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Puppy
Bit Torrent
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Message 1 of 24

X220 support for 4G/LTE Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN ?

Will Lenovo add official support for Sierra Wireless MC7710 http://www.sierrawireless.com/productsandservices/AirPrime/Wireless_Modules/High-speed/MC7710.aspx please ? It is LTE/HSPA+ WWAN "Gobi 4000" module for Europe region.

 

By support I mean to whitelist the device in BIOS at least, assuming the WWAN card will be Lenovo branded one for X230 model. Please consider that many of us could wait for X230 with official 4G WWAN support but the keyboard layout change was unacceptable so we bought X220 instead.

 

Because Lenovo don't want to introduce ThinkPad classic keyboard as X230 option they could allow X220 owners to use up-to-date WWAN cards instead.

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Message 2 of 24

Re: X220 support for 4G/LTE Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN ?

There is a little bit problem for implementing full featured LTE support in x220 - mc7710 needs 3 antennas. Perhaps one of them is for GPS only, I don't have clear information. MC7700/7750 support restricted number of bands for US market so may be they don't need 3rd antenna in x230. We'll see some answers when x230' parts list will be published and compare antennas FRU.

But your request is very important for me too.



x220 • Gobi 2000 3g | hdd, msata ssd, wwan, wifi, gps -- unique hand-made config
ThinkPad 25 Special Anniversary Edition. #retro. Signed by D.Hill
T470p | X1 Carbon Gen3 | Miix 2 10" | Yoga Tablet 2-1050F (Android) + BT Keyboard
ThinkPad Stack • 2.4/5 Wireless Router, HDD 1 TB, BT Speaker, Power Bank, Mobile Projector

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Puppy
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Message 3 of 24

Re: X220 support for 4G/LTE Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN ?

X230 FRU parts are already published here http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/product-and-parts/partsDBLookup.page It is not clear what exact Sierra Wireless model is behind the Lenovo Gobi numbers but I think it is MC7700/7750 only since there are no http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?&DocID=DS029028 Lenovo MC7710 drivers yet.

 

60Y3257 2 FRU Gobi3 WWAN - 3G MC8355
04W3779 2 FRU Gobi4 VLTE - MC7700  (V = Verizon) ?
04W3780 2 FRU Gobi5 ALTE - MC7750  (A = AT&T) ?

 

As for the 3rd antena, it still should be possible to install it because the X230 display frame looks exactly as X220 one.

 

Unfortunately the Lenovo policy of whitelisting devices in BIOS has been strictly bound to exact list of devices supported for particular model only in the past Smiley Mad I don't think that Lenovo managers understand that for some customers the X220 is the last ThinkPad and they will not buy any of new keyboard-less models (unless classic 7 row ThinkPad keyboard layout is provided as an option).

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Message 4 of 24

Re: X220 support for 4G/LTE Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN ?

Puppy, thanks for link to the parts list.

I've seen wwan cards list and driver link on Lenovo site earler. And I'm waiting news about mc7710 as it's working in some Russian LTE networks in 2,4-2,5 band.

Where did you find the line between Lenovo' FRU and Sierra' p/n?
mc7700 is for AT&T, NTT Docomo
mc7750 is for Verizon
mc7710 is for T-Mobile (EU)

May be there is a typo in VLTE/ALTE in the parts list?

According to antennas FRU of x220 and x230 they are the same. That's good and not good news for Europeans. Good because of we don't need to find new antenna for x220. And not good because of there will be possibly less LTE capabilities and band support in EU with x220 and x230.

I agree with your statement in the last paragraph, this is very sad. But what do you meen when you say "unless classic 7 row ThinkPad keyboard layout is provided as an option"? You dream Lenovo will launch new optional classic keyboard for x230 and other "new" laptop models? No chance.



x220 • Gobi 2000 3g | hdd, msata ssd, wwan, wifi, gps -- unique hand-made config
ThinkPad 25 Special Anniversary Edition. #retro. Signed by D.Hill
T470p | X1 Carbon Gen3 | Miix 2 10" | Yoga Tablet 2-1050F (Android) + BT Keyboard
ThinkPad Stack • 2.4/5 Wireless Router, HDD 1 TB, BT Speaker, Power Bank, Mobile Projector

Do it well, worse becomes itself

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Puppy
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Message 5 of 24

Re: X220 support for 4G/LTE Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN ?


