BroadbandNetworks

Australia Prepares For 5G With Launch Of 1Gbps 4G

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Telstra and its network partners gear up for 5G launch with gigabit LTE in major Australian cities

Australian operator Telstra claims its new 1Gbps 4G service will power all manner of data-intensive entertainment and business applications and pave the way for the arrival of 5G.

The network will go live in several Australian cities at the end of February, with other state capitals set to be covered later in 2017.

The only device that will be supported at launch is the Telstra Nighthawk M1 – a mobile Wi-Fi device built by Netgear and powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem.

Read More: What is a 5G network?

Telstra 1Gbps LTE

Telstra Nighthawk M1

It uses carrier aggregation technology (the use of two separate bands of spectrum), higher order modulation and 4X4 MIMO to achieve the headline download rate as well as 150Mps upload speeds.

Telstra wants to offer other Gigabit LTE devices, such as smartphones, to customers before the end of the year too.

“Gigabit LTE is also an important step on our journey to 5G and demonstrates Telstra’s commitment to delivering Australians a world class network now and into the future,” declared Mike Wright, head of networks at Telstra.

“We are well placed to evolve our 4G network and are putting the building blocks in place for Australia to be ready for 5G – this will deliver more bandwidth and lower latencies which are critical for emerging applications such as downloading 4K video, IoT, autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and shared virtual reality,”

Telstra Nighthawk M2

“It is exciting to deliver LTE advances that employ LTE carrier aggregation of 60MHz of spectrum with higher order MIMO, and advanced LTE modulation which are all necessary ingredients for Gigabit LTE,” added Per Narvinger, vice president of Network Systems at Ericsson, which helped build the network.

Ericsson and Telstra have also worked together on the deployment of small cells in Australia, which will also provide the foundation for any 5G network as well as boost the performance of 4G.

Operators and equipment manufacturers across the world are devoting significant resources into 5G, which is expected to offer rapid speeds, low latency and an impression of infinite capacity. Before then, LTE-Advance, or 4.5G, is set to fill the gap in network generations. TIM in Italy for example has a 500Mbps network.

Quiz: What do you know about 4G?