Received an e-mail last night from Telecom NZ offering me a free T-Stick modem, so long as I bought 500 MB prepaid data for $29.95. The offer is only available to Xtra broadband customers. I already have a VODEM which is unlocked, and will therefore take a Telecom XT sim OK (still to find this out for sure), but I thought another wireless modem is not to be sneezed at, as I get the sim and the data for just $29.95 too! So I picked it up this morning, and am using it now.
First impressions, well it looks bigger and uglier than the rather petite Vodem (but in fact is only 2mm wider and 1 mm longer), with a rather tacky sticker on it it with the new telecom logo on it. I took the sticker off, leaving it nice and white, but put it back on when I saw the horrible LEDs glowing through the plastic casing. So that is what its for!
Getting it working was a breeze, as it should be, plug in the sim, plug in the card, wait while the PC recognises the hardware and installs the software off the T-Stick. Click the big ‘Connect’ button, and away you go.
It is significantly faster on XT the the Vodem is on Vodafone, by a factor of two at least, I’ll do some more testing during the busy hours and see how much better. Definitely faster than my home line at the moment (must ring telecom about that).
Lastly, both the Vodem and the T-Stick take Micro SD cards for extra storage, but the Vodem I have takes only 4GB, but the T-Stick will take 8GB. Given the ridiculously cheap memory at the moment, that is quite a good feature.
The actual modem is an MF626 made by the ZTE Corporation of China, I’ll find more details later (when I try to get it unlocked!)
So I have a few things to try now, putting the XT Sim into my Vodem, and checking whether it is locked by putting the Vodafone sim into it. If it is locked (like there is any chance it’s not!), find out how to unlock it so that I can use it on any network. More on that later.
The major issue I have with the prepaid ‘plan’ is the data only lasts for the calendar month it was bought in. So this 500MB must be used by 31/12/2009, after that it is lost, even if I use just 1 MB of it. Same with Vodaphone with their prepaid. Really annoys me, so I buy as little as possible from either of them!