Optus 4G now available in Sydney and Perth

Optus is carrying out upgrades to its 3G network to facilitate an eventual move of all customers to 4G

Optus has launched 4G business services to Sydney and Perth, with Melbourne to join the 4G network later this year.

Small businesses, enterprises and government organisations will be able to access the company’s 4G network via Wi-Fi hotspots and USB mobile broadband on dual mode 4G/3G HSPA technology. This will operate across the 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 900MHz spectrum bands and will allow users to access 4G where available and switch between HSPA and HSPA+ technology on the 3G mobile network in non-4G areas.

Optus is offering three business plans from $34.95 for 10GB, from $54.95 for 15GB and from $74.95 for 20GB.

The launch of the business services follow 4G trials in Newcastle, which Optus switched on in late April this year.

Optus would not reveal exactly when it was releasing consumer plans on the 4G network, but said it would make an announcement soon.

Optus has also launched trials of its 4G TD (Time Division Duplex)-LTE technology at its head office in Macquarie Park and at St Mary’s in western Sydney ahead of the network's roll out in 2013.

The beta network is so far achieving speeds between 25Mbps and 87Mbps on a peak site throughput capacity of over 200Mbps.

The telco gained access to around 98MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band through the Vividwireless acqusition, which it will use to build the new 4G TD-LTE network.

Optus is upgrading more than 1000 3G mobile sites using its 900MHz spectrum, enhancing the telco’s 3G offering in Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin and Perth.

“Over the next 12 months, Optus will continue to roll out 3G coverage enhancements to the remainder of the network including Brisbane, Newcastle, Wollongong and Adelaide,” said Günther Ottendorfer, managing director, Optus Networks.

Ottendorfer told a media briefing that following upgrades to the 3G network, it has noticed an increase in data usage.

“Our customers are making the most of these network enhancements with a 20 per cent increase in 3G data usage in our upgraded areas,” he said.

Eventually, Optus aims to transition all of its customers to a single 4G network using LTE technology.

“As Australians rely more on smartphones and other connected devices, our goal is to have one single integrated 4G network that utilises the latest LTE technologies to offer our customers a great 4G network experience,” Ottendorfer said.

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