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Networking

3's wire-free USB

3 Mobile's HSDPA broadband modems have shrugged off the shackles of a wired connection and been given a sleek-looking makeover in the process.

Going wireless is all the rage, ditching your wired connections is part of reaching the elusive tech nirvana; even when the wire in question is all of 5cm in length.

3 Mobile has released a new model of USB HSDPA broadband modem, with a view to replacing the current "soap-on-a-rope" style USB dongles. While these new models are smaller and without a connecting cable, there's no suggestion by 3 in its announcement that the new modems are designed to provide better range or performance on its network. 3 is advertising that a range-extending antenna is available to use with the new modem to assist customers struggling to achieve decent reception.

The HSDPA modems are designed to take advantage of 3's 3.6Mbps HSDPA network speeds, though these modems will be capable of receiving data up to 7.2Mbps once 3 has finished upgrading its network.

The USB modems are available for AU$10 a month when customers sign up to a 24-month data plan, with the cheapest plan costing a further AU$15 per month. Customers running either Windows or Mac OS X on their PCs are able to use these modems and can choose between a matte black or glossy white finish.

Check back soon for a full review of the new release modem from 3 Mobile including a side-by-side performance comparison with the original model.

If you use the original 3 Mobile broadband modem let us know about your experiences in the talk-back section below, or leave us a message in the forums.