Warning!!! Not all laptops are born equal–as far as Smart BRO Plug iT modem is concerned.
Before you decide subscribing to the Smart BRO prepaid or Plug It postpaid plan, be sure your laptop works smoothly with the ZTE-made USB multi-mode device modem.
Otherwise you’ll end up sorry and feel disappointed for not able to carry along your Smart BRO Plug iT device.
I’ve got hold of my Smart BRO plug iT unit two weeks ago but i was not able to immediately run it due to installation and connection problems.
First, i thought the CD that is included in the kit is going to be installed first on my laptop and PC before i could proceed with the connection process. But since i couldn’t open the executable file that is found in the CD, i was forced to call the SmartBRO hotline (*1888).
The call center agent politely asked me if i had connected already the modem to the USB port of my laptop. My answer was NO!. So, he proceeded by telling me that the installation CD is only for MAC computers while machines running with Windows XP has no trouble installing the application since it is automatically done by the modem itself.
The SmartBRO modem, manufactured for Smart Communications by the controversial Chinese firm–ZTE Company, is a composite USB device capable of doing multi-functions, including network interface. The CD ROM is already built-in in the dongle which would supposedly give a hassle-free installation.
Again, as i told you in my previous blogs about SmartBRO Plug iT, the modem is like your 3G phone minus the call and text features and other capabilities of a cellphone.
As i proceeded with the installation process on my laptop, i had already disconnected my call with the SmartBRO hotline.
I have successfully installed the application software after following the on-screen instructions, including the reboot after the installation.
But, upon clicking the “connection button” i was greeted by a window with a smartBRO logo as its header, telling that the “USB modem is unavailable.”
I unplug the modem and transferred it to my standby PC. Without any hassle the installation proceeded smoothly and without further hesitation i was able to connect my SmartBRO Plug iT and surf the net.
So, my diagnosis–my laptop has a problem! Hence, I was trained to diagnose problems, not once, but many tries and experiments, i’d tried the modem in other laptops and PCs. It worked.
So, my final diagnosis–my laptop indeed has a problem!
After several calls with the SmartBRO hotline which failed to analyze the problem except to say that i have to bring my laptop to a technician to fix it, i paid a visit at the Smart Wireless Center hoping a standby technician is there to assist me. But i was wrong because the pretty lady customer relations officers there are the only ones to entertain customers.
Finally, i have to email the support group of Smart hoping it could provide technical assistance. I was not failed by Smart, they responded my email below:
Dear Mr. Tariman,
Thank you for sending us the requested information.
We have forwarded your concern for our support group’s expertise through Service Request (SR) number 232637669. You shall be contacted by one of our authorized representatives for the necessary technical assistance.
Meanwhile, please be assured that we will be doing necessary measures to meet your expectations on the service.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
Please feel free to write us again should you require further assistance.
Rona Nabu-ab /
all Customer Care
Thanks for the immediate reply… here are the info you need:
SmartBRO plug it number : 929-980-9868
Contact Number : 0919-508-8589 (mobile)
6332-518-xxxx (pldt portable)
6332-422-1950(53) (c/o dyab ABS-CBN Cebu)
Available time: I can be contacted 8am – 10am daily
Address : J. Guardiana St. , Tabok, Mandaue City
I have attached hereto a screen shot of the Smart BRO application. I marked some important details in the screen shot…. Hope you could help me with my laptop problem… By the way, i’ve read same problem posted in the net. So, hindi ako nag-iisa with this problem.
—– Original Message —-
From: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com: om.ph>
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 3:39:15 AM:
Subject: RE: Smart Plug iT modem problem
Dear Mr. Tariman,
Thank you for letting us know about your concern.
We understand that you need technical assistance on your Smart Bro Plug It service. If you use the Windows XP operating system, install the drivers according to the Windows indication information to operate, restart the computer, or insert the modem again.
We have attached the basic troubleshooting guide for your reference.
Should you require further technical assistance, please provide us with the following details:
Smart Bro Plug It number
Your contact number/s
Available time for call-out
Exact address/ location
We will be waiting for your response so that we can properly address your concern.
I’ve been asking assistance from your hotline *1888 regarding an installation problem of my Smart Bro prepaid kit on my laptop. All of my calls were futile because it didn’t provide me a solution.
I also personally went to your Smart Wireless Center in SM but your pretty ladies are not that techie to solve the problem.
I know it’s my laptop that has a problem since i can connect when my Plug iT is use in my PC and in other laptops.
Here’s the problem–everytime i click the connect button– it will say “USB Modem is unavailable” on a window with markings of SmartBRO. So, it’s not my laptop that gives the error message but the modem since the window has markings of SmartBRO.
I have already check the “modem” in the Device Manager and it is shown there that the ZTE modem is enabled. I have checked everything as suggested by Windows troubleshooting guide. It’s all not well.
Do you have some solutions to my problem? Otherwise, my SmartBRO prepaid kit is useless.
In my last email to Smart customer care, i’d attached this screenshot of the SmartBRO Plug iT application and its error message.
The upper left window is the main interface of SmartBRO with a “connect” button at the center, as clearly shown below:
Take note of some items in the window that i have encircled. The status indicator at the lower left shows the modem is disconnected. While the computer icon at the upper right indicates “data not connected”.
The rest of the parameters are all right. From left, the signal strength is at 4 bars while the modem is getting connection to a GPRS network instead of a 3G cell site. This is true to some areas where 3G signal is weak.
The letters P C are present indicating that the modem can support packet-switch service and circuit switch service. The insert status (green arrow) indicates the modem has been inserted into the computer.
The sim insert status is in color green which means the sim card is inserted into the modem device.
But when i pressed the “connect” button, a new window will open:
I encircled the “smart BRO” logo to emphasize that it’s the modem internal system reported this error message.
I made some checks on the device manager hoping i could spot some errors in the USB port or modem sections.
The screen shot above shows the ZTE modem has been recognized by my laptop’s system and “this device is working properly” is shown in its properties.
So, i have no other choice but to ask technical support from Smart. They responded and i had arrange a phone call with Smart tech expert on Saturday (August 23).
Tony, as he introduced to me, from Smart give me instructions for further checking if indeed the modem is recognized by my system.
Well, everything is all right except that, according to Tony, there is or are item/s of the Smart BRO modem that might be missing or not accepted by my system.
The solution–REINSTALL MY WINDOWS OS!!!!! Whew!!! But i can’t reinstall it now. In the meantime, i would just be carrying along my Smart BRO kit and plug it in any PC or laptop that works with it.
My advice–REPEAT– check first if your laptop works with the Smart BRO modem. You can bring your laptop to any Smart Wireless Center and have it tested with their test units before deciding purchasing Plug iT.
(UPDATE!!!!!) You may try using Remote Access Repair Tool for this problem. Visit here to know more rarepair tool.