Australian mobile network operator Optus has announced the launch of 4G services in Canberra, with the cellco keenly highlighting the fact that the latest phase of its LTE rollout utilises slightly different technology. Having previously inaugurated a Frequency Division Duplex LTE (FDD-LTE) network in a number of locations using spectrum in the 1800MHz band, Optus revealed that in Canberra it has used 2300MHz frequencies to deploy Time Division Duplex LTE (TDD-LTE) technology. Claiming that TDD LTE ‘open(s) up the possibility to deliver even faster speeds in the future’, the cellco has noted that customers will need compatible devices, to which end it has introduced its first two 4G dual-band compatible devices in the form a USB dongle and a Wi-Fi modem.
At launch Optus noted that it had activated 13 TDD-LTE sites in the nation’s capital, giving it coverage of ‘selected parts of the city’. Looking ahead, Optus has said that will expand to more than 50 sites during the second half of 2013, while the operator’s managing director of networks Gunther Ottendorfer noted: ‘As part of Optus’ ongoing network rollout, we are aiming to expand coverage of our integrated 4G network to 70% of Australia’s metro population by mid-2014. Many of our mobile sites will be upgraded to support Optus 4G dual-band compatible devices so our customers can browse, download and stream on Optus’ superfast 4G network in more places than ever before.’
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in July 2012 Optus inaugurated commercial LTE services for SME and government customers in Sydney and Perth, with the network opened to residential subscribes from the following September in Sydney, Perth and Newcastle. Several coverage expansion announcements have followed, and the operator’s FDD-LTE infrastructure now covers Sydney, Newcastle, the Hunter region, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Toowoomba.