Telstra switches on 4G base stations

Telstra switches on 4G base stations

Summary: Telstra has begun switching on Long Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G network technology at selected base stations in a number of Australian capital cities, ahead of the full launch of the service scheduled to occur by the end of this year.

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Telstra has begun switching on Long Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G network technology at selected base stations in a number of Australian capital cities, ahead of the full launch of the service scheduled to occur by the end of this year.

Broadcast tower

(Broadcast tower image by Steve Beger, CC BY-SA 2.0.)

Telstra's executive director for networks and access technologies, Mike Wright, said this morning that the first base stations to use 4G had been switched on in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, and that data had been successfully sent over the new 4G network.

"The integration of 4G technology into our existing wireless network demonstrates Telstra's intention to continue to deliver high quality services and meet ever-growing customer demand," Wright said in a statement.

In 2010, Telstra conducted a number of trials of LTE technology with Nokia Siemens Networks, Huawei and Ericsson over its 1800MHz spectrum, before ultimately making a deal with the latter in February 2011 to roll out LTE by the year's end.

The roll-out will go to all capital cities in Australia, as well as to a number of select regional centres. Telstra will utilise its existing 1800MHz spectrum, which it says has now been mostly freed up due to 80 per cent of its mobile customers migrating from 2G to the telco's Next G network.

Rival company Vodafone Hutchison Australia recently announced plans to launch LTE services later this year as it begins a massive overhaul of its network equipment. Number two telco, Optus, however, has kept mum on whether it plans to launch any LTE services. Optus CEO Paul O'Sullivan labelled Telstra's LTE announcement as "bragging rights", and said that the technology that utilises LTE has yet to mature to a standard that Optus would be happy with.

Wright said that Telstra plans to sell dual-mode LTE/HSPA+ mobile broadband devices developed by Sierra Wireless at the launch later in the year that can use both the 1800MHz and the 850MHz spectrum bands, meaning that customers will be able to use the 4G network and roam to the Next G network when 4G is unavailable.

"With more than a million mobile and wireless broadband customers joining Telstra in the past 12 months, and data usage on the Next G network doubling every year, the increased network capacity LTE will provide is vital," Wright said.

Topics: Telcos, Mobility, Optus, Telstra

About

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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22 comments
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  • There are no 4G-LTE handsets commercially available for Australian frequencies.
    There are American 4G handsets available.

    But if you test an American spec handsets on an Aussie/Euro spec network, it wont return the same outcome as an Aussie/Euro spec handset.

    Aussie/Euro networks are more robust and reliable, it wasn't made to a budget, it was made to match customers experience.
    cootified
    • What you are saying is the norm for any new service using new technology... they will have a minimal selection of handsets initially that will build along with demand.

      The handsets when available will be Australian-spec with correct approvals.
      FiberLover
  • Go for it the Big T,

    First to lead, unlike the others, who just whinge and complain.

    Yes, not many LTE products, but am sure this will put a big dint in the NBN FTTP for the time being.

    Cheaper, and will be just as fast for the price. Most punters will adopt over time, unlike the 'broadband ethusiast' who "Talks Big, Pays low" on Exetel $25 plans and still wants 100Mbps without paying. Jokers! Will laugh my head off once seeing their faces with the NBN pricing.

    NBN access deal will just further 'feed the beast', making it unstoppable. You can only hope Malcolm personal ambitions can be put behind, for the time being, until he sells off the NBN back to Telstra for a dime....
    Theguy-bbb4a
    • "Cheaper, and will be just as fast for the price."

      Just as fast? Sorry it wont, real world numbers just in:
      http://www.tomsguide.com/us/AT-T-LTE-Speeds-4G-iphone,news-11270.html

      "On the download side, AT&T showed a 28.87 Mbps and for upstream reached speeds of 10.4 Mbps."

      "AT&T said its demonstration models more real-world scenarios.'

