Of all the complaints about the current state of broadband access in Australia, two stand out: Firstly that our fixed-line access isn't fast enough, and secondly, our mobile broadband costs too much.
Vodafone is taking the first steps to try and change this with a new product offering, the Huawei Wi-Fi Cube 4G and a new set of data plans for the device.
The Cube (which is actually not a Cube, given its dimensions of 110 x 70 x 70mm) is a essentially home 4G hotspot, albeit one that that needs to be plugged into an outlet. Once up and running it can connect 32 different devices with a range of around 200m.
We've contacted Vodafone to clarify if the Cube is a 802.11ac device and we'll update when the company responds. We do know that's a Category 4 LTE device, so its (very) theoretical top speed is 150Mbps.
In terms of plans, the top tier offering is AU$90 a month on a 24-month contract. For that you get 25GB per month with no additional device repayments. Total minimum cost for the life of the plan is AU$2,160. For the same plan on a 12-month contract, you'll pay an additional AU$5 a month for the Cube, with a total cost of AU$1,140.
Plans kick off with just 2.5GB of data, moving to 4GB, 8GB, 12GB and the aforementioned 25GB king of the hill. You can also purchase the device outright for AU$159 and then use a pre-paid data SIM as required.
Updated 3:50 p.m. AEST: Vodafone has confirmed that the Cube only supports 802.11b/g/n in 2.4GHz.