Telstra Ultimate USB Modem
Provided you're in a major metropolitan city, or a key regional area in Australia, Telstra's Ultimate USB modem provides superb wireless data speeds
- Dual antenna ports, USB connector can swivel and tilt, microSD card slot, software installed on modem itself, fast and reliable speeds
- Faster speeds not available in all areas, upload speeds not as generous as download speeds
Telstra's Ultimate USB Modem provides very fast wireless broadband speeds, provided you're in a major metropolitan city or a key regional area in Australia. It's expensive compared to the alternatives, but when it comes to coverage and speed, Telstra's network is superior to its competitors.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
Telstra's Ultimate USB Modem is claimed to be the world's first dual channel HSPA USB modem, promising typical download speeds of up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps) and a theoretical maximum download speed of 42Mbps. Targeted at companies with a mobile workforce who require speedy mobile broadband, the Ultimate USB Modem is definitely fast, but the speed comes at a hefty premium compared to rival offerings.
UPDATE: Telstra offers the Ultimate USB modem for $0 upfront on a number of its consumer mobile broadband plans over 24 months. It also sells the device outright for $299.
The Telstra Ultimate USB Modem is larger than regular mobile broadband devices, including Telstra's own Turbo 21 Modem but its connector doesn't hinder access to nearby USB ports. The device is slim, with two antenna ports available on top and LED lights denoting power and data traffic. The USB connector can rotate and swivel, so it can be positioned at the side of your notebook in a variety of ways.
As well as a SIM card slot the Telstra Ultimate USB Modem includes a microSD card slot to allow the device to double as a flash drive. The software required to run the modem is included on the modem itself; for Windows users, the installer will automatically open, while Mac users simply double-click the file that appears on the desktop the first time the modem is plugged in. At this stage, Telstra says the Ultimate USB Modem does not support Linux. Telstra's Connection Manager software allows you to access session information, including sent and received data, 3G/HSDPA indicators and signal strength — it's minimalist and easy to use.
Though the device has a potential maximum download speed of 42Mbps, Telstra says the Ultimate USB Modem should provide "typical" speeds of between 1.1Mbps and 20Mbps. The speed will depend on a number of factors including time, location, network coverage, signal strength and congestion.
The speeds we encountered in an office environment in North Sydney were around 13Mbps — an excellent speed when compared to competitors, and very impressive for a wireless device. Keep in mind, though, that these faster speeds are only are available within five kilometres of all major metropolitan cities, and in 100 regional areas across Australia. Telstra estimates that 50 per cent of the Australian population has access to the faster dual channel speeds provided by the Ultimate USB Modem.
During testing, we were able to achieve speeds of up to 18Mbps, though speed regularly fluctuated between 5Mbps and 14Mbps. Despite the theoretical maximum 42Mbps downlink, typical upload speeds are between 300 kilobits per second (kbps) and 3Mbps. It took us just 4min 22sec to download a 101.8MB iTunes file, and using PC World's Broadband speed test, we achieved results as low as 6.2Mbps and as high as 18Mbps. We even managed to achieve speeds of up to 150 kilobytes per second when downloading files using BitTorrent.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 BlackBerry Priv review: When old habits die hard
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Why TPG left Optus for Vodafone
- Sky Muster takes the nbn into space (+27 photos)
- Foxtel more than doubles broadband data allowances
- Optus discounts unlimited Internet bundles, available from $95 a month
- Cisco releases VNI for 2014-2019
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCProgram Manager - Big Data - Telecommunications - UrgentNSW
- CCSSIS/ SSRS ExpertVIC
- CCOracle Business AnalystSA
- CCHybris Developer - Global ConsultancyNSW
- CCAngularJS DeveloperNSW
- CCService ModellerNSW
- CCRisk AnalystVIC
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- CCService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCSharepoint AdministratorVIC
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCPortfolio-Program SchedulerNSW
- CCETL DeveloperNSW
- CCJava DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Agile Business AnalystVIC
- CCJava Developer - Front/ Back EndVIC
- CCTechnical Tester - AutomationVIC
- CCOracle CC&B Technical AnalystVIC
- CCIT Service Deliver & Improvement ManagerACT
- CCContract Software Engineer (Crystal Report/JAVA) 160129/SE/vccAsia
- CCEXCEL Guru / Data AdministratorNSW
- FTJava or Ruby Web DeveloperVIC
- FTTechnical Lead (Java)NSW
- CCInformatica ExpertNSW