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Novatel Ovation U720 USB720 Rev A and Mac OS X Compatibility

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Michael
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 6208
Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 6:25 am    Post subject: Novatel Ovation U720 USB720 Rev A and Mac OS X Compatibility Reply with quote

This thread will discuss if the Novatel Merlin U720 EVDO Rev A USB Modem is compatible with Macs on Sprint.

We should be getting one as soon as they are shipping and we will do testing and report to this thread.

The big question if Mac OS X 10.4.7 will recognize the S720 (or 10.4.8, that was just released)

Keep in mind, the U720 is a USB device and will work with and PowerBook, MacBook, MacBook Pro, G4, G5, Desktop, iMac, iBook, and any Mac.

We will have to see if Sprint, Apple, or Novatel will provide software to make this work.

Update -Don't want to read all the messages in this thread. Quick Answer.... Yes, they do work. When ordering via 3Gstore.com, just select 'Mac Pre-Activate' and your U720 will come ready to use along with a CD with software and FREE telephone support.

Read our U720 Review on EVDOinfo.com
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Last edited by Michael on Mon Sep 03, 2007 2:04 pm; edited 9 times in total
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Feefer
EVDO User


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And a comment on compatibility with the Kyocera KR1 would be nice, too... Wink

Chris
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xenophon
EVDO Addict


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 2033

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... Novatel had a press release today about 3 products and no mention of the u720. Could it be delayed? Well delayed may not be right term as there was never an announced date, just rumblings of Oct 1.

http://investor.novatelwireless.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=212948
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christof
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Joined: 29 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feefer wrote:
And a comment on compatibility with the Kyocera KR1 would be nice, too... Wink

Any updates?
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Michael
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 6208
Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

During our initial testing of the Novatel U720 and Macs, we had great success, it actually worked, not all the bells and whistles, but it worked.

One of our tech guys was helping a Sprint employee getting his U720 to work and he couldn't get it to work. We tried 2 different MacBook Pros here in the office and it worked (with minimal setup/configuration). After spending a lot of time, and NOT getting it to work for the Sprint employee, we reformatted our hard drives and tried again.

After formatting our hard drives, the Novatel U720 was no longer recognized in the MacBook, nothing we could do would get it to work.

Then one of our tech guys had a theory. Since, we support both Verizon and Sprint, he guessed that Verizon's VZAccess (which does support Macs), was some how allowing the Sprint U720 to work. Sure enough, after installing VZAccess on our MacBook Pro, then the sure enough, the U720 was recognized in System Preferences -> Network and we were able to manually configure and connect to Sprint Mobile Broadband. BUT, if we didn't install Verizon VZAccess, it wouldn't work.

We are working very hard to try to get the U720 working with Macs, but since Sprint doesn't offer a Sprint Connection Manager for Macs and currently 10.4.8 doesn' offer native support - it isn't going to work.

Since Apple does support some older Sprint cards in 10.4.7-10.4.8, we are hoping that Apple will come through and add support for the U720 natively to Mac.

If you placed an order for a U720 through us and you are planning on using it strictly on a Mac, we can either hold your order for a few days (to see if we can get things working), OR cancel your order, just let us know. Our tech guys are working on a few avenues to try to get it working.

As soon as more information on this topic is available, we will post it to this thread.
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jameschho
EVDO Fledgling


Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could we look at what drivers the OS is using when the U720 is inserted on a MBP with VZAccess installed and then go extract those drivers from the VZAccess software and install them manually? Shouldn't be too hard just extract the correct kernel extensions and add them to the non-verizon MBP.

I downloaded a copy of VZAccess for the mac and opened the pkg in pacifist. It installs the SMSIWirelessUSB.kext extension package into /System/Library/Extentions which should be the divers for wireless cards. Can someone who actually has a U720 verify this or try extracting the kernel extension, manually installing and testing?
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Michael
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can confirm that installing that driver is indeed the "missing link" and it allows the U720 to be recognized as a network port and the ability to configure and dial out on it.
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Michael
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We received the following email from a customer:

Quote:
Novatel has published that the U720 works with Mac OSX. I understand the whole Sprint doesn't like Macs issue, but wouldn't Novatel have a solution that permitted it to advertise compatibility with OSX in the first place?


That is a very good question. We have a few contacts at Novatel and we will run that by them and report here. I am guessing that the word "supports" indicates that the product can work and that it is carrier specific if they actually allow it (like disabling bluetooth). Since Sprint doesn't have a Connection Manager for Macs - there really isn't going to be a way to do it from Sprint.

