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Optus Up 4G Ante V Telstra

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Optus has completed its acquisition of Vividwireless from the Seven Group, giving it access to spectrum previously held by the communications company.

The telco also announced to invest in two major 4G LTE-TDD testing facilities in St Marys in Western Sydney and at Macquarie Park In preparation for a “major national LTE-TDD network rollout in 2013.”

┬áThis will give it the “the highest capacity 4G network in Australia,” the telco says, outrunning rival Telstra.

Long-Term Evolution Time-Division Duplex (LTE-TDD) is an advanced version of TD-LTE technology as used by NBN wireless services, and is already used by 4G operators in China.

Telstra, who beat Optus to the post last year to launch the first 4G LTE network in Oz, already has 100,000 customers on its ultra fast mobile broadband service.

Optus claims its 4G LTE service is “significantly faster than existing 4G networks.”

Telstra’s typical download speeds are 2Mbps – 40Mbps, uploads of 1Mbps – 10Mbps, while Optus reckons its 4G network has typical download speeds from 25Mbps to 87Mbps.

Optus has now gained access to up to 98MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band across key population areas, after receiving ACCC and FIRB approval for the Vividwireless acquisition and was advised by ACMA of its willingness to reissue key spectrum licences, previously held by that company.

Optus released first 4G service to NSW areas of and the Hunter region in April and will now expand the service to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth by middle of the year, it confirmed. Telstra has already rolled out its 4G network to all capital cities and many regional areas.

“The successful completion of the Vividwireless deal reinforces our commitment to being a leader in 4G and in providing Australians with a range of high speed mobile services,” Kevin Russell, CEO, Optus Consumer.

The Minister for Communications, Senator Stephen Conroy, welcomed today’s 4G investment by Optus and even managed to get a plug for the NBN, saying:

“The Optus announcement complements the Gillard Government’s investment in the National Broadband Network.

“Mobile operators know that high-speed fixed-line broadband infrastructure is critical to meeting future demand for wireless data.

“Smartphones, tablets and other portable devices are an important part of how Australians get online and involve themselves in the digital economy.”

High speed mobile broadband on 4G is set to explode in Oz with 7 million devices in use by 2016, local analysts Telsyte predict.