Telstra releases 300 Mbps mobile broadband device

Summary:Telstra has released what it claims is the first mobile broadband device in the Australian market to feature the LTE-Advanced category 6 technology.

Telstra announced this week the release of its Advanced Pro X mobile broadband device, claiming it is the first in the Australian market to feature LTE-Advanced category 6 technology, able to support speeds of up to 300 Mbps — but only in theory, according to the Australian telco.

According to Telstra, the battery-powered mobile hotspot device uses a technique called carrier aggregation, which allows the device to utilise both the 4G 700MHz and 4G 1800MHz spectrum, theoretically giving it the technical potential to reach speeds of up to 300 Mbps.

However, Telstra said that "real world" speeds would be less than that and would depend on its network infrastructure.

Telstra said that, while the 700MHz network option won't be available until 2015, the device will be on sale from this week and will still use the existing 4G 1800MHz spectrum.

A Telstra spokesperson said that, with the Advanced Pro X initially working on the company's 4G 1800MHz network, it will support download speeds of between 2 Mbps to 50 Mbps in 4G areas.

The Advanced Pro X, which has a 10 hour battery life, is able to connect up to 10 devices via Wi-Fi, includes a reverse charging feature and can be used with both Mac and PC.

The local release of the new wireless broadband device this week follows an announcement in February by Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei, that it was working with Telstra to bring the new LTE category 6 device to Australia.

Huawei revealed the partnership with Telstra during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. At the time, the company flagged the Advanced Pro X as being the "world’s first" LTE category 6-compatible mobile broadband device.

Although Huawei said this week that it had conducted a 300 Mbps download connectivity test in partnership with Qualcomm Technologies using the LTE category 6 technology, Telstra has indicated its network infrastructure would currently not support download such data speeds.

"The Telstra Wi-Fi 4G Advanced Pro X will be one of our first devices that's ready to take advantage of the superior reach and speeds that we're aiming to deliver when we introduce 700MHz spectrum and team it with our existing 4G spectrum," said Andrew Volard, Telstra's director of devices, in February.

Topics: Telstra, Broadband

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Leon covers enterprise technology and start-ups from ZDNet's Sydney newsroom.

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