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Monday, 06 October 2008 09:46

Next G to support 21Mbps by year end: devices will take longer

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Telstra has marked the second anniversary of the launch of its Next G network by confirming that it will be the first in the world to support downstream data speeds of 21Mbps by year end, but don't expect to be able to make use of this anytime soon.

Telstra said it had successfully tested connectivity between network infrastructure equipment and cellular device technology using wireless infrastructure equipment from Next G supplier, Ericsson and Qualcomm's MDM8200 chipset, product, the world's first supporting this throughput. The testing took place at Ericsson facilities in Sweden, not on the Next G network.

The network already supports maximum speeds of 14Mbps throughout, but there are no devices presently available that will support speeds beyond 7.2Mbps and devices incorporating the Qualcomm MDM8200 chipset seem unlikely to be available for several months.

Qualcomm announced on 31 July that it had completed "the world's first data call using high-speed packet access plus (HSPA+) network technology [achieving] a data transfer rate of more than 20Mbps in a 5MHz channel using the MDM8200." Qualcomm said that the time that the MDM8200 was available for sampling but gave no indication of when it would be commercially available and has given none since.

Telstra was unable to give any indication of when 21Mbps devices might be available, but said it expected that some devices operating at 14Mbps would be available by year end.

Spokesman Peter Taylor told iTWire that 21Mbps was not presently available throughout the network, all major metro areas had been upgraded.

Telstra plans to offer 41Mbps maximum downstream speeds by the end of 2009 and Taylor said it was likely that some areas would go straight from 14MBps to 41Mbps, However he said it would be "a commercial decision" as to which areas of the network were upgraded beyond their current 14Mbps capability.


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