When I first signed up for the plan they mentioned that the speed was 1.8G, but you would have 3.5G speed if your phone was HSDPA enabled. I have used Fit4cat to enable it so I hope it is working.
My main reason for getting this plan is so the Dopod D810 becomes a modem for my laptop when I don’t have a wired broadband available. The D810 comes with a utility called Internet Sharing in the Programs folder. This allows you to hook up the D810 to the laptop so it can share the HSDPA connection.
When you start the program it disables Activesync. Xp may bring up a warning saying that Activesync is not working properly, but you can ignore this warning box and just close it. You will know if the laptop is connected properly to the D810 by seeing a "connected" status in the Internet Sharing utility on the PocketPC.
Internet Sharing with "Connected" status
Intitial impressions have been very good. Once online it feels no different to having a broadband connection. Pages are loading up very quickly. If I ignore the Dopod next to me I could swear I was still using my wifi connection.
One problem I did have was not having anything to monitor my data usage. There is nothing in XP to show any connection speeds or data usage. Smartone mentioned I could use *#123# which will sms me my data usage, but it is not real time.
I finally settled on buying SpB GPRS Monitor. This is a great program for tracking data usage and data speed. This program came free with my previous Atom, but unfortunately not with the D810. The program adds a handy summary on the Today screen plus they also added shortcuts to screen brightness, battery condition, gprs on/off, PIE and Messenger.
Since using GPRS monitor, the fastest data rate I have seen is 912kbits/sec. In the real world it means, so far I have not noticed any reduction in speed while online.
This morning I tried dslreports while using the HSDPA connection. I got a much slower speed of 536kbits/sec, but browsing online still felt very quick. Interestingly I compared the speed to my wifi-broadband connection in the office. I am using a 1.8M line at work. My results were even slower at 232kbits/sec! Once again though, I find online use at work is more than adequate.
dslreport and HSDPA
dslreport and Office wifi
Obviously another way of using this connection is on the D810 itself. My observations are that it feels no different to using the wifi connection on the PocketPC. It doesn’t fly at a cracking pace when the D810 acts as a modem for the laptop, but it still manages to check email and load up PIE pages reasonably quick. I do notice that the data rate on SpB does not get much faster than 100kbits/sec, but I also noticed data usage is much less as well.
So far my experience with HSDPA on the D810 has been positive. Wireless broadband is a convenient solution to connecting a laptop to the internet anywhere.
I can see that if I am not careful I will use up my 100mb very quickly. I am still pondering over the $488/mnth unlimited plan from Smartone. It is still a little expensive for a plan that requires a commitment. There are also limitations to VOIP and bittorrent usage on the unlimited plan, which may be annoying to some.
As with all things new, the price plans will hopefully start to come down soon. 3 has recently launched their HSDPA network so hopefully we wil see some price shuffling between the phone companies.
My data usage spike since acquiring HSDPA!