Tuesday, 31 October 2017 01:08

Optus finally wholesales its wireless broadband product to MVNOs

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Although Exetel is the first Optus Wholesale customer to offer the "Home Wireless Broadband" router, the company clearly expects more of its MVNOs to offer such a service.

Optus has a great service called Optus Home Broadband, which uses a Huawei wireless 4G SIM-powered broadband router, offering 200GB of up or download with speeds either 12Mbps down and 1Mbps up, or if you're not in an area with 2300MHz coverage, then 5Mbps down and 1Mbps up. Once the maximum data allowance included in the plan is reached, speed is slowed to 256kbps until the start of the new billing cycle.

Sadly that is the old "fraudband speed" of the early 2000s, but you will be able to see how much you've used, and 200GB is still quite a lot of data, especially if you're in an area where you don't get NBN or ADSL options at all, or wish to have a service that can move around with you.

Optus has that and its Vividwireless offerings are here, at a cost of $70 per month, with the same deal shown via Vividwireless (if you're in a compatible coverage area), which also slows to 256Kbps once you have used up your 200GB allocation.

Better still is the option to pay $90 per month to Vividwireless for unlimited data, on a 4G connection, in coverage areas, at 12/1Mbps speeds.

However, the new MVNO Home Broadband partner for Optus, Exetel is offering the same 200GB of Optus 4G data for $69.99 per month, so one miniscule cent cheaper, but unlike Optus, is making you pay $185 for the modem upfront as it is a month-to-month offering, as opposed to the equivalent Optus product having no upfront modem cost but wanting to sign you up to a 24 month contract.

Sadly, Optus does not appear to be wholesaling its Vividwireless product just yet, only its standard Optus 4G Home Broadband, which is available in more places than the Vividwireless service.

For some people, the $90 unlimited VividWireless option will be better, even though the modem needs to be paid for separately ($199 cost) and even though you need to be in a coverage area to get a Vividwireless connection, so no matter what Optus MVNO partners are offering the Home Wireless Broadband service for, check Vividwireless for yourself to see if it is a better bet.

Optus naturally states its "Home Wireless Broadband solution adds to Optus Wholesale’s existing fixed broadband offering and provides partners with a viable fixed broadband alternative for fast and effective home internet access via Optus’ 4G network".

John Castro, Optus Wholesale vice-president of Sales and Marketing, said, “We work closely with our partners to deliver a service that will improve customer experience, and we’ve developed this following market demand for a more flexible solution.

“Home Wireless Broadband is an alternative to fixed broadband, so our wholesale partners are now able to offer a solution for people living in areas where nbn has not yet been rolled out or for people that like a plug and play option for their home internet service.

“The flexibility of no lock-in contracts means this product also has strong appeal to students and people renting, further diversifying our wholesale partners’ customer base.”

Exetel is "a service provider partner of Optus Wholesale," and they will be "the first to rollout the new product in market".

Exetel chief executive Richard Purdy said, “We’re excited about the market opportunity of the Exetel Home Wireless Broadband product. Our customers are always looking for choice in internet connectivity, and this product will complement our existing product offers in market.”

As you'd expect, and as I've experienced myself in the past, the Home Wireless Broadband kit is "quick and easy to set up", with a Huawei B525 wireless modem and a SIM card included.

Once the SIM is inserted into the modem and is connected to a power source, the SIM will activate and connect users to the Internet.

Home Wireless Broadband is available in selected areas covered by the Optus 4G network.

In metropolitan areas where there is 2300 MHz coverage at the nominated address, wholesale customers can expect download and upload speeds of up to 12/1Mbps. If 2300 MHz coverage is not available at the nominated address, download and upload speeds of up to 5/1 Mbps are available. Once the maximum data allowance included in the plan is reached, speed is slowed to 256kbps until the start of the new billing cycle.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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