Telstra developing ultra-quick 172Mbps mobile wireless broadband

Telstra are beginning trials of a new high bandwidth mobile wireless internet network technology called Long-Term-Evolution (LTE). The testing has been outsourced to three different companies, including Telstra’s current network technology supplier Ericsson, as well as their rivals Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei. Trials for the new super-fast broadband internet that works via mobile phone tower reception are planned to begin in May of this year, and should take approximately three to six months to complete.

An official Telstra statement reads, ‘Telstra will draw on three of the most prominent providers of the mobile technology industry for the tests, including its long standing network partner, Ericsson. Joining the testing ranks will be Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks.’
Acting Telstra chief operations officer Michael Rocca says he thinks the new LTE technology is the natural progression of evolution from the 3.5G Telstra NextG technologies Telstra uses presently. He also believes the LTE service is to be a much better technology when compared with the new 4G WiMax mobile wireless broadband currently being brought out by well-publicised company VividWireless.

Mr Rocca elaborates, ‘Long-Term-Evolution will be an important evolution for the Next G network in due course because it will give consumers access to higher speeds while giving Telstra the capacity to serve an increasing number of customers and support an even wider range of applications.’

Telstra’s NextG network still has room to move for improving speeds on the current platform, which theoretically can deliver a maximum downstream speed of 42Mbps. However, as demand for mobile wireless internet data grows, it now looks like it will be more cost effective to change over to LTE technology, instead of adding more NextG base stations to the present infrastructure.

Mr Rocca continues, ‘So what we’re saying now is the road map moving towards another 3 to 5 years we know the efficiencies that LTE will give us. Otherwise you’re going to have to keep on building these base stations and your unit costs goes up given the requirements we can see coming up for data in the network.’

The new LTE technology is purported to deliver an impressive 172Mbps maximum speed, which would be a huge boost from the current 42Mbps theoretical limit. Telstra thinks ‘real world’ speeds will increase relative to the theoretical maximum; real world speeds are between 550kbps to 8Mbps for the current NextG system. If all goes to plan Telstra intend to begin rollout of the LTE technology by 2013.