FAQs - Mobile Broadband
These FAQs serve to give you up-to-date information regarding Westnet's mobile broadband product.
- What hardware is involved?
- What does my laptop/PC require in order to use mobile broadband? Any issues with Vista or Macs?
- I already have a laptop with a built in modem - can I use this, and get a better deal by avoiding paying for the modem?
- I already have a MBB modem - can I BYO this to the Westnet service? What modems are accepted?
- What will I be able to use with it? PC / laptop / handheld device?
- Westnet 4G Mobile Broadband
- What network will deliver the mobile broadband service?
- Will I still be a Westnet customer?
- How do I find out if I'm in an area supported by Westnet Mobile Broadband?
- How accurate is the check to see if Westnet Mobile Broadband will be available in my area?
- What's the coverage like and will it improve over time?
- What factors will affect speed/quality of signal?
- What will the download speed be like? I download a lot, so is mobile broadband for me?
- If Westnet Mobile Broadband uses the Optus network - will I have any relationship with Optus as a customer?
- Will there be any sneaky roaming charges I need to be aware of?
- Will International Roaming available?
- Is there a Grace Period during which I can cancel my mobile broadband service if I can't receive a decent signal?
- I already have products/services with Westnet. Will I be rewarded if I take out mobile broadband as an additional product with Westnet?
- I already have a mobile broadband service with another carrier - can I switch to Westnet?
- Will I be able track my usage on the service?
- Will 'shaping' be available with the service?
- What are the excess charges if I exceed my monthly usage allowance?
- Will I get a free email address/account with the service?
- Will I be able to get a static IP with the service?
- Can I enjoy unmetered content in the Westnet Freezone, when using Westnet Mobile Broadband?
- Tell me about billing - how does the invoice come and will services be combined?
- Will I have access to a backup dialup service?
Mobile broadband is a broadband internet service accessed by a modem resembling a thumb drive which can be used wherever there is mobile network coverage. It's like accessing internet on your mobile phone, except faster, more user friendly and can be used on any laptop or personal computer (PC).
Just like a mobile phone, the mobile broadband modem looks for internet signals on the mobile network and delivers them to your computer or laptop. As with mobile phone coverage signal strength varies depending on your distance from mobile phone towers and your surrounds.
Westnet Mobile Broadband is perfect for a wide variety of people. Whether you are operating your business on the move, on holiday frequently or just don't want to pay line rental at home anymore, mobile broadband is perfect for you.
Pricing information is available from the Westnet website by clicking here.
Westnet utilises a Huawei e169 mobile broadband modem to access the 3G network in Australia. The modem looks like a thumb drive - it can be connected directly to a USB port, or fitted to a USB cable for greater flexibility.
You need a computer (PC or Laptop) with a USB port and Windows XP or higher, or a Mac with OSX or higher.
I already have a laptop with a built in modem - can I use this, and get a better deal by avoiding paying for the modem?
No - unfortunately this is not possible at this stage. However, Westnet will be exploring possibilities of accepting BYO laptops with inbuilt modems for the future. You are still welcome to use the USB port on your laptop to connect a Westnet Huawei e169 modem and access the mobile broadband service.
At the moment, we are only allowing Optus-approved Huawei e169 USB modems as BYO equipment. This means the modem needs to have been approved and used on the Optus network through Optus or through an Optus-approved reseller. If you have one of these modems, please call us on 13 19 60 to verify and discuss how to get it connected to a Westnet plan. Unfortunately, no other modems can be accepted at this stage. Keep checking the Westnet website at www.westnet.com.au as the range of accepted BYO modems will expand over time.
The modem can be attached to most PCs and Laptops with a USB port.
At the launch of 4G MobiiBroadband, it will not be compatible with the BoB series modem router. We are working with manufacturers to see if this may be possible in the future. If you are looking for a mobile backup option for your fixed line broadband connection and need it shared between multiple computers, the MobiiHotspot may be just what you need.
