Australian number-one operator Telstra has said it plans to launch LTE-Advanced services this year, a move that could make it the first operator in the world to offer the next generation 4G technology.
Outlining its roadmap for managing mobile broadband usage, the operator said it is trialling LTE-Advanced and plans to introduce it “later this year” in areas where there is heavy traffic over longer distances. Specific details weren’t announced.
LTE-Advanced uses two or more wireless frequencies to allow more data to be carried more rapidly, boosting capacity. Telstra plans to use the 1,800MHz band it already uses for its LTE network in conjunction with the 900MHz band in some regions.
Telstra will work with LTE partner Ericsson in the rollout of the technology.
The introduction of LTE-Advanced is part of a AUD1.2 billion mobile network investment programme throughout 2012-13, with the company expecting customers to use as much mobile data in 2013 as they did in the past two years combined.
“We need to cater for the extraordinary growth in demand for mobile services – today and into the future – to make sure Telstra and our customers remain at the forefront of mobile connectivity,” said chief operations officer Brendon Riley.
Telstra is also trialling small cell networks to expand network capacity at busy locations, such as city centres and sports stadiums.