Telstra have released the latest iteration of their premium “Mi-Fi” device for the 4G mobile-broadband network. This device seems to have “all the fruit” when it comes to the design of these devices such as a colour touchscreen as its on-device interface as well as the use of the dual-band Wi-Fi technology for its LAN side.
But it is also the first to exploit the newer “LTE-Advanced” technology which Telstra are trialling up in the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. This implements the use of both the 900MHz and 1800MHz wavebands and bonds the output of two “cells” together to create a “fatter” WAN pipe this increasing the bandwidth available, much in a similar way to how the MIMO functionality on the 802.11n Wi-Fi networks and HomePlug AV powerline networks work.
This device has been built by Netgear since it took over Sierra Wireless who made most of the previous USB wireless-broadband modems and “Mi-Fi” hotspots that are in circulation like the currently-issued device that Telstra is running as their premium “Mi-Fi” option.
As for battery runtime, the supplied 2500mAh battery can run for 10 hours. But I am not sure if this device will offer more than the typical “Mi-Fi” functionality like mobile NAS functionality. Telstra are intending to run it at a similar cost to the existing premium Mi-Fi device i.e. for AUD$6 per month on a AUD$50 per month 24-month contract with 8Gb data allowance. I am not sure if they will offer this as a shared plan where many mobile-broadband devices like a smartphone and a “Mi-Fi” can share the same allowance pool.