I received a Vodafone Huawei E220 USB modem yesterday.
Some first impressions:
Installation was straight forward on WinXP: Follow the manual and expect a large number of new hardware items to be installed. It does not install the PCMCIA Dashboard, but installs a Vodafone interface called Vodafone Mobile Connect Lite (V 184.108.40.2061 in my case). It seems as if the modem acts as a USB memory stick and the application is run from the modem itself.
The manual is however slightly vague on when to use the short cable with the single PC USB end and when to use the longer cable with 2 PC USB ends. Does the longer cable provide a better signal/ more powerful transmitter?
Once connected, the download speeds are excellent compared to 512k ADSL - obviously because of HSDPA availability.
I immediately wanted to check my available bandwidth by sending the "MM" SMS to 31050. Unfortunately no such function is available from the Vodafone interface. Huawei however states that the unit has SMS capability -http://www.huawei.com/mobileweb/en/products/view.do?id=282.
V3G - any indication when Vodafone will add SMS functionality to the software?
Next option to monitor bandwidth: Register with Vodacom4Me. Unfortunately somebody at Vodacom decided that the 64k Simcards will be issued without the cellphone number printed in the Simcard pack. This called for SIMcard shuffling to another cellphone to obtain the cellphone number to be able to register on V4Me.
The manual does not provide clear instructions on disconnecting the modem from the PC.
Right clicking on the Vodafone blob in the system tray and closing it, followed by clicking on the USB remove safely icon did the trick.
When inserting the modem again after removing it, it is real slow to connect to the PC - it takes almost 40 seconds. This is a real baddie!
The manual refers Mac users to www.vodacom.co.za for more information. I could not find anywhere such info. Not for Mac, Linux or Windows. It seems as if this modem is not yet supported on the web by Vodacom. Which leaves the question if there will ever be software upgrades from Vodafone.
Easy to install and use.
Excellent for use as an office pool 3G internet access unit due to the software being on the modem
No SMS interface
A long delay between plugging into the USB port and being ready for use.