Huawei. How do you say that? I go with Hwah-way, but I could be completely wrong. Remember the name though. Apparently they’re involved in some of the bids for the new national broadband network. Huawei make network gear – they made the little white Vodafone Vodem, and they make this new E5 WiFi Router from 2degrees.
The $279 E5 is a teeny wee thing. About the same size as a credit card and 1cm thick. I’m all about the out-of-box experience, or the “OOB” as it’s known in the business, and the E5 delivers. Pop the back off (to put the supplied 1500mAh battery in), and the WiFi password is right there. Power the device on, wait a minute or so, then connect with that password and you have a fast, secure WiFi connection to all of the interwebs. In fact, it’s cheaper and prettier than Vodafone’s MiFi, and will work just as well on their network.
I managed to crack 4Mbps download speed, which is on-par with similar tests I’ve run with XT and Vodafone 3G gear. The upstream speed was a bit more limited, but still usable. Of course regardless of the speed, you’ll only be downloading inside 2degrees’ “Mobile Broadband Zones“. In fact it states clearly on the box that this device is “for use in 2degrees Mobile Broadband Zones only”.
So, if you want a compact, simple, fast WiFi modem, the E5 is a great device. If I didn’t have built-in 3G on my laptop, I’d keep it. Luckily, one of you guys will get to have it instead. Stay tuned.