Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi

Telstra's Elite Wi-Fi modem improves on the original in almost every way, but data costs are still a problem.


9.0
CNET Rating
4.2
User Rating

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Design

The original Telstra Prepaid Mobile Broadband Hotspot (itself a rebadged ZTE MF30) was a nice enough and fast enough hotspot, but compared withto the offerings put out by Optus and Vodafone, it was still not the prettiest or the best modem at displaying information. The Elite Mobile Wi-Fi (itself a rebadged ZTE MF60) makes up for most of the original device's shortcomings with the inclusion of an OLED panel which that displays the network (Telstra, naturally), battery status, connection status, Wi-Fi strength and even the number of connected clients. Other than the OLED panel and the switch from mini to micro USB for charging, you'd otherwise be hard-pressed to pick the new Elite Mobile Wi-Fi from the original, although in best Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy tradition, Telstra has printed "Elite" on the front in big friendly letters.

Features

Just printing the word "Elite" on a Wi-Fi modem isn't enough to convince us that it's necessarily so. Telstra's claim for the Elite Mobile Wi-Fi is that it's capable of up to 21Mbps download, in line with its other "Elite" products, which translates in real world performance to around 8Mbps download speed. Presumably, if the branding is consistent, we may see "Ultimate" Wi-Fi modems in six months or so.

Like the previous generation Wi-Fi Modem, the Elite Mobile Wi-Fi will support up to eight connected Wi-Fi clients, and, as noted, a counter in the OLED display shows you the current number of connected clients.

Telstra pre-secures the Elite Mobile Wi-Fi with a password, printed on a card that it'd be a very bad idea to lose. It's possible to reconfigure the Elite Mobile Wi-Fi through the basic but passable web interface, but if you do a factory reset on the unit, the supplied password is the one that it'll default to. It is a positive step, however, that it's secured at all, especially at the prices Telstra charges for data. For an AU$129 modem — even one that comes with 5GB of data on a 90-day expiry &mdash the data charges over even a couple of months will quickly outstrip the cost of the device itself.

On that note, it's also time to note (as we did with the original) that you can't just whack any Telstra-provided SIM into the Elite Mobile Wi-Fi. Not surprisingly, it's locked to Telstra only, but specifically to pre-paid SIMs if you're a consumer customer. Business customers can pop a Business SIM into the Elite Mobile Wi-Fi, or even buy a special Blue model of the Elite Mobile Wi-Fi on contract, but if you're a prepaid mobile broadband customer (which covers anyone on a BigPond Mobile broadband SIM distinct from those simply labelled as "Telstra" SIMs), you're out of luck; Telstra doesn't currently have a Wi-Fi Hotspot product for you.

Performance

We tested trialled the Elite Wi-Fi using a couple of different clients and the Speedtest.Net service in a number of locations to test its real- world speed. We tested indoors in North Sydney, outdoors at Martin Place in the Sydney CBD and the far north of Sydney at Hornsby, indoors. As we still had the original Wi-Fi modem to hand (although it's now technically obsolete) we tested with that as well to see how much of an upgrade (if any) the Elite provided over the same network at the same time.

Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi Average Ping (ms) Average Download (Mbps) Average Upload (Mbps)
North Sydney 73 6.11 3.22
Martin Place 88 3.85 0.325
Hornsby 83.33 7.09 2.67

Telstra Prepaid Mobile
Broadband Hotspot
Average Ping (ms) Average Download (Mbps) Average Upload (Mbps)
North Sydney 49 5.5 2.17
Martin Place 81 1.72 0.4
Hornsby 99 2.65 2.85

As with the original hotspot, the name "hotspot" is rather apt; like many of these devices, if you've stowed it in a handy pocket, you'll find it gets warm rather quite quickly. Battery life is stated at the "up to" four hours level, and we averaged around three and a half hours in our tests with multiple connected client devices.

Conclusion

The Elite Mobile Wi-Fi does fix up a lot of the issues that bugged us with the original pre-paid mobile hotspot, especially with the new display, and it does also offer speeds that the other networks can't match.

