Tuesday , September 18 2018 Ausdroid » Australian Mobile Network Frequencies

Australian Mobile Network Frequencies

bands

At their simplest, mobile devices like smartphones and cellular-enabled tablets use radio waves to communicate with mobile networks. There’s three major mobile networks in Australia, being Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, and they each use a variety of network technologies to allow their customers to connect. Which LTE bands do you need? What about 3G? Let’s help you out.

Our mobile networks

As of August 2018, each of the three carriers uses two broad groupings of cellular technology to allow customers to connect:

  • 3G (also referred to as UMTS, HSPA and the like) is a faster network access technology which also supports data and voice. Data can be quite fast over 3G with the latest standards including HSPA+.
  • 4G is the latest technology, also known as LTE, and is primarily used for data at this stage, with calls dropping back to 3G (unless you’re one of the few accessing VoLTE).

Knowing whether your device could be used in Australia used to be fairly simple. 3G supports quite a few frequency bands, leading to some devices not working ideally in some countries, but with 4G, everything has gone out the window; there are a number of more common bands, but there are some far less common meaning importing devices for use in Australia isn’t as easy as it once was.

It’s worth noting that 2G devices won’t work in Australia anymore, with all major telcos switching off their 2G networks in 2018.

For BEST results you should try and buy a device that has either all Australian frequencies for each mobile technology (3G and LTE) or at least all frequencies for the carrier/s you intend on using the device with. Check the manufacturer’s specification page / online retailers site for the exact SKU you’re looking at, and what bands it likely supports.

Finding device compatible with 3G bands should not be difficult, however, LTE bands across the world vary greatly, pay careful attention to the LTE bands.

Australian 2G, 3G, and 4G / LTE Bands

3G 4G/ LTE

Optus

 900MHZ
2100MHZ
Band 1
Band 3
Band 7
Band 28
Band 40
2100MHz
1800MHz
2600MHz
700MHz
2300MHz

Telstra

 850MHz
2100MHz
Band 1
Band 3
Band 7
Band 8
Band 28
2100MHz
1800MHz
2600MHz
900MHz
700MHz

Vodafone

  850MHz
900MHz
2100MHz
(being refarmed as 4G)
Band 3
Band 5
Band 1
1800MHz
850MHz
2100MHz
(Adelaide & Brisbane online)

This information was collated in collaboration with the three major carriers, we will maintain the information on this page to ensure it remains accurate in a timely fashion.

If you are importing a device you may have to choose between different SKUs that all offer some of the bands you need, unfortunately, granular information about where each frequency is deployed is typically not available from the carriers. If you need help you can always reach out to one of us and we’ll help where we can.

While CDMA phones remain somewhat common in other countries, they won’t work here unless they also support 2G/3G or 4G. Some do, but not all; importing a phone designed for a CDMA network (mostly found in the US) probably isn’t a good idea.

Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)

There are a significant number of MVNOs in Australia, which for all intents and purposes look like mobile networks, but in fact use the underlying networks of one of the big three carriers listed above. This list does change somewhat frequently, but it isn’t usually too hard to identify which carrier network your MVNO uses.

We’ll try and keep this list up to date, but this should give you a good idea of who is using what.

Virtual Operator
Network Used
Optus
Telstra
Optus
Optus
Telstra
Telstra
Optus
Optus
Optus
Optus
Optus
Optus
Optus
Optus
Vodafone
Vodafone
Optus
Optus
Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone
Optus
Telstra
Optus
Optus / Vodafone
Optus
Optus
Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone / Telstra
Optus
Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone
Optus
Optus/Telstra
Optus
Optus
Telstra
Telstra
Vodafone / Telstra
Vodafone
Vodafone
Optus
Optus
Telstra
Optus