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

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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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