4G wireless service is live and kicking in Oz for the first time.The telco is the first to deploy 4G broadband technology into its Next G wireless network and hopes to roll it out nationally before the end of the year.
The first 4G base stations using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, have been switched on in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, Mike Wright, executive director Telstra Networks said today.
4G data has also been sent over the network for the first time outside of field trials.
Taking over from 3G, LTE gives faster data speeds, high quality video conferencing and faster response times for customers using mobile devices allowing speeds as high as 150 megabits a second on the net, it previously stated. One example of this is a full length movie can be downloaded in less than 2.5 minutes.
However, in its statement today it resisted in divulging precise speeds users can expect on the upgrade.
Telstra announced in February it would upgrade with LTE technology in CBDs of all capital cities and “selected regional centres” by the end of the year, to meet “meet ever-growing customer demand.”
Over one million mobile and wireless broadband customers have signed on to its Next G network in the past 12 months:
“Data usage on the Next G network doubling every year, the increased network capacity LTE will provide is vital,” Telstra said in a statement this morning.
“However, the biggest benefit it will bring is additional capacity, meaning more customers can do more things on the network at the same time.”
By the end of 2011 when the initial 4G LTE network has been deployed, it will sell dual mode LTE/HSPA+ mobile broadband devices that will operate over both 1800/850MHz spectrum bands, giving 4G where available.
It will also allow the switchover to 3G HSPA technology and will continue to invest in the 3G network.
Currently around 12% of their customer base was now using wireless as their primary broadband source, Telstra CEO David Thodey revealed and anticipates this growing to 24% very quickly in line with the US market.
Telstra is partnering with Ericsson to roll-out the LTE network, with Sierra Wireless developing the dual mode mobile broadband devices.
“This is an exciting development that demonstrates Telstra and Ericsson are on track to deliver Australia a 4G network by the end of 2011,” said Ericsson CEO, Sam Saba.