It's clearly the week for consolidating mobile plans. Yesterday Virgin Mobile trimmed its range, and today Telstra has quietly tweaked its plans, raising most prices by $1 while changing some data allowances.
Tagged With 3g
If it feels like Vodafone has been trying to rebuild its network and its reputation forever, that's because it started way back at the beginning of 2011 and has been doing a rather poor job so far. But there are finally some new services in sight: Vodafone says it will begin offering higher-speed '3G+' services in September this year, with 4G to follow at some point in 2013.
Whether you're travelling or just trying to get out of the house a bit more, there's one thing that plagues us everywhere we go: Wi-Fi. We may not have that cloud of Wi-Fi covering the planet yet, but you can find free Wi-Fi almost anywhere, if you know how to look. Here's what you need to know.
People like speed. People like 4G. According to Telstra, 300,000 devices are now connecting to its 4G network, which currently incorporates 1,000 base stations. That's good news for Telstra shareholders, but it also reflects an inescapable truth about wireless networks: the more customers there are, the slower the overall speed will get.
Optus and Vodafone have signed an agreement to share more of their 3G and 4G infrastructure, allowing them to expand coverage more quickly and for Vodafone customers in regional areas to eventually roam onto Optus' network where Vodafone coverage is weaker or non-existent. What will that mean for customers of both networks? Will it threaten performance and reception? What happens if you access those networks via another provider? We've got all the answers.
People who find the idea of mobile signal access on a plane disturbing aren't going to like this either. The Eurostar train which flits effortlessly between the UK and mainland Europe is soon to get mobile phone coverage for the 37.9 kilometres where it runs under the English channel.
We've known that Telstra would be losing the 2100Mhz part of its 3G network for some time; it was a legacy of the early 3G tie-up between Telstra and 3 due to be switched over in August. Telstra's started notifying customers early, so if you're still on an 2100Mhz 3G phone, you can expect a letter just like this to drop through your letterbox any day now.
Android (ICS Only): Onavo has made it their business to help streamline the amount of data you use by compressing and removing any unnecessary information for you, so you only use the minimum amount of data required for your apps to work. Already available for iOS, the new Onavo Extend brings the same data compression features that iOS users have had for a while over to Android.
After testing 3G broadband on the Melbourne-Sydney train trip last year and finding it somewhat wanting, I had no intention of repeating the experience. However, this week's Qantas shenanigans meant that a train looked like the best way to get back to Sydney after a weekend trip, and I figured I'd use the time to see if Telstra's 4G rollout made much difference. The result was mostly not pretty.
Telstra already has a consumer hotspot using its Ultimate Next G network, but business users might find its limitations on number of devices connected a challenge. The Ultimate Gateway allows up to 16 users to connect via either Wi-Fi or Ethernet, making it potentially appealing for locations such as tradeshows or remote offices.
Dear LH, I'm planning a trip to the UK and I'm trying to sort out my data options for my phones, iPad and netbook. I know there is no way I'm going to use my own network's roaming so I was looking at TravelSIM or similar but I've just found out that the hire car company I'm using offers a Wi-Fi device for £9 a day with 1GB of data a day.
One of the challenges of using an alternative SIM for cheaper calls when travelling overseas is that you have no way of tracking calls or texts on your standard SIM. TravelSIM is about to start selling a bundle which includes a dual-SIM mobile phone, meaning you can use your additional SIM for cheap outgoing calls while still keeping track of incoming calls on your main account.