Thursday, January 26, 2012

smart bro share it with smart bro prepaid sim

Remember the smart bro share it? If you don't remember, well, the share it modem is essentially a myfi device which has no battery and is powered by a 220v adaptor. It's a combo 3.5g modem and wifi router. It has a sim card slot and it gets 3.5g signal from the smart cellsite and Pc's can connect to it via LAN cable  or wifi (I thing its wifi-G but not sure).

There are some drawbacks compared to smart's current myfi device (see pic above).
  • Larger
  • Needs a 220v mains power supply
  • Only uses one frequency, 850mhz while other more advanced devices can use HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS 2100/1900/900/850 MHz. This is a theoretical limitation since some areas may have congestion. Smart uses 850 and 2100mhz so if the 850mhz band is congested the smart bro modem-router cannot switch to the uncongested 2100mhz band
  • This is region locked. However I don't know if the lock is done via the sim card that comes with the device or the device itself. Busted! The device works in my province and metro manila.
  • Being an old model (up to 3.5g only) which is incompatible with HSPA+ (sometimes known as 3.75g), the max speed is only probably 2-3 mbps
  • Has a connection for an external antenna
  • Being physically larger than a usb plugit, the internal antenna is much better. During tests, I could get a 5 bar signal versus a 2 bar signal with my smart bro power plugit (zte mf190).
  • Has a LAN port

I used to have one, and the speeds were variable. 500kbps-1400kbps depending on the local congestion level. I had it cut and it was gathering dust in my closet. The original sim doesn't work anymore, so I tried to use it with my smart bro power plugit prepaid sim and, guess what, it worked! Speeds were modest since my area was congested. I was getting around 500-700 kbps but around 1 am on the days when there is no congestion, I was bursting to 1.8 mbps. So in my area its quite rare to get over 1.5 mbps. I tested using a combination of direct downloads, torrents and Steam.

So if you need wifi sharing and can't afford a myfi device, then reusing this is an option.

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