Around-Oz: Living the Dream!


Telstra Bigpond Wireless Broadband Card


Released late in 2005 with very little fanfare it's hard to fathom exactly where Telstra is coming from as this product really duplicates what is already covered with their AirCard and the MiniMax. In fact you have less options and you must purchase the card outright - expect to pay around $299.00 from most major retailers. This card works on both CDMA 1X and Telstra's Broadband EVDO. You will ONLY receive Broadband in the Capitol cities. At present we have no info on availability of patchleads to connect to an external aerial.



What Does it Cost?
Telstra do not offer a $0 upfront plan so you have no option, but to purchase the card outright at $299.00. Plans for service only range from $69.95 to $129.95. No time based plan is offered and downloads range from 200MB to 1GB. Telstra have more detail on this page but be aware it is very basic info for newbies.

Difference Between Data Pack and PC Packs
You really need to get your head around this or it could cost you mega bucks! A Data Pack Plan charges you on DATA only, so time is NOT a consideration. Sounds good as you can be online 24 hours a day, BUT where it all comes unstuck is where you tend to get large attachments with emails, as many users have made the fatal mistake of leaving it on full time and not checking emails before down loading. In our view this is NOT the plan for ordinary RV'ers. Once you exceed your allowance it costs 30 cents per MB for all four plans. Both the AirCard and MiniMax offer the alternative of a PC Pack TIME based in 15 minutes chunks.

Speed Difference Between CDMA Mobile Phone and a Broadband Card
Speed is important, as this is really what you are paying for. Looking at speed differences between the two concerning downloading data. Mobile Broadband 1x EV-DO provides average speeds of 300-600kbps and 1x High Speed Internet provides average speeds of 60-100kbps. Uploads speeds for the two are the same, running at speeds of 60-100kbps. The card seamlessly reverts to 1X when EVDO drops out or is not available.


Email Method
Advantages
Disadvantages
Pocketmail
Monthly fee
Old technology - no attachments
CDMA Mobile
Maximum 23 cents a minute
Needs a laptop
MiniMax USB
Email/Internet/Fax/SMS/Voice
$8.00 an Hour Outside Plan
Aircard Wireless
$2.00 hr. Broadband Access
$6.00 an Hour Outside Plan
Internet Cafes
Average around $6 hour
Usually wont allow you to use laptop
Wireless Hotspots
Most McDonalds and Starbucks
Expensive at $14 hour maximum
Friends Landline
Local call with Bigpond etc.
Not all places have friends!
Wireless Casino Village
Cheapest Hourly Rate in Oz
Needs wireless laptop or an Aerial
Telstra Broadband Card
On All the Time from $69.95 mth
Data Plans Only From 200MB mth
Vodafone Wireless Card
On All the Time - Cheap $49.00
Worst Signal Area Coverage - GPRS
Blackberry
Receive emails straight to device
No attachments (at present)

 



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Last updated: February 8, 2006
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