Optus has achieved download speeds of 480 megabits per second (Mbps) to a single user device.
The capability was achieved on one of Optus’ “Gigasites”, which are used by Optus to test the latest 4G technology developments.
Optus’ Gigasites are live network test sites built to test Optus’ entire spectrum assets in terms of total capacity, throughput capability, and number of network layers. Optus’ spectrum bands range from 700 MHz to 3500 MHz.
The 480 Mbps download speed was accomplished by aggregating four separate 4G channels or carriers – each 20 MHz wide – to a single user device.
Separately, Optus tested carrier aggregation in conjunction with “4x4 Multiple input multiple output (MIMO)”, achieving a peak download speed of 415 Mbps in 40 MHz of spectrum.
SingTel group chief technology officer, Mr Tay Soo Meng, said the company was constantly seeking opportunities to advance mobile communications technologies.
"Already we have deployed LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation across most capital city networks," he said.
"We have successfully tested four carrier aggregation using three LTE TDD channels and one LTE FDD channel, achieving an incredible data speed of 480 Mbps in our live network.”
“With this new technology of combining 4 channels of LTE FDD and TDD together, we can make better use of our spectrum resources to deliver even higher data speeds to our customers in the future.”
The aggregation or connecting together of multiple 4G channels is a technique known as “carrier aggregation”.
Carrier aggregation delivers customers more bandwidth and higher speeds on their mobile devices as needed – for example, when a customer is streaming a high definition video or downloading a large file.
It is like adding extra traffic lanes on a highway to cope with extra demand.
The 480 Mbps speed was achieved using a prototype “Category 8” 4G user device at an indoor live network site at Optus’ headquarters in Macquarie Park, NSW.
To further prove the “real world” capability of this technology, Optus repeated the tests outdoors using its “Gigasite” at Lambton, in Newcastle (about 160 km north of Sydney).
The peak download speed achieved outdoors was 478 Mbps with typical speeds ranging from 350 to 450 Mbps at various locations around the base station.
Optus worked with its vendor partner Huawei to conduct these tests.