Dear Oprah: I am well aware that some journalists like those over at Lifehackers love knocking Australian technology and Australian phone carriers like Telstra, but there is one thing that we do in Australia and that is we give credit where credit is due.
The reality is that Australia is way ahead when it comes to speed and efficiency when compared to what US networks like AT&T and Verizon deliver for consumers.
You only have to visit Cities like Las Vegas during the CES show or Las Angeles to realise that what Telstra deliver with their Next G Network is light years ahead of most US mobile carriers deliver.
It was only six months ago that Steve Jobs from Apple had to give AT &T a reminder that their network was awfully slow and that millions of Apple iPhone and iPad users were struggling to access their network.
I have no problems in Australia with my iPhone and iPad which runs on the Next G Network.
While handsets, like the Motorola Defy Android phone which are being supplied gratis by Telstra and Motorola are almost identical to what you are able to buy in the US, you will find that that operate far more efficiently in Australia.
Due to commercial decisions made by Telstra some years ago our networks are not clogged like US networks.
In January I was forced to call the CEO of Telstra at his hotel in Las Vegas using a landline for the simple reason that the AT&T mobile network that my mobile calls to him dropped out 3 times during an interview I was trying to conduct.
I know that Telstra is also providing your team with notebook modems and I am confident that these will also outperform what US carriers are selling to consumers.
I have on several occasions tried to use network modems supplied by US networks and to be honest they struggle to deliver the speeds I get with my Telstra Next G cards which I can use right across Australia.
The other advantage you have, is that Telstra’s new Ultimate Modem which I believe is being supplied to you are extremely fast especially around CBD area’s where most of your crew will be staying.
While some journalists get picky over speeds and drivers you will find that when the device is plugged in you will automatically get an upgrade prompt, but I doubt whether you will need this as Telstra has supplied support personnel as part of their support program.
As for speed consistency, these will vary, whereas in the USA you will struggle to get 36Mbps from a wireless modem there is every chance you could get these speeds in Cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. At worst these speeds could fall back to 18Mbps which is still pretty good.
If you go to this link at PC Mag, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1770803,00.asp you will see that speeds of 1.2Mbps and 1.8Mbps were being achieved on various US modems.
The Chief Executive of Verizon told me at the US launch of the Palm Pre that Telstra had one of the best mobile networks in the world and that consumers in Australia should be proud of what Telstra is delivering.