Australian incumbent Telstra has announced that it aims to start offering peak theoretical download speeds of up to 42Mbps on its ‘NextG’ wireless network, the Australian reports. The operator has said it will upgrade the infrastructure using dual-channel technology, which allows carriers to use two channels simultaneously on select mobile base towers, to achieve the new 42Mbps peak speeds, although it has noted that real speeds are likely to be between 1.1Mbps to 20Mbps, while upload speeds will range from 300kbps to 3Mbps. Telstra’s executive director of wireless Mike Wright said of the development: ‘It’s possible to achieve better than the typical user speed claims, but those claims occur in the ideal network environment with good signal quality. When you’re out on the streets you get a lot of variation where the network is subject to signal quality, your location and the network load.’ The peak download speed increase was made possible by a software upgrade to Telstra’s 3.5G W-CDMA network in February 2010, which was implemented by the cellco’s network partner Ericsson, while Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless delivered a HSPA+ Dual Carrier chipset and device.
It is understood that the upgrade will cover approximately 50% of the population, and with Telstra focusing on offering the service to business customers, central business districts in all of the country’s regional capitals will gain access to the increased rates, while a further 100 regional centres including Wollongong, Bendigo and Townsville will see speeds increase by between 500kbps to 8Mbps. Only business, enterprise and government customers who purchase Telstra’s Ultimate USB modem – which costs AUD299 (USD267.9) to purchase outright – will be able to access the service, although the operator is expecting 42Mbps-compatible PDAs and handsets to be available by the beginning of 2011.