February 17, 2009 Australia’s Telstra was tooting its horn last night at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with news its Telstra Next G network was declared the world’s fastest national mobile broadband network by the Guinness World Records with speeds of 21Mbps.

At the event Telstra CEO, Sol Trujillo, unveiled the Turbo 21 modem, which is the world’s first commercial 21Mbps peak rated mobile broadband modem and connects to the Telstra Next G network for speeds four times faster than those available from other Australian telecommunications companies. The 21Mbps speeds were achieved the thanks to HSPA+ technology, but the fine print reveals that actual speeds for users will be less than that. Customers using the Turbo 21 modem in enabled areas including all capital cities and selected regional areas will experience download speeds ranging from 550 Kbps to 8 Mbps – still not bad - and even faster speeds may be just around the corner. Telstra Networks and Services Group Managing Director, Mr Michael Rocca, saying, “Later this year, Australians will see peak network downlink speeds increase even further to 42 Mbps on parts of the Telstra Next G network.”

The Telstra Mobile Broadband Turbo 21 modem will be available to some business customers from February 23, with availability to other businesses scheduled in the coming months with prices of AUD$499 (USD$323 at the time of publication) when purchased outright or for AUD$299 (USD$194 at the time of publication) when combined with a plan.

The BigPond Wireless Broadband 21 USB Mobile Card will be available to BigPond customers from mid April 2009 for AUD$399 (USD$258 at the time of publication) when purchased outright or for AUD$299 (USD$194 at the time of publication) when combined with a plan.

Darren Quick