Telstra has released a 4G dongle that doubles as a wi-fi hotspot, marking the 28th 4G device that the company has launched in Australia.
The device will also be the first CAT4 device that Telstra has in the market. CAT4 4G devices can potentially offer much higher speeds than CAT3 devices; however, in order to get speeds over 100Mbps, 20MHz of contiguous spectrum is needed. Currently, Telstra only has 20MHz of contiguous 1800MHz spectrum in Western Australia. It will, however, be able to take full advantage of CAT4 technology when it is able to launch 4G services in the 700MHz spectrum band in 2015.
The device works in the 1800MHz spectrum band, but also in the 2.6GHz and 900MHz bands that Telstra has been testing out for 4G services.
In combining the dongle with the wi-fi hotspot, Telstra's general manager of emerging mobile devices Graeme McLindin said it is best suited to people who use multiple devices.
"This product is a great solution for people who work out of the office and have multiple devices that need internet access, such as phones, tablets, and laptops. The AC adapter in particular allows people to have a mobile broadband and wi-fi connection without having to run down the battery on their phone, making it a really practical device," he said in a statement.
The product is being launched as a prepaid service for AU$119, including 5GB of data in the first 30 days.
The company this week also announced that it has now switched on 1,500 base stations to 4G, leaving another 500 to be completed by the end of June in order for Telstra to reach 66 percent of the population with 4G.
Rival telco Optus this week announced plans to roll out the first multi-band 4G network across Australia.