Telstra lights up first LTE base stations

Telstra, the Australian telecommunications company has announced that it has switched on the first base stations in  Australia that use LTE technology. The stations are located in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane and the telco said 4G data had been sent over the network for the first time.

The move follows Telstra’s announcement earlier in the year that it would upgrade its existing ‘Next G’ HSPA+ network in key areas such as major business districts. The operator has partnered with Ericsson on the network roll-out, with Sierra Wireless providing dual-mode mobile broadband dongles.

“With more than a million mobile and wireless broadband customers joining Telstra in the past 12 months, and data usage on the Next G network doubling every year, the increased network capacity LTE will provide is vital,” Mark Wright Telstra’s networks & access technologies executive director said in a statement.

The network operates in 1800Mhz spectrum that has been refarmed from 2G services. At the recent LTE World Summit in Amsterdam, the major European carriers Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and TeliaSonera all called on the industry to adopt this spectrum as the frequency of choice for rolling out LTE worldwide.

Earlier this month it was revealed that Australia’s telecoms sector was the most hated industry in the country, following a barrage of complaints at poor performance. While most of these were directed at Vodafone Hutchison Australia, Telstra and rival Optus also attracted increased complains over the past year.

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