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Networking

Telstra to launch outage-friendly modem and user-friendly Gateway

Forget network problems -- Telstra will launch a hybrid mobile and fixed-line modem in early 2017, to help outage-proof your home internet. Its home gateway is also getting a revamp, for faster speeds and a stronger signal.

Telstra's new home gateway modem/router, the Gateway Max 2.

Anthony Evans/Telstra

Telstra doesn't want you to live in fear of outages. So much so, it's announced the upcoming launch of a new hybrid modem that will merge both mobile and fixed line connection technology "for a more continuous connection at home."

The Telstra Frontier Gateway is set to launch in "early 2017" and will allow customers to connect to the Telstra network straight out of the box, even if they've just moved house and are waiting for a fixed line connection to be activated.

But more importantly, while we're not anticipating any high-profile Telstra outages on its network any time soon, the Frontier Gateway will keep your home connection running, even if Telstra's fixed network goes down.

That's thanks to a 4G SIM, built into the Frontier Gateway. The pre-activated Telstra SIM will auto-register as soon as the device powers up, and if your fixed-line connection at home drops out, the Gateway will connect to the mobile network to keep your Internet connection up and running. It will also offer four times the speeds of current gateway devices.

There are plenty of modems on the market that feature a SIM slot so you can DIY your own hybrid connection. But you'll still need to jump through a few hoops to set up these devices (configuring router settings, organising a SIM plan). Telstra is no doubt hoping its Frontier will be the plug-and-play option for the mainstream.

Wi-Fi...to the max

While the Frontier isn't launching until 2017, Telstra is launching the next generation of its Home Gateway modem/router next month: the creatively named Gateway Max 2.

Another plug-and-play device for those that want to stay inside the Telstra ecosystem, the Gateway Max 2 promises a stronger signal and faster speeds, with added features to make it easy to connect devices:

  • Supports up to 35 simultaneously connected devices
  • Dual band 4x4 802.11ac Wi-Fi and MU-MIMO
  • 2 x 3.0 fast USB ports, 1 x DSL port
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (GE) WAN port
  • 4 x Gigabit Ethernet (GE) LAN Ports
  • Telstra Air compatible
  • One button pairing for Wi-Fi devices, plus NFC pairing for Android handsets
  • Compatible with ADSL and NBN (FTTN/B , FTTP)

The Gateway Max 2 will be available from September for AU$264 outright, AU$96 as an upgrade for new home broadband customers or $11 per month on a 24 month contract.