How fast are HSPA+ and LTE in Australia?

The Google Nexus 4 is faster than traditional 3G despite its lack of LTE.
  • (Techworld Australia)
  • 09 November, 2012 10:04

With the Google Nexus 4, which launches in Australia on 13 November, supporting HSPA+ but not LTE, many Australians may be wondering what kind of speeds they can receive on the top three telcos.

T-Mobile in the US markets HSPA+ as 4G technology, though LTE technology is technically faster. The Google Nexus 4's hardware can support HSPA+ speeds up to 42Mbps, but the actual speed depends on the network.

Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Australia all have HSPA+ networks capable of supporting speeds faster than traditional 3G. Major MVNOs riding on the Optus network including Amaysim and Virgin Mobile offer the same HSPA+ speeds as Optus.

While speeds may vary depending on location and time of day, among other factors, here are the HSPA+ speeds that the major Australian telcos say to expect:

Telstra provides HSPA+ Dual Channel coverage to 80 per cent of the population on the Telstra Mobile Network. Typical download speeds are between 1 Mbps and 20 Mbps, a Telstra spokesman said.

By comparison, Telstra LTE provides typical download speeds of 2 Mbps to 40 Mbps. Telstra estimates that latency on LTE is half that experienced on 3G.

Optus has HSPA+ with speeds up to 21Mbps activated and is currently upgrading sites in a phased approach to dual cell supporting 42 Mbps.

Like Telstra, the Optus LTE network provides download speeds between 2 Mbps and 40 Mbps.

Vodafone upgraded base stations to HSPA+ in September. The telco has claimed speeds are between 1 Mbps and 16 Mbps, with average download speeds of 8 Mbps. The older 3G network had speeds between 0.5 Mbps and 5 Mbps.

Vodafone’s LTE network, launching next year, is expected to support speeds between 2 Mbps and 40 Mbps, like the other networks.

For more information, check out our article on the state of 4G in Australia.

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Comments

Guy

1

Peak speeds are interesting but is a small factor in the quality of the user experience. 99% of the time, I just want service. WCDMA gets hammered at train stations, music festivals and sports stadium.
An LTE cell can support more than 10 times the number of users than a WCDMA cell. I can turn it on when my emails aren't getting through and then have it off when I don't need it because of that other key user experience metric, battery life, which LTE kills.

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