Vodafone takes 4G home with a 32-device dongle

While we’re all waiting for the National Broadband Network to be little more than words from the mouths of politicians, some people want more speed than what ADSL2 can offer, and if that’s you, Vodafone has something that could do the job.

This week, Voda is launching a gadget that will make it possible for a little over 30 devices to connect to a 4G connection, with a mobile broadband dongle that probably won’t go very far and will instead stay at home.

Manufactured by Huawei, it’s called the “WiFi Cube 4G” and will deliver a Vodafone 4G LTE connection to a WiFi hotspot capable of sharing it with up to 32 devices at once.

“These days people might have a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, a gaming console plus other devices that they want to connect to the internet at the same time, and this makes the Huawei WiFi Cube a great option,” said Ben McIntosh, Director of Sales at Vodafone.

The idea could prove useful for people keen to get over the hump that ADSL2 connections often present themselves with, and that’s the distance to the exchange. While ADSL speeds can reach as high as 21Mbps down and 1Mbps up, those speeds are often only found if you live right next to the telephone exchange, with a greater distance dropping the speeds depending on how far from your exchange you live.

As such, many Australians only net speeds around the 5 to 8Mbps mark on ADSL2, which while fast, still isn’t the fastest it could be. Cable, meanwhile, boasts higher speeds, but isn’t available to all.

Eventually, the NBN should make itself useful, though in its current incarnation, may prove irrelevant to buildings not connected to copper lines, of which modern apartment blocks may find issues with.

With this in mind, mobile broadband devices could prove to be one solution worth considering, especially since a Category 4 device — which the WiFi Cube is — will offer as much as 150Mbps speeds down and as much as 50Mbps up.

That said, cost will be something likely kept in the front of mind, since download quotas are unlikely to include unlimited plans in the way that fixed lines currently do.

For Vodafone, its WiFi Cube plans will start at $20 per month with 2.5GB downloads, with $30 grabbing 4GB, $45 hitting 8GB, $65 netting 12GB, and $90 fetching 25GB monthly, with excess data charged at $10 per 1GB used. Huawei’s hardware will also come with a monthly hardware price (either $0, $5, or $11 depending on the chosen plan), with the plans available on 12-month and two-year contracts.

Availability should be within the next few weeks, so if you’re in need of 4G speeds for the home, this could be an option, just try not to go too far over quota.