Australian LTE Rollouts and Trials
In recent years Telstra has been an early mover with new mobile technologies. In February 2009 Telstra released the world’s first 21 Mbps HSPA+ service, in 2010 Telstra was one of the first carriers to release dual carrier HSPA+ services.
In September 2011 Telstra launched an 1800 MHz band LTE service in all capital cities and some regional areas. By the end of 2013, the Telstra LTE network covered around 85% of the population.
Optus launched its LTE service in Newcastle in April 2012, with capital city coverage available through 2013. Optus also has 98 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band in capital cities, a band previously used by Vivid Wireless. In April 2013 Optus launched a 2.3 GHz TD-LTE service in Canberra, since expanded to other capital cities. The Optus 2.3 GHz TD-LTE service is called “4G plus”.
Vodafone launched an 1800 MHz band LTE service for some capital cities in mid 2013, based on a 20 MHz channel.
NBN-Co is rolling out a 2.3 GHz band TD-LTE broadband service in regional areas.
Long Term Evolution (LTE) is a key mobile network upgrade. Unlike current 3G networks, which mostly use paired 5 MHz radio channels, LTE operates over a range of channel widths. This allows great LTE deployment flexibility, as operators can more easily obtain spectrum. The initial LTE peak downlink rate target was 100 Mbps, however much higher rates have been achieved. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone now offer $G LTE services, mostly in the 1800 MHz band.