EarthLink Offers Wireless Service

In December, the wireless Internet service provider OmniSky went bankrupt and sold out to EarthLink, the second largest ISP in the U.S. OmniSky users still continue to have service and EarthLink is signing up new one users. It offers service for the Palm m500 series, which OmniSky never supported. There are also plans for Palm Vx and Visor owners.

With a prepaid annual plan, service is $33.32 a month, $400 a year, for unlimited service. Without a contract, service is $40 a month. The unlimited plan is the only one offered.

EarthLink offers a Minstrel m500 wireless modem for $270. The Minstrel V modem is just $50. A Minstrel S modem for the Visor is $130.

Its coverage area is still a bit limited. The company claims it is available in 167 metropolitan areas in the U.S., covering 172 million people. Ironically, service isn't available at all in Atlanta where EarthLink is based.

This service is data-only. There are no voice capabilities.

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I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 12:10:13 PM #
I think that the price is very reasonable. 33 bucks a mpnth for unlimited internet..sweet. Definitely beats $20 per 150 kb deal for their new i705.

RE: Reasonable
blind505user @ 2/19/2002 12:13:15 PM #
This might just be the push for me to take the wireless plunge... I was just about ready to sell my m505 and buy an i705 but I couldn't do without color. Now I guess I don't have to.

RE: Reasonable
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 12:19:41 PM #
Not bad - but the main gripe I have with the sled modems is that they are two piece solutions. I had the Vx and the omnisky modem - I hated having to clip the Vx into the modem to check my email.

I just got the i705 - and I love the all in one package. The vibrating alert when I get an email is pretty sweet.

RE: Reasonable
jjsoh @ 2/19/2002 1:20:37 PM #
> I think that the price is very reasonable. 33 bucks
> a mpnth for unlimited internet..sweet. Definitely
> beats $20 per 150 kb deal for their new
> i705.

Yes, but remember that's with a PREPAID annual plan (Earthlink). Palm also offers unlimited for $2 more ($35/month) with a year contract, only you don't have to pay it all up front like you do with Earthlink (AFAIK). For those who don't like the year commitment however, both services also offer month-to-month plans which are similiar in price: $40/month. Only, Palm's site claims to have better national coverage.

Too bad is only for i705 owners. I guess that's why this news is good for other V and m50x owners. I personally dont' know what's available for other Palm OS devices (i.e. CLIÉ's, et al) so I don't know how badly they're being alienated.

RE: Reasonable
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 3:55:57 PM #
You also have to compare their coverage area. Omnisky/Earthlink is extremely limited (coverage is non-existant if you are not in a major metro area--and even that is no guarantee. examples: Kansas City, Atlanta, etc, etc..)Palm net seems to cover a lot more ground

RE: Reasonable
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/20/2002 1:57:30 AM #
I just ordered the m505 modem plus pre-paid for one year. I had the service two years ago for the Palm Vx and was quite satisfied. I'm not yet ready to sacrifice color for the m705. Traveling between metro areas, the coverage was really good. It was spotty in the outback, but as soon as I hit a metro area, I was back online again. This is the killer app fo my m505!


What about me?!

tipds @ 2/19/2002 12:49:32 PM #
Sony Clie PEG-N760C. I have money to spend, why won't they let me use the network? Sell me a modem and service, and I'm good.

I wonder if I could sue for discrimination?<G>

I guess I'll just have to hold on to my money until some company decides they want it.

Tip DS

RE: What about me?!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 1:09:49 PM #
Ha Ha.

Another reason not to get a Sony.

RE: What about me?!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 1:12:53 PM #
I had the Vx and the Omnysky Modem... It was okay, but after 18mos the novelty wore off, and I just wasn't using it enough to justify the expense. Anyone want a Minstrel V modem cheap?

RE: What about me?!
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/21/2002 1:07:20 AM #
"Ha Ha.

Another reason not to get a Sony."

Interesting - are you assuming there was already one reason not to buy the Clie? Enlighten me - I've had my 760 for about 4 months now, and other than the slightly larger size find it significantly superior to Palm or Handspring.

