Vivid Wireless – wireless broadband for the masses in Australia

Preface

Recently I discovered Vivid Wireless while I was looking for a more viable alternative to mobile broadband. Since I had trouble finding them and there were no reviews or anything that would give me a clear idea of what their service and offerings were like, I thought I’ll write up a quick one.

Disclaimer: I am not an employee or in anyway associated with Vivid Wireless/Optus, I am just another customer of Vivid Wireless.

What is wireless broadband

The term ‘Wireless broadband’ and ‘Mobile Broadband’ is used interchangeably as they refer to the same technology. However, I like to differentiate the two; where ‘Wireless broadband’ is a wireless service that is analogus to cable/DSL broadband, while ‘Mobile broadband’ is a data-dedicated/only service analogus to a mobile phone service.

The reason for the differentiation is because of the pricing/plans they offer and the way the plans work.

‘Mobile broadband’ is charged slightly cheaper than the cost of data on your mobile phone service and when you use up your data allowance, you are charged per KB/MB or need to buy data packs.

‘Wireless broadband’ is charged slightly more than your traditional cable/DSL broadband service and like its counterpart, when you use up your monthly data allowance, your service is slowed down, there is no excess charge or cutting off of service (with exception of unlimited plan).

Who is Vivid Wireless

Figure 1. VividWireless logo.

Vivid Wireless is a wireless broadband service provider in Australia providing wireless broadband internet access using the WiMAX technology.

Unlike the wireless (mobile) broadband plans/services provided by traditional mobile service providers. The offerings from Vivid Wireless are targeted at individuals & families who want/wish to replace their home cable/DSL broadband service, but with the added bonus of being wireless (i.e. being able to take your internet connection with you – subject to coverage & convenience is dependent on modem).

What are the ‘PROs’ of Vivid Wireless vs other 4G solutions

There is just 1 benefit Vivid Wireless has over the other 4G solutions and that is cost. The cost benefit can be seen in two ways:

  1. The plans are much cheaper and an unlimited access plan is also available.
  2. Unlike other 4G solutions that will either charge you per usage block, cut your internet access, or require you to topup with a data pack after you have used up your quota. Vivid Wireless acts like your more traditional cable-based Internet Service Provider. In which they will slow down your connection speed, with the exception of the ‘unlimited’ plan.

What are the ‘CONs’ of Vivid Wireless vs other 4G solutions

There are 4 negatives with choosing Vivid Wireless over the other 4G solutions:

  1. They are the only wireless broadband provider to use the WiMAX technology, therefore when you leave or decide to change providers, the modem becomes useless. (I recommend signing up for a 12 month contract, so the modem is FREE)
  2. The speed is not as fast as other 4G solutions. But in saying that, it is sufficient for most – I get download speeds of 300kbps (will depend on your signal, etc)
  3. The coverage is limited to the CBD of the main captial cities (Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, & Sydney at the time of writing this post). You can check the most up-to-date coverage information on the Vivid Wireless website’s (coverage page)
  4. At time of writing, the modem choices are rather limiting (just 2 to choose from – refer figure 2. below) and the specs are some what outdated for 2015 (see Home Gateway Review).
Figure 2. Modem options available.