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Thread: Neotel NeoConnect FAQ - Technical

  1. #1

    Default Neotel NeoConnect FAQ - Technical

    What technology does NeoConnect use?

    The NeoConnect service uses the CDMA2000 3G wireless standard. It is currently the most widely used of the 3G standards, with over 475 million users worldwide. It is not the same 3G standard that Vodacom and MTN use (UMTS).

    Neotel has deployed the latest generation of CDMA2000, called 1xEV-DO Rev A, which is used by a number of leading operators around the world (e.g. Verizon Wireless in the US). The network hence supports a peak download speed of 3.1 Mbps, and peak upload speed of 1.8 Mbps. (Averages are always lower, as is pointed out elsewhere, but one has to quote the peak in the South African market, since everyone else does.)

    The current NeoConnect Prime device is based on EV-DO Rel 0, and offers peak download speed of 2.4 Mbps, and peak upload speed of 153 kbps, which provides good performance for most typical home uses, such as web browsing and e-mail. Note that average download speed is around 300 – 700 kbps, which makes it similar to HSDPA in performance. It’s not recommended that such wireless services be used for hosting a server, because of the lower upload speed.

    NeoFlex Data is a Rev A service.

    For more information on CDMA2000, look at: http://www.cdg.org

    Can I share my Internet connection on NeoConnect?

    Yes, in a small or home office, though it’s not recommended in a larger office. The device has a USB port, which means that you’ll need to connect it to one of the computers on your local area network rather than a router, and ensure that that computer is on when you want to use the Internet.

    Can I use NeoConnect Prime for peer-to-peer applications?

    Since the service is unshaped, peer-to-peer applications will generally work on NeoConnect, subject to the speed required in both directions, of course.

    Can I use Skype with the current NeoConnect packages?

    In theory, yes, since the service is not shaped. However, just like other wireless services in the market, there is no QoS, so the performance of packet-based voice on the wireless link cannot be guaranteed in a loaded network.

    Neotel’s voice services are carrier grade, crystal clear and cost effective, so hopefully you won’t want to use a free best-effort alternative too much.

    Does the NeoConnect Prime device have an Ethernet port supporting PPPoE?

    The device does not have an Ethernet port, and uses a USB port to connect to a computer.

    Whilst it would have been ideal to include an Ethernet port in the current device, it was not possible without making other compromises. It would have limited the device’s ability to operate autonomously on battery power for extended periods, for example. (You may have noticed the similar lack of Ethernet ports on mobile phones.)

    Ethernet ports and WiFi connectivity are offered on NeoFlex Data.

    Can one get NeoConnect with a static IP address?

    No. A new IP address is assigned each time you connect, just as with other similar wireless services.

    Do Neotel force a disconnection every 24 hours to renew the IP address?

    No. However, in any wireless network, a session may drop for various reasons. If a session is re-established, a new IP address will be issued.

    What latency (ping time) can I expect on NeoConnect Prime?

    The ping time to South African destinations is typically around 150 – 250 ms. Most of the latency is obviously in the air interface, and this is not unusual for wireless systems.

    Neotel’s network is connected globally through the Tata Communications Tier 1 network, which has a point of presence in Jo’burg. The connectivity is via the SAT-3/SAFE submarine optical fibre system (no satellite at all). As a result, the international ping times are typically 300 – 450 ms, the sum of the wireless access latency and international cable system latency.

    It’s worth remembering that the actual air interface latency is different in each direction, since the EV-DO downlink is very fast, and the uplink somewhat slower. The uplink speed therefore dominates the ping time. Rev A has much lower ping times, in the order of 60ms, because the uplink and downlink are both fast.

    Does Neotel’s CDMA network support fax?

    The Neotel network supports fax over CDMA, but the current NeoConnect Prime device does not. Devices that support fax are likely to become available in due course.

    Is NeoConnect Prime any good for playing online games?

    Whilst it’s possible to play some online games on NeoConnect Prime (EV-DO Rel 0), the latency is likely to be a problem for most action games, just as it is on most current wireless networks.

    The latency of EV-DO Rev A is quite a bit lower, and is workable for more games. NeoFlex Data provides this service.

    Is the NeoConnect service shaped?

    Currently, all of the NeoConnect packages are unshaped.

    Are all incoming ports open?

    By default, all incoming ports on the NeoConnect service are closed, for security reasons. However, they can be opened on request for those who want them open. Note that port blocking is not the same as shaping, and there is no shaping on any of the current NeoConnect packages as indicated.

    The NeoConnect Prime and NeoConnect Lite devices are not routers, and are transparent to TCP/IP. The IP address issued to the USB-connected PC by DHCP is a public IP address in Neotel’s IP address range. Hence, depending on the firewall software on the PC, whatever ports are open on the PC should be visible via NeoConnect on the assigned IP address.