Both 4G devices sold by Westnet are backward compatible, meaning that they will connect to a 3G or 2G network if they are available. As a general rule of thumb, the modem will preference the fastest network available to deliver the best speeds.
A 4G network has the potential for much faster internet connectivity than a 3G service. This means that large files will be downloaded significantly faster on the 4G network. It also means that streaming video will be smoother and you will experience less buffering.
To access the 4G network you will need a compatible modem (either the MobiiBroadband or MobiiHotspot) and a 4G plan. You will also need to be in an Optus 4G coverage area. Don't worry - if 4G isn't yet available in your area, you can still purchase a relevant modem and plan, and use a 3G signal.
Apple iPads are not compatible with current Australian 4G networks. Australian 4G networks utilise the 1800MHz frequency, whereas the New iPad utilises 4G networks operating on the 700 and 2100 MHz frequencies. Apple lists the 4G network compatibility of the New iPad through specific carriers in the US and Canada only. A 4G Westnet Mobile Broadband SIM can be inserted into an Apple iPad with mobile connectivity, and operate on the 3G network where available.
Westnet will utilise the Optus 'Yes'G Mobile Network. It delivers 3G access to 96% of the population in Australia using the 900/2100 Mhz network bands.
Simply call us on 13 19 60 and one of our Sales team will happily assist you - no obligations.
We would love to know exactly what kind of coverage is available in every location, but there are many factors which could affect it, so we can never guarantee 100% coverage at a location.
At the moment, it's 96% of the population in Australia. We do always recommend checking with Westnet to confirm if there is coverage in your area.
There are several factors which could affect the speed/quality of the signal, including:
- Distance from the nearest mobile phone tower,
- The number of people using the mobile network in the area,
- The type of building mobile mroadband is used in,
- The location of the USB modem,
- Surrounding buildings which could be interfering with mobile signals
Downloading will be fast. It may, however, not be as fast as a standard ADSL or ADSL 2+ service connected to the fixed line network. If you require high speeds, big download quotas or a service which is up most of the time, mobile broadband may not be for you. That's not to say mobile broadband isn't reliable, but remember, there are many factors which can affect the signal strength and therefore performance of your mobile broadband service.
If Westnet Mobile Broadband uses the Optus network - will I have any relationship with Optus as a customer?
Think of Optus as your invisible link to Westnet's great quality network and service. Your relationship will be with Westnet, Optus are just lending a helping hand.
There are no roaming charges with Westnet Mobile Broadband.
No, this is not available with Westnet Mobile Broadband.
Is there a Grace Period during which I can cancel my mobile broadband service if I can't receive a decent signal?
Information coming soon.
I already have products/services with Westnet. Will I be rewarded if I take out mobile broadband as an additional product with Westnet?
Of course! Customers who bundle other products with their mobile broadband will be given a greater range of plans to choose from that offer greater value for money.
Yes. Depending on your current provider, we may need to provide you with a new modem, but you can certainly join us.
Certainly, MyAccount will have all of the information about your usage and plan allowances.
No, once the quota is exceeded your service will remain at normal speeds and excess charges will begin.
Excess is charged at 10c per MB on all post paid plans, with no shaping option.
All Westnet internet services are eligible to receive one primary email address plus up to five (5) additional email addresses free of charge. Please note: existing Westnet internet members who sign up to Westnet Mobile Broadband on their existing internet account will not receive any additional email addresses.
Unfortunately static IPs are not available with Westnet Mobile Broadband at this time.
Can I enjoy unmetered content in the Westnet Freezone, when using the Westnet Mobile Broadband service?
Unfortunately at time of launch, this will not be possible. All Westnet Freezone usage will be metered. However, Westnet is investigating bringing this to Westnet Mobile Broadband members in the future.
Bills are available electronically from myaccount.westnet.com.au. You will see mobile broadband and your other Westnet services on separate invoices.
Yes - access to Dialup will be charged at $1.10 per hour or in the case where an outage has affected the mobile broadband service, dialup access will be free.