As of today, Vodafone customers in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle and Wollongong will be progressively able to crank their mobile downloads to 11, with Vodafone having flipped the switch and activated their 4G LTE network in the said cities.
Vodafone are claiming that their network is the fastest in Australia, with speeds up to 100Mbps, and trials showed that the network was indeed capable of achieving upwards of 50Mbps download speeds. Of course, trials are much different to real-world usage and it will be truly impressive if Vodafone can keep those sorts of speeds going after opening the network up for everyone.
Members of the Ausdroid team who use Vodafone have, earlier today, witnessed these kinds of speeds already, and there are certainly places around a few capital cities where the 50mbps download speeds are not only achievable, but steady. We’ve had a couple of download tests of large files and seen sustained transfer rates around this speed which, for a mobile network, is truly incredible.
Some of us who aren’t Vodafone customers have observed that these kinds of speeds are possible on the other carriers’ networks, but certainly not as reliably. The flipside is, at least at the very beginning, the other telcos’ respective 4G footprints do seem to be a bit larger, but with twelve months in the field already, that’s to be expected, and one can only imagine that Vodafone will catch up soon enough.
While its early days yet, and we expect that results may shift downward a little once more and more users jump on to Vodafone’s 4G network, our early impression is that this network will compete speed-wise with Optus and Telstra’s networks, and in some instances, wipe the floor with them.
Customers without LTE-capable handsets will also likely see improved data speeds and reliability in LTE-covered areas as well, as much of the strain on the 3G network will be lifted due to fewer devices relying on it exclusively.
Current Vodafone customers with LTE-capable phones can ‘switch on’ the new network as of today, while new customers will be able to join the party from next month. If you’re curious about Vodafone’s LTE coverage area, have a gander at their coverage checker.
If you’ve got an LTE-capable phone and you’re on Vodafone, run a speed test and let us know what speeds you’re getting in the comments.