    Can I get NeoConnect to reconnect automatically if the connection drops?

    In Windows (XP or Vista), you can set a connection to reconnect automatically if it drops. Just set up NeoConnect as a regular (dial-up) connection (with the right driver, username and password), rather than using the NeoConnect Manager, and set it to redial automatically. This way, you can also share your Internet connection across multiple computers, and have it connect automatically when any one of the computers wants to connect to the Internet.

    The latency on NeoConnect is somewhat variable compared to wireline Internet connections. Is this to be expected?

    CDMA or any other wireless technology may be affected by the landscape or weather conditions, as well as the statistical sharing of channel capacity. Hence, some variation is to be expected. It is not recommended that NeoConnect be used for applications that cannot tolerate such variation (e.g. online action games).

    Can I get an external antenna to improve coverage?

    Neotel does not currently offer external antennas for NeoConnect, though it’s obviously technically possible to use one (the connector is a common TNC). Since Neotel is selling the service in areas with good coverage, and 800 MHz propagates well, there generally shouldn’t be any need to use an external antenna.

    Some users claim to have used UHF TV antennas (close to the right frequencies) successfully, but if any antenna is going to be used, it’s probably better to use one specifically made for 800 MHz CDMA.

    What are the common issues raised about the current offerings?

    There are several common issues raised, such as coverage, contract rather than prepaid, and specific features not yet available on the range of devices. As far as possible, these issues are addressed in this and other FAQs.

    If you have any additional issues (or compliments), tell Neotel via [email protected]

    Neotel is actively seeking feedback from users, and will use this to enhance the service.
    Last edited by Neotel; 25-01-2009 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Update

  2. #2

    Default

    Great guide...
    Just in case you missed the other threads, remember that people want:

    An ethernet port
    Comparable Latency to Telkom
    Simultaneous voice and data

    Mass amount of people will jump off Telkom's ship if this were to happen..

    Some say get rid of the 24 month contract but TBH I don't think the majority of SA would mind (but thats just me)
    Other than that, I think you guys are perfect

  3. #3

    Default

    Nice guide. I'm sure it'll help many sort out their unanswered questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rouxenator View Post
    I microwaved the socks for a bit and they are fine now.

  4. #4
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    The latency of EV-DO Rev A is quite a bit lower, and could prove workable for more games, once Rev A devices are launched.
    My Question: Can one upgrade to Rev A if one is one of the first adopters to Neotel, while still on contract? So if you get Rev 0 now, can one get Rev A when that comes out?
    Neko-nyan dansu! by Harenchi Punch! MST3K. Hitler goes Kaput!. Fravia's SearchLores Shills, trolls & meow wars.

  5. #5

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    Hey neotel rep, thumbs up on getting the guides sorted and doing a bit of representation.

    I do however wish to argue something with you. You say latencies are between 150 and 250 ms, but most of the users i have spoken to would not agree, as i am sure you can tell from reading through these forumns. Yes while you do get as low as 150 ms at times it hardly stays between 150 - 250 ms and is infact highly inconsistant, often reaching pings of upto 2000 ms. Oh and just to clarify, these are pings to local Saix game servers and similar ip's not international at all. A ping of 19ms can be reached using an ADSL connection to the same servers.

    You may want to change the info in the guide as even the tech guy that i have had out here agrees that it is a neotel issue and not mine as he has had many similar complaints.

  6. #6

    Default

    As long as the device supports this:

    Universal Serial Bus Communication Device Class
    Abstract Control Model (USB CDC ACM) specification.

    Then it will work on linux with the acm module, perhaps something else should be preloaded.
    e.g. http://www.geocities.com/kream77/int...ance_cdma.html

    The only difference between connecting via a GSM type modem and a CDMA 2000 modem is that the dialing codes differ:

    GSM : #99*
    CDMA: #777

    There is no mentioning of a PIN that is required to be set/removed up front. Usually to get gsm modems to work on linux is to remove the pin, or send a modem command with the pin before it sends ATDT#777

    As long as the acm module is loaded on Linux it should work. (famous last words)

  7. #7
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    Does the NeoConnect Prime device have an Ethernet port supporting PPPoE?

    The device does not have an Ethernet port, and uses a USB port to connect to a computer.

    Whilst it would have been ideal to include an Ethernet port in the current device, it was not possible without making other compromises. It would have limited the device’s ability to operate autonomously on battery power for extended periods, for example. (You may have noticed the similar lack of Ethernet ports on mobile phones.)

    Fixed, data-centric CDMA2000 devices with Ethernet ports that could connect to a router with PPPoE certainly do exist, and are likely to be available in due course.

    I doubt if people who need the Ethernet port would be much interested in mobility.

    Even laptops require mains power quite soon.

    Looking forward to a PPPoE device - I will send an e-mail enquiry as soon as a reliable PPPoE device is available.
    South Africa needs World Class Broadband at World Competitive Prices.

