Monday, 03 November 2014 19:57

VIDEO: Telstra’s 4GX and Australia’s first VoLTE voice and video calls Featured

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Telstra has become the Uncanny X-Men blended in with the Fantastic 4G, with its LTE-A and now '4GX' branded equipment able to reach superhero-like speeds that make even the mighty Flash seem slow.

4GX: Faster than a speeding bullet, and way faster than Next G! More powerful than a locomotive full of Optus and Vodafone Wi-Fi dongles! Able to leap tall phone towers in a single bound!

Look, up in the sky! It's a 4GX tower! It's a plainly faster mobile data connection! It's Super 4G!

Yes, it's 4GX, strange visitor from another spectrum, who came to Australia with mobile broadband powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal 3G.

4GX can’t quite change the course of mighty rivers, nor bend steel in its bare hands, but, disguised as LTE-A, a not-so-mild-mannered Wi-Fi hotspot for a great countrywide network, fights a never-ending battle for speed, speed and more speed!

Yes - Telstra’s 4GX LTE-A network has finally been officially announced, which clever readers would have seen me talk about in a story I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 on the Telstra network.

Videos of today’s launch speeches can be seen below at the end of this article, where you’ll also see Australia’s first VoLTE (voice over LTE) phone call and then the first VoLTE video call.

The first video features Andrew Volard, Telstra’s Director of Devices, introducing the event.

The second video features Channa Senevirante, Telstra’s Director of Wireless, who explains Telstra’s new 4GX network and then makes those first public Australia VoLTE voice and video calls.

You can also see my story on 4GX from earlier today, including speed tests showing 155Mbps download speeds! 

VoLTE is ready to go in one sense, but the holdup in getting it into the hands of consumers is ensuring that there’s a smooth handover from VoLTE calls back to the 3G network, which is a big technical behind the scenes 'thing' that needs to be sorted out first.

This means we won’t see VoLTE go live for consumers until sometime in 2015, but it is definitely coming, with the benefit that it works from your handset’s phone dialler - no additional Skype, Viber or anything else required.

This means using VoLTE for voice and video calling gives you better battery life and is more efficient for the network, although it won’t be of much benefit to people who don’t have VoLTE phones and who aren’t in 4G areas, or who have contacts on Skype, Viber, Fring or other similar apps.

Even so, it is the future for voice and video over 4G data, and will be in use by a lot of people soon, which will be better for the network - which means a better network for end users.

It takes advantage of the new 700MHz spectrum that, like 850MHz before it on 3G networks, penetrates better into buildings, car parks, lifts and indoor structures.

Devices compatible with the 700MHz 4GX network include the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (being released by Telstra on 5 November 2014, and the upcoming Note Edge in the not too distant future), as well as the existing iPhone 6, 6 Plus and iPad Air 2, among other devices that are on the way.

Telstra has also released the Telstra Wi-Fi 4G Advanced II, which is a Cat 6 LTE-A device able to work on the ‘up to’ 300Mbps standard, very much making it a super 4GX device.

It has 802.11 AC Wi-Fi built-in, has ’up to’ 11 hours of battery life and standby time of 200 hours, weighs 136 grams, has a cool and large touch screen, can be used to recharge your mobile phone - which is very, very cool - and goes on sale from 25 November 2014.

Check out the videos from today’s event.

The first video below features Andrew Volard, Telstra’s Director of Devices, introducing the event.

The second video below features Channa Senevirante, Telstra’s Director of Wireless, who explains Telstra’s new 4GX network and then makes those first public Australia VoLTE voice and video calls.

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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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