01 Sep 2010
By Richard Fink

Ultimate modem breaks new speed barrier


Anyone who works out of the office will know how important mobile broadband has become. Being able to send email, access the net and update databases on the go has made managing workloads and staying connected with customers that little bit easier and faster.

This week we launch a new generation of mobile broadband product that’s set to make working outside the office even easier. It’s called the Telstra Ultimate™ USB Modem and it’s the fastest commercial 3G device of its type in the world.

Telstra Ultimate USB powers Sky News election coverage

View this video on YouTube: Telstra Ultimate USB powers Sky News election coverage

Since December ‘09 we’ve been busy deploying higher-speed capability into our Next G™ network. Now, with the introduction of the new Ultimate USB Modem, customers can access typical download speeds ranging from 1.1Mbps to 20Mbps across all capital city CBDs and associated airports, selected metropolitan areas and in more than 100 regional locations*.

Telstra Ultimate™ USB modem test drive video

View this video on YouTube: Telstra Ultimate™ USB modem test drive video

Watch Jared King, Technical Specialist in Telstra’s Wireless Network Engineering team, test the Telstra Ultimate™ USB Modem at some of Melbourne’s most popular locations.

We think faster speeds will mean greater flexibility for mobile workers and the new Telstra Ultimate™ USB Modem provides the speeds needed to handle large files, multitask and update cloud-hosted applications effortlessly on the go when in coverage areas.

Telstra Ultimate™ USB modemThese high-speed coverage zones cover approximately 50 per cent of the Australian population and match the areas of highest customer demand. In other metropolitan and regional areas, the Telstra Ultimate™ USB Modem offers typical download speeds ranging from 550kbps up to 8Mbps, which is still significantly faster than Telstra’s mobile broadband competitors.

The Telstra Ultimate™ USB is the world’s first commercial USB modem to use a new generation of mobile broadband technology called dual channel HSPA+ which sends and receives wireless data using two channels simultaneously.

The modem and enabling network technology was developed in collaboration with leading technology companies Ericsson, Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless.

Two thousand devices have launched this week for Telstra business customers, before the widespread launch of the Ultimate USB Modem later this year.

Pricing and availability for business customers
The Telstra Ultimate™ USB can be purchased in conjunction with a range of mobile broadband plans including for $0 upfront with a $69 plan over 24 months (minimum total cost $1,656) or, from 5 October, outright for $299. It is available from 25 August through Telstra Business and Telstra Enterprise & Government account managers.

For more information visit:
* Capital CBD’s means within 5km from the GPO in each capital city. Outside the selected areas, the remaining metropolitan areas of all capitals cities and many other regional and rural locations support typical download speeds from 550kbps to 8Mbps, and elsewhere typical speeds are from 550kbps to 3Mbps. Actual speeds vary due to factors such as distance from the base station, local conditions, user numbers, hardware and software configuration, download source and other factors. See Telstra for details of locations.

Let us know what you think of this world-first device. Do you think the faster speeds would be useful?


Posts: 20


  1. Lyndon says:

    I have the same story as Joe – bought the Ultimate device under the impression that it would be fast and stable. First few days within the CBD was fine, fast and reliable. A couple of weeks in it’s slowed down to a snails pace and the dropouts throughout the day are unbearable since then.

    As a business user I cannot afford the downtime or lack of bandwidth and think Telstra either need to resolve these issues ASAP or stop talking up this new device because it will only lead to disappointment and angst amongst customers.

    Calling the support numbers is a total waste of time – how many times do you need to be told to restart your PC before they accept that it’s the Telstra network at fault!

  2. Bob Buick says:

    I’ve spent 2 days trying to get mine to connect on debian sid, but kppp crashes with:

    Dec 3 15:14:02 mainbox pppd[7839]: The remote system is required to authenticate itself
    Dec 3 15:14:02 mainbox pppd[7839]: but I couldn’t find any suitable secret (password) for it to use to do so.
    Dec 3 15:14:02 mainbox pppd[7839]: (None of the available passwords would let it use an IP address.)

    Is there a fix for my problem, or do I have to return it and go to Optus?

  3. joe says:

    Not hapi-2 to VERY HAPPY!! Mid last month I wrote a blog stating I was unhappy with my new device, I can now give you an update on my experiences, as it was a tower network fault letting me down an not the device itself!!! A very special thank you to those guys who come to my calls for help, and fixing the issue within hours of my blog after days of frustration. OK facts…. Now I have had the time to really cane my device I can now report of the benefits the NEW ULTIMATE USB brings to its customers! After continuous long hours of use I can happily say I LOVE IT …. Even in bad weather I had exceptional serves and speeds are truly overwhelming, it really is a 5star device in my view!!! If you’re thinking of buying the new ULTIMATE USB for yourself or somebody else for Xmas GO FOR IT. It’s really is worth it.

    Special thanks again to, Brendon, Richrard all those who showed interest in my issues!!

