High-speed mobile broadband has arrived! We compare Telstra's BigPond Wireless Next G service, Vodafone's HSDPA-enhanced 3G network and 3's new NetConnect ExpressCard.
At first it was enough just to remain online while you were on the road. But the joy of go-anywhere convenience came with a caveat: even 3G failed to match the speed of the cheapest and slowest home ADSL line.
Now wireless broadband has hit its stride, with the mobile carriers leading their super-charged networks in a new race for the road warrior's business. Telstra and Vodafone are first off the starter's line, with real-world speeds that bend the needle past 1Mbps, while 3's new NetConnect card prepares the way for an even faster network upgrade.
It sprints along on 3's current 3G network and will kick into overdrive following the 3.6Mbps HSDPA network overhaul, and slips into notebook ExpessCard and PC Card slots. Top that off with exceptional pricing plans and 3's new NetConnect mobile broadband card is almost a no-brainer.
Fancy a 1.3Mbps broadband pipeline direct to your notebook, without a cable in sight? The new BigPond wireless data card makes good on Telstra's lofty promises for its Next G network.
Vodafone's enhanced notebook PC Card delivers what the mobile telco calls 'business class 3G broadband' -- but until more of the 3G network is upgraded with HSDPA, most users will remain stuck in economy seats.