Optus' Melbourne 4G network switched on

Residents in Melbourne can now connect to the Optus 4G network on 4G compatible smartphones.

Optus has launched its 4G network in Melbourne, following the launch of its 4G network in other areas of Australia earlier this year.

Optus switched on its 4G network in Newcastle in April this year and connected the network in Sydney and Perth at the end of July.

Optus claims it has the largest 4G footprint in the Melbourne metro area, with a coverage of around 10km from the CBD.

An Optus spokesperson told Computerworld Australia it was not releasing speeds for the 4G network.

“We are being careful in quoting speed ranges for customers as speeds are device and location dependent ... [However], Optus’ own testing has shown 4G download speeds typically ranging from 1-40 Mbps," the spokesperson said.

These speeds are also in the range which Vodafone states its 4G network will achieve, which it plans to launch in early 2013, with average download speeds of 15Mbps.

Optus has upgraded more than 1000 3G mobile sites on its 900Mhz spectrum to improve its 3G network in regional centres and capital cities, with the telco claiming its 3G network now covers 99 per cent of Victoria’s population.

It is also planning to build 150 new mobile sites over the next two years in Victoria.

Optus is also reportedly spending $2 billion over the next two years on 4G services.

“We are excited about the launch of Optus 4G and the expansion of our 3G enhancement programme across Melbourne,” Günther Ottendorfer, managing director of networks at Optus, said in a statement.

The release of the iPhone 5 last week, which can connect to 4G networks, could signal further competition in the 4G market for telcos. It is also creating further competition in the smartphone market, with Optus stating it plans to release further 4G compatible smartphones in the near future.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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