Telstra Ultimate Mobile Broadband Review

Telstra Ultimate Mobile Broadband service review that explores the positives and negatives of Telstra’s relatively new USB Wi-Fi package. Generally, the quality of high-speed Wi-Fi internet in Australia has been of low quality with services basically having tricks and traps associated with them. Telstra is an organization that has been particularly guilty of this on past occasions, with various careful wording used to conceal charges or the low quality of the product. However, the Telstra Ultimate Mobile Broadband package may be a change in that general trend.

The Hardware

Probably the best feature of the package, the Sierra Aircard 312u Wireless HSPA Network Adapter is a really great piece of hardware. It has a sturdy, metal build that folds together nicely. The USB adapter is metal, which means that if you hit it hard enough it will probably be your computer that breaks rather than the device given the common plastic casing on laptops. I’ve experienced a single disruption associated with the device during a severe thunder storm, and even that was only for a few seconds. The hardware is simply great, albeit expensive.

The Software

telstra mobile broadband gui

The software that comes with this particular package installs itself from the USB device. Overall, the BigPond Mobile Broadband software, as it is called, does its job well enough and is an improvement over the already good software that came with earlier devices. If the software works properly, it has the easiest installation of any device I have used. However, only allowing the software to be installed from the device itself is not one of the best decisions Telstra has made. The problem is that it shows a type of thinking that is theoretically valid but not necessarily grounded in common sense.

When working on computer problems one of the important things is to have options. Solving most computer problems is more a matter of working around the problem than through it. I had a specific problem, probably caused by my software settings, which caused Vista to attempt to install drivers for the device rather than allowing it to install its own drivers. I checked online and found drivers from the manufacturer’s site but they proved not to work. However, they did allow me to install the Telstra software only to cause a corruption of my .NET Framework requiring me to completely reinstall my operating system. I do not blame the software that came on the device for this, but it may have been averted if Telstra included the software on their website or if a CD came with the device.

The Service

Service is a particular area in which Telstra has truly improved their performance. The deal is reasonable and relatively fair, particularly when taken in contrast with previous deals. It still is not brilliant, with precises in the vicinity of $80 for 12 Gigabytes of data per month. However, the prices have changed enough not to have the ridiculous costs previously associated with services such pre-paid.

The only real problem with the service is that the data limits are a little low given the hardware. It is hard to really think of a way around this, but given how fast the device can download it can be very easy to accidentally open streaming media and use up the data limit well before the end of the month.


Telstra’s Ultimate Mobile Broadband is actually a somewhat good deal for the Australia Wireless Internet context. Its data limit is a little low, but not so bad. Its hardware works well. Its software installs easily, but could do with a few more options. Overall, Telstra’s Ultimate Mobile is not a bad offer and well worth consideration.

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