Huawei has just announced a new Mobile WiFi hotspot with LTE-Advanced support, able to download data at speeds up to 300Mbps — that’s twice as fast as current top speeds. The new Huawei E5786 conforms to the latest and greatest Category 6 LTE standard, also known as LTE-Advanced; no Australian network uses Cat 6 just yet, but future-proofing is always a good thing.
Joining the Huawei E5786’s super-fast mobile connectivity is similarly quick 802.11ac Wi-Fi, with 2×2 MIMO for theoretical transfer speeds of 867Mbps. This is far faster than any internet connection will download at, but it should make the E5786 a reasonably capable router for transferring data between any Wi-Fi devices connected to it.
A 3000mAh battery should make for enough battery life to last a working day with one or two devices connected. Add more phones or tablets or start leaning heavily on the Wi-Fi and you’ll see battery life drop quickly, though. The E5786 is 15.9mm thick, weighs 149g, and is apparently inspired by the curve of a rainbow.
Telstra is in the early stages of testing its fledgling LTE-Advanced network on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland at the moment, and has already released a compatible hotspot from Netgear. It’s the closest to a commercial rollout of a Cat 6-capable network.
Telstra’s current solution isn’t capable of the fastest possible speeds from LTE-Advanced, though — the telco doesn’t have enough spectrum free across its existing 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies, although that is set to change in 2015. Optus is working on LTE-Advanced (although it’s using a slightly different tech to do so) as well, but Vodafone doesn’t have any public plans as yet — although it has the advantage of owning plenty of spectrum in Australia’s capital cities.
The Huawei E5786 will be available in Australia from May, although we don’t know yet what carriers will use it. Optus is due for a new hotspot — with its E5776 V2 hotspot around a year old now — and it has a good relationship with Huawei, so it’s a safe bet that we’ll see it appear there soon.