    • Hi Joe. You are very welcome. Good to hear the Ultimate USB now exceeds your expectations. Brendan

    • Neil says:

      I am having exactly the same problem in Margate, Tasmania, have been contacting technical help regularly since October and despite being escalated to level 3 status three times, nothing has been done except testing to say there is no fault in the system. From ~ 4.30PM to 10 30PM we can hardly connect in our area whatever wireless device we use – there is definitely not enough bandwidth in the local towers but no one seems prepared to admit to it or fix it! In quiet times we can download at speeds up to 2MB/Sec but during peak times it is between 2Kb/Sec and 50 Kb/Sec and often drops out or we simply cannot connect. I have been promised people will be in touch within two days on several occasions and weeks later still no-one!
      Whilst everyone I have spoken to has been understanding and promised help, I am very disappointed with the service that I am actually getting – surely someone can look at the towers in question and see how they are coping during these peak times and see they are not up to scratch! Now school holidays are here, it is getting worse during the day time too.
      I am paying for an internet connection I cannot access most of the times I need to, which is out of hours so I can get on with my business work during the day!
      Help with this would be appreciated.

  4. Stuart says:

    Hi All

    PC is a Desk Top { With very high end specs for gaming}

    Currently using Maxon BP 3 – EXT with External Antenna 6 db pole mounted but limited to 5 M away from Modem due to Maxons pre terminated cable.

    Should also mention : Back up is Satellite due to reliability issues of 3G in the area

    Applications are: Wow, EQ, legal sites , general surfing

    Location: Lockyer waters/Gatton QLD { Mobile alternates between no service to 1 bars}

    Is the new Modem and its packages better then my current installation?



  5. Bob Buick says:

    A few days after my last post, I received an excellent set of e-mailed instructions from Sierra technical help. They offered a choice of three easy ways of connecting. As I’d made my system untidy by messing about for days, I did a re-install with Kubuntu 10.10 and was online within a few minutes. This is a great device and I’ve been running this reasonably-priced wireless connection at ADSL2 speeds ever since.
    I can’t understand why Telstra doesn’t offer a simple page of instructions for Linux users on their web-site. It would cost them B.A. to do and they could even disclaim responsibility if we have problems.
    Who needs the NBN!

  6. marko says:

    Hi i signed up to a 24 month plan with the new Telstra ultimate mobile broadband yesterday. Is there any cooling off period? i was under the impression there is a 10 day cooling off period for any contractual obligations? I too was told about fast speeds up here in Springbrook Gold Coast Hinterland but have yet to get faster that 6kb/s. I have satellite internat also but wanted a backup in case of regular power outages in my area. Dont leave it 8 days for a reply lol.

  7. mark says:

    Hi i also bought the ultimate usb modem and signed up on a contract at $90pm expecting decent speeds with it on the next g the 3 months or so i have had this modem i have had speeds of up to 17MBPS usually around 6-8Mbps download and 256k upload.the problem is constant dropouts or speed slowing continually through the day (any time) i have contacted telstra a million times about this and have also gone through the bs of restarting,modem ,pc ,adjusting settings everything else they have had me do on so many has been escalated twice with no response back from anyone and i still have this issue,i am using apple mac all latest updates,a 12dbd yagi antenna pointing at the comms tower 500 meters behind my house.when will telstra admit they dont have the bandwidth to make this a stable service.getting very peed off

    • Les says:

      Hi Mark, I can tall you my experiences with the bandwith issue. Late November 2010 I was contacted by a very nice understanding technician and during a 4 weeks period have had contact on a weekly basis. He got a $20 000 grant to update the transmitter in our small town. After the update it was working like never before. Regularly reaching 1.8 2.5 MB downloads and 250 mbps uploads. He reminded me that in the near future it will be necessary more upgrades, because more and more people use the service and the bendwith will fall. So as of now it really went downhill and frequently we have 35mbps down and 0.8 upload speeds. I sent an email to the support and ever since I have been asked to give my name, email address, phone number, location, modem number, pc specs and so and so. I have in my contact letter identified all of the above. They still asking. So I just gave up because it is pointless to have useless correspondence when the problem is clear as water. NOT ENOUGH BANDWITH!!!!
      Cheers Mark,
      Les Kovacs

  8. Jill says:

    I have the Bigpond elite USB mobile broadband. There are some places that I travel where I could do with a patch lead to fit onto my external aerial. I use this aerial for my mobile phone but that patch lead does not fit the elite. Can I purchase a patch lead please

  9. Neil Laughlin says:

    I was pleased to get a response from Brendan on the problems I had with my wireless connection: the upshot was that the service person finally admitted there was not enough bandwidth in my area for the peak times and although the towers were down to be upgraded, there was no time frame for it to happen. I am doing something I don’t know many people are are aware is possible – I have cancelled my wireless broadband completely and now use my mobile phone as a high speed modem – in good times I get 2meg/sec speeds, and in bad, there are less drop outs than the wireless modem I was using. I have upgraded the download allowance for the phone and have broadband wherever I go without the added expense of another modem and broadband plan! I don’t think many people are aware that this can be done, and the mobile still works like a phone when hooked up… a good solution for my circumstances!