      So, fibre just keeps getting faster and wireless keeps getting slower lol.
      Hubert Cumberdale
      • ... yes that's why:

        "With more than a million mobile and wireless broadband customers joining Telstra in the past 12 months, and data usage on the Next G network doubling every year,"

        Telstra are really doing it hard on wireless revenue.
        advocate-d95d7
        • "Telstra are really doing it hard on wireless revenue."

          What? Who cares? Who are you talking to?
          Hubert Cumberdale
          • Seems old advocate/alain has proven once and for all he's simply a subservient little Telstra mole, infiltrating numerous forums with his FUDulent anti-NBN idiocy, to garnish support for Telstra to obtain a better NBN deal...LOL

            Yeah his FUD really makes a "difference"...LOL!
            Rizz-cd230
  • Your Telstra connections and bias become more obvious with every sillier comment alain...!
    Rizz-cd230
  • Rizz,

    The 'Attack Hampster' for the NBN. Wouldn't quite call you the 'Attack Dog', more 'Hampster'.

    So your contribution to the NBN Co, when (or if) it ever comes to you, 100Mbps plan at 10 Terrabytes eh?

    From your comments, no doubt, another 'Talk Big, Pay Low'. Will be the first to cry and whinge once the cost of the service come reality.....
    Theguy-bbb4a
    • "Will be the first to cry and whinge once the cost of the service come reality"

      You are talking about LTE right?
      Hubert Cumberdale
    • No need to cry gramps because the 50's are over and those poor TLS shares you paid $8 are only worth $3...

      Talking about plankers!
      Rizz-cd230
    • Theguy, please prise yourself out of the 50's and come join us here in reality!
      Rizz-cd230
  • Can I please have 100GB of data on an LTE wireless connection for less than $100 a month? If not, then bring on the NBN!
    RL-079ec
    • Wouldn't surprise me that you'll get that in a year or two. Well before NBN comes around in your neighbourhood.
      AndersonL-e0a14
  • Yes and welcome to all the other trade offs too (but shhh, lets not mention those)...!
    Rizz-cd230
  • "Can I please have 100GB of data on an LTE wireless connection for less than $100 a month? If not, then bring on the NBN!"

    Not yet. But you can have 5 times that on ADSL2+ for less than $80, with a telephone service as well, that can be bundled with a mobile service.

    Wireless has been a victim of it's own success.... increasingly people happily stump up $100/mth for a mobile service with a few of gigs of downloads, so obviously the telcos will be milking it as long as they can.

    With the new US National Broadband Initiative being basically wireless the big R&D bucks are now in wireless technology more than ever, so expect rapid ramp in quality and speed.
    FiberLover
    • "But you can have 5 times that on ADSL2+ for less than $80"

      We Wish!!!!!
      All but one house in our street told to go wireless.
      No available ports for most & ADSL1 @
      grump3
      • Re-posted as my crappy connection failed to complete the transfer:

        "But you can have 5 times that on ADSL2+ for less than $80"

        We Wish!!!!!
        All but one house in our street told to go wireless.
        No available ports for most & ADSL1 @ less than 1Gb/s max.
        grump3
  • Would it be possible (considering the intelligence of those involved) to be fair and honest when replying to other contributors.

    Theguy stated that 4G/LTE "will be just as fast FOR THE PRICE".
    Hubert Cumberdale uses the words "just as fast" and drops the "for the price" which completely misguides the reader as to Theguy's true and factual meaning.
    Hubert would or should know that the NBN will be sold on differential speed denominations and faster will be dearer.
    sydneyla
    • "Hubert Cumberdale uses the words "just as fast" and drops the "for the price""

      No I didn't, this is EXACTLY what I quoted:

      "Cheaper, and will be just as fast for the price."

      "Just as fast" was one point, I could have argued the "for the price" point too if I wanted...

      "differential speed denominations "

      You are just making up unnecessary phrases here.

      "and faster will be dearer."

      Pound for pound (per gigabyte or mbit) it'll be cheaper than wireless.
      Hubert Cumberdale