Traveltech: Telstra's new prepaid 3G USB & WiFi superstick

By David Flynn, November 13 2012
Traveltech: Telstra's new prepaid 3G USB & WiFi superstick

Having a tough time choosing between a dedicated USB mobile broadband dongle and the more versatile 3G-to-WiFi personal hotspot?

Now you don't need to choose, with Telstra's debut of the 'Pre-Paid 3G USB+Wi-Fi' device. And yes, that's quite a mouthful.

This 3G superstick acts as a USB modem when plugged into in your Windows or Mac laptop, as well as becoming a mobile wireless hotspot which can connect up to five Wi-Fi devices at a time when plugged into a USB drive or the bundled AC adaptor.

That's a pretty nifty package, and ditto for the price: a mere $59, including 2GB of data to get you started.

Recharge rates start at $20 for a quick 250MB hit lasting for 21 days, but best value on the dollars-to-data scale comes as you move up the ladder to the $50/3GB/30 day top-up, $180 for 4GB over 60 days, or the mammoth serve of 12GB with a full 365 day use-by date for $180.

And although we've said it before, we'll keep saying it until it sinks in: if you're getting reamed by rip-off hotel Internet rates, you really should be looking into mobile broadband.

Do the maths yourself. Stay a few nights each month at a hotel which hits you up for $20-$30 per day for Internet access, and you're up for between $60 and $90 per month.

Put that money towards a pre-paid or contract mobile broadband service and you'll have the Internet on tap almost anywhere, not  just in that hotel – at any time, not just when you happen to be in the room – and quite possibly with faster speeds, to boot. And you'll probably end up saving money into the bargain.

Telstra says its uber-USB dongle is available today from Telstra stores.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: you'll find us @AusBT.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards (Plat)

21 May 2012

Total posts 28

Don't buy one if you live or do lots of work in Hobart. I have the previous generation of that dongle above, without the wi-fi hotspot, and it is near useless pretty much everywhere in Hobart.

It made client meetings simply embarassing - as I had to constantly fill time and excuse my snails pace internet. The 12gb / 365 days option was great though. Very cost effective if you're somewhere that it works!

I've now upgraded to 4G which is fantastic in Hobart because no one is using it!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1379

Really though who needs a dongle when most modern smartphones will provide usb tethering or wifi.


04 Nov 2010

Total posts 670

How about people who don't have stacks of data on their smartphone plan - or people who won't want to drain their smartphone's battery by tethering it - or people who like full-speed 3G because most smartphones can't deliver as fast a signal via wifi or even USB tethering compared to 'raw' mobile broadband from a modem - or companies who want one device which can be shared between several users, depending on who is travelling that week - am sure there are other examples too, don't be so quick to write this off.

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 665

Al's right -- not to mention that tethering can sometimes be blocked. It may also make more sense to use one network for calls and one for data. That's certainly the case in some cities in NZ!

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