18 Feb 2009
Australian IT is reporting that Telstra Mobile has upgraded its NextG network with HSPA+ technology to offer downstream speeds of up to 21Mbps, following trials at the end of 2008. The speed increase follows on from HSDPA upgrades to 7.6Mbps in 2007 and 14.4Mbps in early 2008. Telstra has also announced that it aims to further boost the capability of the mobile broadband network to offer peak speeds of 42Mbps to 99% of the population by the end of 2009. The latest speed upgrade will initially only be available to business customers, with commercial launch expected on 23 February, and the HSPA+ wireless modem service will be extended to residential customers in April 2009. According to Telstra, typical download speeds on the new device will be around 8Mbps. Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo noted, ‘We will launch this nationally. We won’t be going city by city or base station by base station, it will go nationwide.’ Despite the increase it is expected few subscribers will achieve the higher speeds due to a lack of 21Mbps compatible devices; at present only mobile data cards support the higher speed. Telstra expects compatible PDAs and handsets to be available by the end of 2009.