After further trials of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in May, Telstra will start selling its USB 4G modem (pictured) on August 29. It will operate across the LTE 1800MHz spectrum and NextG’s 850MHz band. But before you get too excited: The initial commercial pilot targets business types in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane only — ahead of a wider national rollout later this year. Oh, and Telstra won't actually say what speeds you'll get...
Telstra's Melbourne LTE trials in December last year had speeds in the range of 150Mbps for downloads and 59Mbps for uploads. Though real world speeds may ultimately differ — I've been salivating since — and I'm a little bummed that Telstra won't commit to speeds for its pilot. A Telstra spokesman told Gizmodo that "customers will certainly notice the difference" and that "speeds will be provided with the national launch." Am I the only one thinking that it's weird Telstra can sell a product for which they won't (or can't) guarantee a minimum experience?
Maybe it's because the pilot initially only provides 4G/LTE coverage within 5km of the big General Post Office in each of the three cities. "Speeds vary due to factors such as distance from base station, local conditions, user numbers, hardware and software configuration."
Telstra’s CEO, David Thodey, says around 2000 of the 4G modems will go on sale. “The commercial pilot will give some of our customers a taste of the faster speeds, greater capacity and quicker response times that can be available for mobile services on 4G ahead of our national launch in major capital cities and selected regional centres later this year.
The stick can be bought with a range of plans, including for $0 upfront on the $49 Telstra Mobile Broadband Standard Plan over 24 months (minimum total cost $1,176) with 7GB included data. If you're interested in signing your business up, you can register over at [Telstra]