When I first saw the Huawei E353 HSPA+ USB dongle a couple of weeks ago, I immediately asked our contacts close to the company if there are available open-line units of this model and was told it was directly imported from China by the telcos.
The Smart Bro Rocket Plug-It is a Huawei E353 modem.
One cannot get it unless you order by the hundreds and the price that is being offered by the telcos are already subsidized. I was surprised that to learn that the Php4k price is already below the street price.
An external port which looks like a plug for external antenna.
It turns out this model was only commercially launched in China last August 4 (per Huawei’s release). Online stores started carrying the modem with a retail price of $156 or close to Php6,700 a piece (one site was doing a limited promo price of $99 or Php4,200). I did not realize that dongle is that expensive.
Support for microSD card up to 32GB.
The modem supports HSPA+ (900/2100MHz bands), HSUPA, HSDPA, HSPA, UMTS (WCDMA) and GSM/EDGE networks and can have a theoretical downlink speed of 21.1Mbps and uplink speed of 5.76Mbps.
Huawei also claims it’s got the fastest connection time of under 15 seconds (from plug to live signal connection) which is actually true based on my initial tests (the old dongles takes a while to activate after you plug them in).
I’m sure we’ll be seeing openline HSPA+ dongles in the next few months but I bet they’ll be pretty expensive (like Php7.5k a pop expensive). Or we might as well get that Huawei E365 HSPA+ MyFi I saw in CommunicAsia back in June.