Besides GSM, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is also a popular cellular technology used in the U.S. CDMA uses Spread Spectrum Technology (SST), which allows a unique code to be attached to each conversation and to spread conversations across wide segments of the cellular broadcast spectrum. Each receiver decodes on the same frequency segment as the sender. Because multiple signals can be transmitted over the same spectrum, CDMA allows many more conversations to be possible compared to other cellular technologies.
CDMA is used by Sprint PCS, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T. CDMA2000 is the latest generation of CDMA technology and is used on Sprint's PCS Vision network and Verizon Wireless's Express Network.
8.3.1 Using the AirPrime PC3200 CDMA2000 PC Card
Sprint's AirPrime PC3200 PCMCIA card operates on the CDMA2000 network. This card dances on the edge of 2.5G and 3G, boasting typical data speeds of between 50 and 70 Kbps. It is capable of a peak speed of 144 Kbps.
220.127.116.11 Installing the AirPrime PC3200
Take the following steps to install the AirPrime PC3200:
18.104.22.168 Activating the AirPrime PC3200
Before you can use the card, you need to activate it, which connects your account to the card and allows it to get on the Sprint PCS Vision network. Unlike with GSM/GPRS adapters and phones, CDMA does not use a SIM card, so your identity is connected with the account information you supply during this procedure.
After the software installation is complete, the Activation Wizard appears and provides you with the following sequence:
Figure 8-22. The PCS Connection Manager during provisioning
22.214.171.124 Making the connection
After you've activated the card and gone through the provisioning process, the PCS Connection Manager will prompt you to "Click `GO' to connect...". (If you get an error message, contact Sprint technical support.) To connect to the network, take the steps described next.
Each time you log in, the PCS Connection Manager is started automatically. You can close the window and minimize it to the system tray by clicking the "x" in the lower-right corner. Click the tray icon (see Figure 8-24) to restore the PCS Connection Manager window.
Figure 8-24. PCS Connection Manager system tray icon
The PCS Connection Manager displays precious little information. To see extended information, such as signal strength, click MENU and select Device Info & Diagnostics. (This option is only available while you are disconnected from the network; see Figure 8-25.)
Figure 8-25. Device Info & Diagnostics showing device information and network signal status
8.3.2 Using the AirCard 555 CDMA2000 PC Card
Verizon offers the Sierra Wireless (http://www.sierrawireless.com/) AirCard 555 for notebook computer users of its Express Network service. As with the offerings from Sprint, you can expect between 50 and 70 Kbps with this card and Verizon's service, with a peak speed of144 Kbps.
126.96.36.199 Installing the AirCard 555
Follow these steps to install the AirCard 555:
188.8.131.52 Making the connection
After you've installed the software, insert the AirCard into your PCMCIA slot. Windows XP detects the card and installs the drivers (you may need to click through some confirmation dialogs). When that is finished, your system tray will indicate that a new network device has been detected (see Figure 8-26). You can ignore this.
Figure 8-26. Windows XP detecting the AirCard
After a few seconds, things settle down, and the AirCard 555 Watcher icon appears in the tray (the left-most icon shown in Figure 8-27). This icon is only available when the AirCard is plugged into your computer. Click it to bring the Watcher window to the front (Figure 8-28).
Figure 8-27. The AirCard 555 Watcher icon appearing in the system tray
Figure 8-28. The AirCard 555 Watcher waiting for you to connect
The AirCard 555 Watcher (Figure 8-28) shows the signal strength (one out of five bars in this figure). To connect to the network, click Connect. Within a few seconds, you should be able to access the Internet. You can also send and receive SMSs using the Watcher. Click Tools Mobile Messenger to access this feature (you do not need to be connected to send or receive an SMS, but you must be in the service area).