Its On: Optus and Telstra 4G war to commence today…in the unlikely battleground of Newcastle, NSW.
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Australia’s No. 2 telco switched on its 4G network in Newcastle, NSW today, meaning Telstra now has a new rival in the ultra fast 4G space.
Optus always said its 4G LTE network would be live by April, which it claims will be “significantly faster than existing 4G networks” – in other words Telstra’s service – currently the only live 4G network in Oz.
4G networks are said to deliver up to twice as fast on web speeds as the incumbent 3G.
Optus confirmed the 4G switch on this afternooon.
Local residents in Newcastle are said to have been given data modems to use the fledgling service for free for a period, The Australian reports.
And it seems Paul O Sullivan’s telco had been targeting the Newcastle areas Telstra had not yet covered during its phase I 4G rollout in the area – although was pipped to the post slightly when its rival announced Phase II rollout in the region earlier this week.
Other regional areas of New South Wales including Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie are said to be next on Optus’ 4G hit last, with cities Melbourne,Sydney and Perth thereafter.
And just this week, Telstra announced its phase II of its Newcastle 4G rollout which will hit an additional 10 suburbs including Broadmeadow, Callaghan, Georgetown.
But Optus’ 4G service is still in its infancy, with Telstra already releasing two 4G ready handsets (with another Windows 4G phone on the way), 4G hotspot and is live in 100 regional and metro areas in OZ – including all capital city CBDs, associated airports and select regional areas, and has 100,000 customers on its network since roll out last year.
But it looks like there will be plenty 4G users to go round – with analysts Telsyte predicting the number of connected 4G LTE mobile devices in Oz to explode from 100,000 to a whopping 7 million by 2016.
4G coverage is delivered on 700 MHz can be delivered over 13kms from a single tower, compared to around 3-6Kms using existing 4G 1800 MHz spectrum, says Optus.