Home Icon

Review: Global Gig Mobile Hotspot

By Leigh D. Stark | 5:38 pm 16/01/2013

Connectivity for the net is fast becoming one of the staples many of us can’t live without, and when we travel overseas, it’s especially concerning that many of our mobile providers are happy to charge us an arm and a leg for the privilege of going online.

Still, internet access is a must have whenever we’re on holiday or a business trip, and while it’s likely you’ll have it at your hotel, one company has a solution for when you’re not.


Built by ZTE, Global Gig’s mobile hotspot is like almost every other wireless hotspot we’ve seen thus far.

It’s small, light, features WiFi, and uses a modem to jump online, to let you connect to it using the wireless on your device – say a smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer – and do your regular internet thing online.

Global Gig’s WiFi hotspot isn’t all that different from other hotspots we see, but the company does have agreements with various carriers in the US, UK, and with Optus in Australia to provide coverage in these nations.

The modem has been designed to switch from either a 2G or 3G network, depending on what’s available where you are, and the service is a prepaid one, which offers caps of either 1GB, 3GB, or 5GB depending on how much money you think you’ll need during your travels.

Setup for the device is handled through a small webpage run locally on the device, which will let you change the wireless SSID and password, as well as setup if or when connections are made automatically.

Like many of the wireless hotspots we’ve seen, the Global Gig can be recharged with a mini-USB cable, with the port located at the bottom, though unlike many other hotspots, there is no microSD card slot.

Inside the Global Gig, you'll find a battery and a SIM.


Global Gig’s hotspot has been designed for overseas travel, so to test it properly, we had to wait for the right time to play with it internationally. Sure, we could test it with the local Optus service, but that’s not really what it is being sold for. There are plenty of devices being sold locally running on Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, as well as other telcos for this purpose.

Luckily, we had a trip to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show all planned for January, so we decided to give it a proper test and throttling while we were reporting from the show floor.

Throughout those few days in America, we saw the Global Gig switch dynamically from a 2G to a 3G network to provide whatever service it could find, with speeds of around 1 to 3Mbps when we used it, which should be perfectly adequate for most people.

It won’t be perfect for downloading lots of files, but checking your email, surfing the web, updating Twitter, and checking the social networking sites will be fine here.

Service, of course, depends on the connection of where you are, and while it wasn’t the quality we’re used to out of a local Telstra or Optus connection, it at least won’t cost you the arm and a leg that we’re used to paying for roughly $15 per megabyte.

Global Gig's Mobile Hotspot sitting next to Samsung's Galaxy S3 handset.

If you plan on taking Global Gig’s hotspot around with you, however, switch it off often.

Our battery lasted a maximum of about four hours, but it would get very hot after roughly an hour of use, with the hardware crashing when it heated up. If this happens, switch the unit off for about five or ten minutes, and it should be good to go again.

Charging also switches the unit on and – provided it has been setup to connect automatically – can connect the hotspot online, which is both useful (if you’re back at the hotel) and not so useful (if you’re charging it overnight and it stays online, your devices constantly downloading).


While it only works in three nations around the world at the moment, the price is certainly right for what it offers, especially in comparison to the cost of travelling with the regular telco option.

It isn’t the fastest connection, and if you’re using it locally, there are a lot of better options, but if you need internet access in any of the countries it offers – at the moment, there are two outside Australia: UK and USA – it’s hard to go past the value here. Just make sure not to leave it in your pocket, because it could get toasty.

Price (RRP)

$129 for the Global Gig hotspot; Plans from $25

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Provides reasonably reliable mobile internet service; Decent pricing;

Product Cons

Battery lasts around 3-4 hours; Overheats easily;



Latest reviews

  • Review: D-Link Taipan AC3200 modem router

    Need a ton of performance for WiFi at home? No worries, because D-Link has something that might fit the bill, and it's so big, you might even have problems…
  • AppMonday: QuizUp

    The useless knowledge we all have could fill a room, and possibly an encyclopaedia, but now you can flex your trivial knowledge muscle with a game that only takes…
  • Review: Bose SoundTouch 10

    The next area to get attention in the sound world isn’t big headphones, though we love those too. No, it’s multi-room, and while Sonos may well dominate, Bose is…
  • Review: Nespresso by KitchenAid

    The instant espresso market we refer to as “inspresso” is hot at the moment, but most of the machines tend to offer a plastic look that might be premium,…
  • A day of ordinary: Motorola's flagship X Style reviewed

    This year, Motorola has not one, but two smartphones it wants to call flagship, offering a choice between solid battery life in the X Play or solid specs and…
  • AppMonday: Fenix (Android)

    A more modern take on what Twitter can be, Fenix is one of those very Android-inspired apps that feels like aims to make things simple.
  • Review: Plantronics BackBeat Sense wireless headphones

    You shouldn’t have to spend a fortune to have decent sound and not need cables, but this is becoming a thing where it’s obvious that you do. Or is…
  • Australia's first in-depth Apple iPad Pro review

    Apple may have reinvented the tablet for today, but it has plans to give artists a tablet for tomorrow, and it arrives in the form of the iPad Pro,…
  • Today's tablet: Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 reviewed

    A year has passed between Microsoft’s tablet-turned-laptop, and for the fourth generation, it thinks it has nailed the bugs. Is this the best tablet out there?
  • Apple TV for 2015 reviewed

    The new 4th generation Apple TV went on sale last week in Australia. I’ve been using one in my living room a few days before launch to see what’s…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Will you be installing an ad blocker on your smartphone?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More