Telstra to offer pre-paid Next G wireless broadband access

Telstra’s initial setup cheaper, but more expensive than Optus data rates.

Telstra has caught up with its competitors with the announcement Tuesday that it will offer pre-paid access to its Next G wireless broadband services from September 22.

The $149 Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband pack will include a Windows and Mac compatible USB modem with an SD memory card slot, and a Telstra Next G SIM card with $10 credit.

According to Telstra’s executive director for product management, Craig Turner, the USB modem is pre-loaded with a connection manager that auto-installs when the modem is first plugged into a USB port.

“Customers will connect directly to the Next G network which provides typical speeds of 550Kbps to 1.5Mbps bursting up to 3Mbps in selected areas. Speeds may vary due to congestion, distance from the cell, local conditions, hardware, software and other factors,” he said.

According to Telstra, customers will be able to purchase a range of pre-paid re-charges starting at $20 through to $100. The $100 re-charge offers 6GB of data each month. In comparison, Optus offers 6GB at $70.

The service can be re-charged online using a credit card or at more than 5000 retail locations across Australia. An unspecified network unlocking fee applies for non-Telstra customers.

Unwired, Optus and gotalk have all recently announced pre-paid wireless broadband plans, amid quibbling over who was the first to do so. While Vodafone is yet to add a pre-paid option to its mobile broadband offerings.

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