Earlier this week, Cell C switched on it’s HSPA+ network in Gauteng. This means that we now have access to super-fast internet, at really affordable rates. According to Ookla (parent company of Speedtest.net), as of 15 November 2010, Cell C is the fastest network in South Africa.

I was given a USB speedstick (60GB over 12 months / 5GB a month) to test and was very impressed. Set-up was simple on my Mac. I plugged in the dongle and the installation screen popped-up, which took a few minutes and soon thereafter, I was ready to connect!  I picked up the following speed when I tested it at home:

The dongle is capable of up to 21.6Mbps. I guess I have to find the right spot in my house for best coverage / higher speeds but I’m quite happy with the results above. I downloaded a 40min episode of a TV show in less than 15 minutes. I have uncapped Neotel WiMax at home (2Mbps), so it’s pointless me using the dongle when I’m in my house. It goes everywhere with me, in my handbag, so I have access anywhere. You know how important that is 😉

How does this compare to the Vodacom coverage I receive at home? For starters, I cannot make/receive a call – or do anything, let alone get full 3G coverage – from downstairs. Even if I have 2 bars of reception, I will not receive a phone call, but I will get an SMS to say “missed call” or voicemail.

When I go upstairs, into my main bedroom, I have to hop around my bed, trying to get the best signal. The last time I spoke to my mom, I had to dial her 5 times because of poor reception. If I’m lucky, I pick up 3G, or it’s either EDGE or GPRS (!).

Cell C is currently running a promotion on their speedsticks:

1) 2GB x 12 months = R149pm (contract) or R1499 (prepaid) – 7.2Mbps

2) 5GB x 12 months = R299pm (contract) or R2999 (prepaid) – 21Mbps

If you’re thinking of getting a mobile broadband solution, Cell C is your best option – it’s currently the cheapest and fastest available.