Unlocked Telstra USB 4G (ZTE MF821) 4G USB Modem Review

Today, we get a new 4G LTE USB datacard, the 4G aircard model number is ZTE MF821. The 4G modem is packed well in a box, there is the operator’s logo “Telstra USB 4G” on the front box, and the information is telling user this 4G USB modem. The ZTE MF821 is already unlocked by our group, so users don’t need worry about the lock issue.



At the side of the box, we can see that LTE Frequency bands that ZTE MF821 could work with. The specification indicates MF821 could support FDD LTE 1800/2600Mhz, but per our information from the manufacturer ZTE, the modem MF821 4G aircard could support band 1, band 3 and band 7(1800/2100/2600MHz), we suppose this band is not activated because the operator Telstra is not providing the LTE band 1 (2100MHz).




And the 3G DC-HSPA+ Tri-band (850/1900/2100) is backward compatible. Under the 4G LTE network, user could enjoy high speed up to 10Mbps. Even on 3G network, ZTE MF821 could reach speed to 42Mbps.




Open the package, we can see the 4G dongle ZTE MF821. There is a logo of “4G” and “T”, which means Telstra 4G. On the side, we can see two small icon of signal; they are two hidden connectors for external antennas. This feature is important for 4G data transmission, and it lets MF821 different from MF820 or MF820T. On the other side, there is no slot.




The USB of ZTE MF821 is rotatable for 180 degree, user could hide the USB in the body of MF821. User need open the back over and find the SIM card slot. On the SIM slot, we can see the model number, IMEI number, place of origin (Made in China) and manufacturer ZTE Corporation. And close to the SIM card slot, there is a slot for MicroSD memory card. The MF821 could support maximum 32GB SD memory card.




Comparing with other ZTE 4G Aircard, such MF880 or MF820D, ZTE MF821 is really very slim, the size of MF821 is as big as a 3G datacard.  So if a user prefer a small size USB dongle, ZTE MF821 is a good option and without any contract. But before purchase, user should concern about the 4G frequency band  compatibility, if you want a 4G Aircard for FDD band 20 (800MHz) or TDD band 38 (2300MHz), or any other bands that are not same as MF821 supporting, you may need check other model and choose the right one. You can check here more 4G Aircard for various LTE frequency bands:   http://www.4gltemall.com/ue-by-spectrum.html







How to Buy 4G Modem between Similar Models?

More and more people are choosing 4G modems as their preferred network in the plan. And more and more 4G dongles are available for various operators all over the world. Then here comes a problem: many customers feel confused by the models and especially two similar models. Customer don’t know what’s the difference, which make s them in trouble deciding which one to buy.



ZTE MF821 and MF821D are two similar 4G dongles. We will take the two 4G LTE modem as example to explain our topic today. Now if I list them in front of you and let you tell what the difference is. You maybe feel headache…don’t worry; if I were you, I also can’t tell anything, perhaps my answer is they are completely the same.  But actually, they are different, of course, not on the appearance.


The key differences for most of the 4G modems are the LTE frequency bands that they could support. Other features are almost the same and not influence the usage. ZTE MF821 could support 4G LTE band 1, band 3 and band 7 (1800/2100/2600MHz). But ZTE MF821D supports band 3, Band 7 and band 20(800/1800/2600MHz).


Even though some customer may concern about the connector for external 4G antenna, the network bands should be the first concern because it determines whether a 4G modem would work properly or not. And we could see this feature from the dongle body. The inner part, especially the technical specifications are invisible.



Getting to know the specification of the 4G LTE modem, user need check the operator’s network bands. If the bands are partially the same as the 4G USB dongle or 4G mobile hotspot, then the operators’ SIM card work with the Wireless devices.  But if you are using a USB modem that is not with contract plan, you must make sure the USB modems are SIM card unlocked.



Above should be the key matters that influence the usage of a 4G dongle/modem/surfstick/datacard.  If you want to know the details of a 4G USB Modem, welcome to check the list UEs by LTE Frequency bands: http://www.4gltemall.com/ue-by-spectrum.html


ZTE MF821 4G LTE USB Surfstick General Review

ZTE MF821 4G LTE USB Modemis a new 4G LTE Surfstick from ZTE, it’s also called Telstra Pre-Paid USB 4G, which allows you to download data at speeds up to 100 Mb/s (LTE) under 4G and 3G UMTS up to 28.8 Mb/s (HSPA + MIMO).

ZTE MF821/MF821D 4G LTE Modem (Telstra Pre-Paid USB 4G)
ZTE MF821/MF821D 4G LTE Modem (Telstra Pre-Paid USB 4G)

With connection with additional micro SDHC card, ZTE MF821 allows you to use the modem as a USB memory up to 32 GB. As the sister model, ZTE MF820 4G LTE USB Modem supports 1800/2100/2600MHz, one more 4G band supported than ZTE MF821.


ZTE MF820 4G 100Mbps USB Modem
ZTE MF820 4G 100Mbps USB Modem


ZTE MF821 4G LTE USB Modem Specification:



* LTE-FDD 1800/2600MHz

* UMTS 850/900/2100MHz

* EGPRS/GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz

* download speeds (from the Internet to the user):

* LTE Download speed up to 100 Mbps

* HSPA + up to 28.8 Mbps

* Upload speed (from the user to the Internet):

* LTE upload speed up to 50 Mbps

* HSPA + up to 5.76 Mbps

* Supported operating systems: Windows 7, Vista (SP1), XP (SP2/SP3), Windows 2000, Mac OS 10.4 or later

* Dimensions: 87.3mm x 29.5mm x 14mm