Telstra sits on Next G speed boost

Telstra has switched on a "dual-carrier technology" speed upgrade to its Next G mobile network, according to a staff member who outed the move on Twitter.

Telstra has switched on a "dual-carrier technology" speed upgrade to its Next G mobile network, according to a staff member who outed the move on Twitter.

The Ericsson software upgrade to Telstra's Next G network, flagged by its acting chief operations officer Michael Rocca late last year, has been completed, according to Jonathon Haysom, an Internet and Next Gen Home Market Development manager at Telstra.

Following Telstra's decision to drop consumer and SME mobile pricing, Haysom tweeted: "[It's] not just pricing people! We also gave Next G another boost! HSPA+ Dual Carrier technology is deployed!"

He later clarified that Telstra had previously tested the technology, but it had not deployed the technology "into the wild". A Telstra spokesperson declined to comment on Haysom's claim.

Rocca had said in December that the telco had completed successful tests alongside its partner, Swedish networking vendor, Ericsson. The closed environment tests produced an average of 36Mbps download speeds, while its theoretical was 42Mbps.

"In real world conditions actual customer download speeds will always be less than 42Mbps," said Rocca. Still, he said customers "in selected areas" could expect it to see speeds double.

But there's still a vital piece missing: compatible devices. Currently no phone or modem can exploit the new speeds available on Telstra's Next G network. And there's still the question of what the actual speeds will be. Telstra's 21Mbps announcement last February, coupled with a compatible Sierra Wireless modem, produced real-world speeds of around 8Mbps.

Telstra is working with Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless to bring compatible products to market at some stage this year, though no date has been set.