Potential fire hazard. Monitor regularly.
Pros: The modem is a well priced solution for people who have Optus mobile phone coverage but can't get NBN (like us). To be fair, the modem works well in locations where the signal keeps changing between 3G and 4G (like us). When it's new it works well. The problems emerge after a few months of use.
Cons: A WARNING to potential purchasers about the durability and possible safety of this product. We are on our THIRD ZTE modem in two years and I am giving up with this brand of modem now because our third modem is on the way out. The first two units experienced battery swelling and overheating issues. The third worked fine for a few months but we're now having charging and connectivity issues. Read on for the long version if you're interested.
We purchased modem#1 from our local Optus store. Its battery swelled up after about 10 months and the black case cracked open because the battery was so swollen. The modem was still working intermittently but it was really hot to touch and smelled like chemical and my husband said it was a fire hazard. The Optus store staff were not interested in helping us when we took it back to them. They said the battery wasn't covered by the manufacturer's warranty and just left us standing there and served the next customer.
We binned the modem and went off to Big W and bought a second identical modem - thinking maybe we'd just got one with a dud battery. The second modem worked fine for the first six months and then the case started to swell and crack open (deja vu) so I took it back after 7 months. I have to commend Big W at this point - I produced the receipt and the swollen modem and they replaced the modem without argument.
Replacement Modem #3 again worked fine initially - until about a fortnight ago when we started experiencing continual dropouts at all times of the day and night. Unlike the other two occasions, the battery hasn't visibly swollen up this time - this time the unit has just ceased to be reliable with constant connectivity issues even during non peak times. I suspect it has charging/battery issues however as it has to be plugged in all the time (to get it to work intermittently!)
ZTE MF920V with Optus
Optus store, Unley South Australia. I bought this ZTE MF920V Optus mobile WIFI device in August 2017.
The battery had swollen to such an extent that it push the back cover off the device. I was lucky this device’s battery did not explode, and cause a fire in my home.
The staff were shocked at the state of the battery. He tried to remove it but could not.
He then offered to sell me a new device at $20 more than the original device’s price back in August 2017. He explained that they do not sell the battery on its own. I discussed with him that I feel this offer is not sufficient and they should replace the item free of charge. I understand that the warranty period has expired, and the device was in an air conditioned room, and was operated as per its instructions. He declined to replace the device free of charge. I asked if he could speak to his manager, to which he stated she is off sick and is not able to be contacted, but that I could return tomorrow to see if she is in. I again politely refused this offer and said I was unhappy with this level of service. He shrugged his shoulders and said there was nothing he could do without his manager approval and they are only a franchise.
Very unhappy with the lack of service from Optus.
Good 4G WiFi
I have the optus version but unlocked so I can use it with any Australian SIM card. Its pretty good. I mostly use it on holidays or as back up when my optus home internet packs up (often). Its actually faster than my adsl2 so its a relief to use but you have to pay for the data as mobile broadband so not so cheap. It is very simple to use and works well
Cheap & easy
I purchased this modem to use when I moved, with intention of it being an interim measure until I got internet connected but it’s so good I’m not going to bother with cable. Set up couldnt be simpler - plug in and insert sim. Havent experienced drop outs or any problems connecting and using several devices at once. I stream a lot of TV and no problems there either. Great alternative!
Not bad but could be better
It does not have a removable battery, an LCD screen or a way to control data usage. It also is very big in comparison to other models, however at a RRP of $45 AUD its hard to complain too much as it still does have 4G.
A good, sturdy modem
I thought I'd buy this as a backup for a Huawei E5573 modem but quickly ended up using it as the main one. The 4G signal is noticeably sturdier and stronger, in the same position in the room and in the same general blackspot area.
I was concerned there are no external antenna ports on the modem but it doesn't seem to need them, in this area anyway - I used an external antenna on the old modem and got a couple of bars of 4G at best, sometimes slipping back to low-level 3G. This one is a near-constant 4 bars of 4G. The only niggle that lost it a star is that the SIM card does not click into place as you might expect and is held in position by the cover. Most of the time. if it comes loose, you lose signal. But an old-school fix of a rubber band around it solved that problem!
Otherwise, I was pleasantly surprised with its strength of signal and the fact that unlike my old modem, it has a WPS button to connect eg printers via wi-fi. The modem has the ability to connect 32 devices; more than I'll ever need. Using it on a Macbook Pro.
Excellent reception, easy to connect and a saviour when travelling
Being able to have internet on the go that is this reliable is great. We use it when travelling longer distances and on holiday, mostly for the kids but works all the same.
OK until it karked it
Got this on special from KMart - only $35. It worked like a charm; fast, good interface and dead easy to set up. Battery life is a bit weak but I just left it plugged in in the day and it was fine. Signal reception was excellent - better than my phone. Then after a few months it started to switch off randomly even when fully charged. After a few days of that I took it back to KMart for an exchange but they don't carry it any more. Got the money back and bought a Huawei from Woolies instead.
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