Telstra has announced that it will start offering products under its new 4G LTE service, that will see speeds ten times faster than those on 3G. The public offering comes after months of trialling the service with a small number of customers.
For the capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, coverage will be within 5km of the GPO. To check if you’re covered Telstra has a coverage map showing where they are. In addition with the capital cities, Telstra will launch it in another 31 regional and metropolitan areas that require the user to be in 3km of their GPO:
- NSW: Parramatta, Albury, Dubbo, Gosford, Newcastle
- VIC: Ballarat, Castlemaine, Echuca, Geelong, Horsham, Morwell, Shepparton, Nyah/Nyah West, Lake Boga, Warragul, Werribee
- QLD: Bundaberg, Cairns, Coolangatta Airport, Tweed, Nerang, Gympie, Maryborough, Mt Isa, Caloundra, Noosa Heads, Toowoomba, Townsville
- SA: Mt Barker, Port Lincoln, Stirling
In addition, Telstra plans to launch 4G service in another 50 locations by the end of the year:
- NSW: Armidale, Bathurst, Coffs Harbour, Goulburn, Lismore, Maitland, Nowra, Orange, Penrith, Port Macquarie, Singleton, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Wollongong, Wyong
- VIC: Bairnsdale, Bendigo, Mildura, Swan Hill, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, Wodonga
- QLD: Caboolutre, Emerald, Gladstone, Gold Coast (Southport and Surfers), Hervey Bay, Ipswich, Mackay, Rockhampton, Roma*, Sunshine Coast (Maroochydore and Nambour), Yeppoon
- SA: Clare, Gawler, Mt Gambier CBD, Victor Harbour, Whyalla
- WA: Albany, Broome, Bunbury CBD, Brusselton, Esperance*, Exmouth*, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Newman*, Karratha, Port (& South) Hedland*
- TAS: Bernie, Devonport, Launceston, Ulverstone
- NT: Alice Springs*, Casuarina, Palmerston Region
An asterisk (*) means that ACMA has not given licenses yet to these areas to start 4G service
Currently, there are only one 4G device – their USB 4G Card. Telstra will be selling it for $0 upfront on a range of 24-month plans, including on a $39.95 for 8GB of data. Business customers also have varying plans. Hopefully, we are also going to see a bunch of other devices released on Telstra since many of the phones released now do come with LTE support.
Telstra joins a small number of carriers already implementing a full scale rollout of 4G services to their customers, including Verizon Wireless in the United States.
However, Telstra won’t be the only one: Optus will also be rolling out their LTE network to a number of NSW towns from April 2012. Vodafone is yet to announce their plans, but they will have a 4G network also. Check out the full media release after the break.
Terence Huynh and Stewart Wilson contributed with this report.
Telstra lights up 4G mobile services in Australia
27 September 2011 – Australians will enter a new era of mobile telecommunications today with Telstra launching the nation’s first superfast 4G LTE mobile network in capital city CBDs and more than 30 regional and metropolitan centres.
Telstra CEO David Thodey said Australians could now access one of the world’s most advanced mobile networks delivering some of the fastest mobile download and upload speeds available anywhere.
“Today marks a new high-speed chapter in Australian mobile telecommunications. Telstra’s 4G network delivers mobile speeds scarcely imagined a decade ago, making it easier for people to connect with the things they need and love when on the move,” Mr Thodey said.
“The superfast speeds mean consumers can download songs faster, get TV shows in minutes and do more things simultaneously.
“This is just the beginning. Telstra 4G will allow our mobile devices to perform even more advanced tasks and open the door to a host of innovative high-speed services that have yet to be conceived.
“Customers trialling Telstra 4G have told us it is already changing how they connect and work. For example, a sports photographer in Melbourne is now sending his high-resolution footy images direct to newspapers from the boundary line faster than ever. In Sydney, video producers are handling larger video files on the go and saving time in the process. In regional Australia, a skin cancer doctor has increased the quality of his medical images thanks to the increased bandwidth available over 4G,” Mr Thodey said.
Using the Telstra USB 4G mobile broadband modem, which goes on sale today, customers in 4G coverage areas can enjoy typical download speeds ranging from 2Mbps to 40Mbps – up to ten times faster than 3G speeds currently claimed by other Australian telecommunications companies. Customers can also experience typical upload speeds of 1Mbps to 10Mbps – three times faster than previous generations of mobile broadband in Australia.
“We know there is a huge appetite for 4G-powered smartphones and tablets and Telstra is working with some of the world’s leading manufacturers to bring some of these devices to customers in the first half of 2012,” Mr Thodey said.
As well as supporting faster mobile speeds, Telstra 4G provides a more responsive internet connection. Network latency (the time it takes for data to travel from a PC to the internet and back) is around half that experienced on current 3G networks meaning real-time applications like video conferencing, internet gaming and cloud-hosted streaming services work better with less buffering and fewer interruptions.
Telstra also announced that it would launch 4G services in more than 50 additional locations by year’s end.
Today’s national launch follows Telstra’s switch-on of the first 4G base stations using Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in May and a commercial pilot of 4G services for business customers last month.
4G Plans and Pricing
The BigPond USB 4G can be purchased by consumer customers for $0 (after rebate) on a range of new 24 month plans – including on a $59.95 per month plan with 8GB of data included each month over 24 months (min cost $1,438.80).
The Telstra USB 4G can be purchased by business customers on a range of plans including $0 upfront on the $39 Telstra Mobile Broadband Standard Plan over 24 months (min total cost $936) with 4GB included data.
* Speeds vary due to factors such as distance from base station, local conditions, user numbers, hardware and software configuration.