Telstra plans LTE upgrade before year-end

Telstra plans LTE upgrade before year-end

Summary: Telstra is set to become the first Australian telecommunications provider to offer Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile network, planning an upgrade of its Next G network in select cities by the end of 2011.

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Telstra is set to become the first Australian telecommunications provider to offer Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile network, planning an upgrade of its Next G network in select cities by the end of 2011.

4G dongle

An LTE dongle (Credit: Telstra)

The plan was announced by Telstra CEO David Thodey at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain today. Thodey said the company will upgrade its Next G network in the central business districts of all capital cities in Australia, as well as a number of regional cities by the end of this year.

"Telstra is proud to again be a technology leader, providing Australians with leading-edge mobile broadband services on the world's largest national mobile network," Thodey said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

"The technology can provide many Australians with faster data speeds, high-quality video-conferencing and faster response times when using mobile applications or accessing the internet.

"It can also help Telstra meet demand for mobile data, which is doubling every year as customers move to adopt data-hungry smartphones, mobile modems and tablets," Thodey added.

At the company's half-yearly results last week, Thodey revealed that the company had added nearly 1 million new mobile customers in the last half of 2010, with almost 70 per cent of these customers using smartphones.

The telecommunications giant will use its existing 1800MHz spectrum for LTE, integrated with Telstra's existing 850MHz high-speed packet access service — a world-first, according to the company.

The telco will offer mobile broadband dongles for customers to access this service in places where it is available. The upgrade will not impact the services for customers who do not wish to upgrade, Telstra said.

"We see the integration of LTE technology into the Next G network as a way to continue to deliver high-quality services and meet growing customer demand, and we are very happy to bring this service to Australia," Thodey said.

The plan is in partnership with technology providers Ericsson, Sierra Wireless and Qualcomm. Over the past few months the company had been trialling various LTE technologies with Ericsson, Nokia Siemens and Huawei.

According to Ericsson, it will be responsible for deploying all LTE radio sites with the new multi-standard radio base station. The company will also upgrade Telstra's existing packet core network to support the new LTE radio network. The company declined to reveal the value of the deal.

Topics: Telcos, Legal, Mobility, Telstra

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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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2 comments
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  • How cynical and hypocritical can you get?
    There is Mr Thodey talking up LTE in Europe as a great Tesltra advance (but only for the usual city groups) while under his leadership he endorses the continuation of Telstra's "no-broadband" policy to many of HIS, yes HIS, "pair gain" victims.

    Yes - as a Telstra business and home customer (sorry, victim) all we get is around 40Kbits/sec (remember - NOT 40Mbits/sec) on dial up lines, pair-gained through HIS - yes HIS - RIM box! (Well -f ro the moment anyway until the NBN Co buys all that junk!)

    Shame on Mr Thodey - how can he even purport to say how advanced his company is on the international stage while so much of his RIM/Pair Gain infrastructure is still forced onto the people of our nation.
    Hardly the mark of a company interested in the true availability of broadband in our country through his company! (By the way - I am on the Gold Coast of Queensland - NOT in some far away location!)
    caelli
  • your lte is not much good for country people we still need fiber or copper to relay to
    the next tower we have nextg if you are within 4mile of tower and said tower is a 100 inland from coast of qld.
    bryon j bartley