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Telstra and Netgear launch 1Gbps mobile router

The mobile hotspot, created by Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Netgear, is capable of 1Gbps down/150Mbps up, and will work over Telstra's mobile network using 4x4 MIMO and four-band carrier aggregation.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Australian telecommunications carrier Telstra, in partnership with Netgear, Ericsson, and Qualcomm, has announced the launch of a mobile router capable of 1Gbps download and 150Mbps upload speeds.

The Nighthawk M1 mobile hotspot makes use of higher-order 4x4 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (4x4 MIMO) and four-band carrier aggregation of 60MHz of spectrum to support Category 16 LTE Advanced, and has an Ethernet port, two USB ports, and dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz dual concurrent Wi-Fi.

A live test of the mobile router on Tuesday morning saw it attained speeds of up to 895Mbps down/97.43Mbps up.

The router costs AU$360, or is available on a monthly plan, and will launch in mid February.

The router connects up to 20 Wi-Fi devices at a time, and is touted to have a 24-hour battery life, as well as the capability to charge smartphones through its "JumpBoost" feature. Netgear has also developed a mobile app to control device connectivity, which also enables users to manage storage and security, and view media files from the router.

Back in October, Telstra and Netgear, in partnership with Ericsson and Qualcomm, announced a commercial 1Gbps-capable 4G network, with Qualcomm also unveiling a gigabit-class mobile router.

"We pride ourselves on our connectivity expertise, and we continue that tradition today by completing the first commercialisation of a gigabit-class LTE network and device," Telstra group managing director of Networks Mike Wright said at the time.

"With the world's first gigabit-class LTE network, we have substantially improved our network capacity and increased real-world LTE download speeds, while also gaining a distinct advantage over competitors as we can now offer an entirely new class of LTE service."

Telstra had flagged last February that it would be teaming up with Ericsson to launch the world's first 1Gbps commercial network alongside the first commercially available 1Gbps-capable mobile broadband device with Netgear -- with Ericsson seeing LTE as a "vehicle that takes us to 5G".

"Once again, we are pleased to partner with Telstra to deliver the world's first commercial Gigabit LTE network, which we see as an important step as Telstra continues toward 5G," Per Narvinger, Ericsson vice president of Network Systems, said on Tuesday.

"Gigabit LTE provides end users with even faster mobile broadband speeds, further improving their mobile experience while supporting new emerging bandwidth intensive applications ... that employ LTE carrier aggregation of 60MHz of spectrum with higher-order MIMO, and advanced LTE modulation."

In September, Telstra, Ericsson, and Qualcomm attained download speeds of 979Mbps and upload speeds of 129Mbps during 4G network testing using carrier aggregation, 64 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) uplink, 256 QAM downlink, and 4x4 MIMO technologies; Ericsson's Baseband 5216 hardware; Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 LTE modem test device; and Telstra's live network.

The use of 4x4 MIMO increases peak rates twofold without needing additional spectrum, with QAM also increasing the peak data rates.

Telstra and Ericsson in 2015 aggregated five spectrum bands to attain 1Gbps 4G mobile speeds during live commercial mobile trials.

Last year, Telstra and Ericsson also achieved download speeds of between 18Gbps and 22Gbps during the first live trial of 5G in Australia, with the trials conducted in a real-world outdoor environment using Ericsson's 5G radio testbed.

Updated at 12:20pm AEDT, January 31: Added detail on router test, Ericsson and Qualcomm involvement, and quotes from Ericsson.

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