Novatel Ovation U760 (Sprint) Broadband Card – First Look

Novatel Ovation U760 (Sprint) Let’s cut the chit chat.

You’re interested in the Ovation U760 or you wouldn’t be here.

Most likely, you’ve got some questions like:

  • Will I have excellent coverage where I am and when I travel?
  • How does it look like?
  • Will it be fast enough for sufing the web and my downloading?
  • How does it work?
  • Will it work with my laptop without major hassles?
  • Who’s got the best deal?

I understand where you’re coming from. These questions are completely normal for anyone shopping to get a broadband card. We’ll cover those bases and other insider information here. After you’re armed to the teeth, you’ll know if this is the card for you.

If I don’t cover all the bases, don’t get the card. Instead, do me a favor. Drop me a line at the end of the page and let me know why you didn’t. That way I can make it better.

Let’s get to it.


  1. Summary
  2. Details
  3. Image Gallery
  4. Manufacturer’s Description
  5. Manual
  6. Product Specifications
  7. Where To Get It


What’s Good:

The Ovation U760 is the smallest USB broadband card that Sprint has. With a 32 GB potential for expanded microSD storage, it can simultaneously replace your thumb drive and serve as your connection to the internet while comfortably sitting on your keychain.

What’s Bad:

While Linux is supported, the technical support and guidelines could be more robust/customer friendly. Fortunately, there isn’t too much else to balk at here.

Make $50
(at time of review)



Reviewed on: 02/11/09


Credit CardWhen you size up the Ovation U760, it falls just a bit shorter than a credit card. As a matter of fact, it’s about the size of small flash (thumb) drives. Being the smallest broadband card Sprint has, it can actually earn a slot on your keychain and not be out of place.

It ships with a keychain ring, lanyard, flexible USB cable and manual. There is no installation CD. Unlike some other broadband cards that claim to not need a CD, the Ovation U760 doesn’t.

In other cases, the drivers would come preloaded on the broadband cards but still require a CD or download from the carrier’s website to obtain the ‘connection manager’ for configuration on that network.

Thankfully, the Ovation U760 prompts you for installation of the Sprint SmartView connection manager and activates with only one click.

Sprint Smartview Connection Manager

If you’re really sharp, you’ll see that’s a picture of Sprint Smartview on a Mac (by looking at the friendly round red, yellow and green buttons). That’s right, the U760 supports Mac OSX 10.4.11 or later, Windows XP, Vista, 2000 and (Windows 7 unofficially at this point). While support for Leopard 10.5 Linux users is there, it’s not as robust as Mac and PC based systems. If you look really closely, you’ll also see that it has built-in GPS (no turn-by-turn navigation though). For those that like to play around, you can use the GPS in Google Earth to track you movement as you travel.microSD card

A cool feature of the U760 that’s becoming pretty standard among USB broadband cards is expandable storage. While some reviews state it can handle up to an 8 GB microSD card, the frequently asked questions provided by Sprint states that it can handle up to a 32GB microSD card.

If you couple that with it’s small size, it really can replace your thumb drive. Unfortunately, I don’t have a 8GB and 32 GB microSD card lying around to test this (though I’d love to).

As mentioned before, the Ovation U760 ships with a USB cable. It’s the flexible kind that keeps it a bit away from the laptop. After brainstorming for awhile, the only benefit I can think of for using this would be to angle it upward instead of jutting out from the side.

Ovation U760 USB cable

Broadband cards that poke out of the laptop aren’t exactly conducive to riding a car, truck, or RV. You’d most likely need to point it vertically. Other than that, I’m doubt it would greatly improve your reception. To do that, an external antenna (which it thankfully supports) would be necessary.

Of course, the reception you get is only as good as the network you’re on. That brings us to…

Domestic Coverage

Mobile Broadband Buyer's GuideThe Ovation U760 runs on Sprint’s Mobile Broadband network. After some reviewing that I cover in great detail in Lesson 10 of Mobile Broadband Buyer’s Guide, you’ll see how Sprint has the largest mobile broadband network.

QuoteWith Mobile Broadband coverage from Sprint, you can harness the power of the nation’s largest mobile broadband network. Reaching over 230 million people (with roaming-included areas), service is available in 218 major metro markets and 1,002 airports coast-to-coast”

Of course, the natural question following (or even preceding) ‘how good the coverage is’ usually turns out to be:

How Fast Is It?

