Telstra has released the Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro mobile broadband hotspot modem that covers its current sub-6Ghz n78 band and the future mmWave n258 band.
The Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro mobile broadband modem costs $599 ($24.95/24months) plus a data plan.
mmWave is courtesy of the Qualcomm X55 gen 2 modem chip (found in the SD865 smartphones like the OPPO Find X2, LG G9/V60 and Nokia 10). It allows for mmWave download/upload of up to 7.5/3Gbps although, in reality, the current sub-6Ghz are well under 2Gbps. The chip also supports 4GX (band 28) at up to 2.5Gbps/316Mbps and likely to be around 150/40Mbps.
We mention it is a Gen 2 X55 chip and we will see the Gen 3 X60 modem early next year.
The faster mmWave n258 band will go to auction in ‘early 2021’ so at the earliest Telstra will begin rolling that out in late 2021. But it does have a test site at the Gold Coast, and if you live near it, you can sample mmWave.
It has 5G coverage in selected areas of 47 cities and larger regional towns across Australia (about 700 suburbs). You can see Telstra 5G coverage here.
Monthly Plans include $20/5GB, $30/12, $50/35 and annual plans include $150/40 and $300/180 (note these may not include the 5G loading).
Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro mobile broadband tech details
Manufacturer: Unknown but likely ZTE (will update on review)
Country of origin: Unknown but likely China
Nano 4FF SIM
4G LTE Cat 20 Bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 28
5G Sub-6Ghz n78
5G mmWave n258
Wi-Fi 6 AX 2×2 MIMO supports up to 30 devices (15 each 2.4/5Ghz bands)
Removable 4500mAh battery and USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 interface (10Gbps)
Ethernet port for connection to a router
Dual TS-9 external antenna ports (for 3/4G only)
2.4” Colour touch screen
GadgetGuy’s take – Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro mobile broadband may be useful for road warriors and NBN failover
Being strictly objective this modem will, at least until mmWave comes in 2022 or likely later, get under 2Gbps DL/UL. And mobile data is expensive.
But it will find a niche. And I suspect that will be to power road warriors and remote workers.
In theory, it can support 30 Wi-Fi devices (that may be a stretch) or Ethernet connection to a Wi-Fi router (better) to distribute 5G internet. The question is whether 2Gbps DL over 5G will be any faster than NBN over fibre. Testing will tell.
Telstra is sending us one for review.