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[school-discuss] GSM modems

This is a forward of an email I sent to NetDay South Africa in early March. I was concentrating on what could be most easily acquired in South Africa, so perhaps I overlooked some things that might be useful otherwise.

Here are some websites I found with info about GSM cellular modems. I hope some of this is useful.


This modem is British, and sells for about 122 pounds. It's data rate seems to top out at 14.4 kbps.


This lists a variety of PCMCIA GSM modem cards available in SA, although I can't find the data rates and prices on all of them.


This gives a technical overview on how GSM modems work.

http://www.enter.net/kart/kart.pl?cart=weintraub&catid=1&action=category2&pwidth=1 <http://www.enter.net/kart/kart.pl?cart=weintraub&catid=1&action=category2&pwidth=1>

No data rate info, but the pricing is $175 US for single unit with bulk pricing available.


I don't know much about these, but the listed data rates seem pretty good.


This looks promising, but I don't know about its availability.


This one looks extremely good to me. I don't know about the pricing, but it has an embedded TCP-IP stack with DNS query protocol, and internal SMTP client, and an internal FTP client, with a baud rate up to 115.2 kbps.


Fargo Telecom has local offices in Johannesburg; perhaps they would be approachable


A German company. The products seem similar to others above, but I didn't look closely at them all.


This page is in Dutch so I can't understand it all, but I'm including it since Afrikaans is related to Dutch. It lists many GSM modems and also an HSDPA modem that would provide very high-speed connections if that service is available.


The last one. This company has an interesting product here: http://www.comtechm2m.com/gprs-router/gprs-router-erouter-gsm-gprs.htm which might be exactly the device needed for internet connectivity from the rural schools.

I can't say which if any of these links and devices will be most useful to you (if any). I'm sure this advice is already obvious to you, but I'll say it just in case. When you identify the units you think will be best for your use, contact the companies who manufacture the devices directly (not through any distributor). Tell them just what your intended use is and explain the financial situation to them. You might find them willing to donate the equipment for some charitable consideration on their taxes or for the good publicity they can get from the donation. If you do decide to pursue this line of inquiry, please keep me informed!

Doug Loss