Where did you find the line between Lenovo' FRU and Sierra' p/n?

It is my speculation only.


I agree with your statement in the last paragraph, this is very sad. But what do you meen when you say "unless classic 7 row ThinkPad keyboard layout is provided as an option"? You dream Lenovo will launch new optional classic keyboard for x230 and other "new" laptop models? No chance.
I know, just a dream. I did not want to sound too negative Smiley Wink
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Puppy
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Message 6 of 24

Re: X220 support for 4G/LTE Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN ?


@x220forme wrote:
I agree with your statement in the last paragraph, this is very sad.

Lenovo could learn from companies like Ricoh http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/06/26/Ricoh-GXR-firmware-1-51 Ricoh know how to care about their customers by adding new features via firmware updates to existing models. Forcing us to buy new model just because they (Lenovo) don't want to add new funcionality (4G WWAN card support) to older models is not the best way how to treat their customers.

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Message 7 of 24

Re: X220 support for 4G/LTE Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN ?

Puppy,

unfortunately, there is much more complicated reason for disclaimer to add the new wwan/wlan card to the older laptop models. It's sertification, especially in the FCC. Accordng to the FCC' rules not only separeted devices (laptop and modem, for example) must have sertificates but the pair - card and antennas kit. BUT antennas are the part of laptop design! So laptop vendor must get different sertificates for each laptop and card combination. It's a very cost expensive and a quite long process.

As Lenovo is interested in cash flow only the company ignores the customers interests, preferences and wishes if they need some investments from company. New sertificate means new investment.

This case is almost similar to the new one - how to use the old wireless devices in the new laptop models. If you whant to know the almost official view of Lenovo staff in this case read the 2nd post here:
http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/X-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/x220-i5-2520-amp-Qualcomm-Gobi-2000-Error-1802...
I have many words and facts to say Lenovo about that case, my expirience and regulation but it does not make a sense.



x220 • Gobi 2000 3g | hdd, msata ssd, wwan, wifi, gps -- unique hand-made config
ThinkPad 25 Special Anniversary Edition. #retro. Signed by D.Hill
T470p | X1 Carbon Gen3 | Miix 2 10" | Yoga Tablet 2-1050F (Android) + BT Keyboard
ThinkPad Stack • 2.4/5 Wireless Router, HDD 1 TB, BT Speaker, Power Bank, Mobile Projector

Do it well, worse becomes itself

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Message 8 of 24

Re: X220 support for 4G/LTE Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN ?

[Edited to fix a typo.  AG]

 

Hello,

 

Having worked for a hardware manufacturer, I know it can costs tens of thousands of dollars in testing time, not to mention engineers' salaries, to get a product certified for RF emissions.  I could see Lenovo adding new functionality if they had to completely re-do certification on the model because of some catastrophic failure (like a fire hazard or electrocution issue—not adding support for a device that didn't exist when the device was being designed does not count), but because it is working as implemented and as announced in the specifications, I can't seem them adding support for it.

 

As it is, there are people who modify the BIOSes on their ThinkPad to enable custom functionality, and it is possible that someone will do this for the X220 at some point (if it hasn't happened already).  Needless to say, such modifications violate the warranty, so if the unit ever needs to be serviced, you'll have to reflash it with the authorized warranty in order to get support.

 

By the way, for what it's worth, I'm typing this in a coffee shop on an X220 tethered to a Novatel Wireless MiFi2372 portable 3G to Wi-Fi hotspot.   It's about the size of a thick business card case and provides tethering for up to five devices at once, I believe.  Since I use multiple ThinkPads, this allows me to provide all of them with a 3G connection (and, eventually, a 4G connection) without my having to purchase a 3G modem and service for each device.  Perhaps you could look into a similar option for 4G connectivity.

 

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 



I am a volunteer and neither a Lenovo nor a Microsoft employee.

L380 YogaP50 (20EN-*)S230u (3347-4HU)T23 (2648-LU7)T42 (2378-R4U)T43p (2678-H7U)T61p (6459-CTO)W510 (4318-CTO)W530 (2441-4R3)W530 (2441-4R3)X100e (3508-CTO)X120e (0596-CTO)X220 (4286-CTO)X250 (20CM-*)Yoga 370

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Message 9 of 24

Re: X220 support for 4G/LTE Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN ?

goretsky,

thank you for your reply. I expected the such opinion so let me answer.

