Looking for AT&T / Verizon / Sprint WWAN service impressions - on or off-list replies welcome

Seth Mattinen sethm at rollernet.us
Wed Apr 15 01:28:15 CDT 2009

Crooks, Sam wrote:
> I'm considering use of AT&T / Verizon / Sprint WWAN services and the
> Cisco 3G router interface cards/integrated module in C880 routers for
> primary or backup WAN network connectivity for routers.

My comments are only for Sprint EVDO/1xRTT since that's what I use.

> I'm looking for information from users of these services on the
> following: 
> - addressing - Do these WWAN services use dynamic, PPPoE or static IP
> assignment typically? Any of the 3? All?

My IP changes every time the session establishes.

>    - is static IP assignment available?

I've never asked about static because there was no benefit to me when
other workarounds were available, i.e. DMVPN.

> - do these service providers use NAT within their network?

Sprint doesn't, you get a public IP and I can establish inbound
connections. They seem to filter incoming port 80 though. I regularly
SSH to the wireless IP without any problems, although if the radio is
sleeping sometimes it takes two attempts.

> - How is the service reliability?  In most cases, is the service
> available for use when you need to use it?

I've been using it for years with no complaints.

> - How is the service coverage area?  Do you have problems getting
> sufficient coverage in the deplouyment location to support desired
> speeds (say 512kbps up/down as a minimum)?

I get full EVDO rates. It's as reliable as any other CDMA phone I've
used in my area. Standard bad and good coverage areas apply. They will
do site surveys for you though, plus you can get fancy antennas for the
cards. I picked EVDO because it has a better upstream rate.

> - is ESP / IKE / IPsec permitted through un-rate-limited and un-molested
> by the providers?

As far as I can tell.

> - If you build a IPsec/GRE tunnel over these services, do you have
> frequent issues with the tunnel dropping, or a dynamic routing protocol
> running through the tunnel going down frequently?

Sometimes latency sucks and timers will expire. It always recovers on
its own though.

> Also interested in similar information on impressions of similar EMEA
> WWAN service providers, particularly Vodaphone and T-Mobile, if anyone
> has experiences with these.
> Replies on-list or off-list are welcome.... Your choice.
> Cisco 3G interface and provider information:
> http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps7272/index.html
> http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/routers/networking_solutions_products_ge
> nericcontent0900aecd80601f7e.html#~north-america

If uplink rates matter, for AT&T, you'll have to wait for the
HWIC-3G-HSPA-A to come out. If you want better than 384 up right now, go
EVDO Rev. A and make sure they do a site survey for you first. In the
end, it's just a fancy cell phone in your router.


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