  8. #8
    Serial breaker of phones Chevron's Avatar
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    How about an ETA on Rev A?
    May your life be full of stories

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaspaas View Post
    I doubt if people who need the Ethernet port would be much interested in mobility.

    Even laptops require mains power quite soon.

    Looking forward to a PPPoE device - I will send an e-mail enquiry as soon as a reliable PPPoE device is available.
    I also seriously think "battery power" as an option is high on the list for anyone.
    Seems like a cop-out excuse to me. In other words, after all the flac they got over this, they pulled this out as the "reason".

    Yes, battery is nice - make no mistake. But not at the expense of ethernet.
    Think twice, speak once.
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  10. #10

    Default

    agreed as soon as a PPPoE device becomes available I will buy it. seems stupid to buy the usb one - especially for network ! going back to stone ages and sharing network connection from a pc...

  11. #11

    Default

    This EVDO router is already on sale in SA.
    http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/83492...Card_Slot.html

    Secondhand EVDO Type II cards (no RUIM slot) can be bought off eBay for as low as ~$20 (Rev. A ~$35). I would personally far prefer to purchase a secondhand EVDO datacard for $20~$30 than a large phone for ~R2000 on a two year contract. Cards such as these should work with the router shown above.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...2BSI%26otn%3D4
    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-ALLTEL-Acces...QQcmdZViewItem
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Audiovox-PC5740-...QQcmdZViewItem

    You can even purchase dual mode CDMA/GSM phones locally (might be RUIM enabled though).
    http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/84026...ile_phone.html
    Last edited by Yotch; 15-07-2008 at 04:47 AM.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moederloos View Post
    I also seriously think "battery power" as an option is high on the list for anyone.
    Seems like a cop-out excuse to me. In other words, after all the flac they got over this, they pulled this out as the "reason".

    Yes, battery is nice - make no mistake. But not at the expense of ethernet.
    Agreed... cop out, grasping at straws etc... still no word if PPPoE is on the cards, or an ETA for that matter.

    Thanks for the excuse-sheet, err... guide. Pfft.

  13. #13
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    I think that the guide is quite a good one. One or two things have been disputed but on the whole I think that it was a good one.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neotel View Post
    Does the NeoConnect Prime device have an Ethernet port supporting PPPoE?

    The device does not have an Ethernet port, and uses a USB port to connect to a computer.

    Whilst it would have been ideal to include an Ethernet port in the current device, it was not possible without making other compromises. It would have limited the device’s ability to operate autonomously on battery power for extended periods, for example. (You may have noticed the similar lack of Ethernet ports on mobile phones.)

    Fixed, data-centric CDMA2000 devices with Ethernet ports that could connect to a router with PPPoE certainly do exist, and are likely to be available in due course.
    ROFL. At least when the power goes off the USB connected PC should stay on, right?

    Straws, they are clutching at straws.

    As for Ethernet ports on cell phones? Say what? Last time I checked Nokia was not punting their phones as internet connections. LOL.

    Please Neotel, I really think someone misinterpreted the "market research".

    First off, open up the market. Support 3rd party CDMA devices. That way you don't get the flac when you come up with a really pathetic device.

    Secondly stop trying to force both voice and internet down on us. Let us decide if we want a semi portable voice device, fixed location internet routing device or a dodgy mix of both.

    Look at Vodacom and MTN. They offer a "data card" for people that want "internet". Sure that same card could have been used as a mutated phone/sms/3g video calling device. With all of these capabilities why do you think they came up with a small little internet only device? Because that is what we want.

    I really don't want to sit and SMS on my modem. Some people will want that, some not.

    /rant over.

    I am still 100% all for Neotel and I really hope you make some waves in South Africa.

  15. #15
    Serial breaker of phones Chevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim View Post
    ROFL. At least when the power goes off the USB connected PC should stay on, right?

    Straws, they are clutching at straws.

    As for Ethernet ports on cell phones? Say what? Last time I checked Nokia was not punting their phones as internet connections. LOL.

    Please Neotel, I really think someone misinterpreted the "market research".

    First off, open up the market. Support 3rd party CDMA devices. That way you don't get the flac when you come up with a really pathetic device.

    Secondly stop trying to force both voice and internet down on us. Let us decide if we want a semi portable voice device, fixed location internet routing device or a dodgy mix of both.

    Look at Vodacom and MTN. They offer a "data card" for people that want "internet". Sure that same card could have been used as a mutated phone/sms/3g video calling device. With all of these capabilities why do you think they came up with a small little internet only device? Because that is what we want.

    I really don't want to sit and SMS on my modem. Some people will want that, some not.

    /rant over.

    I am still 100% all for Neotel and I really hope you make some waves in South Africa.
    Your post just earned you 5 internets for being sensible.
    May your life be full of stories

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