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Telstra gets 300Mbps speeds in expanded LTE-Advanced trial

Telstra has expanded its LTE-Advanced trial to new spectrum bands where the company was able to achieve peak download speeds of 300Mbps.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Telstra has continued its trials of LTE-Advanced, this time achieving download speeds of up to 300Mbps across the 1800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum band.

Telstra, which aims to have its 4G network reach 85 percent of the population by the end of this month, has been testing out LTE-Advanced since July with network construction partner Ericsson. LTE-Advanced, or carrier aggregation, allows networks to carry network traffic over aggregated spectrum in two different spectrum bands.

After an initial Sunshine Coast trial with a category 4 device developed with Netgear using a Qualcomm chipset over the 1800MHz and 900MHz spectrum bands in July, the company has announced it has now tested LTE-A using 20MHz in the 1800MHz band and 20MHz in the 2.6GHz band. In a blog post, Telstra's director of networks Mike Wright said that the company achieved speeds of up to 300Mbps.

"This morning we were able to see [LTE-Advanced] in action, live on our commercial 4G network, by aggregating two channels of 20MHz spectrum to achieve download speeds of up to 300 Mbps in a trial environment," he said.

Wright noted that while the trial speeds were impressive, actual typical customer speeds will be lower. He said the trials will be used to help develop Telstra's plans in 2014 ahead of the release of the 700MHz spectrum for 4G at the beginning of 2015.

"As we move into 2014 we will use these trials to inform the development of our network and the early launch of devices that will be ready for the combined APT700 MHz and LTE1800 spectrum bands," he said.

Wright boasted that Telstra was now only "a few hundred" base stations away from reaching its 85 percent 4G coverage target, and Telstra has "four times the 4G coverage" of either Optus or Vodafone.

This week saw Sydney's analog television signal switched off in preparation for the release of the 700MHz spectrum for use by the telcos for 4G networks in 2015.

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