Telstra has dismissed the idea of 4G as a threat to fixed line broadband, calling it a “complimentary” source. And the devil is in the detail as far as network management goes, it also revealed.
“We see LTE as just another wireless technology and essentially just another means of carrying traffic,” Mike Wright, Telstra director of network and access technologies, told journalists in Sydney yesterday.
This is despite Telstra recently launching their 4G LTE service, viewed by many as a possible rival to the yet to be built $36bn fibre cable network.
“If you talk about NBN and you talk about wireless, they’re absolutely complementary to each other,” he added.
The country’s biggest telco provider recently said the upgrade of its Next G network to LTE will happen by the end of 2011.
Long Term Evolution/HSPA+ mobile broadband devices that operate across the 1800MHz and 850MHz spectrum ranges would give customers the benefits of 4G in select locations, allowing speeds as high as 150 megabits a second, the telco said at the LTE launch earlier this year.
“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,” said CEO David Thodey.
The NBN said last month the purchase of spectrum licences would allow peak speeds of at least 12 megabits per second but will be 50Mbps or 100Mbps at consistent levels.
Opposition spokesman on communications Malcolm Turnbull claims LTE and other 4G wireless services make the National Broadband a less viable option given the lower cost and speeds available.
Last week, the telco also revealed their plan B if the NBN fails to see the light of day, admitting it would still take a “blended” approach, using both fibre and wireless technology .
“We would perhaps use some fibre to the premises in some circumstances, we would use fibre to the node in some circumstances, and we would continue broadband over copper in some circumstances.”
Rival carriers VividWireless and Optus are also currently working on development of similar LTE networks.
Just 12 per cent of Telstra’s customer base currently use wireless as their primary broadband source, although they admit demand is growing.
This comes as Telstra revealed its other major secret: the Devil.
Nicknamed Devil, the software developed by the University of Adelaide, helps the carrier identify potential bottlenecks in its network, thus avoid problems which has plagued rival operators including Vodafone, due to over capacity.