World first from Telstra 450Mbps achievable with LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation

Media Release, 15 May 2014

This morning Telstra achieved a world first on its mobile network by demonstrating live network speeds of 450Mbps using LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation across a trial combination of 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands.

These speeds, achieved in testing, are three times^ faster than the theoretical peak network speeds that Telstra, or anyone else in Australia, offers on 4G today. The speeds are a staggering 8000^^ times faster than when dial up technology was used to get online.

Telstra worked with network partner Ericsson to install equipment for two new 4G Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) channels of 20MHz bandwidth each on the 2600MHz spectrum band* (40MHz FDD), aggregated with our live 20MHz of 4G on the 1800MHz band. The result was three simultaneous side-by-side paths for the data to travel through to the operational core network.

Telstra also used an advanced prototype Cat 9 engineering device that could combine the three channels to achieve these speeds.

Mike Wright, Group Managing Director Telstra Networks said the test was designed to take the network capability for a spin and learn what happens when you lift performance to these types of speeds.

“This test allows us to see how the technology works ahead of when we make a future investment in it,” Mr Wright said.

“Conducting this type of test is a significant step in the network engineering and development process. It is essential for us to see how this type of technology works in the live network and understand what needs to be done to continue to absorb the exploding demand in mobile broadband and offer an exceptional customer experience.”

The typical speeds achievable at a commercial level will be lower in practice and while individual users may not consume all of this bandwidth, the ability to effectively triple the typical user speeds possible on Telstra’s 4G service today, means we can carry a huge amount of future traffic demand shared across many users.

The test also confirmed Telstra’s ability to successfully bring together three blocks of spectrum to increase the capacity and speeds delivered over the mobile network. Deployment to customers remains a few years away and it is expected the initial implementation may look slightly different to today’s test, with plans to combine one block each of 1800MHz, APT700MHz and 2600MHz spectrum.

”Telstra has the largest holding of APT700MHz and 2600MHz spectrum in Australia and we expect we will eventually be able to offer this service across much if not most of our mobile network footprint, allowing more of our customers to benefit from improved capacity and faster speeds,” said Mr Wright

“More importantly, we are future proofing our network and planning to manage effectively the ever increasing demand for mobile data so that we continue to give our customers access to Australia’s best mobile network”.

^based on peak speeds of 150Mbs
^^based on peak speeds of 56kbits/s
*Access to the 2600MHz network was provided via a scientific licence for testing purpose obtained with the kind co-operation of the TV broadcasters who still utilise this band pending Telstra taking possession later this year.