With the looming full scale launch of the 700MHz LTE network in Australia coming up in January, Telstra has been busily working on trialling the frequency in smaller markets to test for any issues which may come up in the full scale launch. Telstra announced trials of the network in Perth, Fremantle, Esperance, Mildura, Mt Isa and Griffith last month and today they’ve announced the 700MHz trial will go live in Sydney and Adelaide, with trials starting in those cities in mid-September.
The trials will be available to Telstra 4G customers in all eight locations as soon as Telstra flick the switch. Handset compatibility with the 700MHz network is growing with now four handsets compatible with the network, including the Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3, HTC One (M8) and HTC Desire 610. Telstra will also be adding to this list of handsets with new models, as well as other LTE enabled devices such as mobile hotspots expected in the next couple of months.
Telstra purchased double the amount of spectrum in the 700MHz auctions last May, when the ACMA auctioned off the old Analogue TV frequency to the highest bidder. Telstra spent $1.3 Billion purchasing 2 x 20 MHz (40 MHz) of spectrum in the 700 MHz band, and 2 x 40MHz (80 MHz) in the 2.5 GHz band. This should see a lot of available bandwidth for customers to access the network which at the lower frequency will allow for excellent signal inside buildings.
Group Managing Director Networks, Mike Wright, said
We are excited to offer customers in these parts of Sydney and Adelaide, with compatible devices, an early view on the future of 4G technology and the opportunity to experience the fastest mobile data speeds in Australia. In addition to faster download speeds, the use of low band spectrum like 700 MHz allows for the signal to travel further and reach deeper into buildings, improving the depth of coverage for our customers.
Telstra advised that the trial in Perth, Fremantle, Esperance, Mildura, Mt Isa and Griffith went live last month, with Adelaide and Sydney due to start mid-next month. It should be quite speedy when it does, so let us know how it goes if you’re a Telstra customer with a compatible handset in any of these areas.