Wednesday, November 26, 2008

M1330 and SIM cards

I found out by accident (like many M1330 owners) that behind the battery is a SIM card slot.

Apparently if you buy their laptop with the mobile broadband option, then that SIM card reader is actually attached to something...but I didn't go for that option.
(note the empty spot...and 3 antenna connectors (maybe one is for a "N" wifi card, cuz the other two are too short to reach)

It seems the only choices here are for standard provider modems (like Sprint etc). I have had a difficult time finding any more info than that...i.e. does someone make a 'universal' modem that can cover all the frequencies.

Well after a not very informative chat with the Dell tech support (out of India?) I figured out that I could search the Europe Dell sites...of course they are in their home language, but when I searched for WWAN on all but one site I found cards...either listed as Dell 5520 or Dell 3G Vodafone. (ebay from Europe for $150)

I am still looking to see if they all come unlocked, or if I have to buy a self described 'unlocked' one...

So then I found out that an option was to use the ExpressCard slot. I found one 'universal' modem (4 frequency). On Amazon it was $300 on sale.

$300 buys you a lot of after you buy the still have to buy minutes.

I sure hope wifi is available everywhere I visit...I don't want to buy a $300 card.

Found some more info on that Dell 5520. Some posts here say that this card is unlocked you just choose the SIM card and manually add the phone info.

Edit--> Profile Manager

Make a new profile with the APN
Someone else suggesting using this generic (unbranded) but official Dell driver.

This link is to newer Dell Vodafone software.

This is probably the same software. Or may be Vodafone specific.

Some more discussion with the same questions I had (have).

I found the Dell 5520 being sold on Ebay as used (pulled) for $95. (I guess I will have to locate some screws) I have to give it a shot...a refurbished card from Dell costs $230.

It will take a few weeks before I am able to test it (I might be stateside or in Europe at the time...don't know yet).

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