The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

USB Modem/Dongle.

Old 2nd Jul 2011, 06:02
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gods Country
Posts: 83
USB Modem/Dongle.

Hi guys/gals

Could anybody enlighten me as to any restrictions for using a dongle at the remote mining sites. By that I mean, are the mobile networks large enough to provide internet reception.
I also find the hotels charge like wounded bulls when using their internet connections and this is another way of keeping down the costs.
Any suggestions as to which are the best providers in these circumstances would be greatly appreciated.

Brown eyes
brown_eyes is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2011, 06:11
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 777
If you are going to remote areas the only provider to use is Telstra, they are also the most expensive. The next best would be Optus, bought through a reseller such as Exetel. As far as particular minesites go you need to check with the chosen carrier to see if they have cover. Some may be only 2G which is OK for email and NAIPs - need 3G or 4G for broadband.

The only other way I know of to beat hotel charges is with a dial up account, but the responses are sooooo slow. OK for email and NAIPS but pretty well useless for anything else. I find my Optus (Exetel plan) dongle works most places I visit, but I don't go outback often. When I do the pub usually has its own broadband connection where I can check NAIPs, lodge flight plan etc. I haven't used my dial up account for a couple of years; the outback publicans broadband connection or my Dongle has done the job.

Last edited by bentleg; 2nd Jul 2011 at 06:38.
bentleg is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2011, 07:39
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gods Country
Posts: 83

Thanks bentleg. Do you know if I could use Skype or VOIP on these dongles again at the remote sites? How is Optus placed for this service?
brown_eyes is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2011, 08:25
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Victoria
Posts: 1,468
You'll need a 3G connection for Skype. Best way to find coverage is to look on the Telstra or Optus websites for coverage maps and see if your minesite is covered. Telstra NextG does most places.
Lasiorhinus is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2011, 08:26
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Cab of a Freight Train
Age: 37
Posts: 582
Depends what mine site you're going to I suppose. I'm in the Pilbara and Telstra is the only option at things like Mesa A and Pannawonica. Same for Tom Price too I'm told.

I use a Telstra dongle and that's adequate, but you probably wouldn't get enough bandwidth for something like Skype due to everyone else doing the same thing....
KRviator is online now  
Old 2nd Jul 2011, 09:00
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 777
Thanks bentleg. Do you know if I could use Skype or VOIP on these dongles
Skype is OK for messaging or online keyboard chat. I have never tried talk or video via Skype on a Dongle. I don't think there would be enough bandwidth, same issue for VOIP.
bentleg is offline  
Old 2nd Jul 2011, 10:55
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tin Shed corner Bourke and Swanston
Posts: 258
I use a Telstra Elite Wi-Fi as well as teathering my iphone but the wifi thingy works a treat for everything and can confirm that skype with video works at most QLD and WA mine sites. I am not there often but when I transit through I have used it and no issues found yet other then the issue with some places not having reception
startingout is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 00:57
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: In the doghouse
Posts: 495
Telstra are useless in almost every other way, but their coverage is awesome.
Homesick-Angel is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 10:09
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Mel-burn
Posts: 4,864
Don't waste your time with anything other than Telstra.
VH-XXX is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 11:05
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Smog Central
Posts: 97
I was previously with Optus but the network is hopeless.. data is almost non-existent, useless for skype unless you are next to a cell tower. Telstra are the best by far in terms of data speed and coverage. I use my iphone 4 to connect to the internet via tethering so no need for a dongle. Hotel/ motel can be very expensive in some places so I wouldn't rely on it. Skype is usually OK on my phone but the reception has to be good to get good quality. Data prices have dropped dramatically in the last few months.
notaplanegeek is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2011, 11:18
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Posts: 167
If you only need to use it away from home, get yourself a Telstra NextG Pre-paid USB Modem for about $100.

I've got one that I use with a netbook and it costs me $150 a year for 10Gb, sometimes the speeds are a bit slow but other times I can get up to 2-3Mbps (I have heard there are faster modems out now).

I did have an Optus USB Modem, but found coverage wasn't good enough outside the major towns.
Capt EFIS is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.