Optus completes 3G upgrade, prepares for 700MHz 4G

Total of 4400 mobile sites moved to 900MHz throughout five-year project

Telecommunications giant, Optus, has wrapped up its five-year 3G network upgrade program, having moved 4400 mobile sites across Australia to the 900MHz spectrum.

The project concluded with the upgrade of more than 70 sites in Canberra earlier this month.

“Over the course of the programme, we’ve upgraded the bulk of our 3G network with 900MHz spectrum to create more capacity and coverage, raising our metro 3G indoors coverage from 70 per cent to 94 per cent over the past two years,” Optus mobile engineering vice-president, Andrew Smith, said.

Smith also said Optus will continue to improve its 3G network with the planned roll out of over 100 additional sites which will support both 3G and 4G services across “major metro and regional areas.”

Forward with 700MHz 4G

Optus is currently preparing its network in anticipation of gaining access to the 700MHz spectrum band, having been granted trial licenses in Sydney to begin testing. It also gained access to metro trial licenses for 4G in the 2600MHz band.

“These new trial licenses enables Optus to start live testing the next evolution of our 4G network, due to launch commercially at the end of this year for 2600MHz and early next year for 700MHz,” Smith said.

The spectrums will be tested with both mobile devices and television broadcasters.

Optus attributes its reception of the licenses to strong industry collaboration with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and Australian broadcasters, Network Ten and the Nine Network.

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