Australia’s two largest cellcos by subscribers, Telstra and Optus, have started the New Year by detailing their plans for 4G rollouts using the 700MHz spectrum band, with such frequencies now available to both on a nationwide basis; the two operators secured spectrum in the band via auction back in May 2013.
For its part Optus announced that, following the official release of 700MHz spectrum by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), it has begun an ‘aggressive expansion programme’, with more than 270 LTE-700 mobile sites across capital cities and regional centres having been switched on yesterday. Looking ahead, the cellco has said it aims to switch on more than 1,500 additional LTE-700 base stations in metropolitan and regional locations during January 2015. As a result of such expansion, Optus has said it expects to broaden the reach of its existing 4G network, and aims to have 90% of the Australian population within its LTE footprint by April 2015.
Meanwhile, mobile market leader Telstra has said some 600 towns and suburbs around the country will benefit from the higher speeds offered by its LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network from today, according to Lifehacker Australia. Such expansion is in addition to the operator’s previously announced plans to expand coverage of its ‘4GX’-branded LTE-A services, with it having revealed last November that it would extend coverage to all capital Central Business Districts (CBDs) and 50 ‘regional locations’ at the start of January 2015 when 700MHz spectrum was made available to it on a nationwide basis.