One of the worst things about moving house is living without a broadband connection and telcos usually take their sweet time to hook you up with that delicious high-speed internet connection.
Now Telstra has released its Gateway Frontier hybrid modem which lets you connect to its 4G mobile network and have the data usage charged to a fixed-line broadband plan while you wait for the service to be connected. It also comes in handy when there is a broadband network outage.
I’ve waited more than two months for a telco to switch on my broadband connection. I busted my mobile data cap for those two months and even that didn’t satisfy my need to consume online content. It was also particularly frustrating when I had to do work at home.
It’s a common scenario; perhaps you’re waiting for your ADSL2+, Cable or National Broadband Network (NBN) connection as we speak.
Telstra wants to end the waiting game with its Gateway Frontier modem. It’s a sleek looking device that the company is selling as a ‘hybrid’ all-in-one modem and is pretty simple to use. You plug it in and if it doesn’t detect a fixed-line broadband connection it will automatically connect to the Telstra 4G network through a built-in SIM card.
Here are the basic specs for the Telstra Gateway Frontier modem:
- uses Wi-Fi 802.11ac 4X4 MIMO
- Dual band capability for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz
- 1 x 3.0 fast USB Port
- 4 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
- 1 x DSL port for ADSL2+ and VDSL2
- NFC chip (for easy connection with Android handsets)
The best thing about it is that the data that is used will count towards the data limit of your chosen Telstra broadband plan, which is usually far more generous than mobile plans. After your service is connected, you can use the Gateway Frontier as a backup for any fixed-line outages. However, the device doesn’t come for free when you sign up to a Telstra broadband plan; it costs $216 outright or $9 per month for 24 months for new and existing customers.
Don’t expect superfast download speeds either: speeds are limited to up to 6/1 Mbps, depending on network conditions.
But provided that the Telstra 4G network is reliable (its recent track record is a bit patchy but the company has promised to improve) it’s a decent option for those who don’t want to be inconvenienced when they move homes.