SingTel subsidiary, Optus, has revealed plans to launch the country’s first multi-band TD/FD- LTE 4G network, which allows data upload and download to happen on the same frequency at different times.
Optus vice-president of mobile engineering team, Andrew Smith, said it will be the first carrier in the country to take its network to the next level offering a combined TD/FD-LTE 4G network.
“Our aim is to expand coverage for both types of 4G in the coming year to reach over 70 per cent of the metro population by mid-2014,” Smith said. “As part of our national roll out this coming year, many new mobile sites and upgrades across metro locations will have the combined 4G technologies of TD-LTE and FD-LTE, allowing customers with compatible devices access to Optus’ superfast 4G in more places.”
The combined TD 2300MHz/FD-LTE 1800MHz networks will be branded as the Optus 4G Dual Band Network, which will be available to customers using 4G dual band devices. Mobile broadband modems will be one of the first devices with this capability, available in June.
Currently 4G networks run on FD-LTE that use two separate frequency channels, one for data traveling in each direction. TD-LTE is the latest 4G technology where data upload and download happen on the same frequency at different times.
Optus’ next generation of its 4G TD-LTE is being launched in pilot mode in Canberra through a customer trial of its first compatible product, the Optus 4G Dual band dongle and WiFi modem.
In the year ahead, the telco plans to begin preparing its mobile network for the new 700MHz and 2500MHz spectrum it acquired at the auction held last month.
Optus Networks managing director, Gunther Ottendorfer, stated the telco currently reaches 98 per cent of the Australian population with its 4G launch and 3G upgrades, which involve about 4000 3G sites nationally.
It has launched 4G in five cities as well as regional centres such as Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour and Byron Bay.
“Reaching these milestones is just the beginning. Our focus over the coming year is to continue strengthening our 3G network, growing our 4G network and expanding our 4G technologies to include TD-LTE, starting with the launch in Canberra,” Ottendorfer said.