Most mobile computer systems like laptops and notebooks are using integrated wireless network cards in order to connect to WiFi hot spots but there are older machines that lack such capabilities or their wireless cards are incompatible with one standard or another.
For those cases, a small company specialized in wireless networks and related computer hardware parts launched two products named AirCard 880U and 881U which are USB based modems compatible with HSUPA networks as well as HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS and GSM network technologies on all frequencies currently used worldwide according to the news site money.cnn.com. The new USB modems are compatible with three band frequencies and because they use the USB interface their usage is a very simple matter, thus being the most practical choice for users sharing a single wireless account between multiple machines or using a wireless connection with a previously unsupported machine.
In order to guarantee a high level of compatibility, Sierra Wireless designed both USB modem to work with Microsoft Windows XP, 2000 and Vista alongside with Mac OS X. "Sierra Wireless USB modems offer versatility for customers without compromising the quality and performance they need from their mobile broadband connection," said Trent Punnett, senior vice president, Marketing and Corporate Development for Sierra Wireless in a company's press release concerning the launch of the two USB modems. "With the addition of significantly faster HSUPA technology, that connection gets even better, delivering a mobile experience that is remarkably similar to what many of our customers expect from their wired Internet service." Sierra Wireless' AirCard 880U and 881U USB modems are offering their users all the advantages of a fully operational wireless network, enabling customers to send and receive emails, upload and download digital content and navigate the Web.
The two USB modems are reaching a faster data transferring speed than most HSUPA networks being able to top at a maximum of 2 megabits per second, Mbps for short, for upload links while the maximum reachable download speed is 7.2Mbps. These high data speeds are allowing customers to easily use live content applications like video conferencing systems and related applications. As the HSUPA ones are still not widely available the two USB modems, AirCard 880U and 881U, can very well use just about every wireless networking standard and the 880U is specially optimized for use in Europe and Asia while the 881U is most used in the United States and Canada. When extra power is needed in order to boost the wireless network's signal strength the AirCard modems use an on-board battery, otherwise they are powered through the same USB port which ensures connectivity with the host computer system.