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Telstra Mobile Internet
Telstra is a major player in the Asian telecommunications industry and provides more than 8 million fixed-line phones and 11 million mobile connections in Australia alone.
With Telstra, and like most other providers there are 2 major options to choose from. The first is to stick to a prepaid service to avoid commitment, and the other option is to get a contract to bring your costs down as well as the hassle of topping up.
Telstra’s contract offer is called ‘Bigpond’ and their prepaid service is known as ‘Telstra Prepaid Mobile Broadband’. With their Bigpond offering, there are 5 main plans catering to different budgets and needs. The Bigpond Liberty 400MB is their cheapest plan and it costs $9.95 per month. This gets you 400MB. Next up is their Bigpond Liberty 1GB which is $19.95 per month and you guessed it, provides 1GB per month. The Bigpond Liberty 3GB costs $29.95 and of course gives you 3GB. The 7GB offer costs $39.95 and the massive 12GB plan is $69.95. All of these plans are on 24-month contracts.
The Telstra prepaid mobile broadband plan has a few nice features:
You can recharge your mobile broadband plan in many ways. You can use your credit card, debit card, voucher, the Credit Me2U service (this just transfers credits between your various Telstra services), Bpay as well as Paypal. With these you can be sure that you will always be able to top up when in a hurry.
When recharging on prepaid, the rates you get charged from Telstra decrease dramatically with the more expensive options. If you only buy $20 worth, you get charged at a slightly harsh 8c per MB. $40 will get you 1MB for 3.91c and at $150 the rate drops to a very low 1.47c per MB. So it really pays to top up with a nice, significant amount with their rate structure.
Here’s the breakdown of what their denominations will buy you:
$20 – 250MB
$30 – 700MB
$40 – 1GB
$50 – 3GB
$80 – 4GB
$100 – 6GB
$150 – 10GB
The expiry period starts at 21 days ($20) and extends all the way to 365 days ($150).
The hardware options from Telstra have all been upgraded to their ‘Elite’ model modems. This includes a typical ‘USB stick’ type modem with a Micro SDHC card as well as their more full-featured modem which can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot. It has an OLED display, MicroSD card and can connect up to 5 devices.
Telstra manages to cover the vast majority of the main cities of Australia including Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Their typical download speeds are around the 1mbps mark with speeds reaching up to 20mbps in certain areas.
Note: A really nice touch with Telstra is that there are no nasty overuse charges that can lead to big surprises at the end of the month. All that happens is your speed slows down dramatically once your usage limit has been reached. Of course you can always top up again and then your speed will be back to normal.