Tagged With wireless broadband

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nbnCo has conducted a demonstration in Ballarat, in central Victoria, where they achieved 1.1Gbps downstream and 165Mbps upstream speeds by using Carrier Aggregation technology. This fused seven carriers in the 3.4GHz spectrum band and four carriers in the 2.3GHz spectrum band.

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It's an obvious way to sell a netbook computer: using the mobile phone "monthly payment over two years" approach, complete with a wireless broadband contract so you can use it anywhere. Which of the three bundles currently on the market offers the best value?

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One of the big disincentives to signing up to mobile broadband services -- especially as your main means of Internet access -- is the excess data charges you face when you go over the limit. Primus has just introduced two plans that eliminate data limits in favour of 'shaping' your connection down to a 64Kbps speed. That's a familiar model in ADSL, but hasn't been much used in wireless broadband before. Primus is offering a $49.95 a month plan which is shaped after 6GB and a $79.95 plan which drops after 12GB; for both, you need to sign up for two years and get an access speed of up to 3.6Mbps (via the Optus network). Would a shaped wireless broadband plan appeal to you, or would the lack of speed drive you mad at the end of each month? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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If you only want wireless broadband occasionally -- when you travel for work or pleasure --then a prepaid plan sounds like a good investment. Optus has just launched such a deal; pay $199 for a wireless broadband modem and then recharge in blocks starting at $30 for 30 days access. That might sound like a tempting offer but, as Paul Wright points out over at APC, Optus is charging a minimum 10MB access each time you connect -- so if you check your mail a few times a day, you might chew up more data than you anticipated. Proceeding with caution might be wise.

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3 has upped the capacity on its wireless broadband plans, adding two new options and increasing download limits on its X Series plans. New to the 3 arsenal are plans offering 6GB of data for $39 a month or 7GB of data for $49 a month, with a free USB modem in return for a 24-month signup. Capacity on X Series plans (designed for on-phone use with the option of using your 3G handset as a modem for your PC) have also increased, with the $20 plan now offering 1GB, the $30 2GB and the $40 3GB.While that makes all the plans comparatively better value than their rivals (Vodafone's equivalent $39 plan offers 5GB), the usual 3 caveat remains: if you're going to make use of the service outside 3's capital city coverage areas, you'll get slugged with an obscene $1.65 per megabyte roaming charge. The 24-month lock-in might also be a concern, though this applies to most equivalent offers. If you are in a good 3 reception area, this is a potentially tempting offer, and don't forget you can use it on an Eee PC for a highly portable solution.

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OK, you've picked out a wireless broadband plan you can afford, checked the coverage is OK for your home and office, and made sure it works with your chosen operating system. Reckon you're done? Not so fast, Speedy Gonzales. No matter who you want to buy from, there's a few simple steps you can take to make sure the transaction goes smoothly.

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Optus, 3 and Vodafone might claim to only support Windows and Macs with their wireless broadband systems, but in fact you can use any of them on a Linux Eee PC without special driver software. Here's the step-by-step guide to getting it set up for Australian 3G networks.