Telstra and Huawei have announced they will launch the world’s first LTE Category 6 mobile broadband device in Australia.
The 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, dubbed the Advanced Pro X, uses a technique called carrier aggregation to tap bandwidth from the 700MHz and 1800MHz bands in Australia. Category 6 means the device can reach theoretical maximum download speeds of 300Mbps, though the actual speed will be slower, said Telstra.
Location of the user, time of day, the number of users on the network and their level of activity are all factors that can reduce the actual speed of the wireless network. Speed is also affected by the bandwidth of the spectrum and the speed of the backhaul connection to the mobile base station.
Also read: 4G in Australia: The state of the nation
Telstra has only recently begun releasing 4G Category 4 devices, which are said to be capable of theoretical speeds up to 150Mbps. Previous 4G Category 3 devices, most common today, can reach theoretical speeds up to 100Mbps.
Telstra said it’s working to get the new hotspot and other 700MHz compatible devices into customers’ hands before the start of 2015 when Telstra is allowed to use 700MHz spectrum won in the Digital Dividend auction.
“The Telstra Wi-Fi 4G Advanced Pro X will be one of our first devices that’s ready to take advantage of the superior reach and speeds that we’re aiming to deliver when we introduce 700MHz spectrum and team it with our existing 4G spectrum,” said Telstra's director of devices, Andrew Volard.
So, while the device might be launched this year, it won’t reach its full potential until the 700MHz spectrum comes online in 2015.
The 4G device has a battery life of up to ten hours and can connect up to ten devices through Wi-Fi.
The hotspot includes “reverse charging”, a feature that lets users charge their smartphones from the hotspot. It also supports USB 3.0 and has a screen showing data usage.
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