSDPA, mid-blue for HSUPA and so on. It's a nice idea, but the colour-blind might have a job separating one colour from another, and the rest of may not fare much better because some of the colours are quite similar. All HSDPA links are yellow, so there's no simple way to see from the modem whether you're connecting at 1.8Mb/s, 3.6Mb/s or 7.2Mb/s.

Novatel Wireless Ovation MC950D

Ready for the ExpressCard-less

The Ovation takes a few moments to run through the list of the available network connection technologies. We did a quick and dirty test: we timed how long it took to get connected from the moment we plugged the unit into an Eee PC's USB port. To be connected to the Vodafone HSDPA network took about 26 seconds. Compare that to the 48 seconds it took with Vodafone's own USB Modem 7.2 - reviewed here. We also tried the Ovation on T-Mobile's network. Connection from scratch took 33s.

Novatel Wireless' drivers tie into Mac OS X's own Networks preferences pane and Internet Connect utility, so there's no readout of download bandwidth. The Mobilink Lite software for Windows does, and more besides, including data transfer counters and a utility for sending and receiving text messages.

Novatel Wireless Ovation MC950DNovatel Wireless Ovation MC950D

The MC950D's software is basic but usable

Vodafone's HSDPA network is supposed to be running at 7.2Mb/s in certain areas, including around Vulture Central's London eyrie. The Ovation certainly indicated we were in an HSDPA zone, but we were unable to measure a download speed anywhere near 7.2Mb/s.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.