EVDO Revolution: Count Me In. Finally.

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In my quest to get internet access at the beach this summer .. I mentioned earlier that I wanted to “Join the EVDO Revolution” .. because …

*Mobility High Speed is the latest evolution of North America’s leading cellular digital technology standard
* I think that’s pretty cool
* Dagnabit! I need Internet Access at Victoria Beach!

Today I officially signed up for EVDO

I went to MTS Connect Centre at Polo Park Shopping Center because that’s where I deal with all of my accounts .. my MTS Tv, my MTS Home Phone lines, my MTS DSL lines .. and my MTS Mobility accounts. I was quite innocent and oblivious to what the real procedure was – and if I was confused, I figured some of you locals might also be confused. Well .. let no doubt be in your mind what to expect, should you want to follow what I’m doing .. because I will be documenting all of this in this blog. You can browse the MTS Wireless Site all about EVDO or read what I write below to get a better feel for what this is all about.

Tools You Need To Have EVDO (Mobility High Speed)

* #0. You need a laptop computer

I’m pretty sure this is limited to laptops, and not available for your desktop. Previously, without free WiFi sections in our city, or connecting to some wireless connection with your own laptop network card .. if you wanted internet access on your laptop, you had to plug a phone line jack into a modem, whether it was a modem card or internal modem. Just like dial-up service on your home, you would be connecting to the internet through the voice lines. I believe you were able to just connect your cell phone into your computer to dial up the internet, but I’ve never bothered to try – having DSL and no laptop. I just never saw the point in getting accessories for something I would never use at the time.

* #1. You need an EVDO Card .. and yes – it’s extra.

The MTS Connect Centre does sell EVDO cards for, I believe, $199.99 CDN provided you sign up for a minimum 1-year plan. If you sign up for a 2-year plan however, the price drops to $99.99 CDN or $49.99 CDN or something like that .. I wasn’t really paying attention, because all I heard was that if you sign up for a 3-year plan .. the EVDO card is provide to you for free. Here is a picture of my actual EVDO card and software and case. They even provide a pocket travel pouch I suppose, for storing in the laptop carrying bag.

* #2. You need to have a Digital Mobility Access Plan

If you have ever looked to upgrade your current cell phone into one with a mini keyboard and has internet access – you probably already know that this turns any simple $30 plan into something like $75. It’s no different for EVDO plans, because it’s the same plan. The minimum every single digital plan with internet access seems to be $45 CDN per month. This is all before taxes of course (PST 7% and GST 6%). According to the rate plan sheet, this $45 internet access is similar to Email and Surf 8 MB Plan. So, if you have a Blackberry for instance, that can access the internet – that’s probably how much download MB transfer you need – because, all you really will be doing on your blackberry, in addition to text messaging, might be checking emails, sending emails, checking stock prices, reading online news .. etc etc.

Now – at the beach, I plan to do more than just check email and scan headline news. I will be blogging during the nights, and probably downloading a crapload of emails each day (about 900 or so) just to keep on top of everything and stay ahead of the game! But – how much time do I need? How the hell do I know?


* #3 – Pick the Plan You Need

I chose the maximum $90 plan, with 500 MB Email and Surf Download transfers – whatever that means. As a new account, I will receive $30 discount. I was pretty much prepared to pay anything *THIS YEAR* to have internet access at the beach, because I wanted it – and wanted to try it out. So! I’ve got 3 years. But, I do not have to have the $90 rate the full time of the contract. I am allowed ONE free switchover to another rate (e.g. downgrade) if I need it, and that’s what I will be doing in October, after Beach Season is over. Next year, in June I will change it again to the max (if needed), and they will charge me $25.oo CDN for the privilege of being allowed to change a contract in mid-term, more than once. But this $25 charge saves me $45 monthly for half-a-year, so I ‘aint complaining.

I don’t know why they even bother to list the $20 plan .. the minimum is $45/month plan. I just don’t get it. However, I will be getting a $35 CDN activation fee and a new cell phone number assigned to me. They were going to just combine the two “cell phone numbers” with my other cell phone bill, but because I’m on the buddy system with my wife and already have two cell phone numbers on my current MTS Mobility billing – I will be getting a new statement.

I’m disappointed that there is no way in the world – at this time – I can tell how much bandwidth transfer download MB I have used – until my monthly bill has arrived. I can’t logon anywhere and see my stats, or phone up anybody. Until I know exactly how much I will use on average .. I rather be over than under and charge extra dollars per extra 1-MB used. Hopefully MTS can create some site to help us monitor our usage in real time eventually.

* #4. Install the software, plug in the card and ….

Well .. I can’t tell you this part yet – because I haven’t received my new laptop computer. However, good news! I ordered the computer on May 31, 2007 .. today I received PART ONE of my order – the accessories. Apparently, Dell Canada is shipping all the accessories immediately out of Mississauga, Ontario now … and the Laptops and usually assembled down in Texas and come 3-5 days later .. (at least, that’s what the Purolator Shipping Depot at the Airport said). I am expecting to receive it by Friday.

My New Laptop Accessory #1

Oh sure .. the 1 GB hard drive stick that fits on my keychain has been very handy for me, in fact it replaced my Toshiba 40 GB hard portable external drive in its simplicity of storing just the data I need .. but ..

.. C’mon! This is a 120 GB portable external drive with USB .. You can never NOT have enough backups .. in my humble opinion .. and this will help do that! Neato, eh?

Visions of my Retirement?

I really think all of this can finally replace my visions of grandeur in winning the Lotto 6/49 Lottery or, a mysterious and long-lost billiionaire relative including me in his last will and testament ..

I think it would be quite cool, sitting on the porch with my wife … looking out on Lake Winnipeg .. with my trusty laptop .. my Papillon dogs .. and EVDO internet access .. with a portable external hard drive to listen to some MP3’s … the smell of fresh baked bread from the bakery on the counter .. blogging or checking my emails .. surfing the internet .. then, jumping into the lake for a nice refreshing swim before starting the BBQ … It’s almost perfect.

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