  10. Kirsty says:

    Hi there, I live in Margate and am currently suffering a satellite broadband connection which is too slow for me to work from home on. On average get about 3 MBPS on Satellite on a good day but am paying $95/month for it.
    Have previously had an Elite mobile broadband card which was only getting dial up speeds in the end. I’ve seen the new Ultimate cards and am wondering if I’m being stupid by thinking it might be better than my satellite connection?
    Neil Laughlin:I’d be interested to know what part of Margate you are in so I know whether to bother trying?

  11. Neil Laughlin says:

    Hi Kirsty,
    I am at the end of Old Bernies Road and have been through the satellite, wireless, etc and been totally frustrated with the lot!
    My thinking (I am prepared to stand corrected here) is that the device is only as good as the supply system to and from that device, and the tecnical people I have dealt with have finally admitted that the towers around here are simply not able to cope with the through traffic at peak times. I suspect there are some people in the area who are heavy users in gaming mode or something, because the service is generally quite fast during the day in non – school holiday times and then very unreliable and slow from ~4.30 to ~10.30 pm.
    I suspect that unless the system somehow gives priority to signals from the \Ultimate\ cards, you will never approach the potential speed of the device.
    My last device was the elite wireless broadband system and that worked well outside peak times but was useless and very frustrating evenings to the point where my son who studies medicine had to stay in town and use Uni computers when he needed internet to study.
    Since he moved out I have ditched everything, cancelled my account and upped my mobile phone plan. I now use the mobile as my modem and plug it into my pc or lap top when I want broadband. It gives me up to 3MB/sec at good times and is more reliable than the elite wireless setup was. I don’t think there is anything that a dedicated Ultimate modem can do that the phone can’t in this area. It is very handy and transportable – I use it whenever I go away to the mainland as well as at home and around town and I am not doubling up with paying for a plan on my mobile and a separate one for home.
    I would be interested in Brendan’s comment here – I use a Nokia 6720C and was told it would only do speeds up to 480Kb/sec, but it does at least 3Mb/sec on C-net’s test site.
    I would suggest you approach Telstra for a trial period with the device, stating the known issues in the area and see what they are prepared to offer.
    You are welcome to discuss this issue further with me any time. I am in the phone book under N Laughlin Old Bernies Road.

    • Neil Laughlin says:

      It is now December 2011 and I have been putting up with sub standard performance from the 3G network in my area of Margate for well over 12 months – it is now almost impossible to get any continuously connected period of internet usage during work hours and up to 10.00pm. Often I connect only to be disconnected within 30 secs or so. I have been patient, knowing the existing towers are not coping and will eventually be upgraded but it is now getting beyond a joke! The other day for a few brief moments I was getting download speeds over 3Mb/sec only to be followed by an extended period when I could not connect for more than seconds at a time.
      Come on Telstra, where do we go from here? No point spending money on an “Ultimate” device until the network is capable of delivering!!

    • Guy Schulmeister says:

      Hi Neil,

      I am also at margate and have been putting up with very slow performance from about 7:00pm at night with dropouts. I have the Bigpond Ultimate modem with an external antenna and even with this I still get dropouts and slow performance. I did have a moment last week where I connected with full speed for a few minutes, and then back to dismal. Any assistance or tips would be appreciated as well.


  12. Joedy Frape says:

    I currently have over 80 nextG devices within our company that I manage, Telstra nextG would have to be the most unstable useless network that I have seen. an example would be not being able to get a stable connection in Melbourne ariport at 1pm on a weekday, Brisbane airport the same thing but change to the edge (2G ) network and can get a connection. We have these connections for mobilitiy but they are a real let down, I think the wireless design team needs to travel and use the devices so they can see that it’s not working. I heard that 4G is coming but you can’t get 3G working properly why would anyone go 4G?

    I have spoken to my account exec and telstra support with nothing done, most of the towers either need upgrading or the power turned on, this is supposed to be state of the art network but I am yet to see this and we have connections right across australia in every state.


    • Brendan O'Keefe [T-EX Community Engagement Manager] says:

      Hi Joedy. Would you like me to look into this for you? If so please use this online form to send me your account and contact number.

    • Neil Laughlin says:

      Hi Joedy,
      Having recently stayed in the Melbourne CBD using the 3G network, I have to agree that the service is disapointing there too; I thought that coming from rural Tasmania to Melbourne I would see a remarkable improvement, but still suffered drop outs on a regular basis. Unfortunately, I believe the Telstra system is just not coping with the throughput it is experiencing and I don’t think anyone else is doing it any better! The concept is a fabulous one for mobile business activities and is being spoiled by inadequate facilities that urgently need upgrading all over the country by the look of things and it is up to as many of us as possible to put the pressure on to facilitate change…

  13. mark wray says:

    Hi all ive had the ultimate device now for nearly 5 months and because of constant inconsistent connections been sent my 3rd ultimate modem as telstra refuses to believe it is there system at fault.i have made numerous complaints and as i only have mobile phone(to expensive for land line connection)im now somewhere in the vicinity of $350 over my unlimited mobile plan as telstra 13 number and the case managers 1800 number are charged at premium less then 500 meters from the telstra tower and in the first month got told i will need a external antenna,even after explaining that even with a constant signal my connection was either dropping out or super slow,then super fast.with no change in signal.anyway after id say at least 15 hours on the phone trying to resolve this i was told my tower has been upgraded which i know it has they extended the height but still only signal strength of 2 antenna plugged in as 1 techpert from telstra told me i wont need it.hmmm?anyway been wating a week now for my case manager to contact me with the next step we take in solving the problem but guess what?no calls as usuall so ill have to call them again get put on hold for 20 mins before being wrongly directed through 4 different reps all asking the same questions until i finally get to talk who i was intending to call in the first place at nearly 90 cents per minute.i agree with the other post about 4g network and i too have told telstra no point until they get 3g working first.they refuse to believe there system cant handle the bandwidth needed.cmon telstra or someone will get so pissed off they will start a class action against your inept company.

    • Brendan O'Keefe [T-EX Community Engagement Manager] says:

      Good morning Mark. I’ve asked for your case manager to call you as soon as possible with an update. Brendan

    • Marko says:

      Mark have a look here…
      Before i had a signal strength of -110Db, i plug in my external antenna with the 15m lead which i mounted on my roof and now i get -68Db. The antenna and patch lead was $180 not cheap but it really works.
      Before 6kb/s now 300kb/s, hope this help.

  14. mark wray says:

    Hi Brendan thanks for that i also had a call last week from someone in the complaints dept saying that peter was out of his office and she was leaving him an email also to contact me asap.Brendan i still havnt heard from usual i have to call them again skyrocketing my mobile phone bill.And Marko thanks for your reply also but i have a 12 dbd yagi already and yes it does give me 5 bars of signal strength but i still get drop outs or slow speeds,when the system is working properly i can get great results with just 2 bars of signal so its not a signal problem.although after watching them raise the tower height during a recent upgrade i question its efficency as i said im about 500 meters from the comms tower with only trees in between my location and the tower.yet with no antenna i only get 2 bars of signal.i got told by the techspurt joe from telstra that im in direct line with 2 other towers,surely i shouldnt need an external antenna this close to the tower.but again i state 2 bars or 5 when it works its great just so damn unreliable

  15. Les Kovacs says:

    Hi Brendan,
    In the past we have had email exchange and you have successfully managed to arrange the upgrade of BRAIDWOOD transmitter, Ivan, the technician, contacted me several times and all was good for a few months. Now not so good. Ivan indicated that in the future it will be necessery to have more “upgrade” which improves BANDWIDTH.
    Telstra has been bagged so many times and the general picture is a monolithic company with little care about improving sercice for the customers. Not exactly true but a lot of frustration generates this picture.
    So my question is will it be improvement in general for all transmitters in country area such as BRAIDWOOD or we have to be frustrated for ever? I can not even get ADSL!

  16. bsidey says:

    Same story here in Newcastle NSW. I bought 2 Ultimate devices for my business in January 2011. Speed was great for a while but since March there have been many dropouts (100% signal strength) and tonight I was unable to log on – again!
    I have complained to Telstra and I was told to go back to the store where I purchased. Sorry I bought these things. Thankfully I am able to log on using my prepaid mobile.

  17. Justin Barraud says:

    Checked the coverage maps and I’m in the up to 20mbps zone (dark blue) go and buy a ultimate and put up a yagi antenna and get consistent speeds of 17-20mbps. Around the 4th May speeds drop dramatically to around 3-5mbps, still have 5 bars signal.Go and check the coverage maps and now I’m not in a dark blue zone. Can you shed some light on this?

  18. mark.t says:

    This is the second time i have tried to leave a post,only to have it completely wiped out due to connection problems with telstra,so i’ll try not to waist my time again and make this short.My ultimate usb is increadibly slow.External antenna’s make no improvement,i’ve tried two of these.Telstra will not call or email,it has been 2 weeks since my first complaint.I am not getting my money’s worth.They should call it the City only usb.

  19. Anthony says:

    I half like my card and half get frustrated to hell. I’m based in North Sydney, and before about 11am and after about 3pm it works beautifully. However between these I regularly and frequently lose internet connectivity, even though the NextG app on my PC happily tells me it has five bars and and is connected to the network. My working theory (and I’m not a techie) is that I am connected to the Next G mobile network, but as soon as the network gets busy during peak periods it drops off the connection to the internet. I have a colleague with the same device and he has the same problem. Drives us nuts.

    • Anthony says:

      I’ve been able to get some improvement by uninstalling and reinstalling the Telstra NextG Mobile Broadband Manager program on my PC. It doesn’t seem to drop out nearly as much now, although it’s still not nearly the sort of performance I had hoped for. If you do uninstall and reinstall make sure you have your account id and password handy though!