The other (and more likely) option is Apple. Apple currently supports the
S620 and AC580 in 10.4.7 and 10.4.8, it would make sense for Apple to add support for the latest EVDO devices. Apple's solution isn't perfect (requires a Windows computer to activate, update firmware, upgrade PRL), BUT it does work well.

Here is an interesting tidbit,

Verizon's VZAccess Manager 3.1.2 for OS X, supports the following new devices:

- Novatel U720 (new to 3.1.2)
- Pantech PX-500 (new to 3.1.2)
- Merlin S720 (new to 3.1.2)
- KPC650
- V640
- V620
- PC5740

For those lucky enough to have both a Verizon and Sprint EVDO device, install Verizon's VZAccess 3.0.1 and then do an upgrade to 3.1.2, and use VZAccess for both.

Verizon licenses Quick Link Mobile Mac from Smith Micro and repackages it as VZAccess Manager. We purchased the latest Quick Link Mobile Mac v3.0 from Smith Micro today, thinking we could offer a solution to Mac/Sprint customers. Unfortunately, the latest version doesn't support the latest Rev A Cards or the U720 USB. Plus, this would be an additional purchase for each customer to get it working.

So, the question is.... Why doesn't Sprint just license Quick Link Mobile from Smith Micro (like Verizon did) and call it "Sprint Connection Manager for Mac". They would have tons of happy customers.

We have already started a conversation with Smith Micro to see if they will brand an "EVDOinfo Manager", that we could give to our customers that works with both Verizon and Sprint. We are not sure IF this is feasable, but we are exploring it.
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jpete20024
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:05 pm    Post subject: U720 Using Boot Camp Reply with quote

Can someone confirm or deny that the U720 will work with Boot Camp on a MacBook Pro.
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Michael
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005
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Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Confirmed, I have tried on the first rev MacBook Pro and the latest ones and they work fine.

A Sprint Ovation U720 works great under BootCamp on a MacBook Pro, because Sprint supplies Windows XP drivers.

Since there are currently no drivers for the U720 for Mac from Sprint, I was able to use Parallels, install the Windows U720 drivers and use the U720 under Parallels. However as soon as the Verizon drivers were installed, it would grab the U720 and then Parallels wouldn't be able to access the U720, because it was busy.
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jameschho
EVDO Fledgling


Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To download the VZAccess software all you need is a valid verizon wireless phone number and download from this location:

http://vzw.smithmicro.com/download/

I'm thinking most of us know at least one person in our phonebooks who has verizon. Wink
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Piggy
EVDO Fledgling


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
Confirmed, I have tried on the first rev MacBook Pro and the latest ones and they work fine.

A Sprint Ovation U720 works great under BootCamp on a MacBook Pro, because Sprint supplies Windows XP drivers.

Since there are currently no drivers for the U720 for Mac from Sprint, I was able to use Parallels, install the Windows U720 drivers and use the U720 under Parallels. However as soon as the Verizon drivers were installed, it would grab the U720 and then Parallels wouldn't be able to access the U720, because it was busy.


Does this mean that if you don't install the VZAccess driver(s) that using the Sprint Windows drivers in Parallels the PRL (if that's the right term) can be updated?

Have you tried the following on a MacBook Pro with VZAccess drivers to update the PRL? Rename the driver SMSIWirelessUSB.kext (or move to another directory), reboot, then go into Parallels and with the Sprint drivers update the PRL. Rename SMSIWirelessUSB.kext back, reboot, and return to normal operation using the card with Sprint in Mac OS. If this works then those of us with Parallels have a way to update the card's PRL when traveling.
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Piggy
EVDO Fledgling


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
For those lucky enough to have both a Verizon and Sprint EVDO device, install Verizon's VZAccess 3.0.1 and then do an upgrade to 3.1.2, and use VZAccess for both.


I downloaded and installed 3.01 on my MBP but it doesn't find an update. I don't have the U720 yet but I tried before allowing the assistant to "continue" and after, having selected the Wi-Fi only option as that's all I have. Actually that's not true as I do sometimes use my Cingular Motorola RAZR Bluetooth phone with the Mac. (The Setup Assistant doesn't detect my phone, possibly because it's not Verizon?) Anyway shouldn't I be able to update to 3.1.2? Or will I need the U720 before it lets me do this. File info says VZ Access Manager is a Universal Binary.
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opg4759
EVDO User


Joined: 06 Dec 2006
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also downloaded 3.0.1 and I haven't been able to get it to update to 3.1.2
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Piggy
EVDO Fledgling


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad (?) it's not just me. I don't have a WWAN device. Do you?
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