Telstra Elite Offers Fast, Expensive Broadband

Telstra Elite Offers Fast, Expensive Broadband

If price is no object and you’re a speed junkie, then the newly-launched Telstra Elite mobile broadband card is an attractive 3G broadband option, squeezing the Next G network to offer (theoretical) maximum speeds of up to 8Mbps in capital cities. It also offers quad-band access, making it a more sensible choice if you plan international roaming.

The downside? Your notebook will need an ExpressCard or PC card slot, which are becoming rarer on many notebook models. And as ever, you’ll be unlikely to see those maximum speeds terribly often.

The card can be purchased for $399 outright, or subsidised with a 24-month contract on one of Telstra’s business plans. (Note that, unlike the recently revamped consumer Next G plans, these plans do attract excess data charges if you go over monthly limits.) It works on both Windows and Mac systems.


    • Am I missing something? Even the original Sierra Wireless 3.6Mbps Telstra cards had a firmware upgrade to supposedly make them 7.2. A colleague of mine has a Telstra 3G card with a theoretical 21meg speed. He’s had it at least 6 months. Turbo21 I think its called.

  • Telstra undertakes lengthy and rigorous field testing to replicate a broad range of typical customer usage situations to develop a view of the typical (not theoretical) download speeds that real customers will experience in their day-to-day usage on the Next G network. Based on this testing, Telstra can state with firm basis that typical customer download speeds using a Telstra Elite modem will be in the range of 550kbps to 8Mbps. Dependent on local conditions and other factors, some customers will experience burst speeds higher than 8Mbps. There will be occasions, for example in areas of weak signal, where speed may drop below 550kbps.

    Anthony Goonan
    Director Wireless Planning, Telstra

  • Old news. In fact, there are 21Mbps Elite USB devices, and now just recently a 21Mbps Elite in-home gateway device with Wi-Fi and 4 LAN ports.

    I have had both the Telstra (blue) and BigPond (white) USB modems, and yeah – I don’t go under 500kbps, but generally stick around 1Mbps, so I’m not personally gaining anything by paying the extra $$$ for the elite… But I’m sure that just happens to be my “local conditions”…

  • I think there is a number of notable aspects of this product release, namely its interface and packaging and network support.

    This particular unit ( Sierra Wireless AirCard 503) comes in ExpressCard format with a PC Card adapter, which means that it can be used on older portable systems. Add a USB/ExpressCard adaptor and it can even be used with desktop systems.

    This card happens to support quad band WCDMA, which will be useful to anybody who travels either worldwide or locally. This will eliminate the need to carry multiple devices.

    No doubt this will be of interest to our editor (Angus Kidman)…

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