Telstra's New Wireless Gateway: You Really Pay For What You Get

Telstra’s launched a new home internet gateway that delivers high-speed broadband over the Next G wireless network, which means no cables and no fixed lines. But how much are you willing to pay for Australia’s fastest, wireless, broadband connection?

Designed and built by NetComm, the BigPond Elite Wireless Broadband Network Gateway is essentially a 3G modem/router with the same HSPA+ technology used in its mobile broadband sticks. Telstra is touting typical download speeds of up to 8Mbps, although speed tests on servers in Canberra reached 11Mbps.

The device is well suited to people who don’t have a landline, people who don’t have access to ADSL/cable, or people who move frequently, such as travellers or renters. The ideal situation – at least for Telstra – would be to turn the whole house into a Wi-Fi hotspot, thereby feeding the addictions of power-hungry families. There are four Ethernet ports and two USB ports, so you can plug in printers, external hard drives, etc. But that’s not ideal if you want to use the BigPond Elite as a mobile broadband device.

Executive Director Telstra Consumer, Jenny Young: “The Gateway also helps keep families entertained on holidays and while on the move. All that’s required is power and Next G network coverage and parents can quickly and easily access all their online must-haves, from instant messaging and email to YouTube.”

The BigPond Elite is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5. Snow Leopard users, however, have to wait for a patch which is expected to roll out on December 1.

It’s available now for $399, and if you sign a 24-month contract, you’re eligible for a $200 rebate and 50 per cent off for the first 12 months. In fact, you have no choice. There is no prepaid option.

Is it worth it to you?


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