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Telstra Switches on First LTE Mobile Equipment
www.telstra.com.au
 
Telstra has switched on its first LTE base stations in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane as it prepares to offer LTE services inthe central business districts of major cities and selected regional centres by the end of 2011. Telstra has partneredwith Ericsson to roll out its LTE network, while Sierra Wireless has been developing dual mode LTE/HSPA+ mobile broadband devices that will operate across the 1800 MHz and 850 MHz spectrum bands. With 80% of Telstra's mobile customers migrated to the Next G network, Telstra has been able to reuse the 1800 MHz spectrum for HSPA+ and LTE.

Next-generation mobile communications are a major step closer, with Telstra becoming the first Australian telco to deploy 4G technology into its wireless network.

Mike Wright, executive director Telstra Networks & Access Technologies said the first 4G base stations, using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, have been switched on in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane and 4G data has been sent over the network for the first time outside of field trials.

“The integration of 4G technology into our existing wireless network demonstrates Telstra’s intention to continue to deliver high quality services and meet ever-growing customer demand,” Mr Wright said.

Telstra announced in February this year it would upgrade its existing Next G® network with LTE technology in the central business districts of all capital cities and selected regional centres by the end of 2011.

Eighty per cent of Telstra’s mobile customers have migrated to the Next G® network enabling the reuse of the 1800MHz spectrum previously used to deliver 2G mobile services.

“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.

“Ultimately, LTE will also provide faster data speeds, high quality video conferencing and faster response times for customers using mobile applications and the internet on this network. However, the biggest benefit it will bring is additional capacity, meaning more customers can do more things on the network at the same time.”

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 seamless switchover to 3G HSPA technology across the expansive Next G® footprint.

Telstra is partnering with Ericsson to roll-out the LTE network, with Sierra Wireless developing the dual mode mobile broadband devices.

Ericsson chief executive officer Australia and New Zealand, Mr Sam Saba, said “This is an exciting development that demonstrates Telstra and Ericsson are on track to deliver Australia a 4G network by the end of 2011. Telstra’s Next G® network is already recognised globally as a world-class mobile broadband network. Adding LTE capability into this network will allow Telstra to continue to deliver a superior end-user experience for Telstra Next G® customers.”

President and chief executive officer Sierra Wireless, Jason Cohenour, said “This upgrade further demonstrates Telstra is a world-leader in high-speed, high-quality mobile broadband connectivity. Sierra Wireless is delighted our long-term collaboration with Telstra, Ericsson and Qualcomm continues as we advance mobile broadband technology forward and bring market leading mobile broadband devices to Telstra’s customers.”

“Telstra is proud to remain the technology leader, providing Australian’s with leading edge mobile broadband services on the world’s largest national mobile network,” said Mr Wright.

“Our customers benefit through having access to more than 2.1m square kilometres of coverage across Australia, and the fastest upload and download speeds with our HSPA+ network. We are maintaining this benefit by moving to deploy the first mobile 4G network in Australia.”