on Wednesday introduced versions of its AirCard wireless modems designed to work using USB. What’s more, they’re Mac-compatible. They can be connected directly into the USB port of a laptop or desktop system, and also work using docking cradles.
The new AirCard 595U works on EV-DO Revision A networks. EV-DO stands for Evolution-Data Optimized; it’s a broadband networking technology that’s gaining traction from cellular service providers that use Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology — examples in the United States include Verizon Wireless and Sprint. The card provides maximum downlink speeds of 3.1 megabits per second and maximum uplink speeds of 1.8 megabits per second. Expect to see the AirCard 595U shipping in the fourth calendar quarter of 2006.
The AirCard 875U utilizes High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), a wireless broadband technology developed for use on cellular networks that utilize Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) technology instead. Cingular offers HSDPA service in some markets. The 875U offers “peak theoretical rates” of up to 3.6 megabits per second and is upgradable.
Designed to roam on worldwide networks, the AirCard 875U supports a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms: HSPDA, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS and more. The AirCard 875U is expected to be released in the first calendar quarter of 2007.
Both devices measure 3.7 x 1.5 x 0.8 inches. The products are not yet available for orders — Sierra Wireless did not announce a price for either USB modem.