With 3G becoming more popular and prices falling, it is becoming more and more common for people to use 3G for their laptops and desktops. This turn out to be cheaper and more flexible than other solutions like Tata Photon. All you need is a 3G sim and a USB Modem. These USB modems are of various types and come at different price ranges.
The Micromax MMX310G USB modem is fairly common, you can use any 2G or 3G sim in it. It also has a micro SD card slot, so you could just buy one 4GB card and make the device a pendrive too. So lets have a look at this modem in a bit more detail..Features and specifications :
Well, here are the full specifications of this device:
Model MMX 310G HSDPA USB Modem
HSDPA 3GPP R5, up to 3.6 Mbps DL and 384 Kbps UL, category 5/6
UMTS up to 384 Kbps DL and UL
EDGE 3GPP Release4, class 12, up to 237 Kbps DL and 118Kbps UL
GPRS up to 85,6 Kbps DL and 42,8 Kbps UL
GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS 2100 MHz
Antenna Internal antenna
USB Standard USB interface: supporting USB 2.0 Full Speed
Power Powered via the USB interface
SIM/USIM Card standard 6 PIN SIM card interface, compliant with 3GPP 31.101 and 31.102
AT Interface 3GPP TS27.005/3GPP TS27.007supported
Auto-Install Software Supported
Dimension (mm) 64.7(D)×25.5(W)×10.6(H) (USB Head not included)
Weight (g) 30
One RGB LED RGB LED indicates different state.
SIM/USIM Pin lock Enable/Disable
Simultaneous Operation of SMS and Data service Supported
Operating System Win2000/ XP/VISTA, Limited support for MAC/Linux Operating Systems
Phone Book Capacity 100 in Modem
vCard version 2.1/3.0
New contacts Supported
Edit contacts Supported
Delete contacts Supported
Delete contacts Supported
Move between Modem, SIM card and PC Supported
SMS Capability 255 in Modem
Group messages Supported
New SMS Supported
Send SMS Supported
save SMS to drafts Supported
Reply SMS Supported
Forward SMS Supported
Delete SMS Supported
Import from SIM/Modem to PC Supported
Attention For MAC OS:
1.Mac Book, Mac Book Pro, iMac, Mac Pro or Mac mini (Intel CPU)
2.Mac OS X 10.4.9 or higher 3.Support connection to Internet only .
So yea, it supports all 2G/3G sims. You can send and receive SMSes when staying connected and you have a nifty little micro SD slot.Installation :
Installation is as easy as it can get. Put the sim into the "tray" and push the tray back in. Now just plug in the USB modem and you will get an option to install the modem software. Just click on the software installation icon and its a 2min job. Now, when you have to connect to the internet, just plug in the modem in any USB port, start the micromax modem manager, wait a few seconds for it to identify your device. When that is done, click on the connect button and it will get connected in a few seconds and you are done. You can constantly monitor your usage and speed.Speed and connectivity:
This is one area of concern for most. But the Micromax MMX 310G does fairly well here. I get 1.4Mbps download speeds and 300kbps upload speeds on my BSNL 3G card, but that depends a lot on the signal strength and other factors. I am pretty happy with the aspect and got no complaints.
Here is the result of my speed test.
I tried some online gaming, in particular Counter Strike 1.6. The latency i got was pretty bad, on servers where i normally get constant 60ms latency, with BSNL 3G i get 130-200 latency. This has nothing to do with the modem itself, just letting you all know how it feels gaming on wireless, not fun !Issues faced :
Well, I cant say it had no problems, I had quiet a few..
Firstly, I had an issue with the device being recognized on Windows 7 x64 bit machine. I had to reboot and reinstall the software everytime i wanted to connect. But this problem phased out itself and I dont have this issue anymore. Also, this issue was only with 3G sims, 2G sims ran perfectly.
Another major issue I had was pathetic speeds. After using this device for almost a month, i was only getting 60-70kbps. Then a friend suggested a trick,which worked like a charm and i started getting proper 3G speeds. So here is that trick just in case you need it:
After you insert the USB modem into the USB slot and the system recognizes the device, do not connect. In the Modem manager, go to Settings -> Network Mode ->Select UMTS/HSPA only.
By default it will be dual, change it. The Device manager may crash, dont worry,just start it again.Conclusion:
The Micromax MMX 310G is a good device, it gives you what it promises. It has a good design and decent functionality. I got this off ebay for Rs2850
, but you can get it locally for as low as Rs2200
. Its a fairly expensive as there are other options for even lower price points and same feature set. If you guys got any questions regarding this, feel free to ask.