Australia’s second largest cellco by subscribers, Optus, has announced the commercial launch of 4G services for residential subscribers, with the operator revealing that its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network is now available to customers in Sydney, Perth and Newcastle. Further, Optus has confirmed that it expects to expand its LTE footprint to Melbourne from 15 September 2012. In making the announcement, the cellco offered detailed coverage information regarding its LTE infrastructure, noting that:
• In Sydney, coverage stretches from Bondi in the east to Newington in the west and from La Perouse in the south to Dee Why in the north
• In Perth, coverage stretches from Perth Airport in the east to City Beach in the west and from Como in the south to Innaloo in the north
• In Newcastle, coverage is available across the city, as well as in Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie areas
• In Melbourne, coverage (when the network goes live on 15 September) will stretch from Blackburn in the East to St Albans in the West and from Brighton in the South to Fawkner in the north.
To coincide with the commercial launch of the 4G network, Optus has also revealed that it will be the first Australian mobile network operator to offer the 4G version of Samsung’s popular Galaxy SIII handset. Pre-orders for the device have been opened for today, with delivery to customers expected from 20 September 2012. In the meantime, customers are able to purchase either a 4G-enabled USB or Wi-Fi modem from the operator to connect to its LTE network.
Commenting on the development, Kevin Russell, Chief Executive Officer of Consumer Australia at Optus, was cited as saying: ‘Optus is launching 4G services with significant coverage across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Newcastle and this marks the beginning of Optus’ national 4G network rollout … We’re excited about the new opportunities that 4G will provide for Optus customers.’
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, at the end of July 2012 Optus announced a raft of network-related developments, the most notable of which was arguably the launch of commercial LTE-based services for SME and government customers in Sydney and Perth.