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Vodafone updates: what a mess

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jan-2008 08:42

I am still reinstalling the applications in my laptop, after the Big Meltdown last week. Last night I was reinstalling the cellular data connection software.

I use two providers for mobile data: Telecom New Zealand (CDMA EVDO Rev A) and Vodafone New Zealand (HSDPA).

Telecom provides me a much better experience in New Zealand with better CDMA EVDO coverage than Vodafone's HSDPA service. And sometimes much faster too. Vodafone, on the other hand, provides me with data cards that I can actually use while overseas.

Mind you I don't use Vodafone data roaming overseas anymore, because it costs NZ$30 per megabyte when I am in the US. So I just use their data cards with some overseas SIM card. But I digress. I actually use Vodafone here in New Zealand when I can't get onto the Telecom network for some reason - and their coverage not always coincide so it's good to have both options.

Last night I downloaded the latest software for the Telecom hardware I have here (the Sierra Wireless AirCard 595 PCMCIA and the Sierra Wireless 595U USB). I installed the software and had both devices working in less than five minutes.

I proceeded with the Vodafone software. I have a Novatel Merlin XU870 Express Card and the Huwaei E220 (vodem). The Vodafone New Zealand website lists the VMC 9.1 as the latest supporting these. I downloaded it, the slowest possible connection to their servers and installed. It took about 90 minutes to get both devices working.

Then I found out the VMC 9.1 software causes some problems, such as disabling the built-in WiFi while connected and the solution is VMC 9.2 - which is supposedly available in the Vodafone Business website (a corporate site, not the Vodafone New Zealand site).

Good luck trying to find the software though. If you browse the site by OS, the Windows Vista page says the latest version is VMC 9.1 (which I already have) and actually says the Merlin XU870 is not supported (when I know it is). If you browse by hardware, the Merlin XU870 page says the latest is the VMC 6.0 released in 2005 (way before the Merlin XU870 HSDPA was even released?).

But I can't find th VMC 9.2.

Is it really hard for Vodafone to actually make things easy for their users? I guess after the ten days roaming fiasco between Vodafone Australia and Vodafone New Zealand we can expect anything.

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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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