Telstra has announced it will be deploying 2 Gbps speeds over its 4G network by years' end. Who needs the NBN?
After a successful test with Ericsson, NETGEAR and Qualcomm, Telstra started testing 2 Gbps over LTE (or 4G) at the Ericsson lab environment in Stockholm with a prototype commercial device last week.
The company says it will be able to achieve those speeds by aggregating 100MHz of spectrum across three frequency bands and utilising 4x4 multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology. This will allow it to hit the 2 Gbps mark with devices like the new NETGEAR Nighthawk Mobile Router they plan to release later this year.
Of course, there will be a bunch of people out here that will point to this as proof that a FttP (Fibre to the Premises) rollout of the NBN would be obsolete before it was deployed. But they're forgetting that the data rates for wireless will be substantially dearer than fixed broadband services and that those fast wireless services rely on backhaul connections delivered over fibre.
The plan is for those fast connections to first come to places like stadiums where there are a lot if users in a confined area and CBD areas.
Telstra suggests that in many cases 5G will not be a standalone technology. So, getting 4G services to play nicely with 5G will go a long way to determining the overall mobile experience. The testing undertaken in Sweden shows that plenty of performance gains can still be extracted from 4G systems.
This is good news for consumers. When the 5G network is deployed, we'll need new devices to take advantage of those connections. By upping the performance if the 4G/LTE network, we can extract better performance from our current gear as the overall capacity of the network will improve.