Telstra’s CEO, David Thodey, detailed the company’s plans at Mobile World Congress. “The technology can provide many Australians with faster data speeds, high-quality video conferencing and faster response times when using mobile applications or accessing the Internet”.
The new 4G network will use LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology over the existing 1800MHz spectrum, and, for the near future, will complement rather than replace Telstra’s NextG 850MHz 3G network.
Telstra has yet to confirm how much faster 4G will be compared to its existing NextG network, however if that trials that Telstra conducted last year in regional Victoria are anything to go by, we can expect download speeds topping out at an impressive 100Mbps. That’s over twice as fast as Telstra’s current HSPA+ Dual Carrier technology, which provides peak downloads of 42Mbps in select parts of Australia.
4G-compatible modems and phones will be needed to access the new network, and Telstra plans to sell dual-mode LTE/HSPA+ devices that will operate seamlessly across its 3G and 4G networks – not unlike the way 2G and 3G interact now.
No phones have been announced yet, however a dual-mode USB modem is in the works that will automatically connect to the fastest network available to maximise mobile data speeds (pictured).
Optus and VHA have also been trialling 4G LTE networks, however neither company has made any formal announcements as to commercial rollouts yet.