Hopefully Just the Beginning

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 1:59:35 PM #
I had used Omnisky for about 2 years and found it to be very good. While traveling around the country I was able to get my mail and new updates in many markets. Their biggest problem was that they weren't keeping up with the new models. With Earthlink behind them things can only get better.

I recently updated my Vx to a Clie760. Omnisky wasn't supporting the 505 back then. If there is add on for the 760 - I'm there.

RE: Hopefully Just the Beginning
epetrack @ 2/19/2002 3:29:26 PM #
I had also been using Omnisky since the beginning, and it worked very well. That said, I am now using a cable from which connects my Clie 760 to my Startac, and it works extremely well. It requires that digital service be available, but with a tri-mode phone (like startac 7868), that covers a lot of ground. So for a one time investment of $50, the only subsequent "cost" is minutes from the cell plan. I think this is a great solution for the "moderate" traveler.....

RE: Hopefully Just the Beginning
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 3:54:36 PM #
Who is your cell phone carrier. I use AT&T w/ a Nokia and they said it wasn't possible to connect to my Clie????

RE: Hopefully Just the Beginning
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 9:31:10 PM #
AFAIK AT&T and their TDMA network does not support data calls.

RE: Hopefully Just the Beginning
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/20/2002 2:01:39 AM #
Now that Earthlink is supporting the m505, i'm back in!

RE: Hopefully Just the Beginning
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/20/2002 2:15:57 PM #
AT&T is currently on TDMA... they are in the process of switching to GSM.


I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 3:51:51 PM #
Is it just me, or is anyone else not able to beat a coverage map out of the earthlink site? The link in this story leads to a page that forwards to another, then back to where you started.

If there coverage is as godawful bad as Omnisky's was (and it probably is exactly the same) then maybe this is on purpose. If my network covered 5% of the country, I wouldn't be too keen on displaying maps either!

RE: coverage?
porter @ 2/19/2002 4:22:25 PM #
It's really not that hard to find. Just click into the model of your choice and click "Service Coverage." The coverage is different for the different devices, which is why there's no main coverage map at the top level.

As an aside, yes, the CDPD coverage not a very large percentage of the overall continental US, but it is strong in the major metropolitan areas. The one notable exception is Atlanta (BellSouth territory). Personally, I've used Omnisky to connect up and down the Mid-Atlantic between DC and New York, and on the West Coast in San Francisco without any trouble at all.

The market for this service is really businesspeople, not cattle ranchers.

RE: coverage?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/19/2002 5:49:25 PM #
Kind of reminds me of that New Yorker cover with the map of New York covering most of the page and off in the distance you can see Los Angeles. Nothing of consequence in between. There are quite a few entire states that this service will not work in. Some sort of business is sure to be taking place.

I live in one of those rectangular states that you east coast business men occasionally fly over and, even though there are more than a million people in my home town, the closest spot of service for omnisky is several hundred miles from here. I did notice however, that they sell the omnisky packaged modems at the local compusa. With business savvy like that, I can not understand how they went broke.

RE: coverage?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/20/2002 1:55:38 AM #
works ok for me.

RE: coverage?
I.M. Anonymous @ 2/21/2002 11:26:09 AM #
I have had the Omnisky on my PalmVx about since they came out. I travel about 200,000 miles a year and love it. I have found it to work just about everywhere I go in the US. I have recently gotten an IPAQ3800 so Im in a wait and see mode on the wireless. Although I can hook my Verizon Startac to my 3COM modem in the expansion slot and call in to synch. Ill keep the Omnisky for a bit to see what direction dedicated wireless for the IPAQ shakes out.

Palm V/Vx Users Beware

porter @ 2/19/2002 4:15:48 PM #
I've been an Omnisky/Earthlink user for about a year and a half now, and have been very happy with the service. But before you jump in you may want to check out the recent thread on the Omnisky Yahoo! Group:

Apparently the current software Earthlink is offering has really thrashed people's Palm Vxs. No one has specifically posted about how well it well it works on other versions/devices, but in any case, be forewarned.


aviduser @ 2/20/2002 12:15:17 PM #
I have been waiting for this for quite some time. Now the site is so jammed that I can't get in. I had the service for my Vx & really loved it. Service is great in major metro areas, which is where my travel generally takes me. So its ok. Hopefully they'll make good use of the color in the m505.




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