Telstra doubles Next G speeds

Telstra has doubled the speed users can expect on its Next G mobile network, with the launch of new hardware capable of a theoretical maximum downlink of 7.2Mbps.

update Telstra has doubled the speed users can expect on its Next G mobile network, with the launch of new hardware capable of a theoretical maximum downlink of 7.2Mbps.

According to the telco, users will now be able to expect typical download speeds of between 550Kbps and 3Mbps, increasing to up to 6Mbps in some CBD and metro areas. Typical upload speeds will also rise, to between 300Kbps and 1Mbps.

Telstra today debuted new laptop data cards designed to take advantage of the faster speeds, in both ExpressCard and USB form, to be sold under the BigPond Wireless Broadband 7.2 and Telstra Mobile Turbocard brands.

"There's now not much to distinguish between wireless and wired networks," Justin Milne, BigPond group MD, said.

Telstra's fastest wired network -- its cable offering in Melbourne and Sydney -- now reaches 30Mbps. However, the telco plans to break the wired speed limit with Next G before the end of the decade, and is targeting a downlink in the region of 40Mbps by 2009.

The network is scheduled to see a further increase in uplink speeds within the next 12 months, to a maximum of 5.8Mbps.

Existing Next G users with data cards capable of a top speed of 3.6Mbps will be able to keep their devices and upgrade it, via the BigPond Web site, to the faster downlink. Similar software upgrades for Next G mobile users will be available soon, the telco said.

There are now over one million users on the Next G network, Telstra says. Data cards remain one of the company's best earners, generating an ARPU (average revenue per user) of over AU$100 per month.

Telstra also announced today further extensions of its 3G coverage, with Next G now available in the towns of Cradle Mountain and Marble Bar, as well as onboard the Spirit of Tasmania I and II ferries.

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