Stretched Out Software Inc. has released a Mac-compatible data driver for the Sierra Wireless AirCard 555 — a PC card that enables laptop computers to communicate through cellular telephone networks. The software works on both Jaguar and Panther, and is available for online purchase for US$29.95.
“Wi-Fi” wireless networking access through AirPort (IEEE 802.11b) or AirPort Extreme (IEEE 802.11g) is ubiquitous across Apple’s product line. Finding a “hot spot” — a location where you can actually connect online — can be vexing when you’re on the road, however. More and more hotels, coffee shops, bookstores, airports and convention centers feature Wi-Fi hot spots, but in most areas, cellular telephone access is far more widespread.
Sierra Wireless Inc. manufactures a line of PC Card expansion cards that communicate through cellular telephone data networks. Their AirCard 555, for which Stretched Out Software developed its Mac-compatible data driver, is just such a product. It uses the CDMA2000 1X protocol supported by some carriers in the United States and Canada (Sierra’s Web site has more information).
Sierra’s own card offering requires various flavors of Windows — and even with Stretched Out Software’s drivers, still requires pre-activation on a Windows PC. But once you’ve done that, Stretched Out Software’s own drivers can enable that card to function on a Mac laptop.
What’s more, Stretched out Software indicates that it’s working on a Mac OS X driver for Sierra’s AirCard 750, a tri-band card that supports global networks using GSM/GPRS. Visit the Web site for more details.