Australian number-two Optus launched its 4G (LTE) network in three cities, with a fourth scheduled to follow later this month, although device choice is currently limited.
The company said it has “significant” coverage in Sydney, Perth and Newcastle, with Melbourne set to be added to the list on 15 September.
It is offering a USB modem for laptops and a Wi-Fi hotspot device, and is set to be the first operator in Australia to offer Samsung’s Galaxy SIII 4G imminently – customers can already pre-order the smartphone.
In a statement, Paul O’Sullivan, chief executive of Optus (pictured), said that it is Australia’s first operator to trial LTE services in the 700MHz digital dividend band, which is not currently available for mobile broadband use.
As with rival Telstra, Optus is using its existing 1800MHz spectrum allocation for its LTE network, ahead availability of other suitable frequencies.
The company also said that its 4G plans are also the reason behind its planned acquisition of Vividwireless, a WiMAX operator in the country, which owns spectrum that will be used for a TD-LTE rollout.