3G services are finally rolling out all over the country. We decided to review the various USB modems available in the market. We started out with the Micromax MMX 310G 3G USB modem and were really pleased with the results of both the software and hardware that came along. This modem can be used with any GSM sim card be it Airtel, Docomo or BSNL among various other 3G providers in the country. Unboxing pictures and full review after the break.
Micromax MMX 310G Review:
Specs and Price:
This unit cost me INR 2200 and does not have any lock on carrier. You can use it with any carrier worldwide. It supports HSDPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM. The maximum download speed of this unit is 3.6 Mbps. There are other costlier modems available which offer speeds upto 7.2 Mbps but I don’t think I’ll be able to benefit much from that yet given the current speeds offered by our cellular providers.
You can also use this to read your MicroSD card and as a portable disc drive. Please note that when a card is inserted(opposite side of the SIM tray) the ROM will not appear on your computer. So don’t insert any MicroSD cards while installing.
The SIM is installed using a tray which slides out partly. While there are no issues with the tray and you can install micro-sims with a little effort, I would have preferred an open mechanism where inserting the micro-sim is easier with metallic contacts visible. Since most of my SIMs are cut into micro-sims for the iPhone 4, I faced this difficulty. Once I get my sim card adapter this should be not an issue at all.
Drivers and Software Compatibility:
I was really not expecting Micromax to do so well in this category. In the past I have had a lot of issues with the drivers of Reliance NetConnect. The Micromax MMX 310G does not come with any extra CD. You just plug the USB modem into your computer and then choose the Installer for your OS from the modem’s ROM.
It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The Mac installation on Snow Leopard was a breeze for me.
The second great thing about the software is that it has pre-configured profiles for almost all the network providers worldwide. From AT&T and T-Mobile in the US to Airtel 3G and BSNL 3G in India. You don’t have to worry about the nitty-gritty of APN address and phone number to dial etc. Just choose your network from the list and set it as default.
I tested the unit with my BSNL 3G Sim and the modem worked perfectly. I got peak speeds of 3.2 Mbps and average speeds of 2.4 Mbps outdoors. Indoors the speed was a tad lesser. Obviously, this is not the modem’s limitation but how 3G networks function. The closer you are to the broadcasting towers the better the speeds.
Do share with us what 3G devices you use and how do they perform for you.