I received my Telava Mobile Broadband Bullet in the mail today. This is the no-contract, use it and return it, 3G USB laptop connect card that gives you 5GBs per month of data usage for $50 and unlimited data usage for $60 a month. Additionally, you have to either spend $200 up front to buy the hardware outright, or you have to pay a $100 deposit on the device which will be refunded to you when you return the device to Telava. There is also a $30 activation fee, so to get up and running with Telava Mobile costs you $180-$190 before shipping (this includes the $100 that will be refunded when you are done with your device and the $50-$60 fee for your first month’s worth of data). At the end of each month, Telava charges you for the next month’s data unless you cancel and send back the device (so you would have to order anew if you intend to disconnect and reconnect later). All in all, not a horrible deal, and much better than any of the severely data-capped pay-as-you go options from the big providers like AT&T and Verizon.
I signed up for the unlimited data, of course. Telava Mobile piggy backs on T-Mobile’s 3G network and so far, now that I finally got the device to connect, I’m finding the network to be nicely speedy at home (so it’s a nice backup for my cable modem). Next week, I’ll be testing performance at SXSW and will put together a full review of the Broadband Bullet and the Telava Mobile service then.
This post is simply to share with other Mac OS X Snow Leopard users how to get up and running with their Telava Mobile Broadband Bullet should it arrive in the mail with instructions that state “Insert the CD if you are on a MAC computer” but with no CD included (as I did). I have no idea why Telava couldn’t have bothered to put the Mac OS X version of the software on the internal storage available on the device itself alongside the Windows software. The Windows software was useful however, because it sat there useless with the name GlobeTrotter Connect on it, so a bit of searching for GlobeTrotter Connect OS X turned up Option, who is the actual manufacturer of the Broadband Bullet, which seems to actually be the iCON 452 broadband modem with 3G HSUPA and AWS connectivity, so it should work worldwide. Initially, I grabbed the wrong version of the software and the modem wasn’t detected, but fortunately, I found this helpful post about connecting GlobeTrotter Connect in OS X Snow Leopard.
After a bit of trial and error, here are the steps that actually got it working nicely for me:
- Download v. 3.1.78.zip of GlobeTrotter Connect from this page.
- While your Broadband Bullet is disconnected, unzip the download and install the software.
- Navigate to /Applications/GlobeTrotter Connect/ and launch the GlobeTrotter Connect application.
- After the application launches go to GlobeTrotter Connect—>Preferences via the menu.
- When the Preferences pane opens select the 3G/EDGE/GPRS tab and type GNE in the APN field, leaving the username and password blank.
- Close the Preferences and plug in your Broadband Bullet.
- A OS X dialog will open saying that you need to open Network Preferences to configure the new hardware. Click the button to launch Network Preferences.
- After opening Network Preferences, things should automatically have created a GlobTrotter Connect Location. Switch to it and close Network Preferences.
- Now T-Mobile should show up suddenly in GlobeTrotter Connect. Click Connect and you’re connected.
The only odd thing about this setup is that GlobeTrotter Connect doesn’t seem to keep track in its main window of your connection, and it will think you are disconnected and revert to having a Connect button even when your internet connection is still pumping nicely.
After I have had some more time to use the service, I’ll weigh in with more details and a full review.