More areas to get early access to 700MHz 4G services: Telstra

Telstra lays out plans for switch-on of services using 700MHz spectrum

More Telstra 4G services using the 700MHz band will be switched on early ahead of the full release of the spectrum next year, the telco announced today.

Services will be switched on in Sydney and Adelaide next week. In addition, 700MHz services will be available in parts of Bundaberg, Yamba and Sarina.

Telstra in June began trialling 4G services in Perth using the 2x20MHz of 700MHz spectrum it won in the government-run Digital Dividend auction.

Up to 20 more metropolitan and regional centres will get access to 700MHz services, ahead of full release of the spectrum on 1 January, 2015, the telco said today.

From January, 700MHz services will be available in all capital city CBDs and 50 regional locations.

The 700MHz spectrum was previously used by broadcasters. It can cover longer distances and provide better indoor coverage than the 1800MHz spectrum currently used for 4G networks.

The telco also announced that it will expand the use of carrier aggregation services. Combining the 700MHz and 1800MHz bands can deliver theoretical peak network speeds of up to 300 megabits per second (Mbps).

Telstra COO Kate McKenzie said the telco has invested $1.3 billion in adding the 700MHz and 2600MHz spectrum to its 4G service.

"We have been working with the industry and global carriers to drive the use of 4G 700 and set it as the standard for 4G services of the future. That will allow us to assemble a wide range of 700-ready compatible devices ahead of full-launch in January," she said.

"Over a million customers are expected to have a 700 MHz ready device by the end of the year, which will allow them to experience improved coverage and speed as soon as services are switched on in their area."

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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