Last week I got a call, that said “You have 15 minutes to get to the CellC store in Gateway, we have a little gift for you”. So naturally I jumped in my car and raced up, to be greeted by a huge crowd of people outside the CellC store. Turns out CellC was launching their 4Gs 3.75G network (yes, I know…not getting into that now) in Durban. Even my mate Trevor was there :)
To my surprise in my hands all of a sudden was a box with with a Simcard & USB Modem. After chatting to the guys from CellC, they asked me to give it a run and see how it works in Durbs, and give them some feedback.
If you haven’t been following the launch of the new CellC data product, they are now offering high speed internet, at VERY affordable prices. The package I got given, was a 60GB for the year (5GB a month) and USB Modem (Huawei E1820), which allows for speeds up to 21.5 Mb/S, which retails for R2999 once off. There are no contracts or sign-ins, just the once off cost.
Last night I got round to doing some decent testing, and was a bit worried when I only got 4Mb/s after hearing reports of speeds up to 10Mb/S. Turns out, because I had the USB modem plugged into my USB hub, it was decreasing the speed. When I plugged it into my MacBook I managed to get a speed of 7.15 Mb/s and then later I got around 8.5 Mb/s
I also got a question on my site asking if the SIM can be used with a MiFi. So I popped the SIM in to my MiFi device and gave it a test, and was quite surprised to see speeds of around 7.15Mb/s – 7.50 Mb/s. This is perfect, as the MiFi can support up to 5 devices at any given time using WiFi.
In comparison below is the speed test from my 4MB ADSL using Afrihost.
The setup of the device was very simple on both Mac & Windows. Literally plug & play, and 1 click to connect. There are 2 small issues I have with the device though. The first is that the USB modem gets super hot, but after doing some googling, this seems to be a known issue with this model. Secondly, I have an issue fitting it int my USB slot on my Macbook. Because they Macbook only has to 2 USB slots, and they are very close together, the USB modem takes up more space than it should and makes plugging in a 2nd USB device a bit tough, hence the need to use a USB hub. I’m going to have to do a bit of thinking about this one, but I’m pretty sure I can get around that.
Overall I am very impressed with the CellC offering. People have commented that as the network grows and more people share towers speeds will decrease, but that remains to be seen.I honestly don’t think it will make THAT much of a difference.
All in all, at under 5c/MB the CellC 4Gs 3.75G offering is well worth it, and I would highly recommend getting it as an alternative to an ADSL line, especially if you travel or work remotely.