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Linux-friendly cellular data modem squeezes into USB key

Nov 8, 2007 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Novatel Wireless is shipping a tiny cellular broadband data modem in a USB stick form factor. Touted as the world's smallest EV-DO Rev.A modem, the Ovation U727 EV-DO USB is being sold by Sprint, and comes with Linux drivers.

Sprint Novatel Ovation U727

The earlier
Ovation U720
is much larger

(Click to enlarge)

The Ovation U727 was launched on Sept. 27, accompanied by Windows, Mac, and yes, Linux drivers. In addition to a cellular modem, the tiny .07-pound (31.75 gram), 2.8 x 1 x 0.5-inch device is said to feature GPS location and an integrated microSD slot, enabling storage and transport of up to 4GB of data.

The Ovation U727 is optimized for the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network and its EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) Rev.A 3G technology, but is backward compatible to older EV-DO networks, Sprint says. The wireless provider estimates average download speeds over Rev.A networks of 600Kbps to 1.4Mbps, with peak performance of 3.1Mbps. Upload speeds are touted as ranging from 350- to 500Kbps, with peak speeds of 1.8Mbps.

Novatel Wireless reported a 90 percent increase in revenues in its third-quarter earnings report, released Monday. In the report, President Brad Weinert listed Linux support among the features he expected to fuel even better 4Q numbers.

Weinert stated, “The Ovation U727 [has] features not available in any other USB device, [including] storage capacity, GPS locate-and-find, and Linux support. We expect fourth quarter revenues to be the highest in company history.”

In its U727 availability announcement, Sprint vice president of customer equipment, Danny Bowman, also singled out Linux support as a key selling point, stating “A smaller form factor, GPS locate-and-find capabilities, and newly available support for the Linux platform truly help make this a next-generation connectivity device for our customers.”


The Ovation U727 is available now and currently being sold by Sprint and Novatel Wireless for $80. Further details can be found here.

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