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USB or any other Alternative to Novatel Merlin S620

Journeyman

USB or any other Alternative to Novatel Merlin S620

Please, help me if you can.

I have been using the following:

Novatel Wireless Merlin CDMA EV-DO Modem
Manufacturer Novatel Wireless Incorporated
Modem Model MERLIN S620
Technology CDMA

for the past several years in my laptop.

My laptop is really sick and I may have to buy another one in the immediate future.

I am doubtful that the new laptops support old bulky aircard which I have in my possession as I have seen most of the new laptops using the USB ports for Mobile Broadband connection.

I am quite content with my current plan. Thus, I am looking for a USB alternative to my Novatel Merlin S620 without breaking the bank.

Please, help me if you can by kindly suggesting something which can keep me connected to the world.

Best regards...

A. Khan

6 REPLIES 6
Master

Re: USP Alternative to Novatel Merlin S620

Basically, you're going to have to stay away from 4G as it would require a plan change that includes 4G.  And, hopefully you're NOT in a 4G area because it truly is much faster.  With that being said, we still offer the 598U by Sierra Wireless, and the Ovation™ U760 by Novatel Wireless. Both can be checked out at Sprint.com // you can even upgrade from there as well.  The only differences between the 2 are the manufacturer and the price.

Journeyman

Re: USB Alternative to Novatel Merlin S620

Hi,

Thank you very much for your kind response. Indeed, I appreciate that very much.

As per your kind advice, I ordered and received Sierra Wireless 598U and I spent the whole day today to get the ESN swapped by various Sprint Representatives and the conclusion IS that it can't be done without changing my grandfathered plan which offers me unlimited data transfer.

I have also looked for some sort of adapters for my Novatel Merlin S620 but there are almost none and the one (ELAN 132) which is available is way too expensive (in the range of almost $180 including shipping and handling).

I am very frustrated and don't know what to do. I have been with Sprint for the past almost 5 years and it is sad that Sprint cannot help me in this regard.

Should you kindly have any other alternative then please feel welcome to advise.

Thanking you in anticipation and looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

A. Khan

Master

Re: USB Alternative to Novatel Merlin S620

Yes, this is true, Sprint is moving away from unlimited data. And by requiring certain plans for certain devices, we are moving customer's to the newer mobile broadband plans with a 5GB cap. Do you use more than this, and are you not in a 4G area? Because 4G is UNLIMITED even with the new plans.

Also, the plan changes for even our NON 4G cards are more than likely due to the "Rev A" increase that the S620 did not have. Rev A was like a 10-20% speed increase for EVDO and not offered until Novatel came out with the S720.

If you ABSOLUTELY want to keep your PCMCIA aircard, did you know there are routers for this? http://www.amazon.com/Aluratek-Wireless-PCMCIA-Cellular-Router/dp/B002FJQESQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronic...  Found this one at amazon.com by searching pcmcia routers.  The card snaps into the router and the router transmits wifi which ANY new computer will have. Plus you'll be able to connect multiple wifi devices like other computers or gaming consoles and keep your current Sprint plan.

Journeyman

Re: USB Alternative to Novatel Merlin S620

Hi,

Once again, thank you very much for your kind help. Indeed, I appreciate that very much.

I must say that you are excellent in your research. I looked into the router which you kindly recommended. I even went to the manufacturer's web-site, http://aluratek.com/3g-wireless-usb-pcmcia-cellular-router for further research. However, with all due respect, I hope you will appreciate the fact that this bulky router (which I am sure requires electricity to run) defeats the whole purpose of Mobile Broadband Data Cards as one cannot carry around this router while traveling nationally.

Under the light of your precious information, I confirmed that I do live in a 4G area (Orange County, Southern California) and you are correct that Sprint does have unlimited 4G and 3G with cap of 5 GB per month. I am just scared of the 3G usage bill which I will get should I ever step into an area which doesn't have 4G yet as I do use more than 5 GB per month on my current 3G / EVDO plan.

I have discovered another option which is consisted upon buying LG Optimus or EVO and then adding on Mobile Hotspot feature for $29.99 per month. The only drawback for this option IS that traditionally I have been using two devices, one for Cellular Phone needs and the other for my Mobile Broadband needs. I am just wondering that how I will be able to receive / answer phone calls and surf the web simultaneously with ONE device without letting the incoming phone calls go to my voice-mail.

So, I am torn between these two options: a). 4G Unlimited / 3G with the cap of 5 GB per month with a new 4G/3G card (I am eligible for upgrade) - OR - b). One device i.e. LG Optimus or EVO with $29.99 per month for Mobile Hotspot feature.

I would be greatly be thankful for your kind feedback and elaboration.

Thanking you in anticipating and looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

A. Khan

Highlighted
Sprint Product Ambassador

Re: USB Alternative to Novatel Merlin S620

There's a third option - get a USB to PCMCIA adapter.  This is a USB device that gives you a PCMCIA slot to plug your S620 card into.  A onetime hardware purchase (I see pricing around $150 online) that will enable you to keep using your existing modem (and plan!) with any modern computer.

Otherwise, if you live in a 4G service area, I'd strongly consider getting a 3g/4g modem or the Epic / Evo phone with Hotspot addon.  4G is really really fast when you have good coverage.  Going with the phone and Hotspot option gives you un-capped data too...

When you are using the 4G modem hotspot on the Evo or Epic, phone calls come in as normal on the 3G radio.  If you're using the hotspot over 3G, calls will get sent to voicemail.

Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee
Journeyman

Re: USB Alternative to Novatel Merlin S620

Hi,

Thank you very much for your kind suggestions. Indeed, I appreciate that very much.

I have looked in to the following adapters:

and

Consequently, I am left with the Epic / Optimus / EVO (3G / 4G) option as per your kind advice. I have done some numbers and that option seems to be quite expensive and take me over $110.

I don't want to leave Sprint as I have been with them for the past 5 years. It is just so frustrating that despite EVDO / 3G fulfilling my needs quite satisfactorily for the past 5 years, I will have to "upgrade" to 4G / 3G since my old laptop died and and my new laptop (or even any PCMCIA adapter for that matter) does NOT support my Merlin S620 Card in order for me to continue using my current plan.

Once again, thank you very much for your kind and precious help.

Best regards,

A. Khan

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