BT's Business Mobile Broadband uses Huawei's Mobile Connect E170 HSPA USB device with version 1.9.81 of BT Access Manager.
The service runs over Vodafone's network and includes a 3GB limit for downloaded mobile data and 2,000 free BT Openzone Wi-Fi minutes. There is no SMS client, however.
We recorded a maximum download rate of 2.5Mbit/s at N17 in north London. The latency as measured by pinging www.google.com gave a maximum of 300ms, a minimum of 120ms and an average of 171ms. The signal strength at this location was five-eighths that of the claimed maximum.
Latency did seem to vary significantly at different times of the day. As a guide to the latency of a wired connection, our Be broadband service was returning a latency of 32ms when pinging www.google.com and download rates showed around 11Mbit/s.
The BT Access Manager GUI used in this mobile broadband offer is a fairly simple one in keeping with the smaller businesses this service targets. There is a usage log and a profile priority for the connections that should be polled first. Wired network connectivity gets priority, followed by Wi-Fi connection, BT Openzone and finally the HSPA/3G/GPRS service.
We did notice the device continually dropping back to 3G when download data traffic ceased, but the device moved to HSDPA when we browsed the web or downloaded data, no doubt to preserve laptop battery life.
Vodafone's Mobile Connect Lite mobile broadband service gave similar results. At postcode N17 we recorded a download speed of 2.3Mbit/s, and a latency average when pinging Google's web site of 165ms.
There was also an option to search for local Wi-Fi connectivity, which brought up four networks in range, two from BT having WEP encryption and two from Sky, one having WEP encryption the other WPA.
One thing we would have liked is a real-time graphical representation of both data download and upload speeds. We would also like to manually set the device to cap daily download capacity.
Right-clicking on BT Access Manager gives options to check for software updates and also for mobile PIN management.