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Telstra expands 4G 700MHz trials ahead of iPhone 6 release

Telstra is switching on parts of its 700MHz 4G network in preparation for the influx of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices onto the network after launch next Friday.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

As Telstra prepares for the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus next week, the company is switching on 4G 700MHz in more locations.

The iPhone 6 is not the first mobile device to utilise the 700MHz spectrum for 4G, with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8 already on sale in Australia as Telstra and Optus have tested out parts of the network ahead of a full launch in January 2015. However, the telcos are preparing for a huge boost in sales and customers signing up to contracts with the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in Australia next week.

Telstra has today announced that it will expand its trials to over 20 locations next week, including parts of Sydney, Adelaide, Darwin, Bundaberg, Yamba, and Sarina. Telstra and Optus have already switched on the networks in parts of Darwin, Perth, Fremantle, Mt Isa, Mildura, Griffith, and Esperance.

As of January 1, 2015, Telstra announced that its 4G 700MHz network will cover a 3-kilometre radius around of all Australian capital city CBDs, as well as 50 regional locations. By the end of January, the company's entire 4G network will cover 90 percent of the Australian population.

Telstra will also progress plans to use carrier aggregation to combine the 4G spectrum holdings in the 700MHz and 1800MHz bands to offer even faster speeds on the 4G network with compatible devices.

Telstra is expecting that by the end of 2014, there will be more than 1 million customers on its network with 4G 700MHz-compatible devices. As of the end of June, Telstra has 15.1 million mobile subscribers, including 2.8 million active 4G devices on the network.

Optus is also in commercial trials for its 4G 700MHz network, while Vodafone is refarming its 850MHz spectrum currently used for 3G to boost its 4G spectrum holdings in the 1800MHz band. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will work on the 850MHz spectrum band for 4G in addition to the 700MHz, 1800MHz, and a number of the higher-frequency bands used for time-division long-term evolution 4G.

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