Australian incumbent operator Telstra has today made LTE services and its debut 4G dongle available to consumers.
The company announced it has launched commercial services in capital city CBDs and around 30 regional and metropolitan population centres.
The company is promising typical download speeds of between 2Mbps and 40Mbps, and upload speeds of 1Mbps to 10Mbps.
CEO David Thodey said Telstra will aim to launch 4G smartphones and tablets in the first half of next year, in response to consumer demand. The first device will be supplied by HTC.
The company also aims to switch on services in 50 more locations by the end of this year.
The launch follows a “commercial pilot” of LTE services which commenced in August, whereby devices were made available to enterprise and government customers.
Telstra currently operates its LTE network on the 1,800MHz band, and also runs a nationwide 3G network on the 850MHz band. Its initial dongle operates across both networks.
Ovum research director David Kennedy said Telstra's aim is to ensure a “ssmooth transition” to LTE. “Instead of marketing LTE as a separate service, it will issue everyone with the same 3G/4G dongles so that the 3G and 4G networks work seamlessly,” he said.
“Most users won’t be aware which network they are using.”