Telstra to start deploying LTE-A this year

Dylan Bushell-Embling
21 Feb 2013
Daily News

Australia's Telstra and Japan's NTT DoCoMo have both announced plans to augment their existing LTE operations with new spectrum bands, and in Telstra's case with the rollout of LTE-Advanced.

Telstra revealed it will start adding the 900-MHz frequency to its LTE network, which currently operates on the 1,800-MHz band.

The operator has also started trialling LTE-Advanced, and plans to start deploying the new technology later this year, concentrating on heavy-traffic areas.

Telstra has allocated A$1.2 billion ($1.23 billion) to invest in its wireless network for 2012-13, to help cope with the ongoing surge of data traffic. The operator expects its users to consume as much mobile data this year as they did in the last two years combined.

Telstra chief operations officer Brendon Riley said the average Australian now spends 12 hours a week accessing the internet from mobile devices, and over 70% of the operator's customers consume mobile video content. “We need to cater for the extraordinary growth in demand for mobile services – today and into the future,” he said.

Other measures being trialled include deploying small cell HetNets in high-traffic locations with a dense population, such as city centers.

Separately, NTT DoCoMo has announced a plan to start deploying base station antennas of its own design that support 700-MHz and four other frequency bands.

DoCoMo will start deploying 700-MHz compatible base stations in advance of the spectrum being made available to provide LTE services in 2015.

“The 700MHz band will help accommodate the expected rise in data traffic as mass users shift to LTE,” DoCoMo's announcement states.

The antennas also support the 800-MHz, 1.5-GHz, 1.7-GHz and 2-GHz frequency bands.

DoCoMo was one of the earliest adopters of LTE, having gone live with its network in late 2010. Telstra launched LTE services in September 2011.

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