SMS and MMS with the Novatel Merlin XU870 ExpressCard Modem

Posted by on Nov 2, 2009 in Support Blog

Topic Keywords: , ,

If you are using NowSMS in a laptop with an available ExpressCard slot, the Novatel Wireless Merlin XU870 ExpressCard Modem is a good modem to use with NowSMS to send and receive SMS and MMS messages.

This modem supports HSDPA up to 7.2 Mbps (although locating the appropriate firmware driver update seems to be a challenge, without it, it is limited to 3.6 Mbps). That is good for receiving MMS.

However, the modem does not support HSUPA, limiting it to 384 Kbps for uploads and sending MMS.

Although we have yet to test it, the Merlin X950D would likely be a better choice for MMS, as it claims to support HSUPA up to 2.1 Mbps (Note: the X950D requires a firmware update to enable HSUPA and there may be some difficulty locating the firmware update). SMS speeds should not be a difference between the two modems.

Drivers for this modem can be found on the Novatel Wireless web site at (If this direct link is broken, navigate from

There are no special considerations for using the Novatel XU870 modem with NowSMS. However, it should be noted that this modem does NOT support delivery receipts.

For general information on configuring NowSMS to send and receive SMS and MMS messages with a GSM modem, such as the Novatel Wireless Merlin XU870, please see the NowSMS Quick Start Guide at

Frequencies supported by the Novatel Merlin XU870:

  • 3G/UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA – 850Mhz/1900Mhz/2100Mhz (Good for most of the world, plus AT&T USA)
  • EDGE/GPRS – 850Mhz/900Mhz/1800Mhz/1900Mhz (Global)
  • HSDPA Max Performance: Download speed – 7.2 Mbps; Upload speed – 384 Kbps

For comments and further discussion, please click here to visit the NowSMS Technical Forums (Discussion Board)...