When it comes to speed, Huawei’s Vodafone-connected Cube can grab a fair few more megabits per second than its siblings in ADSL2+, with a Category 4 LTE modem used inside capable of pulling in as much as 150Mbps, which in turn translates into near 20 megabytes per second.
But that’s a speed you’ll see if you can pull those speeds consistently, which you can’t on LTE since the connection rate changes all the time based on antenna range at both your end and the point of the transmission antennas, so don’t expect strong speeds all the time, especially when your location factors into it.
Case in point, this writer’s desk at the GadgetGuy office jumped between four and five bars with the Huawei Cube on Vodafone 4G, with between 26 and 38Mbps down and 25 to 40Mbps up available to him.
Testing it against a Telstra 4G device, we found more or less the same speeds (25-30 down, 18-30 up) in the same position, telling us our location and building was likely making a dent on the speeds we were receiving.
And that’s the thing about mobile broadband: there are so many factors at play for speed variation that you can’t ever expect the same speed, not like you can with ADSL2+ which will generally keep the connection the same outside of exchange location (the further you are from the telephone exchange, the more your line speed drops).
That said, 25 to 40Mbps (3 to 5 megabytes per second, roughly) is still higher than what most Australians will receive over ADSL2+, with the average speed here topping out at 8 to 11Mbps, lower than the theoretical maximum of 24Mbps which generally only happens if you’re living next to your exchange, which so few seem to.
As such, even though we weren’t blasting through Vodafone’s 4G network with our location and the Huawei Cube, we were still relatively happy with what we were seeing, and Huawei has even left some things here that should make some people happy.
For instance, there’s an Ethernet port built into the side of this device, an inclusion which will not only let you hard wire a device to your network, but also add a switch or router to the cube if you need it.
Let’s say you need to split the Cube between more hard wired devices, or even spread the 4G connectivity to more than 32 wireless devices, this will make it happen, with the ability to switch off wireless if need be.
Interestingly, you can also engage up to three more wireless networks from the WLAN settings found in the admin, with the login information for this found initially on the bottom of the handset, ready to be changed when you’re ready.
That’s one area that could do with a little sprucing up, as the interface is pretty basic.