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Telstra hits back after Optus launch

Telstra has returned serve after Optus’ dual-band 4G launch next week, saying its plans will be much faster and offer more capacity.

Optus hit the big yellow switch on its 4G TD-LTE network on Friday, which it described as '4G plus', but Telstra hasn't taken the announcement lying down.

Telstra’s executive director of network access and technologies Mike Wright has told The Australian that within 18 months it would be implementing "carrier aggregation” that ties three separate spectrum frequencies together to deliver faster speeds.

"We are very comfortable, our network is great," Mr Wright said.

"For us the strategy is to keep up with the demand of customers, it's to provide the coverage they want and to drive that 4G out."

Wright said customers would see download speeds of up to 300Mbps, compared to 25Mbps under the Liberal NBN plan for example.

"When you talk theoretical speeds you're talking about a device with a download experience in the 300Mbps range within 12 to 18 months," Wright told the newspaper.

He said Telstra had considered using the TD-LTE technology used by Optus but opted instead for a different strategy involving lower spectrum bands, which can "travel further and penetrate buildings better." TD-LTE stands for Time-Division Long-Term Evolution.

TD-LTE is designed to allow uploads and downloads on same spectrum frequency but at different times, so peak events like the Melbourne Cup or music festivals can better handle capacity.

Telstra has previously said it aims to offer 4G to 85% of Australia by the end of the year.


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