Questions about Telstra Next G & VOIP while on the road

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 12:46
ThreadID: 56186 Views:4149 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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I have been reading most of the threads about Telstra's Next G Network as well as anything on VOIP. If this topic has been covered either in full or in part I beg your indulgence.
I have a new caravan on order and expect to hit the road for another trip from Wollongong NSW across to South West WA later in the year.
I am researching the best, most convenient and most cost effective way of setting up comms for data and voice.
At home, I have a fixed Telstra line, Internode ISP and an Engin VOIP voice box. This gives me 10 cent untimed national calls to fixed phones, reasonable rates to mobiles and very attractive international rates (son in London)
I am thinking of swapping from Internode to a Telstra Next G plan and using the "Toaster" wireless modem for Internet access and Engin's Softphone for VOIP. Engin will swap me from the voice box to Softphone and back again whenever I request it.
To make or receive calls, my PC and modem will need to be on and connected to the internet.
All calls TO my VOIP number are treated as calls to my Wollongong address no matter where I happen to be.
Is anybody using a Telstra Next G plan with VOIP and if so, what sort of voice quality do you get in remote areas. I am led to believe voice quality is very dependent on the quality of the broadband connection.
Should I talk to my caravan manufacturer about pre-wiring an external antenna for the Telstra "Toaster" modem or are the standard "rabbit ears" sufficient?
PS I will have a Next G mobile and even have an old sat phone which could be resurrected for emergencies (at a cost).
Note I also posted this on Caravaners Forum


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Reply By: Notso - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 15:16

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 15:16
Using VOIP over the mobile broadband sounds expensive if you have to pay for excess downloads? Costs heaps for unlimited?
AnswerID: 296148

Follow Up By: Ircon - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 10:50

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 10:50

$49.95 per month = 256/128 kbps and 1Gig Telstra Next G
Engine = $9.95 per month
VOIP = 10cent untimed national calls to fixed phones, 2 cents per min . to London and reasonable calls to mobiles.
If friends or family call me on my Engine number it is as if they were calling my home in Wollongong although I may actually be in Darwin, say

Not connecting via mobile - Next G Wireless Broadband

Speed and download/upload capacity may be a limit.

I think the next plan on Telstra's Superfast Next G is about $80.00 per month.


FollowupID: 562377

Reply By: Member - lyndon K (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 15:40

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 15:40
We use VOIP through Skype when away, are on a 20hr plan a month with big pond.
Cost for Skype was about $50 for the year, this gets us free local calls to fixed numbers in Australia for the year and cheap overseas calls. We use a wireless modem and have a "patch lead" which connects the the external antenna on the car for better coverage in marginal area's. Note Telstra is useless in remote area's for phone or internet, hence we have also just connected to BGAN satellite internet.
Cheers Lyndon
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AnswerID: 296149

Reply By: stevesub - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 18:55

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 18:55
I have had a play with my Telstra NextG USB modem using a softphone and all seems to be fine from home but never used in anger on the road - YET?? Later this your wqe will be when we get on the road again.

If you use the net sensibly for general browsing, email and VOIP, 3GB/mth is heaps - no movies or huge downloads though. If you use more than 3GB per month when on the road, you are spending too much time in front of the PC and not enough on the road doing other stuff.

AnswerID: 296181

Follow Up By: Ircon - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 10:55

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 10:55

I was hoping to get a way with the $49.95 plan but it only gives me 1GB/mth.
My usage will be for tourist info; trip planning, forward booking, some e-mails and some (not a lot) VOIP.

To get the 3 GB you mention I'd need to go the next plan which is about $80.00, I think.


FollowupID: 562378

Reply By: Steve Sub - Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 11:34

Saturday, Apr 05, 2008 at 11:34
Data usage is very dependant on how much you surf the net, the size of your emails, how much you use VOIP, etc. As a rough idea, I use about 6GB per month for business/pleasure. This includes using VOIP for 95% of my calls, streaming a radio station for hours, if not days on end, general surfing, keeping 5 computers updated with the latest software patches, all my emails, etc

Take away the business stuff and I could do 3GB and if on the road, I would initially sign for the 1GB plan as I would be doing more travel and other stuff rather than being stuck behind a screen all day internet stuff.

With NextG, you are allowed 1 plan change per month so if you keep and eye on your usage (free to check) and you find that you are getting close to your 1GB and still have 2 weeks to go, you can change to a 2 or 3GB plan. A 3GB plan from memory is not around $105 on NextG - better than the $185 it used to be but still a major difference when compared with other 3G plans - but they do not work where NextG works so we pay the price for good coverage.

How much data you would use - who knows, you just have to suck it and see by starting on a 1GB plan.

If you want coverage in marginal areas, there is nothing like an external antenna to improve signal reception so get your van pre-wired.

AnswerID: 296777

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