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I'm in Helena, Montana today on a business trip. I have my Kindle with me (of course!) and was curious about how well it would connect to the Kindle Store. (Most of Montana is not covered by Sprint's cellular data network.)

As you might expect it's showing me the "1X' indicator which tells me that Whispernet is not available, and that my Kindle is connected instead through the (slower) 1XRTT wireless network.

(1xRTT is a slower wireless network that is available in most places where cell phone coverage is available. 1xRTT has a theoretical maximum of 144 kbps. This compares to Whispernet, which uses a 3G EVDO network and has a theoretical maximum of 3,000 kbps.) Source: Wikipedia.

Here are some actual times:

Choose Shop in Kindle Store: 14 seconds for Kindle Storefront to appear.

Choose National Best Sellers List: 14 seconds for page 1 to show.

Press Next Page: 1 second for next page to show. (I presume that it retrieved and cached a few pages of Best Seller info in the first request. Paging forward and back in that list is fast. About every 4th or 5th page, it would take 8 or 10 seconds to load - presumably it's downloading and caching more pages at that point.)

Download book: I purchased and downloaded a small book (Thomas Paine's Common Sense) and it took 40 seconds.

It's definitely not 3G EVDO speed, but I wouldn't hesitate to use this in a pinch. Good to know, as I come to Helena pretty regularly.
 

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I'm in an area in Oklahoma that only has 1X coverage.  Sprint has a roaming agreement with a local provider. It's not really that big of a pain to use but last week I traveled to an area with 3G coverage and now I really wish they would get the towers upgraded here.  I really shouldn't complain at all considering that the K1's wireless didn't work at all in my area which is why I never purchased it.
 

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Harvey said:
I'm in Helena, Montana today on a business trip. I have my Kindle with me (of course!) and was curious about how well it would connect to the Kindle Store. (Most of Montana is not covered by Sprint's cellular data network.)
Thanks for this report, Harvey. Very interesting. The speed is like an old fashioned modem with text delivery then. I took my 5-lb laptop with me on vacation a couple of years ago to Italy and got a modem account in case hotels didn't have wireless, and I remember being very happy to connect even at phone modem speed, which still works pretty well for basic email and checking text news. As others are saying, better the access than no access at all.
 

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Wave to my friend Carol that lives just outside Helena, would ya? ;)

Good to hear that K2 *does* work in Montana, slow is better than nothing! I had my K1 there at my friend Carol's last September, and of course it didn't work....I tried, just to see. LOL
 

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I'm glad I live in an area that has wonderful whispernet coverage. I love, love, love my whispernet. But I'd be far happier with slow than none.
 

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I live in Billings, Montana and am tickled pink with the Whispernet service here!  I was sold on the Kindle when I thought I would have no coverage so, having 1X is just an added bonus to me now.  It may take a few minutes longer to download a book than those in 3G range but, not enough to bother me.
 

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Still faster than going to the brick n' mortar!
 
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