  20. Greg says:

    Hi ,
    Like most stories here we did some research and found out the the ultimate modem was the going to give us great speeds. We have ADSL but are so far from the exchange we only get 1M . THe USB ultimate modem was hopefully going to give us more than that. We are on StKilda rd in Melbourne with towers everywhere. Plug the modem in and things look good only to find throughput peaks and drops in waves. Call the help desk and 30 frustrating minutes and 3 reboots later the support person tells me there is a 3G problem in Melbourne affecting everyone and she couldn’t log my problem because the system will reject it. I ask when they except the problem to be fixed and was told that since the problem has been going on from 22 July they have no timeframe for the fix. Firstly why didn’t the sales person who we spoke to before signing up tell us about the existing problem and when is the system likely to be fixed.

  21. Sean says:

    I have this modem for personal use and it clocked 25.1 mbps and the second test was 21.6 mbps in the Brisbane CBD that is four times faster and when i did the test the dial nearly wand off the dial and it’s to do with the 4g lte testing in Brisbane CBD in the middle of Brisbane’s Myer Centre Food court that was full of people on a Saturday afternoon and to anyone who has this modem try it out in the CBD areas that are getting tested for 4g lte and if you look at the cell phone antenna’s the 4g 1800 mhz are a square antenna and you will know that you will get the speed from the next g 850 mhz because it is piggy back off the 4g lte fiber optic lines to the tower and that was told by telstra staff in there t life shops. It’s the fastest speed that i have ever got on the next g network and telstra next g will keep the 2100 mhz for data only and the modem will use the 850 mhz if it can’t get the 2100 mhz signal if out of range

  22. mark.t says:

    I’ve just completed a speed test with my Ultimate usb.My computer downloads .009mb/s,it took about 10 min to complete the test. And Telstra can’t solve this problem ? Pathetic.

    • Bob Buick says:

      Good luck! I’ve re-activated an old “3″ usb wireless modem today to get on line. My Sierra (Telstra) 312U was running fine until last night, but the best I can get from it today varies from 0 to almost 100 bps download. Kilobytes I can only dream about! I tried a speed test, but got tired of waiting after 20 minutes. I run debian sid, so know enough to be sure that the problem’s not at this end.
      By the way, “3″ is giving me 913 kbps down and 298 kbps up this afternoon, which is fine for modest use.

  23. Brett Hutchinson says:

    I have recently bought sierra 4g wireless which worked well when first installed .I now have to turn computer on several times before device can be detected the signal strength islow to none at all. I’m in country WA we have a telstra tower in the area and can see it fromthe house. Will buying a expensive external antenna fix the problem

  24. glen doreian says:

    Brendan, I too have an Ultimate usb modem, and it to is now runnig lower than dialup speed which is pathetic, as l purchased it for $300 in the understanding that it would provide me with fast reliable connection, l have had anything but!!
    I await your reply
    Glen Doreian.

  25. Darryl Edwards says:

    I live in Wannanup 6210 and use a telstra elite modem which performed reasonably well initially.
    Now I am experiencing very slow speeds and periods of no connection.
    Can you find out if there is a problem with the Telstra tower in my area because if this situation is going to be the norm then I must seek an alternative internet connection.

  26. Grant says:

    I have recently purchased an Ultimate modem which is very disappointing to put it mildly. I live on the Sunshine Coast(CBD)& I am also experiencing extremely slow speeds as well as long periods of no connection.Pretty disgraceful in a suburban(CBD) area. I rely heavily on my internet connection & if Telstra cannot find any solution to this problem , I will have to change my network provider.Ringing Telstra for any assistance is next to useless as it’s extremely difficult to understand the Telstra employee’s with foreign accents.I would appreciate your assistance in this matter as I am becoming extremely annoyed! Regards-Grant

  27. Grant Schindler says:

    This matter is still far from being resolved & I have still not received a return call from the case manager.Still snail pace internet speeds & quite often nothing at all. All that seems to be happening is my data is getting wasted away every time I reboot & try to get online again & again!Will I assume that nothing further is going to be done & this complaint has been tossed into the too hard basket & forgotten about?? It would be nice to receive a reply inside 24 hours as I’ve been awaiting a return call from a “Case- Manager” since 12.30pm on Wednesday 7th December, absolute rudeness! Disgusted-Grant

  28. Les Kovacs says:

    Hi All Sufferers of slow connection, This problem will not be solved because we all have very narrow bandwidth. Not enough carry the multiple of connections. Telstra is not going to fix it because your hard earned $$$ diverted by the Feds to install dinosaurus technology in the form of National Broadband. It wan’t go to all places because the fiber optic cables are a nuicance/expensive to lay down for hundreds of kms for \remote\ communities. So it might sound cynical but what you have is what you get. We all would expect from Telstra to provide world class service but we are far from it yet.Brendan is in a tight spot because it is not his fault.

