Telstra has launched what it claims is the world’s fastest mobile broadband service, with peak download speeds of 21Mbps and with the intention of increasing it to 42Mbps later this year.
A new modem jointly developed by Telstra, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless – the Telstra Turbo 21 – is required to access the service which is delivered over the company's NextG HSPA+ mobile network.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo said the new mobile broadband rate would provide benefits for a range of industries and boost business productivity.
“In just over two years, we have taken our world leading network from peak network speeds of 3.6Mbps to 21Mbps and today we are launching the world’s first commercial 21Mbps peak-rated modem,” Trujillo said, adding such speeds is more than three times faster than existing devices.
The 21Mbps rated modems will be available to some business customers now, with a consumer offering to arrive in April. However, customers with these devices will see typical download speeds of up to 8Mbps, according to Telstra.
“With 21Mbps rated network and devices, we expect to see business productivity increase even further at a time when business and governments need to find practical ways to lift economies out of recession and do more with less,” Trujillo said.
Sierra Wireless CEO Jason Cohenour, said Telstra took an early leadership role in HSPA+, approaching Sierra Wireless “long before any other carrier” to ensure devices would be ready for the first HSPA+ network roll-out in the world.
“We accelerated development of HSPA+ products to support Telstra’s network roll-out and introduced not only an HSPA+ USB modem, but also an embedded module to support original equipment manufacturers in developing new products and solutions that can leverage the faster speeds that Telstra 21 delivers,” Cohenour said.
Speed doesn't come cheap
Preliminary pricing for the new 21Mbps data service has been released with the Telstra Turbo 21 USB Modem selling for $499 if purchased outright, or for $299 with a 24 month $39 data pack. You will also pay $299 for the USM modem with a $59 data pack over 24 months.
The BigPond 21 USB Mobile card is available for $399 with a 12 month plan or purchased outright by existing BigPond customers upgrading their device.