It was recently announced that the Telstra Smart Modem is provided for new clients that are availing of a home internet bundle. In addition, over 850,000 Telstra home and small business packages will have upgraded NBN speed tiers to Standard Plus for free.
These offerings are a part of the “Network 2020” strategy of the company. Under this vision, the fixed-line and mobile businesses of Telstra is streamlined into one product.
The company’s objective is to address the different needs of customers, such as giving them a connection when they have moved residences and are waiting for the home broadband to be activated. It is also designed to give peace of mind over internet connectivity.
What are the specifications of the Telstra Smart Modem?
The hybrid technology is a first for an Australian broadband provider such as Telstra. The Smart Modem features an integrated module and makes use of the latest Wi-Fi technologies.
As for the interface of the Wi-Fi, it is a dual-band, making use of IEEE 802.11n 2.4 GHz using 3×3 BRCM 4360 maximum 26dBm and IEEE 802.11ac 5 GHz using 4×4 BRCM 4366 maximum 30dBm
The modem is also ethernet-capable and features a 1xGigabit Ethernet WAN port and 4×10/100Mbps/1Gigabit LAN ports.
The Smart Modem can accommodate external drives and can be accessed remotely. Finally, it also has an NFC Chip Capability, which means that Android handsets can connect to the Wi-Fi through close proximity or by tapping the modem with the phone.
It should be noted that the modem is designed to work with the Telstra 4G network, so it is important to check for area coverage.
Also, there may be some limitations while on mobile backup. According to Telstra, some services such as the nbn voice services, Telstra Air, Telstra Broadband Protect, and some Telstra Smart Home features may be unavailable.
What are the advantages of the Telstra Smart Modem
The Smart Modem made by Telstra makes use of a hybrid technology that affects the network in two different areas: speed and connectivity.
This particular Smart Modem has a built-in and pre-activated SIM card that can connect with the mobile network. This means that there two access points, which are the 4G service provided by the Telstra Mobile Network and the ADSL2+ or VDSL2 of the home broadband connection.
As a result, service does not get interrupted in case the connection drops out. There is always a backup acting as a safety net to the service.
The way it works is that when the fixed broadband stops, the mobile data should automatically start. The connection measures at 6 megabits per second for downloads and 2 Mbps for uploads. It will continue to make use of this connection until the fixed connection starts up again.
Users have noted that the switch from fixed to mobile data connections is not a seamless occurrence. For example, any shows you are watching on Netflix will have to restart. The reason for this is that the WAN address of the network is altered.
This change in the WAN address creates an unusual loophole and it is a pretty significant one. Users have noticed that Telstra does not ping its network to ensure that the fixed network used is down. The modem only checks if it has a broadband connection available.
If a person unplugs the cable or DSL connection from the modem, the device automatically assumes that the broadband connection is not working and automatically activates the 4G mobile connection. This occurs even when the broadband is working.
It is then possible to set-up a second network. All a person needs to do is to unplug the modem then plug in the old cable or DSL router in place and then use the modem somewhere else. Theoretically, you can bring it elsewhere and enjoy the service without any added cost.
It can also be used for devices that require faster uploading speeds. Although there 2 Mbps upload limit instituted by Telstra is not fast, it is not slow either. For most uses, it can be considered acceptable.
The Telstra Mobile Network can be assigned its own domain name through a dynamic DNS service and can provide external access. This means that files can be downloaded at speeds attached to the mobile network, which in this case is 110 kbps. This is much faster than the fixed broadband connection.
It should be noted that Telstra has not indicated whether the loophole discovered by users constitutes a breach of its service policies.
Setup for the Telstra Smart Modem can be found here
If you’d like further assistance with your Telstra Smart Modem contact us here