    • Darryl Edwards says:

      So very true, Les. I have just signed up for an ADSL connection (not Telstra). This modem was a complete waste of money. As a matter of interest I am sending this reply on my iPhone on Telstra 3G as my modem will not connect at this time. What network does the modem connect to??
      If anyone is thinking of getting this modem as their primary source of surfing than my advice is don’t waste your money.

  29. Joedy says:


    Telstra is not going to fix it because your hard earned $$$ diverted by the Feds to install dinosaurs technology in the form of National Broadband

    What do you base your fact on?

    How does the NBN co have any effect on Telstra not upgrading the next G towers when in fact the spectrum is over utilized that’s why 4G is coming out?

    Telstra is not government owned so the Feds as you put it does not have any say where the $$$$$ goes.

    Fibre is the better way to go and it will be a major benefit for business and residential, I have really bad home adsl and it’s the copper line and pits flooding so the only hope I have is the NBN co and that fibre. at least when it’s completed all the copper line will be of no use and Telstra can put all the time, attention and work into fixing the towers and bandwidth for mobile and remote users. They will need to as they will be losing a lot of money from phone line rental and home phone as everyone goes Voip

    Hate people with useless information

  30. Darryl Edwards says:

    So very true, Les. Took me 5 minutes for the modem loaded this page. I have just signed up for a ADSL connection and will throw this modem in the rubbish bin.
    Any-one thinking of buying one for their primary means of surfing then I would say don’t waste your money.
    I feel sorry for Brendon having to make excuses to us.

  31. Neil Laughlin says:

    Hi Les you have hit the nail on the head; my experiences bear this out, super fast in quiet times, very slow and unreliable in peak time (which is most of the day during school holidays!). Brendan does all he can I am sure but I think it is important that we keep the pressure on from our end in the slim hope that something will eventually be done. The faults people must know what is going on but I guess they are trained to ignore the truth and make us jump through all the testing hoops and buying pointless aerials…I think it is our job to make this problem known in the wider community!

  32. mark.t says:

    It’s been well over 6 months since i first complained about my super slow ultimate usb.Brendon,it would be nice if you could help mate,iv’e been waiting for a reply to my problems.Is there any possible way that you can explain why i am having to put up with this pathetic service with a device that is incredibly slow? I live in Altona only 15k from melbourne city.I have a telstra base station only 1.5k from my house.Last time i spoke to Telstra i was told modifications would be carried out at the end of November 2011.Obviously nothing has changed.Telstra has not improved the service in this area. I hope i’m not waisting my time again.Waiting for your reply Brendon.

  33. Neil Laughlin says:

    I have been using my mobile phone for some time now as my only form of modem as I found it was the most reliable method in my rural area. I recently downloaded a movie from bigpond’s unmetered movie site only to find because I am using a mobile I am actually being metered for this usage…how can this be reasonable? If I was using my old less reliable 3g wireless modem I would not be metered, and if I was downloading directly to my mobile on bigpond mobile movies I would not be charged… I don’t know where it says there will be a charge for data if using a mobile phone – all I see is the Green dot and \Unmetered Site\ sign… Very unhappy about this as it is because of the less than satisfactory service that I am forced to used this method in the first place!!!!

  34. Trav says:

    I upgraded to the telstra elite 3 months ago, originally it was great but now the speed is slower than dial up, for a modem that is meant to be one of the best out there it has progressively gotten worst to the point were it is not even worth turning on. If I wasnt locked into a plan I would be changing in a a heartbeat.
    Just a very frustrating experience.

  35. Ali says:

    I live in Geraldton WA and having the same problem with my ultimate modem. It is as slow as dial up and getting slower.
    Very unhappy with telstra.

    • Neil Laughlin says:

      Hi Ali,
      I am strongly of the opinion that the technology and the modems are fine but there is simply not enough bandwidth in the towers and system to cope with the volume of traffic that is being put through in peak times. I am convinced everyone involved at Telstra knows this but are not allowed to publicly admit it as it would mean they know we are being charged for a service which is not able to be provided. I think they either cannot afford to or do not have the resources on the ground to do all the upgrades necessary, and with 4G around the corner they think “what is the point?” I would love to see someone with the resources to set up a class action threatening to claim back the charges for the times service was not provided to an acceptable standard and see what Telstra can achieve then… we are too few voices too quietly complaining; wireless is definitely the way of the future, C’mon Telstra!

  36. Guy says:

    I have the Ultimate modem but I am also having performance and connection issues in Margate. Has there been any progress with getting bandwidth improved, or having the towers checked out?

    My housemate had another Telstra/Bigpond modem and was having the same connection issues.

  37. Murdo says:

    I have this, and i live near Boolarra, Victoria and can barely reach 20Kbs. My friends at school always tell me on how there Skyping and Youtubing all the time, and i can barely load 2 web pages, let alone a video. Telstras map says i should be capable of 550kbs or something, but it seems to do 1/5th of this speed, at the most inconvenient time Mid-night. So on multiple occasions, i have been told to delete my history or select a different network, which doesn’t work. So basically, a person who loves computers like me, cannot live in the country, and i’m barely 2 Minutes out of an area with ADSL 2+! It’s stupid and Telstra or Anyone doesnt seem interested in us people in the country.