There are issues present within Telstra's current data pricing and with many more phones now supporting ad-hoc hotspot modes, including the iPhone 4, there's perhaps less call for the device. If you want to swap networks around or use a post-paid Telstra SIM, we'd still advocate for Netcomm's excellent MyZone product, but if you want the fastest available Wi-Fi hotspot on the Australian marketplace today, this is clearly it.

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johnrus posted a comment   
Philippines

The Good:fast

The Bad:cannot connect and acivate the WPS

How can I get connected my Telstra elite here in the Philippines?

 

slotty01 posted a comment   

i LIVE IN pHILIPPINES, AND UNLOCKED MY tELSTRA ELITE MP60 while in Melbourne, to use here, but it not accept my password on Globe or Smart, any ideas?

 

davieboy posted a comment   

having a lot of trouble with this for weeks now,my internet page flickering eevery 5 to 19 minutes and i either have to close the page or reboot to get it all working again

IT Farmer
1
Rating
 

"data eater"

IT Farmer posted a review   
Australia

The Good:very little

The Bad:it gobbles data, leave it on and it will use a gig a day, cannot be used by usb

x

LeanneJ Facebook
1
Rating
 

"Customer service sucks"

LeanneJ posted a review   

The Good:Great for picking up signal in low signal areas if you can figure out a way to charge battery

The Bad:cheap soldering job on the connection

The connection which you need to recharge the battery is very flimsy, my son has had 2 which broke within 3 months

elite52
2
Rating
 

"Terrible! Not worth for the money!"

elite52 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:small and carrible.

The Bad:highly expensive. Have no idea how they caculate the usage. Something is wrong.

I got it less than one month. It is terrible. It is a money-eating modem. 5GB of usage gone within 5 days, another 3GB of usage gone within 3 days, and all I I did is just browsing. Very disappointing. Total fail. When I call them to express my frustration and make a complaint, they just put me on hold forever!!! Waste me more money!!!

 

AdamB3 posted a comment   
Australia

i glad the telstra doesn't stand behide it's products because this piece of beep beep drops off i and i sitting 500 metre away from the tower and make me more mad the unit is about 30 cents away from laptop and away telstra thxs for the beep

 

AdamB3 posted a comment   
Australia

hi all i brought in yesterday charged it up used it most of the day i had some drop outs but this is the price you paid the one thing i did see wrong was it got very hot to fixed this i in case in size steel box used heatshick pasted and all a small fan to it now it may look augly but its running cool

 

Joe_Trojan posted a comment   
Australia

Works great at night when no-one else is using it but during any reasonable hour it is very slow and unreliable. For the money it is extremely expensive for what you get, that is, $150 for 10GB with a slow, inconsistent and unreliable connection, well below advertised and I'm quite confident outside the scope of the user contract. Typical speedtest.net results at around Noon and 1pm is: ping 120ms, download speed 120Mbps, upload speed 1.08Mbps. I have raised the problems with Telstra, will see what happens

JackieM1 Facebook
9
Rating
 

"Good value for money - good Wi-Fi hotspot."

JackieM1 posted a review   

The Good:Small, simple to use and reliable coverage.

The Bad:Wouldn't mind $150 giving me 150 GB!!

It does exactly what we brought it to do - allow us to have internet connection away from home with the laptop, iPod, iPad and at home when the ADSL2 drops out. Very happy with it and recommend it to others. No problems with speed slowing down after recharging it with $150 for 10GB and nothing has broken.


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User Reviews / Comments  Telstra Elite Mobile Wi-Fi

  • johnrus

    johnrus

    "How can I get connected my Telstra elite here in the Philippines?"

  • slotty01

    slotty01

    "i LIVE IN pHILIPPINES, AND UNLOCKED MY tELSTRA ELITE MP60 while in Melbourne, to use here, but it not accept my password on Globe or Smart, any ideas?"

  • davieboy

    davieboy

    "having a lot of trouble with this for weeks now,my internet page flickering eevery 5 to 19 minutes and i either have to close the page or reboot to get it all working again"

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