Telstra will tomorrow begin offering its long-term evolution (LTE) "4G" Wi-Fi hotspot device to Australian consumers on a prepaid basis.
The device, which Telstra launched for post-paid customers back in March, will be available for AU$169 from tomorrow, with 5GB included for the first 30 days.
The 4G hotspot, when used in one of the 100 locations across Australia with 4G, offers download speeds of between 2 megabits per second (Mbps) and 40Mbps. Outside of 4G coverage areas, the device drops back to dual-channel HSPA 3G. Up to five devices can connect to the hotspot via Wi-Fi, it weighs less than 100 grams and it has up to four hours of battery life, or 100 hours on standby.
When Apple neglected to make the new iPad compatible with Australian 4G networks, it was suggested that people could use the iPad's Wi-Fi and a Telstra hotspot to turn the device into a 4G iPad. However, people thinking of having a "true 4G" iPad, rather than the built-in 3G SIM, may want to think again. While recharging a micro-SIM for the iPad with Telstra will set customers back AU$20 for 1GB of data, customers on a regular mobile broadband recharge account (including those for the 4G hotspots, as Telstra charges the same for 3G and 4G data) will need to fork over AU$40 for the same amount of data.