updated 11:15 am EST, Wed December 17, 2008
Sierra HSPA mobile modems
Sierra Wireless on Wednesday released a pair of HSPA mobile broadband network ExpressCard modems, the AirCard 501 and 502. Either has the potential to download data at up to 7.2Mbps and upload at 5.76Mbps and sport internal antennas with no moving parts, which extend just over an inch from a notebook. The AirCard 502 is designed for use in the European market, as it operates on the 900MHz, 1,900MHz and 2,100MHz UMTS bands, while the AirCard 501 supports North America with 850MHz, 1,900MHz and 2,100MHz bands.
Either is backwards-compatible with older UMTS, EDGE and GSM networks used around the world. Sierra ships the two AirCards with drivers built in that auto-install without requiring a CD. The two ExpressCards are available for both Mac and PC operating systems.
The AirCard 501 will ship later this month, while the AirCard 502 ExpressCard will be released in the first quarter of 2009, though no prices have been announced for either. Sierra typically offers its modems through carriers rather than independently.
Sierra Wireless AirCard 501
Sierra Wireless AirCard 502