Mobile operator Telstra has launched a Gigabit LTE service in select Australian state capital city central business districts, with more to follow. The service, which is claimed to be the world’s first commercial Gigabit LTE network and device, was made possible using technology from Ericsson, Qualcomm and NETGEAR announce.
The Gigabit LTE NETGEAR device, Nighthawk M1, will first be made available to consumers in Australia in late February, 2017. The newly-launched Gigabit LTE service will deliver extremely fast access to consumers’ favourite content, and even faster access to enterprise applications and business-critical data.
Gigabit performance will improve access to high-quality video streaming, and facilitate emerging mobile virtual reality applications and experiences. In addition to Gigabit LTE speeds on the downlink, Telstra’s new network capability also delivers up to double the previous uplink speeds, meaning uploading content to social media, the cloud or business applications will be much faster.
Gigabit LTE is enabled by LTE Advanced features including 4x4 MIMO, 3CA (three carrier aggregation) and higher order modulation (256QAM). On the uplink, Telstra’s new network capability uses 64QAM and 2CA for a peak upload speed of up to 150Mbps. These new features and capabilities are all considered important steps towards evolving the Telstra network towards 5G.
Gigabit LTE is not only about high peak speeds but also delivers more network capacity which benefits all users. A Gigabit LTE mobile device gets the job done faster with the ability to allow more network resources to be available for other users.
In addition, the utilisation of 4x4 MIMO within the new NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router (MR1100) Gigabit device, equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, allows 4-way receive diversity.
The 4-way receive diversity capability works to support improved data throughput throughout all areas of the LTE network including both the Gigabit enabled areas and as well as the other remaining LTE network areas.
Mike Wright, group managing director, Networks at Telstra, said: “Gigabit LTE is also an important step on our journey to 5G and demonstrates Telstra’s commitment to delivering Australians a world class network now and into the future.
“We are well placed to evolve our 4G network and are putting the building blocks in place for Australia to be ready for 5G – this will deliver more bandwidth and lower latencies which are critical for emerging applications such as downloading 4K video, IoT, autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and shared virtual reality.”
Per Narvinger, Vice President Network Systems, Ericsson says: “Gigabit LTE provides end users with even faster mobile broadband speeds, further improving their mobile experience while supporting new emerging bandwidth intensive applications.
“It is exciting to deliver LTE advances that employ LTE carrier aggregation of 60MHz of spectrum with higher order MIMO, and advanced LTE modulation which are all necessary ingredients for Gigabit LTE.”
Mike Finley, senior vice president, president Qualcomm North America, Qualcomm Technologies, said: “The Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem is the first commercial modem in the world to make these game-changing speeds and user experiences possible.”
Andrew Green, Vice President of Mobile Network Products, NETGEAR, added: “The new Nighthawk M1 takes advantage of the latest of LTE and Wi-Fi technologies on the Telstra 4GX network; enabling subscribers to enjoy the benefits of a secure network with the fastest download speeds.”
Ericsson noted that Gigabit LTE delivers a peak physical layer download speed of ~979Mbps and uplink 2 CA delivers a peak uplink physical layer speed of ~150Mbps and requires a suitable device (e.g. Cat16). Actual day to day speeds experienced by users depend on network conditions and the user’s application.