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Testing a 598U without activation?

Hi All,

Does anyone know if I can test a Sierra Wireless 598U for coverage without activating it?

The 250U I have is not getting 3G ANYWHERE within a 4 mile radius of what is supposedly covered. Device bad? Recommended that I try the 598U which I am happy to do but do I have to activate and incur ANOTHER CHARGE when it, too, might not work?

The fact that we are supposedly within 3G area with Sprint is a big supposedly and, at this point, I have so much money and TIME invested, I would sure like to have some way of finding my way through this mess.

Thanks for any help.


P.S. Many, many thanks to Gord of Maximum Signal for helping me with this situation. Highly recommend him to anyone in need of equipment.


Bolivar, MO

I think you can check coverage without activating it, but I'm definitely not sure about that, I'm sure someone will chime in about that on here. I know that you can get the 598 places for pretty cheap. Do you have any family or friends that have either a Sprint phone or have Sprint mobile broadband? If you do you could ask them to come over and see what kind of signal and speeds they can get. I can also say that Gord is great, he helped me a lot when I got my amplifier.


reply to mendinfences

Re: Testing a 598U without activation? - Update Info

Talked to two Sprint reps who both said that the 598u does not work with 3G in my area. Neither could figure out why when the 250u does so they suggested I call tech support. (I pursued this after Jim_in_VA and Gord both thought this was incorrect.) Tech support found the same thing on their computers and could not understand why either! Great. She did say that the Sprint 600u is a newer option and that it says it will work 3G in my area.

Now, question ... is it possible that everyone, everywhere else can get 3G with the 598u and MY area is unique? That seems pretty far-fetched.

Next question is if anyone has any experience or thoughts about the Sprint 600u? Jim likes the 598 because it has configuration options. Maybe the 600u does as well.



Max Signal
Buffalo, NY

Sorry Sprint Reps are full of it . They cannot turn off all the 598's . There are lots out there being used . They are trying to upsell you . And Jim is right about the configuration on the 598's . They removed that ability on all later modems.
I suggest you go to the Verizon option if you can live with 20gb a month . Because Sprint is full of it.



My last response disappeared so, apologies if it shows up after this post.

Probably the timing but nothing new on eBay for the 598 and the used ones I've asked about are unsure if they have a clear ESN. I think I am just going to get a new set from Amazon and then I can return it if it doesn't work out. Well, I need to double check return policy on those.

With so many 598s in use, it is totally illogical (though not possible, of course) that one area could or would actually block that particular device.

Am also going to see if the local Verizon store will let me test coverage and strength of signal with ... something.

Rural living ... wheeee.

Max Signal
Buffalo, NY

Turns out it was a bad device . Linda got a Virgin Mobile Device ( Sprint ) and it showed 3G signal on her property . Now she is going to purchase a 598 on Ebay.


Cobbs Creek, VA

glad to see you help her out Max



YESSSS!! Thanks you both and everyone else who pitched in.

Gord/Max let me know that if that Virgin Mobile showed 3G, I should be in good shape to get service here. Now ... on to the next device and the return of the VM. (I didn't have to activate to check the signal so that was helpful.) All this due to a defective device. Let's hope the rest is smooth sailing!

Thanks again!!


Hastings, MI

I've got a 598U I could sell. I bought it off ebay a couple months ago but ended up not using it.



Thanks for the 598 offer. I did get one already.

FYI -- it does appear that the device can be tested for signal without activation.


reply to mendinfences

said by mendinfences:

Probably the timing but nothing new on eBay for the 598 and the used ones I've asked about are unsure if they have a clear ESN.

yeah, i've been looking at 598u's on EBay today since it appears my old one is ready to give up the ghost but very few sellers even bother to mention ESN.

also bought a new 250u for the millenicom 3g/4g plan but it apparently doesnt work in linux so i prob wont bother activating