Telstra is to launch Australia’s first LTE devices on August 29th as part of a “commercial pilot” aimed at businesses in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. 2,000 Telstra USB 4G laptop modems will be made available ahead of the national launch of Telstra’s LTE service later this year. The device will run over 1800MHz LTE spectrum (within 5km of the centre of the three cities) and fall back onto 850MHz HSPA spectrum when out of reach of the faster LTE service. In a statement, Telstra noted that the device will be available “initially to account managed business customers. It can be purchased in conjunction with a range of plans including for A$0 upfront on the A$49 Telstra Mobile Broadband Standard Plan over 24 months (minimum total cost A$1,176) with 7GB included data.”
Telstra switched on its limited LTE network in May but at the time there was no mention of devices or service pricing. It plans to make commercial LTE services available in “major capital cities and selected regional centres later this year.” Swedish vendor Ericsson is building the LTE network. Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless are also partners. Telstra’s rival Vodafone Hutchison Australia also plans to launch commercial LTE services this year.