Optus 3G Home Zone
Optus 3G Home Zone review: The Optus 3G Home Zone should ensure you have close to full mobile coverage in and around the home, but it does come at a cost
- Relatively straightforward set-up
- Works as advertised
- Free call offer for primary user
- Expensive for $49 plans and under
- Uses ISP data
- Range varies depending on dwelling
The Optus 3G Home Zone generally does what it advertises, providing close to full reception for nominated Optus mobiles, and the free call offer for the primary user is a nice enticement. However, we feel it should be cheaper for uses on $49 plans and under.
Price$ 120.00 (AUD)
Optus is the first telco in Australia to utilise a femtocell product, and it's called the Optus 3G Home Zone. It's a small base station that plugs into your existing wireless router and uses a fixed-line broadband Internet connection to boost mobile coverage in your home. The Optus 3G Home Zone is relatively straightforward to set up and does what it advertises, but it will use a small portion of your monthly data quota if your ISP is not Optus.
The Optus 3G Home Zone is advertised by Optus as a solution to its customers with poor reception in and around their home. Once connected and set-up, the 3G Home Zone should typically provide full Optus mobile coverage within a 30 metre range for up to four users at a time.
The device is fairly straightforward to set-up, though the 3G Home Zone needs to be registered and activated online before being switched on. This is achieved through a dedicated Optus Web page, whereby you enter your personal and address details, nominate a primary Optus mobile number to use with the device, and set up a username and password to access your account. Once you've completed the setup online, Optus says it can take up to an hour for the 3G Home Zone to become registered, and ready for use. Our review device was ready to go about 40 minutes after registration, though the unit itself did take over 20 minutes after being switched on to register correctly.
You don't need Optus as your ISP to use the 3G Home Zone, but Optus recommends that the device be connected to a broadband service with a minimum download speed of 1Mbps — if the speed is capped at 128kbps or lower, the device will no longer work. Optus says the 3G Home Zone has a typical data usage of around 1GB per month, though this is "highly variable" depending on the home situation, and the number of users connected to the service. Users with Optus broadband will not have the data used by the 3G Home Zone counted towards their monthly quota.
Once up and running, a single Optus 3G Home Zone device can connect four Optus devices (mobile phones and mobile broadband products) simultaneously. You can register up to 12 devices through the Optus Web portal, but only four can be used at a time. You'll know if you are connected to 3G Home Zone when you make a call with an assigned mobile, as three short beeps are sounded just before an outgoing call is connected.
We tested the service with an iPhone 3GS and the 3G Home Zone worked well. Without the device our mobile usually hovered on two bars of reception throughout the home, but this was raised to the full five bars in most areas of the house with the 3G Home Zone in use. We found the 30 metre range a little off though: in most cases, the signal started to deteriorate around 25 metres away from the unit. Obviously the results will vary depending on the design and construction of the home of office in question.
Aside from the boost in coverage, a nice feature is the fact that the allocated primary user of the Optus 3G Home Zone is able to make unlimited standard national voice calls to fixed or mobile numbers for the $5 a month the device costs. Only the primary, allocated user will be able to use the offer, but you can change the primary phone from month to month if you wish.
Optus sells the 3G Home Zone to customers on plans of $59 per month or higher for $5 a month. Consumers on plans of $49 per month or below are charged $15 per month for the device, which in our opinion seems a little overpriced — especially when you consider that users on these lower plans aren't eligible for the unlimited free calls offer.
Join the newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Apple iPhone X
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
cloudandco Smart Cane
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Lego Mindstorms EV3
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Xbox One X
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- 42,000 Telstra FTTN and FTTB customers to be compensated over NBN speeds
- Telstra reveals NBN payment plan amid market headwinds
- NBN hooks up 6 million homes and businesses
- Telstra says some of its NBN customers paid for unachievable speeds
- Australian broadband speed ranking drops again despite NBN rollout
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Get set for Amazon Australia Black Friday launch
- Destiny 2 PC review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSupply Master Data AnalystOther
- CCMiddleware AdminstratorNSW
- CCWintel Messaging Engineer l Office 365 / Exchange / Skype for Business / AzureNSW
- FTSystem AnalystQLD
- CCBusiness Improvement Specialist (Six Sigma Green belt) - Contract - North SydneyNSW
- CCSenior Program CoordinatorNSW
- FTProcurement AdvisorACT
- CCSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTPMO Project Coordinator, Multiple projectsOther
- FTIT Graduate / Junior Project AdministratorOther
- FTSenior PHP Developer / Team LeadNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer - MULTIPLE ROLESQLD
- FTDevOps Engineer - Financial ServicesOther
- FTTM1 Application Management AnalystOther
- FTFrontEnd Angular DeveloperOther
- FTCloud Architect - AWS, Azure, ADOther
- FTAgile Project ManagerOther
- FTIT Desktop ManagerOther
- CCProject Manager (Payments compliance & Cards)VIC
- FTDevOps EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Merchant acquiringNSW
- CCTeam Assistant/Executive Assistant - TelcoVIC
- CCScrum MasterQLD
- PTDirector Programme Management OfficeSA
- FTSnr Information Security Consultant - IT Services - North Ryde areaNSW