Telstra has switched on the first 4G/LTE base stations in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane. 4G data has been sent over the LTE network for the first time outside of field trials, making Telstra the first Australian telco to deploy 4G technology into its wireless network.
As announced in February this year, Telstra is partnering with Ericsson to roll-out the LTE network and upgrade its existing Next G network with LTE technology. Central business districts of all capital cities and selected regional centres will be covered by the end of 2011.
The upgrade takes advantage of 1800MHz mobile spectrum previously used to deliver 2G mobile services. This has become available as more than 80 per cent of Telstra’s mobile customers are now using the operator’s the Next G network. Telstra is one of the first deployments in the world for LTE in the 1800MHz band and this latest milestone is a major step forward.
Mike Wright, executive director Telstra Networks & Access Technologies said; “The integration of 4G technology into our existing wireless network demonstrates how Telstra will continue to deliver high quality services and meet ever-growing customer demand.”
“With more than a million mobile and wireless broadband customers joining Telstra in the past 12 months, and data usage on the Next G network doubling every year, the increased network capacity LTE will provide is vital,” Mr Wright said.
By the end of 2011 when the initial 4G LTE network has been deployed, Telstra will sell dual mode LTE/HSPA+ mobile broadband devices that will operate seamlessly across the 1800MHz and 850MHz spectrum bands, giving Telstra customers the benefits of 4G where it is available and a seamless switchover to 3G HSPA technology across the expansive Next G footprint.
Ericsson chief executive officer Australia and New Zealand, Mr Sam Saba, said; “Some of the world’s leading operators are seriously considering LTE in the 1800MHz band and the growing momentum will accelerate the development of LTE devices.
"LTE represents the future of mobile broadband. Its ability to deliver improvements in network capacity will allow operators to meet the growing demand for data traffic over the coming years.”
Ericsson has been driving open standards and has had the highest impact on the released LTE specifications. Ericsson expects to hold 25 percent of all essential patents for LTE, making it the largest patent holder in the industry.
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Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers and has the leading position in managed services. The company’s portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.
Ericsson is advancing its vision of being the “prime driver in an all-communicating world” through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 180 countries, more than 90,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 203.3 billion (USD 28.2 billion) in 2010. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.