Telstra announces 4G services this year

Telstra plans to upgrade its wireless broadband network to 4G by the end of the year.

4G will be available to central business districts of all Australian capital cities and selected regional centres by the end of 2011, Telstra said.

Customers who do not want to upgrade their modem or mobile phone will still be able to use existing 3G services, the company added.

Telstra CEO David Thodey said: "The technology can provide many Australians with faster data speeds, high-quality video conferencing and faster response times when using mobile applications or accessing the internet.

"It can also help Telstra meet demand for mobile data, which is doubling every year as customers move to adopt data-hungry smartphones, mobile modems and tablets."

Mobile networks have been trialling Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, which can offer faster speeds to mobile broadband customers. Theoretically, speeds of over 100Mbps are achievable on 4G devices.

By the end of 2011, Telstra plans to sell dual mode LTE/HSPA+ mobile broadband devices that work across both 3G and 4G technologies.

Optus
and VHA (Vodafone and Three) have also trialled LTE technology for their own networks, although neither company has released a timetable for implementation.

Opponents of the National Broadband Network (NBN) have claimed wireless internet advances will make the Government's scheme redundant, as consumers will prefer to use a wireless internet as opposed to a fixed-line connection, such as fibre.