Telstra aims gigabit LTE service at Australian business users
31 January 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray
Telstra says it has launched a gigabit LTE service to businesses in Australia – with download speeds of almost 1Gbps and peak upload speeds close to 150Mbps.
The company is calling it “the world’s first commercial gigabit LTE network” and says it is available in Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, from today. It will extend the service to the central business districts of other state capital cities, “with more to follow” by the end of February 2017.
Mike Wright, Telstra’s group managing director for networks, said: “This will deliver more bandwidth and lower latencies which are critical for emerging applications such as downloading 4K video, IoT, autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and shared virtual reality.”
Telstra is working with Ericsson, Qualcomm and Netgear on the 4G project. Customers will be able to buy Netgear’s gigabit LTE mobile router, Nighthawk M1, in late February. According to Australian sources, the device will cost the equivalent of $270. The company first announced its plans for the service a year ago, though then it said gigabit LTE would be launched in late 2016.
Telstra has not so far announced the charges for the gigabit LTE service. A search on telstra.com.au for “gigabit LTE” failed to return any results.
Telstra pointed out that the gigabit LTE actually delivers a peak physical layer download speed of approximately 979Mbps. It uses dual carrier aggregation to achieve a peak uplink physical layer speed of about 150Mbps, with a suitable device. The company warned that: “Actual day to day speeds experienced by users depend on network conditions and the user’s application.”
Telstra said that the service “will deliver extremely fast access to consumers’ favourite content and even faster access to enterprise applications and business-critical data.” It added: “In addition to gigabit LTE speeds on the downlink, Telstra’s new network capability also delivers up to double the previous uplink speeds, meaning uploading content to social media, the cloud or business applications will be much faster.”