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 newsletter!
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Sport AT
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Toys for Boys
ESET Internet Security
ESET Smart Security Premium
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
There are countless trends competing for attention in the gaming notebook and laptop space but not all of them are either useful or benefit the core gaming experience.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Google Home Hub review: A different kind of smart TV
- 3 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 4 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 5 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
Latest News Articles
- Boost founder slams Oz carriers over 5G
- Telstra announces refreshed fixed-broadband plans
- Optus and Amaysim lead in first WhistleOut Awards
- Kogan joins NBN price war
- ALDImobile brings new data pack and dumps up its data offering
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?