Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem

Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi review: A battery operated Wi-Fi modem that features a handy OLED display and 21Mbps download speeds

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Telstra Corporation Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem
  • Telstra Corporation Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem
  • Telstra Corporation Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem
  • Telstra Corporation Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    4.50 / 5 (of 2 Reviews)


  • Excellent speeds and coverage
  • Connects up to five devices
  • OLED display


  • Battery life
  • Basic Web interface
  • Gets warm during use

Bottom Line

The addition of an OLED display and a download speed increase to 21Mbps makes Telstra's Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem an excellent mobile broadband product.

Would you buy this?

Telstra's Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem — described by the telco as "Australia's fastest battery-powered 3G mobile Wi-Fi device" — is a battery operated modem that allows up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect to it wirelessly for shared mobile Internet access. The Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem is theoretically capable of 21Mbps download speeds and also has a handy OLED screen, but battery life could be improved.

Check out our reviews of the best mobile broadband modems with Wi-Fi.

The Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem is a similar device to Telstra's Pre-Paid Mobile Wi-Fi modem, but is theoretically capable of 21 megabits per second (Mbps) download speeds rather than 7.2Mbps. It also has a handy OLED screen that shows information including signal strength, the number of devices connected and battery level — though you have to press either the power or WPS buttons on the right side of the modem for it to display once the screen turns off to save battery life. The OLED screen isn't a deal breaker, but it is more convenient than the LED lights on Telstra's slower Pre-Paid Mobile Wi-Fi modem.

The Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem is constructed from glossy white plastic and is very light. The rear battery cover feels cheap and creaks when pressed, and the power and WPS button, along with the microSD card slot cover feel a little flimsy. When connected, multiple devices can access the content of a microSD card in the Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem.

The Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem charges via a standard microUSB port through an included AC adapter or USB cable, and the device can still be used while it is charging. The modem gets quite hot during both charging and regular use, but conveniently turns itself off after 10 minutes of inactivity.

The Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem is very simple to set up: you simply insert your SIM card and the battery, turn the unit on and it is ready for use. The unit comes with a default SSID and WPA key, which is printed on a card in the box. You can change the network name and the password by accessing the device's Web interface; settings are minimal and the layout of the page is basic and rather ugly, but it does the job and is something you won't need to access too often.

Up to five separate devices can connect simultaneously to the Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem, and we didn't notice too much slowdown with two smartphones, an iPad and a notebook connected simultaneously.

As is always the case when it comes to mobile broadband, the speed of the Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem will depend on a number of factors, including the mobile network, the area you're in, the time of day and network congestion. Telstra's Next G generally offers better network speeds and coverage than its competitors. The Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem is capable of theoretical maximum download speeds of 21Mbps and upload speeds of 5.76Mbps.

Using our Broadband Speed Test, the Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem managed to achieve download speeds of up to 5.3 Mbps, but regularly hovered around 3.6Mbps in North Sydney. Upload speeds were also stable at around 1.4Mbps.

Telstra claims the Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem has a battery life of up to four hours, but during our tests it lasted just over three and a half hours before it ran out of juice. This is a little less than Vodafone's Pocket Wi-Fi and the excellent NetComm MyZone 3G.

The Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi sells for $129, and includes an initial 5GB of data that can be used over 90 days. It is also available for Telstra business customers $29 per month with 1GB included data over 24 months.

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Read more on these topics: Wi-Fi, mobile broadband, Telstra, next g



Will the Elite work with a Vodaphone or iprimus sim



"When connected, multiple devices can access the content of a microSD card in the Elite Mobile Wi-Fi modem."

"When connected"- now, what does that mean, you ask? I took it to mean, "when you were connected to it's network, you could access the mSD card". But, NOOOOOOOOOOO!

The freaking "wireless" modem MUST be CABLED TO A COMPUTER ON THE NETWORK IN ORDER TO ACCESS THE mSD!!!! Can you please fix the GLARINGLY incorrect information?

What a monumental FAIL by Telstra...(what else is new?). They are a joke.

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Robert Grannetia



UL & DL speeds
connecting after recharging
• • •

I have owned four of these devices and each time that I have recharged them, the ability to connect to the local tower (seems to) become harder to do. Admittedly, when I get home from work (around 5 pm) every other man and his dog seems to be on the net, because if you are able to log on and get a connection, it can be a s-l-o-w affair. That is not to say that it is always like this, for example, after 7 pm the speeds increase markedly and after 10 pm it is quite fast. I have clocked speeds of 10 MB/s at this time and it is this reason of why I am scoring it 4 stars. As described in the review above, it does a lot of things quite well, I believe that where I live has an impact on the way it can connect and deliver during the day, and night...
The recharging of the dongle is quite simple; I buy a recharge at my local Coles or KMart (and get the relevant fly buys rewards) and then simply input the code and continue to surf away...
There is one downside to this method, the values that you purchase are not additive, for example, a $20 recharge added to another $20 recharge will get you 0.5 GB of data that will expire in 21 days as opposed to spending $40 in one hit will get you 1 GB that expires in 30 days. Increase the amount that you spend and the expiry dates extend further...$180 get 12 GB and 365 days to use it. As mentioned earlier, the reason that I have had 4 of these is that you can occaisionally buy them 'on sale' I have regularly paid $39 for a dongle that had 5GB of data with a 90 day expiry. Unfortunately, Telstra seem to have cottoned onto this and now offer these dongles with 2 GB with a 30 day expiry.
Overall, a good device that is worth getting if 'on sale' otherwise, a costly affair (like most prepaid dongles)




its quite good concidering i live in a small remote town
• • •

the only problem i have is trying to find a website on how to recharch, all i see is mobile but nothing specifically for this

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