Telstra has launched its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) USB modem for businesses and consumers across 30 locations in metropolitan and regional Australia.
The launch follows a trial of 2000 devices by Telstra business customers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane last month. The modem will offer LTE access in all capital cities, some airports and selected regional locations.
The device features dual 4G/3G HSPA technology, enabling it to operate across both the 1800MHz and 850/2100MHz spectrum bands.
Using 4G services, end users can achieve maximum download speeds of two megabits per second to 40Mbps, and 1Mbps to 10Mbps upload speeds.
Pricing for business customers starts at $0 upfront on the $39 Telstra Mobile Broadband Standard Plan over 24 months which includes 4GB of data.
Consumer pricing for the device starts at $0 for various 24-month plans, the cheapest of which starts at $59.95 per month for 8GB of data.
Telstra chief executive, David Thodey, said there had been “a huge appetite” for 4G services due to the increasing uptake of smartphones and other mobile devices.
“Today marks a new high-speed chapter in Australian mobile telecommunications,” Thodey said in a statement.
“Customers trialling Telstra 4G have told us it is already changing how they connect and work,” he said. “In regional Australia, a skin cancer doctor has increased the quality of his medical images thanks to the increased bandwidth available over 4G.”
The telco has also flagged plans to launch 4G services in as additional 50 locations around the country by year’s end after it switched on the next generation wireless technology in May.
The company has partnered with Ericsson to roll out the LTE network and with Sierra Wireless to develop the dual-mode mobile broadband devices. Telstra conducted LTE trials with Ericsson last year, which yielded consistent speeds above 80Mbps.
Regional 4G locations include:
New South Wales
- Nyah/Nyah West
- Lake Boga
- Coolangatta Airport
- Mt Isa
- Noosa Heads
- Townsville South Australia
- Mt Barker
- Port Lincoln
In March, vividwireless chief executive, Martin Mercer, dismissed the capabilities of Telstra’s LTE network, claiming the telco’s plans to operate the network in the 1800MHz spectrum band would result in network speeds matching only that of vividwireless’ WiMAX network.
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