Good news for particular Telstra mobile users – specifically those who own devices operating in the 700Mhz frequency band.
Telstra bought two 20Mhz blocks of this spectrum at 2013’s digital dividend spectrum auction – previously it was reserved for free-to-air television – and are currently rolling it out in certain areas, with more to come.
You’ve probably seen the new service advertised as 4GX, which basically means nothing. (I guess the ‘X’ stands for ‘Xtreme’? Let’s hope not.) Customers with compatible devices in upgraded areas will enjoy faster data transfer speeds, and better indoor coverage.
So how fast is it? Well, it’s kind of hard to say. Telstra itself quotes to virtually useless figures of 2Mpbs – 75Mbps, which is like saying the nearest shop is between 20 metres and a thousand kilometres away. For now your mileage will vary, though there's talk of speeds actually doubling.
The following top smartphones use 700Mhz:
- Samsung Galaxy S5
- HTC One (M8)
- LG G3
- Sony Xperia Z3
You should be aware that whatever speeds you currently enjoy on 4GX will drop as more users hop on board. On the other hand, 4G speeds will improve as more users move off that spectrum (currently 900Mhz and 1800Mhz), in much the same way that 3G speeds are now the fastest they've ever been.