Mobile broadband and phones

Submitted: Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 03:04
ThreadID: 122715 Views:5809 Replies:3 FollowUps:8
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We will be new BT travellers from the end of June heading off for 6 months to NT and Top End WA. Having been trying to find out whether it is worth having mobile Broadband and how much coverage is really there? Is it expensive to do downloads and emails using it? Any advise will be appreciated.
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Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 03:09

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 03:09
I have a Blackberry which, as well as providing its own built-in mobile phone and email service, also doubles as a modem for my PC notebook which then provides full internet access.

Works in any CDMA area which is far more extensive than wireless broadband (in fact, I am on the internet now in my BT at Glen Innes).

Will provide a fruther post in a few days on costs and other details, but for me - it's great!

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Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 06:40

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 06:40
Hello - skuze please - what is a Blackberry? We are learning so much on this site!
Cheers - Ian & Sally
FollowupID: 845922

Follow Up By: Flipp'n Lorry - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 05:54

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 05:54
A Blackberry is an all-in-one phone, calendar and address book organiser, WAP internet browser and portable email device. In the case of email, basically email is "pushed" to your device (ie it is like SMS, it just arrives, you don't have to connect to check on Blackberry email) whenever you are in a CDMA area (there are also GSM Blackberry's available, but our experiecne is that CDMA is far more prevalent throughout regional areas).

You can also get a car kit or Bluetooth hands-free if you wish.

Note that only a few of the Blackberry models offer the modem facility and all of these use CDMA only - you just connect the Blackberry to your notebook PC (similar to the device that Motley described), via USB cable, click on the supplied "Connection Manager" and you are online. (Connecting to the PC also recharges the Blackberry battery)

The plan I am on is the Telstra Blackberry Plus which I think is about $45 a month - this includes unlimited emails, and 5 hours per month of other internet access. Blackberry models range in price from about $500-$800 (remember these replace any need for a mobile phone). You also need to subscribe to a normal Telstra pre-paid mobile plan (eg $35 per month plan?) to qualify for the Blackberry Plus service.

You can search the Telstra site, and also for more info.

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Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 06:19

Tuesday, Jun 06, 2006 at 06:19
Hello Phil and Lorraine,
Thankyou for the detailed information. There is so much advice here and I certainly will look up the website link.
The HF we use is useful when no phone range is available (we can talk to any where from any where by RadPhone through Bush Phone / Bush Telegraph) but this seems so much more useful and then linked in with laptop and wireless I/Net outside "Maccas" as well - wow!
Cheers - Ian & Sally
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Reply By: Motley - Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 04:13

Monday, Jun 05, 2006 at 04:13
Just returned from a 3 month trip from Victoria to WA and back. Used a Sierra AirCard supplied by Telstra. It's a CDMA device which plugged into my PC and depending on coverage gives you either Broadband or a high speed connection (about 115kbps).

Worked in a lot of locations where I just didn't expect to get a signal. Not sure of price but Telstra have the details.

Also you might like to look at Wireless Access. For instance, McDonalds have wireless hot spots. If you have a Teltra Mobile Phone account, you can pull up in the street and your PC will detect the network. You get a web page where you supply your mobile phone number and then a one time password is sent to your mobile phone via SMS - instantly.

You can then sign in and use the wireless broadband connection and the rates seem pretty good for short term access - collecting emails etc.

Also most Intenet cafes now allow you to connect your own PC.

Plenty of options

Life's too short to drink bad wine.

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Follow Up By: Homeboy - Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 04:59

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2006 at 04:59
You can get a patch lead that fits into your ariel if you have one for your CDMA phone.

Sasha :)
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Reply By: Goodpal50 - Sunday, Jun 11, 2006 at 22:29

Sunday, Jun 11, 2006 at 22:29
We have the telstra wireless broadband card in our laptop, which I think is around $50 per month for a 200mb limit. It works where ther is CDMA coverage and is very reliable except where you are in the outer limits of a CDMA coverage.
We have been using it for 5 months.

For our regular mobile we use a CDMA with in car kit and external area that gives optimum cover.

However, if you are going out of CDMA coverage which is a large part of the bush, then you need to consider either HF radio or satellite phone. You can get a satphone programme ffrom Telstra which is a minumum of $30 per month but includes $10 worth of calls. We bought ours for emergency use, as cheap insurance.

We unfortunately rolled our Bushtracker last Thursday about 170 km from the nearest tow truck and were out of CDMA coverage so the satellite cover was a godsend as no other vehicle came by for over an hour. We had no personal injuries but if we had the satellite phone would have been the lifesaver.

Also think about a UHF radio as many properties have a set and monitor it. The local station was the first vehcle to come after the accident and they helped us by getting us telephone numbers when they got back to the property, that we could call.

Our lesson was that you can never have too much communications, as different technologies work in different places.

Michael and Margaret
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Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 05:49

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 05:49

We have been using CDMA internet through same system as you guys (though the device has changed) for two years now and as long as there is CDMA it's great. We are on a higher use plan which suits a net junkie like me well. $99 gives me 50hrs with unlimited download.

Hope I'm not intruding but could you give any details of how and why you rolled you van?? Like to avoid this situation myself so am always interested to know how these things occur.


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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 22:21

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 22:21
Yes, please, the Lone Ranger is all ears on this one...

I have been gone out Bush with horses since this.... All I know is it was reported to us as an "accident", and the message through from Michael and Margaret was that they would like us to reserve them a spot for a new van as soon as possible... Which we will pull out all stops to do.... We await more information....

Regards, and Best Wishes, glad you are safe,
Lone Ranger...
"The Last Stand In Open Country"

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Follow Up By: Turist - Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 07:35

Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 07:35
Michael and Margaret
If you are to give us the sad story you may prefer to move your post to the owners forum.
A little more private.
You have us all curious now, the main thing is that both of yo have escaped unharmed.
And I am sure that we could learn or be forewarned by your unfortunate experience.

"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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Follow Up By: Freewheelers - Saturday, Jun 17, 2006 at 00:40

Saturday, Jun 17, 2006 at 00:40
Michael & Margaret,

So glad to hear you didn't suffer any injuries - everything else is secondary.

Your comments on comms taken on board - a timely message.

If there's anything we can do, please ask - we're in Sydney and maybe that's not much use to you, but I reckon any of the BOGgers would assist however they can. Because BOGgers are good people.


Stephen & Deborah

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