- Telstra begins testing 2Gbps speeds with Netgear’s new Nighthawk router.
- Results prove speeds can be reached over existing 4G network.
- 2Gbps tech will be deployed in Australian CDBs by the end of 2018
Australians won’t have to wait for a 5G network to experience gigabit speeds.
Just three months after squeezing 1Gbps speeds out of a Samsung Galaxy S9 in Sydney, Telstra has announced it will deploy 2Gbps technology to its live 4G network by the end of 2018.
The telco began testing 2Gbps over LTE (or 4G) overnight in the Ericsson lab environment in Stockholm, Sweden, with a “prototype commercial device”.
Mike Wright, Telstra’s group managing director of networks, said the results “continue to be very positive”.
“By aggregating 100MHz of spectrum across five frequency bands and utilising 4×4 multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology, speeds of 2 Gbps can be achieved over 4G,” he said.
The “prototype commercial device” was Netgear’s new Nighthawk mobile router, which will be available in Australia in late 2018. Telstra says when it launches, the Nighthawk will be “the world’s fastest 4G device”.
Telstra will first deploy the 2Gbps tech in its network for high traffic areas such as CBDs, stadiums and shopping centres.
Its first commercially available gigabit-enabled 4G service was launched early last year, covering the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs for a 3km radius, a 2km radius out from the Brisbane and Adelaide CBDs, and “a number of sites in selected high traffic locations”.
Gigabit LTE deployment is also under way in the Perth CBD.
Wright said enhancing the performance of 4G is also an important step forward in the development of 5G.
“For most initial uses, 5G will not be a standalone technology,” Wright said.
“This means the quality of the underlying 4G service and how it integrates with 5G will go a long way to determining the overall mobile experience.
“As this testing shows, there is still plenty of life left in 4G as we continue to invest in faster speeds and greater capacity on 4G as part of delivering the best mobile experience for our customers.”