Telstra Unveils Ultimate Wireless USB

It’s dangerous to call a product ultimate — although Telstra claims it has just purchased a thesaurus to allay any future silly product name disputes — but that’s what the Big T launched today with its latest Sierra Wireless developed USB modem.

Dubbed the “Ultimate USB”, it uses dual channel HSPA+ to deliver theoretical speeds of up to 42Mbps, and more realistic real world stated speeds of between 1.1-20Mbps. Telstra claims the best speeds will be found in areas where it’s already rolled out the requisite network equipment, including within 5km of the post office in every capital city and many other regional areas.

The pitch is that is that it’s designed for folks who want “office-like” speeds when out of the office. Politeness meant I didn’t point out that my office connection, travelling over Telstra copper, is roughly ten times slower than the peak 42Mbps speed claim of dual channel HSPA+. It’s PC and Mac compatible, but not specifically Linux compatible yet.

Only 2,000 units will be available today — less the unit I’m holding right now, which I’ll write up later in the week — on a $69/month 24-month 6GB plan. From October 5 you’ll be able to buy it for $299 outright — the same price as the slower Elite USB modem, which curiously isn’t dropping in price at all — or on a range of plans starting at $39/month (3GB) all the way up to a wallet busting $600/month (120GB). The catch there is that they’re all only on business plans, so you’ll need an ABN in order to qualify for one. Telstra representatives stated that a full consumer launch would happen later in the year.

Telstra’s also put up a video demo of the unit in action in Melbourne, which you can watch below.

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