A reader writes:
Verizon, SprintPCS, and T-Mobile all sell PC card thingamajigs for making
cellular internet connections. The 15″ and 17″ PowerBooks have PC card
slots, the 12″ PowerBook and the iBooks (all) don’t have a PC card slot.
I’ve been using the SprintPCS PCS Connection Card for over 2 years in my 15″
PowerBook. It’s $80/month for unlimited data.
Verizon now offers BroadBandAccess cards which work on the Mac. I haven’t
tried it myself, but I understand that in the cities that have the latest
infrastructure (New York, Washington, Seattle, others) it’s the equivalent
of cable or DSL in the home. In cities without the latest infrastructure
(Harrisburg PA, where I am) it will still connect at speeds equivalent to
the SprintPCS card (i.e. slightly faster than a 56k dial-up). Verizon’s
service is also $80/month for unlimited data.
A friend had the T-Mobile AirCard, but was not happy with it. I don’t know
what the speed was.
All of these cards are measured by volume of bits and bytes sent and
received, not minutes used like cell calls. Their are cheaper options than
$80/month, but you’re limited to a certain bandwidth. Check the company web
sites for plans.
I’ve recently canceled the SprintPCS service, as I’m not traveling as much
for work as I used to. If my travel picks up again, I’ll try the Verizon
service. There was a web site of Verizon/Mac users I found (can’t remember
the URL at the moment) with lots of good info. Maybe try googling for it.