“With a Sprint Mobile Broadband Card, you get average download speeds of 600-1400 Kbps, peaking at 3.1 Mbps, and 350-500 Kbps average upload speeds, peaking at 1.8 Mbps.Similar to DSL, and about ten times faster than using a dial-up modem”

While this is technically true, alot of you tend to ask how fast a specific card will be. While the individual card does not usually affect the speed (so long as it’s EVDO Revision A), Sprint’s speed varies depending on location. As I explain in Lesson 8: Who’s The Fastest (Mobile Broadband Buyer’s Guide), Sprint has the best speeds overall. For now, they have a double whammy on speed and coverage, two of the biggest concerns mobile broadband users have.

A couple real world applications that work well are email, web surfing, sending large attachments, video streaming, music streaming, and online gaming. I’ve personally used my EVDO Rev. A broadband card from Sprint for all of the above. The latency is much better than I would expect for online gaming. From Real-Time Strategies to First Person Shooters, it handles it pretty well.

All in all, it’s a pretty solid card. I’d recommend it if someone asked about it. Here’s a couple snapshots


Ovation 1Ovation 2Ovation 3Ovation 4

(hover over for larger image)

The Novatel Ovation U760 is a 2-in-1 device with a microSD slot creating not only a wireless high-speed data access device as well as a storage drive. It provides a wireless connection for your desktop and laptop.

The Ovation U760 is designed to operate on CDMA supporting Sprint EV-DO Rev. A mobile broadband service. The Average download speeds are 600 Kbps-1.4 Mbps with peak speeds of 3.1 Mbps. Average upload speeds are 350-500 Kbps with peak speeds of 1.8 Mbps. Backwards compatible to CDMA EV-D0 Rev. 0 and 1xRTT in areas where Sprint EV-DO Rev. A coverage is not available.

The Ovation U760 is also GPS Enabled and supports Sprint Location Services for Sprint Mobile Broadband users. You can use this to find nearby restaurants, gas stations, banks, and mopre without entering their current location. With easy Sprint SmartView Installation there is no CD required to install the Ovation U760 on Windows or Mac operating systems.

Novatel Ovation U760 (Sprint)

  • E-mail with large attachments
  • Digital Imaging
  • Corporate Intranet and Internet
  • Location-based applications
  • Designed for Windows Vista/XP; Macintosh OS X or higher and Linux

Included Accessories

  • Laptop clip with USB connection cable
  • Carrying pouch
  • Keychain
  • Lanyard
  • Getting started guide

From the Manufacturer

Download Manual in PDF

From the Manufacturer

Data Card Type USB
Removable Memory Card – Type Micro SD Card
Voice Frequencies 850/1900
Operating System Not Applicable
Headset Jack Type N/A
Data Frequencies 850/1900
Phone Size Ultra-small
Antenna Type Internal
Color Display No
Dimensions (H x W x D) 2.2 x 1.0 x 0.5 in
Weight (w/standard battery) 0.7 oz
External Volume Control No
Hearing Aid Compliance Not Available
Language Options N/A
Vibrating Alert No
External LCD No
Service / Support 1 Year Warranty


There are two kinds of people that visit this page.

Buy Now

The 1st person that knows that this is the card they want and they’re doing their due diligence. If that’s you, I hope I’ve done that for you. If I have, then you can pick up Novatel Ovation U760 for free and make $50 (at the time of this review).

If I haven’t covered everything, let me know what’s missing.

Wirelesss Broadband ExposedThe 2nd person that reads this page is considering this card but has not made up their mind yet. If that’s you, there are two things you need to do:

I. Sign up for the free “Mobile Broadband Buyer’s Guide

It’s like your pre-marital counselor and prenuptial agreement all in one. It’ll save you from any future heartache and checkbook punches that might come your way.

It’s been designed to explain in four short, detailed lessons what most people don’t know about Mobile Broadband.

II. Check out the Broadband Card Comparison

You’ll get a good feel for what to look for in a Broadband Card. It’s designed to compliment the Wireless Broadband Exposed course so that you’ve got the right card and the right plan at the right price without any fear.

Related Reading: Contact Me

Mobile Broadband Buyer’s Guide (The Free Online E-Course)

The Top 4 Places to Get An Aircard

2010 Broadband Card Comparison

Wireless Broadband Service Comparison

What is Mobile Broadband? Tech Talk Demystified

International Wireless Broadband – AT&T Tops the Chart

Need more info? Check out the rest of the mobile broadband reviews.



  1. Smith says:

    I travel allot, this would be useful indeed.

  2. R Symonds says:

    I have to say. I think its amazing,we can send drones across the world from a 20ft can in a undisclosed location. We can send a man to the moon,,,,sorry and a woman. But yet I cant get a signal from my verizon aircard sitting in any major city.Im ready to cancel after over 10 yearsIts like the rest of this country. “Just shut up and pay the fuckin money”

Leave a Courteous Reply to R Symonds