The Optus network is rolling out 4G in a game of catchup with Telstra and its wildly deployed Next G 4g network.
Optus is selling 2 modems, a USB and a Wifi varient. This is a look at the Wifi modem.
I have been a fan of Huawei for years and this new model does not disappoint The E589 is larger than the 3g modems that Huawei sells via Optus and Vodafone. It still uses the small LCD screen of previous models, but you do get the important data on it of users attached signal strength, network (4g/HSPDA+/HSPDA or 3g). WPA2 is supported, and Optus says there is 10 hours of battery life. Using the modem I doubt the battery figure, however i can get 4 to 5 good hours out of the device.
The usual additions are also available, including a slot for Micro SD card and Micro USB for charging or attaching. When powered, the modem has a better wifi range, so generally i always do so. Saying that, using internal battery, I am still getting good connection to the modem.
The build is solid, but slightly heavier than the 3g version. I generally treat modems hard, throwing them into my pocket with keys and loose change, and the modem holds up well.
Despite claims from the Optus rep, there is no 4g coverage around my workplace of Parramatta. However the HSPDA reception is great and leave my previous Optus and Vodafone 3g modem for dead (both devices where almost unusable except when pointed in an always changing direction).
The 4G was tested when I attended Eve Down Under and is being used i a hotel in the Sydney CBD as I type this article.
Using the Speedtest website, the 4G reports good bandwidth and great ping speeds.
Not the best speed, but far better than my ADSL2 on my main computer.
If you are in an Optus 4g coverage area, the 4G Wifi Modem is well worth the effort. Even in 3G coverage, the modem has a better radio so it is also a good option.