Even More 3G for the iPhone 3G (Using EVDO)

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Thursday, 17 July 2008

Even more 3G for the iPhone 3G

With the release of the new 3G iPhone a lot of questions have come up about AT&T's 3G network and how it compares to Sprint or Verizon's EVDO. There is no doubt the 3G iPhone is a great way to access the internet and remain as mobile as possible, the problem comes when you move outside of the 3G coverage area. Let's compare coverage maps for the major carriers and see how they look.

AT&T's 3G coverage is mostly in major metroplitan areas at this point (dark blue, not blue areas):

AT&T 3G coverage map

Sprint covers a lot more markets and has better coverage along major interstates:

Sprint EVDO 3G coverage map

Verizon wasted no time in reminding us just how great their coverage is by releasing a statement to coincide with the 3G iPhone release.

Verizon Wireless: 3G EVDO in More Places


Verizon 3G EVDO coverage map

Also, keep in mind that not only is AT&T's coverage harder to find, there are also 1 million new 3G users that weren't there a week ago. Any network has only a given amount of bandwidth at any one time. 3G iPhone users are typically much heavier data users than the typical 3G phone user. AT&T has made a lot of claims about the expansion of their network, both in more coverage areas and the amount of bandwidth that can pass through any given area. Time will tell how the network stands up to such an increase.

"What does this mean to me? I love my 3G iPhone!"

One nice thing about the iPhone is its ability to use Wifi instead of relying on AT&T's network. We feel a good solution is the combination of a Sprint or Verizon EVDO device and a Cradlepoint router . This allows you to connect the iPhone and other computers to the Sprint or Verizon EVDO network via WiFi. The 3G iPhone doesn't allow you to share the connection or tether it to a computer like an EVDO router would.

A combination we are particularly fond of is the PHS300 (and Sprint or Verizon device) and the 3G iPhone. The Cradlepoint PHS300 has a replaceable lithium Ion battery that will provide about 2 hours of Wifi once fully charged - all in a pocket-sized package.


3GiPhone with Cradlepoint PHS300 router and Sprint Compass 597


One of the downsides of the 3G iPhone is the lack of a direct connect antenna port. 3Gstore does carry wireless amplifiers that work with the iPhone 3G.

We do feel the 3G iPhone is a great device and at this point you can find 25% of 3Gstore employees carrying one, but we will be keeping an eye on how AT&T's 3G network holds up to the load and how quickly it expands. For right now using Wifi from a Cradlepoint PHS300 Router and Sprint EVDO or Verizon EVDO will be the best option to maintain the speeds we've come to expect in the most coverage areas. This also allows you to connect the 3G iPhone and even other computers with Wifi to the Sprint or Verizon EVDO network.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 July 2008 )
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