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.



    Looks good in theory but all tests were based in CBD city locations, that to me is a problem they needed other outskirt & country locations to show a better proportional repesentation of the speeds in other areas.

    I wouldn't mind the tests he was using, might be useful to try them out on my connection.

    Telstra - tell everyone what your "test" involves. How about showing some real world tests rather than some dodgy numbers? Web page load times, file downloads from public mirrors - not data inside your own network. These so called "tests" are just not believable.

    Sounds interesting but a few questions:
    What about plugging it in to a router to share over wlan or lan, does that work?
    What about using it for voip, does that work?

    For office use hey?... Well most office folk carry a spare USB thumb drive around with them to plug into there laptops. I can't see space for that with this chuck of Telstra Soap perched next to you. It looks like it belongs wrapped around a shower ready for the next miserable use.

    I just brought one a few days ago and i'm using it on a macbook pro and it is very fast and it can send and recieve text messages and bigpond is bring one out as well and the bigpond version doesn't do texting at all because bigpond don't use mobile phone numbers and to anyone who has a bigpond version you can change the software to use telstra sim cards and it will be able to text as well but if you get a telstra version get the telstra shop sales person to block in comming voice calls. It happened to me some poeple phoned my modem number and i got a lot of text messages of missed calls and i have a bronze number that i used to have with optus with a lot of newsence calls other wise a great modem i'm going to recamend to one of my friends to get the bigpond version

    I live about 15 k's from Melbourne city in the western suburbs.As i am typing this post i am getting a download speed of 1.33mbs.And that is with an external antenna connected.Without the external antenna a speed test gives me .43mbs.
    Telstra has been dishonest with the download speed claims.They need to change the name to Ultimate city only usb.Good luck everyone.

    i bought my telstra ultimate card around a month ago. Im currently about 12 km west of the melbourne cbd and getting a 4mb/s connection speed. However, when i go back home in rural nsw i have a connection speed of 16mb/s... A bit weird huh?

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