At its launch, Telstra was pretty insistent that the USB dongle for its new 4G/LTE network was only available for contract purchasers. However, it turns out that if you identify yourself as a business customer, you can buy it outright for $299.
Reader Beau first pointed this out, and on checking with Telstra it confirmed that despite those earlier comments, business customers could purchase the USB device for $299 outright. Given that there’s no extra charge for LTE access over other services, this makes sense. How the business requirement is enforced will vary — some stores might demand an ABN or evidence of an existing Telstra business account, others might take your word for it — but if you don’t want a contract deal, it can’t hurt to ask. Thanks Beau!