For as much as we all want a stable, blazing-fast internet connection at home, for a lot of people, fixed connections are just not working out. If this sounds painfully familiar, it might be time to consider mobile broadband.
Tagged With mobile broadband
It used to be that mobile broadband was for a very specific kind of person. A road warrior who needed to stay connected between sales meetings or nights away from home, for example. But with the price of data dropping all the time, the rise of tablets, and with the prevalence of features like Data Sharing, mobile broadband is enjoying increased popularity.
Australia's main police, ambulance and fire agencies have their own dedicated radio bands, but need more rich communication between officers and dispatch to use 21st century tools like GPS, smartphones, tablets and the internet. A draft Productivity Commission report recommends using mobile broadband from commercial telcos like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone rather than cordoning off mobile spectrum and constructing a $6 billion dedicated public safety broadband network.
Being a frequent traveller used to mean being cut off from your email and social media unless you were lucky enough to find a free or paid Wi-Fi hotspot. International mobile data has become a lot cheaper over the last couple of years, but it's still a little confusing depending on which Aussie carrier you use. If you don't want to shell out for your home telco's daily roaming rates or bundles, there's another legitimate option in Globalgig.
If you can't get ADSL or cable or NBN internet at home, or if you don't need that much data per month over the 'net, and you live relatively close to a city or metropolitan area, a 4G mobile broadband device might suit your needs very well. These usually come in the form of a Wi-Fi hotspot, portable and battery-powered, but this Huawei Wi-Fi Cube is designed to live in your home and connect everything in it wirelessly to the internet through Vodafone 4G.
If you use a lot of mobile data, it can be attractive to go all-out and find a plan that has extra capacity over what you'd usually use. Having the freedom to browse the 'net and download and not limit yourself can be a liberating experience. There are times when you should hold back, though -- it just doesn't make sense to buy Telstra's two most expensive mobile broadband plans.
We've heard lots from Optus about testing of its 700MHz and 2500MHz 4G networks, but actual details on when consumers would be able to use those frequencies on compatible devices have been thin on the ground. Now those plans are finally beginning to firm up.
Going abroad for business, pleasure or bl-easure (patent-pending) is grand, but staying connected to the real world while you're there is not only a frustrating experience, but one that's also frightfully-expensive. Here are our best gadgets and tips for staying connected while abroad in a fashion that won't have you setting fire to large piles of money.
Optus launched prepaid options for 4G mobile phones earlier this week, and has now revealed pricing for its prepaid 4G mobile broadband options. The basic dongle costs $169 and includes 6GB of data, while the hotspot costs $199 and includes 10GB of data.
Optus' rollout of 4G continues to expand. A handful of sites have gone live in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, ahead of a broader update for both cities scheduled for December and January.
The first major change under the Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code kicks in from today: any company selling a mobile plan in Australia must provide a clear, consistent statement of how much you'll pay for calls, texts and data. That's a welcome development, but you still need to check the details carefully. Here's what you need to know.