Optus and Nokia Siemens Networks successfully demonstrated Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile technology at a Thai restaurant in Gordon, Sydney today, but did not make clear exactly when the upgrade to its 3G network would take place.
The telco would only say it expected a 2013 time frame for the technology to be available. "We feel the auction will happen in 2012 and we feel the spectrum will become commercially available at the end of 2013 calendar -- and the government has actually set that time frame," said Henry Calvin, Optus director of mobile access and broadband, referring to government auctions of mobile spectrum required for the technology.
Three telecommunication executives -- Kelvin, Optus mobile network director Andrew Smith and Mike Smathers, sales director of Radio and Core Networks at Nokia Siemens Networks networks conducted the demonstration at the media event. The live demonstration had two screens -- one with 3G speeds, with the second displaying LTE speeds. LTE download speeds reached 40Mbps and the 3G download speeds reached 3Mbps.
A second demonstration was a HD video conference, with an Optus employee standing next to an internet gateway server in Sydney suburb, Pyrmont. He held up today’s newspaper to prove the demo wasn’t a recording. The signal didn’t drop out.
Previous field trials in Sydney over a 10Mhz spectrum reached speeds of 50Mbps download and 20Mbps upload, with peaks of 73Mbps using LTE USB dongles. The second phase of field trials will begin in the second half of this year.
“Optus continues to build on the significant investment in its network to support mobile and data growth and improve customer experience; investing trials of LTE technology is another step in continuing to deliver a high quality service," said Andrew Buay, Optus managing director of Products and Delivery.
Optus announced yesterday that it had successfully purchased regional spectrum licences between 5Mhz and 10MHz in the 2100Mhz spectrum from Qualcomm-owned company 3G Investments Australia Pty Ltd.
Telstra and Huawei successfully trialled LTE on the 1800 MHz spectrum earlier this month.