Australian mobile operator Telstra has demonstrated downlink speeds of 450 Mbps using LTE Carrier Aggregation across a trial combination of 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands.
Telstra worked with Ericsson to install equipment for two new 20MHz channels using Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) on the 2600MHz spectrum band (40MHz FDD), aggregated with live 20MHz of 4G on the 1800MHz band. The result was three simultaneous side-by-side paths.
Some $2bn was raised from Australia’s 4G auction of 700MHz and 2.6 GHz bands last year. Licenses for the 700 MHz band will commence on 1 January 2015. In most cases, licenses for the 2.5 GHz band will commence on 1 October 2014.
Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are Austalian’s big three mobile providers. Telstra has the largest holding of 700MHz and 2600MHz spectrum in Australia and expects to offer this service across much of their mobile network, said Mike Wright, Group Managing Director of Telstra Networks.
Telstra is Australia’s dominant telecommunications provider with 8.1 million fixed line and 13.8 million mobile subscribers. In early 2011, the number of mobile phone subscriptions in Australia was some 30 million with a penetration rate of 129.482% over an estimated population of around 22 million.
Telstra operates Australia’s largest GSM and 3G network (branded as Next G) and holds a 50% stake in the 2100 MHz UMTS network infrastructure, shared with Hutchison (Three).
Telstra has been involved in the various form of ideas for a National Broadband Network. In its current form, Telstra intends to essentially sell its legacy copper network to NBN Co.
Telstra also announced it will create one of the world’s largest Wi-Fi networks, with access to two million Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation within five years. Telstra says it aims to offer the WiFi service whether or not users are Telstra customers
The network, which is scheduled to launch early 2015, will also reach overseas allowing people to connect at more than 12 million international hotspots, as part of an exclusive deal recently concluded with global Wi-Fi provider, Fon.
“Today more than 20 million devices are connected to the mobile internet in Australia. This investment helps us connect the next 20 million,” said Telstra CEO, David Thodey.
John Saw, Sprint’s chief network officer said Sprint plans to use carrier aggregation to combine two 2.5 GHz TDD-LTE channels “towards the end of this year,” though he said that launch could happen early next year. He said the rollout of two-channel LTE on Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum will result in peak download speeds of roughly 120 Mbps. Sprint will add an additional carrier to its 2.5 GHz LTE network at the end of next year, giving the system three full channels and supporting peak download speeds of roughly 180 Mbps. Unfortunately, devices that Sprint sells today can’t access two-channel and three-channel 2.5 GHz configurations.
Sprint’s Spark tri-mode LTE service could eventually provide real-world speeds of 150-180 Mbps by combining 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz LTE transmissions. It will come to the top 100 U.S. markets during the next three years.
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