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Australian Optus Network has announced the launch of its TD-LTE network in Canberra, with a customer trial of the first TD-LTE compatible product, the Optus 4G Dual band dongle and WiFi modem. Currently, 4G networks in Australia run on FD-LTE, which uses two separate frequency channels, one for data traveling in each direction.



TD-LTE is a new flavour of 4G technology, where the upload and download of data happens on the same frequency, but at different times. Optus’ customers will start to enjoy the next generation of 4G with the pilot stage of 4G TD-LTE network kicking off in Canberra.


Furthermore, Optus has unveiled its network plans for the coming year, with a number of initiatives that will improve the coverage, speed and capacity of its 4G network, and enhance the strength and consistency of its 3G network. Günther Ottendorfer, managing director of Optus Network, says after significant network deployment over the last year, including launching 4G and major 3G upgrades, the Optus network reaches 98% of the Australian population. “This gives our customers the freedom that extended coverage brings – mobile calls, SMS, social media, email, apps – all available in more places than ever before,” says Ottendorfer.


Andrew Smith, Optus’ vice president of Mobile Engineering team, says Optus will be the first Australian carrier to take its network to the next level with a combined TD/FD-LTE 4G network. “Our aim is to expand coverage for both types of 4G in the coming year to reach over 70 per cent of the metro population by mid-2014,” Smith says. “As part of our national rollout this coming year, many new mobile sites and upgrades across metro locations will have the combined 4G technologies of TD-LTE and FD-LTE , allowing customers with compatible devices access to Optus’ superfast 4G in more places,” says Smith. The combined 4G TD 2300 MHz/FD-LTE 1800 MHz networks referred to as Optus’ 4G Dual Band Network will be available to customers using 4G Dual Band Devices, with the first of those devices, mobile broadband modems, available from early June.


Optus’ network rollout will also include preparing its mobile network for the new 700 MHz and 2500 MHz spectrum it acquired in the recent auction. “Preparing our mobile network in the coming year for 700 MHz and 2500 MHz spectrum means when it becomes available for use, we’ll be ready to flick the switch and give our customers swift access to the stronger 4G coverage it allows,” he adds. “This strategy of combining 4G technologies – low-band 4G frequency for strong coverage, high-band spectrum to increase network capacity – gives Optus flexibility to meet our customers’ need for additional capacity and faster network speeds,” Smith continues.


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