Market Insight

MWC 2016: Telstra to move early with Gigabit LTE

March 01, 2016

Julian Watson Julian Watson Principal Analyst, IoT
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Telstra is set to launch Gigabit LTE later this year in three cities.

  • The Australian incumbent Telstra is set to be one of the first beneficiaries of Gigabit LTE
  • Before the end of 2016 Telstra plans to launch peak 1Gbps downlink and 150Mbps uplink rates in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney
  • The service will be supported by Ericsson infrastructure (using three component carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO, LTE256 QUAM and Ericsson Lean Carrier) with a Netgear mobile hotspot
  • The hotspot incorporates Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X16 LTE modem and can connect up to 20 devices simultaneously

Our analysis 

Telstra will exploit its rich spectrum holdings to be one of the first operators in the world to offer a 4G LTE service capable of offering peak downlink rates of 1Gbps. 

Although actual rates available to end-users will be lower than that, real speeds will be comparable with the experience of users on ultrafast fixed broadband networks such as DOCSIS 3.0 and fibre-the-the-premises (FTTP). As yet, consumer and business pricing has yet to be announced, but the speeds available will make the service suitable for simultaneous streaming to several devices and for small offices with multiple connected users.

Telstra is already at the forefront of 4G LTE in Australia, with population coverage of some 96% at the end of 2015 and 8.9 million LTE devices on its network (over half of its 16.9 million mobile services in operation, including M2M). By the same period, its largest rival Optus had 4.4 million LTE subscriptions (of 9.3 total mobile subscriptions).

Indeed, rapid enhancements in LTE coverage, capacity and adoption is overshadowing the slower state-backed efforts through NBN Co, which is building out a wholesale national fixed broadband network. By the end of 2015, some 1.6 million residential and business premises were covered by nbn, which currently uses a variety of technologies, such as fibre-to-the-node (FTTN), FTTP and fixed wireless to bring speeds of 25Mbps and over to homes and business. Currently, the fastest downlink speed Telstra fixed broadband offers through nbn is 100Mbps, which is significantly slower than the Gigabit rates offered by ISPs in other parts of Asia and the speeds that will come available over Telstra's LTE network later this year.


Ericsson Telstra
Research by Market
Mobile & Telecom
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