Unwired Customers Put on to 3G/4G
- Unwired and Vividwireless will lose heavy data options
- Most mobile broadband starting to rollback
- Don't overlook Cable and ADSL
Unwired, along with Vivid Wireless, were amongst the first companies to attempt to usher in a new age of wireless. In the end they got sold to Optus when it became clear that Australians prefer reliability and lots of data, to mobility and conservative use of bandwidth.
But for those who stuck with a ‘wireless’ solution, the news today that Optus will be migrating these customers to their regular 3G or 4G network plans will come as something of a shock. Unwired had a $100 plan that bought you 75GB – there are simply no plans on Optus, Telstra or Vodafone that come anywhere close to that amount. The top plan available for consumers, as a matter of fact, is with Dodo – who can offer 18GB for $70 a month. Optus themselves are topping out at 10GB.
With all 3 networks pulling back on recommending mobile broadband as a viable alternative to fixed-line services (well, Telstra still push their much vaunted network, and just don’t talk about the inflated price and deflated data), a time is coming when customers who have stubbornly stuck with solutions from guys like Unwired will have to bite the bullet and go with a fixed-line connection, like Cable or (more likely), ADSL2+.
What is/was Unwired?
Simply put, any time you’ve got an internet connection where the modem itself isn’t tethered to some type of ‘pipe’, then you’re on mobile broadband. This means the internet connection on your phone, the little USB dongle, the ‘Pocket Wi-Fi’ modem, and even Unwired and Vivid’s standalone, AC powered units that mimicked a regular modem. Underlying all of these devices is a radio connection from a mobile tower to an antenna inside. That’s it.
Unwired and Vivid both tried to hide this underlying connection method by directing their focus to customers who want the reliability of regular ‘broadband’ with a ‘Look Ma! No Wires!” gimmick thrown in. That’s fine – it matches perfectly what people want, which is reliable data feeds with no messy wires and cords running everywhere. But it fundamentally doesn’t work.
Radio communications are not ideal for big data usage, which is why Unwired and Vivid packed up, and why Optus and the rest have started trying to get customers connected over a line. Transmitting a radio signal is hard and expensive, and too much of the signal gets absorbed by trees, buildings, rain…everything really. Transmitting over a line seems messy, but there are limits to the science here. We also still transmit water over a pipe, and electricity over a line.
What are my options?
If you’re coming from Unwired, or Vividwireless, or even from the 3G/4G offerings from one of the major providers, here are your options:
DSL (Naked DSL, ADSL2+): Digital Subscribers Line technology means having an active phone line. That’s something you’re gonna have to accept, even if you’re stuck on the whole “But I don’t use a landline phone!!” thing. Even Naked DSL uses a phone line, and costs the same whether you use the phone or not.
For the best ADSL2+ deals, calls us to discuss TPG – 1300 106 571
For the best Naked DSL deals, our top recommendations are to call MyNetFone (1300 421 046) or iPrimus (1300 137 794). We specifically recommend these providers because of their commitment to getting Naked DSL customers connected without the usual rigmarole involved with getting Naked DSL.
Cable: Telstra (BigPond) and Optus are the only two companies with Hybrid Fibre Coax networks (Cable), and they don’t wholesale it out to other providers at all.
BigPond Cable is generally more stable (with less instability in the speed provided) and more widely available; but usually requires bundling with several other services. Optus (1300 194 583) usually has more options for people who just need a connection.
Don’t despair if you’re being migrated. It was never a sustainable model to begin with. Also, don’t overlook ADSL as an excellent option for a cheap, plentiful connection for your home.