Continuing on with its slow-but-steady 4G adoption, Telstra has announced a new 4G mobile hotspot device. The new gadget receives 4G Telstra speeds in LTE enabled areas and can push that super-fast mobile broadband connection out to a maximum of 5 devices with WiFi capabilities.
This could be very handy for folks that cart about more than one mobile device on a regular basis. Not only would 4G speeds be available to your phone, but also tablet and laptop.
However, while 4G speeds can get pretty impressive (some users have recorded speeds of over 30Mbps down in Sydney) it’s important to remember that currently 4G is usually limited to associated airports and selected metro areas.
It’s not uncommon for speeds to drop down to 3G or NextG only a few kilometres outside of a city’s CBD. The gadget itself is designed to switch to Telstra’s NextG network when a 4G connection cannot be detected, then to 3G if NextG is unavailable. Basically the device will run at the fastest broadband speed it possibly can in any area covered by Telstra mobile broadband.
Telstra is obviously planning to expand its 4G LTE network and is already working towards that end. But right now those living within the 80 selected metro areas in Australia will see the greatest benefits from this new device.
Another item to be aware of is that broadband speeds are traditionally somewhat throttled by passing through a WiFi network. A landline modem may receive upwards of 18Mbps down, but a device connected to it over WiFi could see speeds cut down further than 8Mbps, depending on the device, the distance from the WiFi router and a variety of other concerns.
Telstra’s 4G mobile hotspot should definitely still offer speeds that cream standard 3G networks in enabled areas. All we’re saying is that it may be a slightly reduced speed that someone with a 4G enabled phone or laptop might see in the same location. There’s also a limited battery life of just 4 hours. That should be fine for most trips, but it would be wise to keep a charger on you for power top-ups.
The BigPond Mobile Wi-Fi 4G will be launch on the 27th of this month (March, if you’re reading this from the future) for consumers and will be available on a range of personal 24-month plans. An example of price is Telstra’s %59.95 per month plan with 8GB of data, plus $49 upfront for the 4G gadget. Total minimum cost of this particular plan is $1 487.80.
Business customers can get in on the action right now on Telstra Business plans. $0 upfront on the $49.95 Telstra Mobile Broadband Standard Plan over 24 months (min total cost $1198.80) with 8GB of included data each month to use in Australia.