Telstra unveils "ultimate" USB modem

Telstra's Ultimate USB modem promises typical download speeds of between 1.1 and 20Mbps.

Telstra's Ultimate USB modem

Telstra's Ultimate USB modem

Telstra has launched the world's first dual channel HSPA USB modem, promising typical download speeds of up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps).

The Telstra Ultimate USB modem, built by Sierra Wireless, delivers a theoretical maximum speed of up to 42Mbps, with Telstra claiming "typical speeds" of anywhere between 1.1 and 20Mbps depending on time, location and network coverage.

The faster speeds 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 new device.

Telstra's executive director of network products and services John Paitaridis said Telstra were anticipating strong demand for the USB modem.

"The key benefits from speeds include productivity, the ability to download large files quicker, reducing downtime and increasing response time," he said.

Paitaridis specifically cited "anyone with a mobile based workforce" including technicians, medical workers, construction workers, designers and engineers as the main beneficiaries of the faster mobile broadband speeds the Ultimate modem would provide.

The Ultimate USB modem will initially be sold to enterprise and government users, with only 2000 devices currently available. It will be sold to regular business customers through Telstra retail outlets from October 5, while a consumer launch will follow "later this year."

The Telstra Ultimate USB modem is available for $0 upfront for $69 per month over 24 months, providing 6GB of data for month. The device will also sell for $299 outright from October 5.

Telstra has also uploaded a video of the Ultimate USB modem being tested by a wireless engineer around Melbourne:

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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