Why Telstra's Category 9 Mobile Devices Are A Boon For Businesses

Category 9. Sounds more like a typhoon than a mobile technology. Telstra announced today that it's bringing in Category 9 devices to Australia which will offer a theoretical download speed of 450Mbps on its 4GX network. We breakdown why you and your business should care about this.

Telstra has used carrier aggregation to combine three 4G networks running on different bands of spectrum to achieve super fast speeds. The new Category 9 handsets and mobile internet dongle will make the most of this combo network. Bear in mind that 450Mbps is a theoretical maximum speed. The telco's website states that 4GX devices generally get download speeds of between 2 to 75Mbps, but that's still pretty damn fast.

While this has been touted by Telstra as great news for consumers that want fewer slowdowns when they watch video content during peak hour and in crowded places, businesses will find the teloc's ultrafast mobile internet offerings extremely useful as well.

"The applications of 4GX is likely to be foremost beneficial to the enterprise as businesses seek to gain fixed line speed performance for their mobile workers,” Telsyte analyst, Foad Fadaghi, told Lifehacker Australia. According to the analyst firm, 84 per cent of organisations have staff that work outside of the office and many of them do so reguarly. Chances are they are using cloud services in order to work away from their desks.

Figures from the ABS show that one in five businesses are already using paid cloud services and more are intending to do so in the near future. Business data and documents are shared through cloud storage and collaboration apps which rely on a fast and steady internet connection. At home and in the office, that's rarely an issue since LAN and Wi-Fi typically provdie a stable connection but for workers on the go, that's a big issue.

If you've been on public transport during peak hour, you'll have seen people trying to work in a full train carriage or bus, trying to connect to a VPN while tethering on a mobile phone. It's painful to watch them repress their frustrations with muffled grunts as the connection drops in and out and downloading large files take the duration of the commute. The new offering by Telstra would help make life a lot easier for these people.

Currently, the Telstra 4GX network is still a bit patchy in terms of where it is being offered. The map below in green shows where the network is available:

Map from Telstra website

Telstra is obviously looking at expanding the network and if you're in a metropolitan area you're pretty much covered already. The telco might be the first to launch Category 9 devices in Australia but we're expecting its main rival, Optus, to follow suit. It already has its own ultra-fast mobile network capabilities and businesses should watch out for better mobile internet deals as competition heats up in this area.


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