Telstra has upgraded its Next G HSPA+ mobile network to provide peak downlink speeds of 42Mbps.
The upgrade comes one year after it upgraded the network to 21Mbps and is accompanied by the launch of sales of a Sierra Wireless device. The new modem, called the Telstra Ultimate, is required to access the network.
In a statement, Telstra CEO David Thodey said with the upgraded Dual Carrier Next G HSPA+ network the telco expects to "offer speeds that are comparable to the initial speeds we have seen reported from some fledgling 4G LTE networks".
"While LTE remains on Telstra's technology roadmap there is a huge amount of potential remaining in HSPA+. We will take full advantage of this by again doubling our peak network speeds to 84Mbps through the implementation of HSPA+ Dual Carrier plus MIMO technology during 2011," Thodey said.
To achieve the upgrade Telstra partnered with Ericsson, Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless.
In December, Ericsson demonstrated HSPA+ or Evolved HSPA and showed it could take 3G networks up to 42 Mbps.
According to statistics from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) 10 per cent of operators who support HSPA have networks that achieve speeds of 21 Mbps.
To get to 42 Mbps, HSPA+ sends data over two carrier frequencies (dual carrier). The carriers use 5 MHz of spectrum each and they are located next to each other, according to Ericsson. To achieve the higher speeds telcos must upgrade the software in their base stations while consumers will have to purchase the new modem.