Huawei to branch out

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Huawei, best known of late for their Mobile Broadband modems, have stated they will be branching out and developing handsets from next year.  Even more interesting, they have stated they will be using both Symbian and Android Operating Systems for these devices.


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Want to save some money on a Mobile Broadband Starter Kit…?

Friday, October 31st, 2008

3 Mobile Broadband from

The 3 Mobile Broadband Starter Kits are good value for money, offering, for example, a USB dongle modem and 12GB of data (valid for up to 12 months from purchase) for £150.  However, right now, Maplin are selling that same deal for just £99.99 (available here), which seems a very good price.  If you bought the PAYG modem from the 3Store, you would pay £50, and then £10 each month for 1Gb of data.  Overall, that’s going to cost you a lot more than the Maplin deal.  Conversely, if you committed to an 18 month contract, you would still pay £10 per month for that same 1GB of data (with little or no upfront cost).

If you plan to use Mobile Broadband on a fairly regular basis, but don’t intend to use it too much, then you may well find this Maplin deal is good value for money.  It appears the Maplin offer is limited to the Huawei E160G modem, which can’t run as fast as the new E169, but should still be fast enough for most users.


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Maplin minibook reduced for Christmas…

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Maplin have reduced the price of the Maplin minibook between now and 24th December. Instead of the RRP of £169.99, it’s now just £139.99. Maplin have offered discounts on this small netbook before, but this is the largest discount we’re aware of. Also available from that webpage is a downloadable Wi-Fi patch for the device to deal with wireless connectivity problems. From that webpage there is also a link to CnM Lifestyle, from where you can download system restore tools, a few extra applications and games, and even a driver for the Huawei E220 USB Modem for 3G access.

This may not be as feature rich as the Asus Eee PC units, but price wise it certainly may serve as a device for kids to have internet access.


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D100 Router tech specs

Monday, October 13th, 2008

3UK have kindly provided us with more technical details behind the D100 Router. This is made by Huawei, and we understand it will work with any Huawei USB Mobile Broadband modem, including the original 3 USB Modem, as well as the more recent dongle versions. It won’t, however, work with every USB modem 3 have sold, eg the black and green ZTE modem will not work (by virtue of being made by ZTE, and not Huawei).

As a passing comment, the ZTE modem has now been dropped by 3UK due to limited remaining stock, and the overall move to USB dongles, although it’s still available as one of the 3 Mobile Broadband Starter Kits if you really must have a green and black modem!

After the ethernet port we mentioned last week, the key feature the D100 router has is a built in Li-Ion battery. It’s 950mAh, which is equivalent to many mobile phones, so we would expect this is capable of powering the device for a few hours; this may seem shorter than a mobile phone, but remember it’s got to power the USB modem as well as provide a constant Wi-Fi signal. However, the inclusion of a battery will allow the device to function whilst out and about without necessarily needing a power socket, which has to be a good feature.

The tech specs are:

  • Weight : 200g
  • Size : 110 x 90 x 27
  • Battery : 950mAh (LiP) BST-38
  • Speed : Dependent on modem being connected.
  • WLAN: IEEE 802.11b/g
  • UMTS Signal Indication
  • Lion Battery and power indication
  • DC connector and external DC power supply
  • Connector for external USB device (ie the USB Modem)
  • Up to 32 user connected through Wi-Fi
  • Networks : GPRS 900/1800/1900/UMTS 2100

Colours

  • White
  • Black

Other Features

  • 1 RJ45 port

3UK have also confirmed it will retail for £69.99 (when buying a new contract), and is available today from the 3Store. It’s half price with the offers we mentioned last week; as well as those taking a new phone *and* Mobile Broadband contract, it appears it will be half price for existing Mobile Broadband customers, although you may need to ring up to get this offer.

We should also state, it is tied to 3, so will not work with Huawei dongles on other networks.

3 are stating this is capable of replacing a home broadband service, and certainly for occasional internet users that is a very possible situation. For those that travel with multiple devices, or even small offices, it could also offer an attractive option.

Update: It appears the tech specs from 3UK themselves may be wrong, and it may not include a battery after all. We’re seeking confirmation from 3UK on this point…

Update: 3UK have confirmed this was an error in the initial technical specs that were sent out, it does not contain a battery and that the tech specs on the 3 website are now correct.  3UK have apologised for the confusion this has caused.


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3 reduce pricing on PAYG USB Modem

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

3 USB Stick Modem

Although we first announced it a couple of weeks ago, today 3 finally reduce the price of the ZTE and Huawei E220 USB Modems to £49.99. The new USB Modem Stick (E169) remains at a higher price though. Go and buy your PAYG USB Modem here.


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New 3 USB Modem now available

Friday, April 11th, 2008

3 USB Stick Modem

Well, a week after we first mentioned it, we have one of the new 3 USB Stick Modems here. As with some other people, the first laptop we tried wouldn’t accept that the device was there, but on a second laptop it worked just fine (some software conflict that Huawei really need to find and resolve, or at least offer advice on).

In terms of speed, we’ve mainly seen connections at 3.6mbps, which is faster than our broadband. As well as offering a data connection, the software allows you to send and receive SMS text messages.

For those times when you are on the train, or have limited room for the stick modem to point straight out, it also comes with a short USB extension lead, but for most uses, it’s a straight plug in and work setup. The device also features built in storage where the software and drivers are stored, meaning you don’t even need to carry around an install CD.

As part of the launch of this new modem, 3 are offering some innovative pricing deals: for a start, if you are an existing customer, you can get the Mobile Broadband service for half price. Also, they have recently announced some very competitive tariffs, where you can get a free phone, pay a fairly reasonable monthly cost, and get a fair few minutes included as standard, yet also get unlimited texts.

textertablev1.jpg

Now, that means if you took the free phone, and then applied for mobile broadband, for a combined monthly cost of just £32.50 would get you a free phone, 500 minutes, unlimited texts, and mobile broadband with a 3Gb a month allowance. Note: the phone contract may be only 12 months (a bit of a rarity nowadays), but the mobile broadband contract has to be at least 18 months to benefit from the half price deal, although you still get the choice of all the USB modems (although the new USB Stick Modem will come with a one off charge to purchase unless you take a 24 month Broadband contract). This offer is only valid until the 31st May, so worth thinking through these options right now.

Although we’ve yet to try it, if you are roaming onto one of the 3 networks around the world, you still get the same deals and benefits – which means mobile broadband at no additional roaming costs.

Head over to the 3 Store now to look and order all these offers for unlimited texts and USB Modems.


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Huawei planning to enter the mobile phone market…?

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Huawei Logo

Huawei, a name becoming more familiar in the UK and Europe, is considering entering the mobile phone market in 2008. They are, apparently, considering entering into talks with Qualcomm (whose BREW system underpins the 3 SkypePhone), Symbian, and are already in talks with Microsoft over which interface to put into the phone (or phones).

Huawei have some experience in the mobile phone arena, as they have already developed a number of data devices, including the 3 USB Modem. In fact, in Europe, Huawei have adopted a business model of having their devices branding by the network operator.

Having said all that, including the fact they already produce GSM devices, it’s likely their initial mobile phone offering will be CDMA based, and hence of no use in Europe.

Thanks to CBR.


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