Monday, 17 November 2014 18:44

GGGG: Much more Optus 4G in NSW, QLD, SA and VIC regions

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Gee, it may have taken a lot longer than Telstra, but Optus has accelerated its roll out of bucketloads more 4G across four Australian states in 41 regional and holiday areas, just in time for pre-summer mobile broadband fun!

Optus 4G 2600MHz services are now finally switched on in sites across 41 regional centres (Optus says 40 but I have counted 41), and has gained early access licence approvals granted by ACMA, the Australian Communications and Media Authority for 4G 700MHz in a whopping 200 regional locations.

Vic McClelland, MD of Optus Networks, said: “This is a great opportunity for Optus to bring forward the benefits of 4G for customers for the peak summer holiday period. It reaffirms Optus’ commitment to deliver 4G consumer choice and competition.”

“Already we have turned on our first 4G [2600MHz] sites in more than 40 towns and will continue to light up 4G on both 2600MHz and 700MHz spectrum, as it becomes available.”

“Early access licenses for 700MHz spectrum give Optus the option to turn on 4G earlier than anticipated in many regional and holiday locations.”

“700MHz spectrum is due to become nationally available from January 2015, however, with ACMA approving early access, we will look to provide customers with compatible devices a taste of 4G as quickly as possible.”

McClelland noted that Optus “would continue to upgrade towers and test before switching on 4G 700MHz, but when live, regional customers will enjoy a faster and more consistent mobile internet experience.”

When it comes to 700MHz 4G services, which have been granted that early ACMA access, Optus says its customers ‘with compatible 700MHz devices such as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3, Sony Xperia Z3 and HTC One (M8) will be able to access Optus 4G services.’

McClelland added that: “Optus will continue to announce areas where 4G is available using the new 700 MHz spectrum.”

As you’d expect, all of these new 700MHz locations ‘will significantly expand the reach of Optus’ existing 4G network, with plans to cover 90% of the Australian population by April 2015.’

It was only earlier this month that Optus expanded its existing 4G 700MHz coverage across greater Darwin.

If you’re wondering where 700MHz 4G is additionally live right now, they are Toowoomba, Ballarat, Bendigo, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Nowra, Port Macquarie, Urunga, Bundaberg and Murray Bridge - amongst many others!

McClelland concluded that: “From January 2015, as the 700MHz spectrum becomes nationally available for commercial use, we will ramp up our program to deliver 4G to more people across regional Australia,”

If you’re wondering why Perth and regional Western Australia aren’t on the list yet, that’s because 2600MHz spectrum for those areas won’t be available until February 2016, but it went live in October 2014 for the rest of the country and the areas already listed above.

You can see where Optus 4G is available now, and where it is being switched on over the next 3 to 6 months at the Optus coverage website here.

The locations in four Australian states that are getting Optus 4G on 2600Mhz are:

NSW:
Albury, Armidale, Batemans Bay, Galong, Coffs Harbour, Cootamundra, Dubbo, Goulburn, Macksville, Nambucca Heads, Narooma, Orange, Port Macquarie, Suffolk Park, Towrang, Urunga, Wagga Wagga.

Queensland:
Cannonvale, Cairns, Gooburrum, Innisfail, Proserpine, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Torbanlea, Yeppoon

South Australia:
Ceduna, Littlehampton, Minnipa, Murray Bridge, Port Augusta, Wirrulla

Victoria:
Ballarat, Bendigo, Glenorchy, Maffra, Newborough, Traralgon, Wangaratta West, Waygara, Wodonga 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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