Telstra have finally “shaped” some of their Wireless Internet Plans. At last people stuck on 31.2kbps RIM Dialup have a reasonably inexpensive alternative.

I decided to give Telstra Bigpond Wireless a try. Initially I determined to go with the cheapest 400MB plan. I installed the system and began to use it. The allocated 400MB was used up within the first 2 days. Then the account was automatically shaped back to 64kbps. But still the improvement over the RIM dialup at 31.2kbps was obvious.

Problem with this is. I then decided that I would try out the 6GB plan. So I called up Telstra Bigpond and requested that my selected plan be changed over. As luck would have it.. (or good planning) The next day (1st of the Month) My new plan took effect.

Well it took 9 days to burn through the 6GB that cost $79.95.

(I didn’t even visit you tube.. sigh I mainly just got a lot of (overdue) Microsoft updates.. Ahh the joys of loosing 31.2kbps dialup)

So.. It becomes obvious that If I actually wanted to cover my usage properly.. (at the connection speed that Telstra forces on me) I’d probably need at least 18GB (3 times 6GB) by the look of it.

Which brings me to the main point in writing this:

Why can’t I select the SPEED of connection that I PREFER?

Which I would think is technically possible due to the way that the providers are able to “shape” you when your allocated bandwidth has been consumed.

At 1500/256 I burn through 6GB in 9 days..

Grrr: TELSTRA how about offering the public some plans that allow us to maintain a decent internet connection without costing us an arm and a leg?

If I was given the option of plans that allowed me to select the SPEED of connection as well as the allocated bandwidth before shaping.

Well.. Lets just say that IF Telstra had plans like this:

Plan NameBandwidthSpeedPrice
BigPig Liberty® 0/640GB64/64$29.95
BigPig Liberty® 1/1281GB128/128$39.95
BigPig Liberty® 3/2563GB256/64$49.95
BigPig Liberty® 6/5126GB512/128$79.95
BigPig Liberty® 10/150010GB1500/256$119.95

That 6GB would have lasted me 3 times as long at 1/3 the speed for the same price.. Hmmmm

See what I mean? I’d at least be able to maintain a much better than RIM dialup connection speed without breaking the budget or (you would think) without upsetting Telstra’s shareholders.

I think Telstra would like us all to have multiple 10GB accounts. Because Telstra DONT currently offer the public these sort of wireless plans.

I guess I will have to change back to the 400MB plan.. :( But at least when the Wireless Plan has been “shaped” at 64kbps. We can still get twice the bandwidth of a RIM afflicted dialup.

This is a huge improvement for people who live rurally in Australia.

See: Telstra: Next G Coverage Maps

I think that as long as you can get Telstra Next G coverage.. (Check using the Telstra Next G Map in the iframe above) Anyone who is still connected through a RIM dialup should sign up for a Liberty 400MB plan. (Just don’t say I dont warn you about the temptation to spend more and go faster)

It might now be time to look a little more closely at exactly what Telstra’s current Next G Wireless Internet plans are:

Plan nameDataPrice
BigPond Liberty® 400MB.4GB $29.95
BigPond Liberty® 1GB1GB $39.95
BigPond Liberty® 3GB3GB $49.95
BigPond Liberty® 6GB6GB $79.95
BigPond Liberty® 10GB10GB$119.95

Remember: When you exceed your data allocation you will be shaped to 64/64kbps.

See: Bigpond Plans and Offers

Question: What kind of internet do you get if you sign up for a Bigpond Liberty® plan?

Answer: HSDPA: has a web browsing feel and download speed comparable to a 1500/256k ADSL connection with slightly higher latency.

NetworkDownload SpeedUpload SpeedLatency
HSDPA (3.5G)500 – 1500 Kbit/s300 Kbit/s80 – 120ms
UMTS (3G)150 – 384 Kbit/s64 Kbit/s120 – 1500ms
EDGE (2.5G)100 – 150 Kbit/s80 Kbit/s200 – 1500ms
GPRS (2G)20 – 50 Kbit/s20 Kbit/s800 – 2500ms

Latency: High numbers indicate slow response. Lower latency numbers are better.

Don’t forget the competition to Telstra.. (If your lucky enough not to live rurally.) Because they can all offer HSPDA connections as well.. (In their 3G blanket areas)

From what I can see. If your located within range of a 3G Vodafone or Optus tower. A UMTS connection might work well for someone like me. The allocated data would last much longer at UMTS speeds compared to HSPDA and you would still get a decent improvement over a RIM connected dialup.

Telstra Next GYesNoYesYes
Vodafone 3G YesYesNoYes
Three 3GYesNoYesYes
Optus 3GYesYesNoYes

  • Telstra: Next G is capable of 14.4Mbit/b; 7.2Mbit/s on clients by firmware upgrade planned.
  • Vodafone: HSDPA in limited areas only.
  • Three: Beware Roaming to Telstra Network or 0.50c per MB charges will apply.
  • Optus: HSDPA in limited areas only.

Quote: “Three’s Roaming agreement with Telstra only enables Data in places that are covered by Three’s data or some select other places. You’ll find certain places work fine roaming for voice but no data it’s purely part of their agreement.”

See: Whirlpool: Avoid 3's roaming charges by changing APN

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