Australia’s Optus has announced that it is accelerating the deployment of its 4G infrastructure, revealing that sites offering service over the 2600MHz band have been switched on in 40 regional centres. Further, the operator has revealed that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has granted it early access license approvals for LTE in the 700MHz band in 200 regional locations. Commenting on the latter development, Optus Networks managing director Vic McClelland was cited as saying: ‘Early access licenses for 700MHz spectrum give Optus the option to turn on 4G earlier than anticipated in many regional and holiday locations … 700MHz spectrum is due to become nationally available from January 2015, however, with the ACMA approving early access, we will look to provide customers with compatible devices a taste of 4G as quickly as possible.’
Earlier this month Optus expanded its 700MHz coverage across greater Darwin, while it already has other live sites offering LTE via the aforementioned band in locations including: Toowoomba, Ballarat, Bendigo, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Nowra, Port Macquarie, Urunga, Bundaberg and Murray Bridge. With regards to future expansion, the company has set out its stall to reach 90% of Australians with its combined 4G networks by April 2015.