Telstra offers Next G via USB

Telstra has quietly started offering two new ways of accessing its new nation-wide third-generation Next G mobile network, with two new USB modems now on sale. When the telco launched the network several months ago, the only way of accessing the up to 3.

Telstra has quietly started offering two new ways of accessing its new nation-wide third-generation Next G mobile network, with two new USB modems now on sale.

When the telco launched the network several months ago, the only way of accessing the up to 3.6Mbps speeds on offer was to buy a PCMCIA laptop card or access services through a compatible mobile phone.

But now the telco has started selling two new modems that connect to users' USB ports. One is the size of a USB memory stick and is designed for use with laptops that don't have a PCMCIA port.

The second is a larger modem similar in size to any other ADSL or cable broadband modem that is designed for use in more fixed scenarios where the user is unlikely to take their PC on the road. It also needs to be plugged into a mains power point.

The memory stick sized modem is available for AU$299 -- the same price as the PCMCIA card -- while the larger fixed modem sells for AU$249, according to Telstra's Web site.