Telstra gets 300Mbps speeds in expanded LTE-Advanced trial

Telstra gets 300Mbps speeds in expanded LTE-Advanced trial

Summary: Telstra has expanded its LTE-Advanced trial to new spectrum bands where the company was able to achieve peak download speeds of 300Mbps.

TOPICS: Telcos, 4G, Telstra

Telstra has continued its trials of LTE-Advanced, this time achieving download speeds of up to 300Mbps across the 1800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum band.

Telstra, which aims to have its 4G network reach 85 percent of the population by the end of this month, has been testing out LTE-Advanced since July with network construction partner Ericsson. LTE-Advanced, or carrier aggregation, allows networks to carry network traffic over aggregated spectrum in two different spectrum bands.

After an initial Sunshine Coast trial with a category 4 device developed with Netgear using a Qualcomm chipset over the 1800MHz and 900MHz spectrum bands in July, the company has announced it has now tested LTE-A using 20MHz in the 1800MHz band and 20MHz in the 2.6GHz band. In a blog post, Telstra's director of networks Mike Wright said that the company achieved speeds of up to 300Mbps.

"This morning we were able to see [LTE-Advanced] in action, live on our commercial 4G network, by aggregating two channels of 20MHz spectrum to achieve download speeds of up to 300 Mbps in a trial environment," he said.

Wright noted that while the trial speeds were impressive, actual typical customer speeds will be lower. He said the trials will be used to help develop Telstra's plans in 2014 ahead of the release of the 700MHz spectrum for 4G at the beginning of 2015.

"As we move into 2014 we will use these trials to inform the development of our network and the early launch of devices that will be ready for the combined APT700 MHz and LTE1800 spectrum bands," he said.

Wright boasted that Telstra was now only "a few hundred" base stations away from reaching its 85 percent 4G coverage target, and Telstra has "four times the 4G coverage" of either Optus or Vodafone.

This week saw Sydney's analog television signal switched off in preparation for the release of the 700MHz spectrum for use by the telcos for 4G networks in 2015.

Topics: Telcos, 4G, Telstra


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • I wonder what it means for the NBN

    The half-copper-NBN will only have a guaranteed speed of 25Mbps.

    LTE-Advanced gives 300Mbps. OK, that's probably if you have line of sight to a nearby tower. Even if the speed is reduced in real-world conditions, it will still be faster than the half-copper-NBN.

    Data tends to be cheaper on copper than over the air. But if people use ADSL2+ for their bulk downloads (as they mostly do already), and LTE-A for those times they need speed, why would they bother subscribing to the half-NBN which is slower?

    It's going to be increasingly difficult to attract people to sign up to a half-copper-NBN. Now if it is a 100%-fiber-NBN, with 1GBps speed, that really is an improvement to what is already available over the air.
    • How?

      How is the 300 Mbps going to be delivered if it needs to throttle through a copper line from the tower to a FttN node?

      Are they going to make a special case for mobile towers to be full fiber lines?
      • How?

        Because it doesn't go through a FTTN node.

        Telstra run their own fibre network.
      • FIBRE ttN

        You do understand the F stands for fibre to the node. There can and will be LTE-A antennas at the node. The technology for getting data the last few hundred metres is pretty irrelevant, as long as it gets there. 1G on fibre, millimetre wave, LTE-A, HFC, copper is still 1G per second. If anything these kind of developments show the folly of digging up great-aunt edna's rose bushes.
        Andy Grace
    • Very interesting

      Although I do NOT think it will be any kind of answer to fibre, I AM starting to think I'd rather have LTE-A than the half-baked-NBN FttN. I must say I took delivery of my new LTE-A I9506 handset this week, and once I was in a Telstra 5 bar 4G area I gave it a speed test. I got about 70Mbps down and 30Mbps up. That's something I've personally never seen before on my 6Mbps/0.3Mbps connection ADLS1 at home.

      So if LTE-A became as affordable as my ADSL1 ($60 for 300Gb or so), and NBNCo would guarantee over building the network so that we don't have ridiculous 4G congestion soon, I would actually be quite happy having LTE-A as some sort of fixed wireless solution.

      At today's prices though, and real possibility of congestion as the amount of users increases, I would never consider it.
      • It will never be as affordable ADSL2+. 4G mobile speeds will always be significantly more expensive for 2 reasons:
        - more capex and more maintanence is required
        - if it were a lot cheaper, you wouldn't be getting 70mbps of speed

        Goto other parts of the world where LTE doesn't get much above 6-12mbps because of the congestion (and the cheap pricing).

        Plus this is Telstra we are talking about. 300Gb for $60 isn't even available on their ADSL2+ nework yet.