Telstra, Optus launch 4G trials on 700MHz

Staff writer
22 Jul 2014

Optus and Telstra announced Monday that they will begin commercial trials of 4G services in the 700MHz band this week, ahead of next year’s launch of their respective networks.

Optus said that it would switch on 700MHz 4G in the CBDs of Darwin and Perth this week, while Telstra announced the start of commercial 4G trials on the same spectrum band for customers in Perth, Fremantle, Esperance, Mildura, Mt Isa and Griffith.

The official launch of 700MHz 4G is set for January 1 next year, after the closure of analog television networks in Australia last year and the restack of the spectrum band earlier this year.

But the telcos have been lobbying for early access to trial 4G on 700MHz over the last few months, and succeeded in persuading the Australian Communications and Media Authority to give them the go-ahead.

Optus said the commercial trial will see Optus 4G services rolled out for the first time in Darwin and further enhance the operator’s 4G service in Perth.

The early access to the 700MHz also brings Optus one step closer to the launch of its network, allowing it to move beyond the testing phase and get first-hand data on what customers experience on a live commercial network, said Vic McClelland, managing director of Optus Networks.

“We’re expanding our superfast 4G network to more Australians this year, with plans to reach 90% of the Australian population by March 2015,” McClelland added.

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