1. That your statement confirms my previous replica about the purpose of Lenovo when new laptops models have been gearing up to the market.

2. Modding BIOS for thousands of users is the need to protect of their investments to equipment they have already. Note, to IBM, Lenovo, Intel equipment, the vendors who claim (claimed) about the quality, reliability of their products and customers' investments protection at the same time. And what about to care about Lenovo' customers investments protection in reality? No chance, cash flow is the goal at any cost.

Then, white list was justified for IBM, the company which protected her legendary quality and reliability. Many customers forgave the wl inconvenience for reliability and quality. But not in present time with current Lenovo' design quality. Do you care about the cost of testing new hardware? White list presently is just waste of money - look at the development cost of wl protection new methods for example.

As for me I don't use modded BIOS itself in my personal laptop (look at the link above), I use original BIOS and original wl. I've solved that problem myself and x220 works fine for me with Gobi 2000 during the year.
As for the other laptop in my signature - it's the dream of any laptop owner IMHO because of consists hdd AND msata ssd AND 3g modem with GPS AND wifi card.

In conclusion of previous statements - Lenovo marketing staff demonstrates their bad qualification and non-professional work. Note we are talking about only wireless devices in laptops only, not about "new" ****beep*** keyboard in new laptop models.

3. OK, good technical decision. But US isn't the whole world and ATT isn't the wide world carrier. MiFi2372 I see at the market is locked to ATT. If I want to get this device for my carrier I should unlock it. OK, but look at your 2nd statement about the warranty.
Also this device costs about $250 (!) in my country. If I'll by it on ebay (about $55...60) I have to pay for shipping and comission expenses for company-agent (thanks ebay and VISA) w/o warranties. Another negative point is the time of working from the battery, just 4 hours. But I need internet access everywhere and everytime and don't want to care about another external device lifetime. Another devices from that company are for CDMA networks only (there are nothing such carriers in my country and as I know in EU too) or do not presented in the market (I mean 4620L).

If you want to change the world and become the 1st you do it, if you don't - you see the reasons.



x220 • Gobi 2000 3g | hdd, msata ssd, wwan, wifi, gps -- unique hand-made config
ThinkPad 25 Special Anniversary Edition. #retro. Signed by D.Hill
T470p | X1 Carbon Gen3 | Miix 2 10" | Yoga Tablet 2-1050F (Android) + BT Keyboard
ThinkPad Stack • 2.4/5 Wireless Router, HDD 1 TB, BT Speaker, Power Bank, Mobile Projector

Do it well, worse becomes itself

Communities:   English    Deutsche    Español    Portugues    Русскоязычное    Česká    Slovenská    Українська   Moto English

Puppy
Bit Torrent
Posts: 1,818
Registered: ‎11-28-2007
Location: CZ
Views: 33,361
Message 10 of 24

Re: X220 support for 4G/LTE Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN ?

Hello,

 

I understand the argument of FCC certification but I don't get why non-certified devices are explicitely disabled in BIOS ? I think that a no-warranty-warning should be enough but why to force people to use dangerous BIOS mods ? I can not imagine that different WWAN module would not pass the certification if the module is already certified itself.

 

As for external USB WWAN devices, my answer is no ! These devices sticks out horribly from your computer, have worse reception because of smaller antenna (yes, I can plug external one but it is not a portable solution at all) and you can easily mechanically damage your USB port  when moving your notebook because the device is always there. That's why internal WWAN modules were made. A computer without Internet connection is useless for me that I need the most portable and always-ready solution.

 

As for importance of 4G connectivity over 3G. Most of people would prefer it because of the speed. I don't need it, 3G/HSPA+ would be enough if... But this country have very "specific" mobile data services (approximately up to 20 times more expensive and the worst 3G coverage comparing to other countries in the EU) because of massive corruption over here that established oligopoly of providers with almost zero competition. The 4G network opens a chance that a new provider could step in and break the rules but since the 4G is not backward compatible with 3G I'd need different module.

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ThinkPad (1992 - 2012): R51, X31, X220, Tablet 8.
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