    • Danielle Clarke says:

      Hi Murdo, that doesn’t sound right and thanks for letting us know. We really do appreciate all customer feedback because it means we can do something about it. I sit in the social media team and would like to suggest the best way to get through to someone who can help you out by looking into your account and your concerns is to click onto the ‘Ask the Crowd’ or our ’24/7 Facebook page’ (link on the top right hand side of our blog) where you’ll be directly linked to forum and one of our online customer support consultants. Or you can tweet the @Telstra handle – if you use Twitter! The team will get right back to you. The link at the top of the blog site is a new feature we’ve added to make it easier for customers to get directly in touch with a consultant. This is the most efficient way to get someone to look into your issue. Thanks again for getting in touch. Danielle

  38. Murdo says:

    Deleting history & cache, doesn’t do anything, then they run out of solutions and ask about the call and if it resolved my query.

    • Neil Laughlin says:

      Hi Murdo, this is typical of my experiences with help, they make you jump through all sorts of hoops, which is fine in making sure there are no technical reasons for the problem but what it all boils down to in my opinion is lack of bandwidth to cope with peak traffic times in the systems and this means that you can have the fastest and best equipment but it will only work as well as the system it is transmitting and receiving through, a Porsche or Ferrari will only go at the same speed as an old Bedford van down a freeway with a bottleneck at peak traffic times…I strongly believe that they all know it is a problem but don’t want to admit it as in effect we are not getting the service provided to us that we are paying for. I think All service providers have a tiger by the tail and their equipment simply cannot cope in peak times. I reckon I have online game players in my area that take up huge amounts of bandwidth as I can get speeds of over 3mb/sec in off peak and during busy times I suffer constant drop outs and very slow speeds.

  39. Joedy says:

    Danielle Clarke

    Thats great you have facebook and twitter but this is connection issues getting onto the net how do they help? I cannot believe the amount of times I have contacted a technician and been told it’s my computer or modem and spend hours checking and reinstalling everything and nothing works properly. I know they are upgrading all the towers is there a timetable or something that we can monitor to see when our area is being done?

  40. Murdo says:

    Neil Laughlin- You are right, and i wouldn’t be surprised seeing my modem hit the 300Kbs mark, but the problem remains the peak hours. But i still don’t see why they wont admit it? They could potentially make more money by upgrading there towers, but they don’t? Maybe Julia shouldn’t be worried about the NBN giving a small amount of the population, slightly faster speeds (correct me if i’m wrong).

  41. Murdo says:

    Just wanted to say thank you very much to Telstra for resolving this issue. My internet is back up and work @ a constant speed of 200kb/s Very happy person right here! :-)

    • Neil says:

      Hi Murdo,
      This is good news; my service has been absolutely terrible lately a lot of the time… what were they able to do to correct your situation?

  42. Murdo says:

    Well i was told they upgraded the tower’s around here. So i’m guess this meant more Kb/s available through them. This is what i was told. Just if you we’re Curious, I live in the La Trobe valley.

  43. Chris says:

    I have Telstra’s Ultimate Device which I got after being extremely disappointed with Optus internet service. For the first couple of months it was working great and we were finally getting fast speeds and reliability but recently it seems to be getting worse and worse. Despite having full signal strength and the computer clearly being connected to the device, the internet stops working continuously and it is extremely slow most of the time. The website I have spent the most time on is “Internet Explorer cannot show the webpage”. Just to start using the internet we have to connect, disconnect, restart the computer and turn off and turn on the device at which point it is sometimes usable but it still stops working all the time, like when loading a new page. With Optus they apologised because this is a country town and the tower is inadequate so we changed to Telstra. This is not what they promised us.

  44. Neil Laughlin says:

    I have been patient and polite for many years now, but have really come to the end of my tether with the 3G network; It is simply not handling the throughput and I am getting substandard results during work hours regularly in the Hobart area and at my Margate site. I believe I have a very strong case for breaking my contract with Telstra due to their inability to provide anything like the performance they are promising. I have friends with a rival supplier which they have found to be much faster and more reliable, particularly in the Margate area. I have been a strong and loyal supporter of Telstra with my business over the past 30 years but my patience has finally run out…is there anything you can offer me at this last hour to keep me on board? This morning I have struggled to get any coverage at all, while at quiet times I can get a blistering 3mb/sec, so don’t tell me it is a problem with my location or equipment

    • Hi Neil. I’ve asked to get a tech to investigate your area. It would help if you could let me know your postcode please. Brendan

    • Neil Laughlin says:

      Hi Brendan,

      I have not heard anything about the Margate situation yet. The service here is like a bad marriage; one gets totally sick of the poor performance and is ready to leave, then it picks up for a short time and I am drawn back in… at the moment it is very poor and once more I am thinking of leaving!!!! I consider myself a loyal and dedicated Telstra customer but friends and neighbours on Optus are getting far superior performance and I am looking at them and thinking I would prefer a marriage like theirs…
      Could I please have an honest appraisal of the situation in relation to the service here; preferably a visit from a consultant with alternate options to try, with a view to improving the performance here, or an admission that there is not enough headroom in the system and an honest appraisal of when something will be done about it!

