Australia’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, Telstra Mobile, has announced that it has doubled the theoretical maximum downlink speed of its HSPA+ network, Australian IT reports. It is understood that Telstra has increased theoretical download speeds from 21Mbps to 42Mbps as the result of a software upgrade using dual carrier technology in partnership with Swedish vendor Ericsson; Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless also participated in the project. Actual speeds for users will be lower than the theoretical limits, and commenting on the development, Mike Wright, executive director of wireless services at Telstra, said: ‘Today we tell our customers to expect between 550kbps and 8Mbps in the real world, but with this dual carrier technology we can now double that.’ A commercial launch of the service is not expected until later in the year, at which time Telstra has said that it will initially only be available to those using mobile data cards, although the telco expects mobile handsets capable of handling 42Mbps speeds to be available shortly thereafter.
Further speed upgrades are expected, and Telstra CEO David Thodey has previously said that it also expects upgrades to its 3.5G network, marketed under the NextG banner, to provide a better quality of service in areas of high demand. Telstra has said that it now hopes to achieve theoretical download speeds of 84Mbps within a year, echoing previous comments by Mr Thodey: ‘While Long Term Evolution (LTE) remains on Telstra’s technology roadmap, there is a huge amount of potential remaining in HSPA+. We will take full advantage of this by again doubling our peak network speeds to 84Mbps through the implementation of HSPA+ Dual Carrier plus MIMO technology during 2011.’