Telstra has started deploying the next generation of wireless broadband technology in Australian capital cities, hoping to be the first mobile carrier to bring the service to market.
It plans to have commercial services of long-term-evolution (LTE) technology operating by the end of this year.
Initially Telstra will only offer USB dongle devices ( which plug into a laptop or computer), until LTE handsets and tablets come onto the Australian market.
‘With more than a million mobile and wireless broadband customers joining Telstra in the past 12 months, and data usage on the NextG network doubling every year, the increased network capacity LTE will provide is vital,’’ Telstra’s executive director of networks and access technologies Mike Wright said in a statement.
Telstra is setting its LTE network at 850 and 1800 megahertz frequency, the latter is the frequency used by 2G phones. Already 80 per cent of customers have moved from the 2G to the 3G network, freeing up the frequency for new technology.
Telstra has chosen Sierra wireless to provide the dongles, which will work on both 850 and 1800 megahertz.
Both Optus and and Vodafone have also announced plans to roll out LTE networks. In April Vodafone announced it will replace 8000 2G and 3G base stations with equipment which can be switched to LTE “at the flick of a switch”.