      Neil Laughlin

  45. Guy says:

    I am with Neil. I am also at margate and have currently been able to get a stable connection with a rival on prepaid. I have called bigpond knowing that there are issues at margate only for them to say to call and well check out your modem. My modem also gets speeds of over 3 meg so I know my modem is fine. I look forward to seeing what is identified . Post code is 7054.

    • Neil Laughlin says:

      Despite Brendan saying he will have someone look into the situation on several occasions, no one has ever contacted me about this and I am still having the same bandwidth problems but to a greater degree than I was back in 2010!!!!

    • Guy says:

      I was able to get an answer, and they blamed my modem and antenna once again. Sent me a new antenna which I never received, but I received the letter asking if I have improved reception . I have since shifted house to Kingston and enjoying ADSL 2+. Another few days and my contract expires .. I hope they get all of those modems in that area fixed that seem to be broken. Hope you get some results soon Neil, or NBN be there in a few years.

    • Neil Laughlin says:

      I have recently purchased a Nokia 1020 which is 4G compatible I have added a few extra gigs of data to my plan and am using it as my wireless modem hotspot. I have to say that at quiet times I am getting great download speeds (average 6Mb/sec up to 12Mb/sec) and good connectivity. In fact generally I believe the connectivity has improved in the Margate (Tas) area over the past 4 months or so. It still slows to a snail’s pace during peak times which is frustrating, but certainly things have improved!
      Just thought it would be good to provide some positive feedback after whingeing for so many years!!

  46. Les Kovacs says:

    Hi Brendan,
    It was 2 years ago that the Braidwood transmitter was somewhat upgraded. Ivan the technical man did the job after your assistance. Unfortunatly the transmitter in the last 2 weeks so bad that normal broadband speed detectors are not able to detect the speed.It looks as we need urgent help.Please look into this problem. Downloads and uploads are a pain.
    Les Kovacs

  47. Paleoflatus says:

    Telstra’s Sierra modem hasn’t been too bad for me. I’ve had it for about three years and it’s almost as fast as my newer Vodafone PocketWiFi, although not nearly as reliable. It filled a need, as I have a one metre path around my house and Telstra lack the skill to get a wire or a cable past that. Of course, I’m dropping it soon, as it’s pretty expensive for what it offers, it needs to be reset every month and I’m still paying the original price, although the 312U modem has long since been paid off. As I said, it got me on the air, when there wasn’t much else on offer, but those days are long gone.

  48. Les Kovacs says:

    Hi Brendan, It looks as nothing happened since last I have asked you to do something about the minuscule broadband speed in our town, Braidwood.
    Sometime the download speed is 56kb which is old dial up territory.
    Will you be able to do something about it?
    I pay $51/m for a service which is performing in big towns and getting only 1/5-th of the value. How is this fair? Paying for substandard connection subsidising town folk.

    • Az [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Les,

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific information regarding any planned expansion or upgrade work. If you’re having problems with your Telstra services you can report them to our teams on 133 933 or via to arrange for investigation by a technician or escalation to our Network Operations team.

  49. Les Kovacs says:

    Hi Az,
    I have tried to do as you recommended, but the website you have directed me has other functions. You can not just write abut your problems. So with good corporate hedging this method does not work. I know from experience that as a monolithic organisation Telstra does not give a fig about the services used By the subscribers. I will be tossed here and there and at the end somebody will ask me “can I help you with something else”?
    So never the less I ask again. Please fix the band-with problem in Braidwood. The download speed is dismal.
    I am paying for full service and you can not provide it but accept my payment in full. Would you reduce my subscription fee in lieu of lesser service? I think not!

    • Jordan says:

      You are VERY correct about them not giving a fig, but that is nothing new!
      Go to the Obmbudsman or the media (media is more effective than the Ombudsman), cancell your account and seek a full refund! They are NOT providing you with the service which you are paying through the nose for!

  50. Les Kovacs says:

    Hi again Az,
    I suppose my letter on the 21-st of April still did not reach you. As a Telstra Community Manager if I had the job would go and find out about the little people’s problems and as a courtesy would answer to their “niggling” questions about their problems of poor service in their mentioned area, namely Braidwood.
    So I am still hoping to get some positive answer and not the artful answer of hidden refusal.
    Unfortunately this is the only forum left to have some minuscule open communication to your Telstra.

    • Az [Telstra Community Manager] says:

      Hi Les,
      Sorry about that, I did not see your note from the 21st of April. Unfortunately, I am not privy to planned expansion and upgrade works so am unable to give you specific information relating to Braidwood. Have our technical team been able to assist you with your issues?

      In terms of communicating with us, there’s a few other ways to get in touch with us for a faster response than through this blog – via Facebook at or even via Live Chat

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