Telstra launches first LTE-A device

WiFi hotspot is category-4 and supports LTE Advanced

The new Telstra Wi-Fi 4G Advanced hotspot supports up to 10 devices for 10 hours. Credit: Telstra

The new Telstra Wi-Fi 4G Advanced hotspot supports up to 10 devices for 10 hours. Credit: Telstra

Telstra has announced its first 4G device supporting LTE Advanced (LTE-A) technology, a WiFi hotspot.

LTE-A devices like the Telstra Wi-Fi 4G Advanced can combine the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands for extra capacity, resulting in less network congestion.

However, LTE-A is not yet available in most places where Telstra has 4G coverage. Telstra has LTE-A coverage in one region of the Sunshine Coast, QLD, a spokesman said.

“Widespread deployment of LTE-A coverage will commence when we introduce 700MHz spectrum into the network,” he said.

4G in Australia: The state of the nation

The WiFi hotspot is also a “category 4” device, which means it can make use of 4G areas where Telstra has 20MHz of contiguous spectrum, including Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Telstra has said that its Cat-4 devices are capable of up to 150Mbps downloads. While unlikely the devices will actually reach 150Mbps in real world conditions, the max speed is 50Mbps faster than previous “category 3” 4G devices available today which support up to 100Mbps.

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.

Telstra will release the new hotspot on 12 November on a range of 24-month business and consumer plans. It can support up to 10 devices and run continuously for 10 hours on a single charge. It has a 2.4-inch colour touch screen for managing settings and monitoring data and battery usage.

Also, Telstra announced it has today switched on its 3000th 4G base station in Dalby, Queensland.

Telstra claimed that its 4G coverage is now four-times greater than any other Australian telco. The telco has promised to reach 85 per cent of the population by Christmas.

The company has 500 base stations to go to reach that goal, said Telstra director of devices, Andrew Volard.

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