Virgin Mobile unveils battery-powered, mobile Wi-Fi 3G modem

Launch exclusive with Dick Smith Electronics with $199 pre-paid plan, modem and 1GB of data

Virgin Mobile's new broadband device is a battery-powered mobile 3G wireless modem router with Wi-Fi access.

Virgin Mobile's new broadband device is a battery-powered mobile 3G wireless modem router with Wi-Fi access.

Virgin Mobile has launched a Wi-Fi modem claiming to be Australia’s first battery-powered mobile 3G wireless modem router with Wi-Fi access.

According to Virgin Mobile the Wi-Fi modem is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery that will provide up to four hours of use between charges. Up to three computers can connect simultaneously to the Internet on the Optus 3G (Dual Band) Network.

Supporting the 802.11b/g Wi-Fi standards the modem has a wireless range of 15 metres. Manufactured by Huawei, the modem weighs 90 grams and also features a microSD card slot that supports up to 32GB of data storage – to be used in a similar fashion to a USB stick.

At the initial launch, the Virgin Mobile Wi-Fi modem will only be available through retailer Dick Smith Electronics (DSE) with a pre-paid plan for $199 which includes the modem and 1GB of data access (which expires after 30-days). Top-up pricing is in line with Virgin Mobile's standard pre-paid broadband options, ranging from $15 for 500MB over 30 days to $100 for 6GB over 90 days. DSE stores will also offer 10GB prepaid data for $149 (with a 365-day expiration time), but this special offer is only available until on 30 November.

According to Virgin Mobile, the modem is locked and set up to be only used exclusively with the Virgin broadband services; however it can be released to another network at any stage at after a top up cost of $80.

The modem will be available outright from other major retailers from December – with pre-paid and post-paid plans, and for $8 per month on top of Virgin Mobile’s pre-paid and post-paid plans.

Virgin Mobile’s acceptable use policy applies to the Wi-Fi modem. These details can be found on Virgin's Web site.

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