Melbourne businesses to get Optus 4G 15 September

Optus today opened its 4G network to consumers in Sydney, Perth and Newcastle.

Optus will launch 4G services for Melbourne businesses and consumers on 15 September, the telco said, with its 4G network now open for Sydney, Perth and Newcastle consumers, following launches of 4G business services there.

"Business and consumer customers will be able to get 4G in Melbourne when the network is switched on next week," an Optus spokesman said. The carrier has said it will add Brisbane and Adelaide in the first half of 2013.

Optus also announced it will be the first telco to release a 4G version of the popular Samsung Galaxy SIII handset. The smartphone is now available for pre-order, with delivery expected 20 September, according to Optus.

Optus will offer two 4G plans for the Galaxy S III 4G, each in business and consumer flavours. A $60 plan plus $7 per month for the handset over 24 months provides $650 for voice and text messages and 1.5GB included data. Paying $80 with no additional fee for the phone gets a customer $850 of included value and 2GB data. Each plan includes unlimited access to social media, standard SMS and Optus-to-Optus voice calls.

Optus reportedly plans to spend $2 billion over two years on 4G services in an effort to take on Telstra. Telstra, which launched 4G services in September last year, has said it will cover two-thirds of the population by mid-2013 after it doubles coverage in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Optus, Telstra and Vodafone Hutchison Australia are all investing heavily in 4G LTE technology.

Meanwhile, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) riding on the Optus network, including Virgin Mobile, Amaysim and Boost Mobile, have said 4G services are on the way.

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