18 January 2012

Wireless Broadband Can Be 50 Times More Expensive Than ADSL

In rural and regional Australia many people can't get DSL thru the phone line. I won't go into why right now. Their broadband options are satellite, wireless or the NBN. If you exclude the last two because of unavailability or cost of infrastructure they are left with pre or post paid wireless broadband. I have not tested or seen 4G wireless yet but only 3G in my area. The smaller providers are using the Optus network with lower signal strength than Optus and the service is unusable for many country people. I have been told that both Optus and Telstra are being transmitted from the same towers. The fact is the Telstra signal is stronger and customers are more likely to be able to connect in my area of Northern Tasmania to the Telstra network.
TESTING Download speed is pathetic compared to ADSL2. I measure around 3Mb/second for 3G wireless and 15Mb/second for DSL
COST Cost is absolutely outrageous compared to DSL. Telstra pre and post paid charges are identical. For $20 you pay 8 cents per megabyte. Compare that to 0.16 cents per megabyte on the $79.95 Bigpond Liberty plan. Its 50 times more expensive! If you hand-over $150 to Telstra you end-up paying 1.47 cents per megabyte. This is 9 times more expensive than DSL for data.
CONCLUSION With smartphones and iPads it's all about DATA. How can Telstra justify charging 5 times more for wireless data on a $20 plan than on a $150 plan for exactly the same service? Its possible wireless broadband is just a short term cash grab before the smartphone novelty wears off. Mobile broadband is not a competitor to the NBN but it has been pitched as a competitor to DSL for home use. If you have a big bank balance and don't mind getting fleeced then go for it.

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