Optus LTE network has received a boost today with the mobile operator announcing they had successfully deployed a world first, offering 3x Carrier Aggregation (CA) in Newcastle, with more markets to follow.

The 3x Carrier Aggregation has been switched on in anticipation of Cat 9 LTE devices (the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ are two) arriving in the Australian market. The implementation uses 15MHz of their Frequency-Division Duplexing (FDD) LTE network as well as two 20MHz banks in their 2300MHz Time-Division Duplexing (TDD) LTE network to deliver the 3x aggregation.

Dennis Wong, Acting Managing Director Optus Networks, said that this setup ‘is a more efficient use of our spectrum bands and will provide a more consistent and better experience for our customers’.

Mr Wong also reminded Optus customers can already enjoy 2x Carrier Aggregation on existing Cat 6 enabled devices on their network.

Optus currently offers 2x Carrier Aggregation, which uses various combinations of spectrum owned by the telco in Australia in selected areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and Darwin as well as 20 major regional centres.

While Newcastle is a pilot site for the 3x Carrier Aggregation, it will be soon rolled out further. with Optus advising plans to launch it in the Melbourne CBD early next month before offering it in the Sydney CBD early next year. Brisbane and Adelaide will both see 3x Carrier Aggregation begin in their market mid next year.

3x carrier aggregation is merely a start though, Optus is working with global standard bodies to move the possibilities which include 4x CA and possibly even 5x CA forward.

We’ll know more about devices coming to the Optus network in the next week or so when the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ are officially launched in Australia.

Source: Optus.