After a couple weeks of stuffing around with Telstra not liking the fact that I’ve got zero history with them (having lived in the US for 12 years until just recently), I finally managed to get a hold of a 4G hotspot through Bigpond. While I have several friends who loathe Telstra, they really were the only option for what I want to do – travel frequently up the guts of Australia and still have internet access as much as possible.
My experience with it thus far has actually been quite grand. The speeds are pretty excellent: I’ve pretty much never had faster than 6mbps ADSL, so of course the 12mbps down and 1.2mbps upstream I’ve averaged outside of the LTE service areas is going to seem awesome.
After taking almost an hour on the phone to activate the bastard, the device has pretty much functioned exactly the way it’s supposed to. I turn it on, open my laptop, and I have internet access (a few dead spots like central Australia notwithstanding). I plan on picking up an external antenna for it, and I may look at getting a Yagi (the ones that look like decorative coat racks as opposed to rods) as well if I can find or make an Android application that tracks Telstra towers and points at them for you.