Telstra Corporation BigPond Next-G USB Mobile Card
- Solid speeds with excellent coverage, excellent for streaming media and downloads, reliable, ease of set up and documentation
- Full speeds still a rarity, expensive international roaming, expensive plans
The costs are a little high, but Telstra's Next G service is impressive. Excellent coverage, a reliable connection and fast speeds combine to make this one of the best options for anyone looking for wireless broadband.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
Telstra's Next G network has now expanded into the wireless broadband space with the USB Mobile Card. Capable of connecting to the Internet at High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) speeds of up to 3.6Mbps, the Next G USB Mobile card offers an enticing alternative for users without a PCMCIA or ExpressCard slot.
The peak speed of the USB Mobile Card is 3.6Mbps and this speed is supported by the entire network which covers 98% of Australia's population. We were very impressed with the Next G service on the whole, as it has excellent coverage of metropolitan areas and the speeds we achieved were some of the best of any mobile broadband service we've reviewed.
The Next G service supports connectivity in HSDPA, 3G and standard GSM coverage areas. If the HSDPA signal isn't strong enough, the service will fall back to a standard 3G connection. If neither a HSDPA nor 3G signal can be received, then the USB Mobile Card will revert down to a standard GSM connection. The latter is barely usable, even for the most basic web browsing and email capabilities.
We tested the USB Mobile card in both our offices (based in St Leonards) and in the western suburbs of Sydney, using the top of the line Super G Fast 3GB plan. We also used it in and around the Sydney and North Sydney CBD zones. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the USB Mobile Card was its performance on a train from St Leonards to Granville, retaining a constant connection at reasonable speeds throughout the journey. For consistency across all the mobile broadband services, we performed a number of tests, ranging from small amounts of data like emails and Web browsing, to streaming services and then the downloading of files ranging from 1MB to 4MB in size.
For basic Web browsing, the USB Mobile Card performs well, loading common sites like The Sydney Morning Herald and News.com.au, while it also had no problem streaming content from two of the most popular sources on the Internet; streaming video from You Tube and streaming music from Pandora. We did experience some slowdown streaming multimedia content in the western suburbs, but this was only when the service was struggling to maintain a signal. This was a rarity though, and for most part we were able to achieve solid speeds in all testing areas.
Downloading small files while in a HSDPA coverage area (our offices in St Leonards), we were able to achieve speeds of up to 140KB/s but regularly fluctuating between 98KB/s and 125KB/s. A 1MB file took less than a few seconds to complete, while the best we could manage for a 4MB file was a very impressive 20 seconds. Overall, the USB Mobile Card is ideal for most users, as it is capable of streaming multimedia, while also performing well for basic business needs, such as web browsing and email.
The USB Mobile card features international roaming, meaning the service can be used in a number of countries overseas. Unfortunately, what could have been an excellent feature is let down by exuberant costs. Users have to activate international roaming at least 24 hours before they intend to use it overseas and are charged a whopping $15 per MB and an additional 15 cent flag fall just to connect.
The BigPond software is basic as they come, but effective. We really appreciated the step-by-step installation guide, and the user manual was clear and concise with plenty of important and useful information. First time users will be extremely pleased. Telstra offers a 10-day trial of the Next G service and promises a refund of the card cost if users are unable to receive coverage at their home or work place.
For plans, two speeds are offered and these are based on either time or volume. G Fast has a maximum speed of 256Kbps, while Super G Fast is rated at up to 550-1500Kbps. The lowest priced plan is the $29.95 Super G Fast plan, which gives users 10 hours of use per month. The next step up is the $49.95 per month plan, which means users can choose between 200MB at G Fast speeds or 20 hours of Super G Fast. For $79.95, you'll get 1GB of G Fast or 400MB of Super G Fast and for $109.95 you'll receive 1GB of Super G Fast. The top of the line plan costs $199.95 and offers 3GB of Super G Fast. Additional usage on G Fast or Super G Fast is charged at 30c per Mb on use-based plans and 80c per five minute block on time-based plans.
Join the newsletter!
cloudandco Smart Cane
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Apple iPhone X
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Bose SoundLink Micro
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Xbox One X
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
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
- Microsoft delves deeper into AI with new kit bag of tools
- Samsung unifies smart-home products with Bixby 2.0
- Dropbox go pro with Dropbox Profesional
- Intel launches AI-driven anti-money laundering solution
- Nvidia unveils Pegasus, an AI computer that can power fully autonomous vehicles
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
- FTCyber Security ArchitectOther
- CCIntegration AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Procurement Manager- Government BackgroundOther
- TPPMO LeadVIC
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTSoftware EngineerSA
- FTAccount Management/Customer Service - MULTIPLE ROLESSA
- FTTeam and Project Administrator - SalesforceQLD
- FTRecords AnalystOther
- FTClient Delivery DirectorACT
- FTProgress 8.3 DeveloperOther
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst (Report Analyst)Other
- FTSystems/Business AnalystACT
- CCJunior to Mid Level - Java/ J2EE DeveloperACT
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- FTSnr Information Security Consultant - IT Services - North Ryde areaNSW
- TPSenior Business Analyst - HealthQLD
- FTSAP Payroll SpecialistOther
- CCSenior Siebel DeveloperACT
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- CCJunior to Mid Level - Java/ J2EE DeveloperVIC
- TPContracting Specialist - Procurement AssociateNSW
- CCJunior to Mid Level - Java/ J2EE Developer (Brisbane)Other
- FTPortfolio Lead. PMONSW