World first HSPA+ Dual Channel on a live network
It may not seem like it at first glance but the global telecommunications industry is one of the most competitive in the world. Just as athletes the world over strive to be the fastest, Telstra strives to be a technology leader and we are in the habit of succeeding.
Just last week we proudly took the next step towards making HSPA+ Dual Channel technology a commercial reality on our Next G™ network. With the network already enabled with this speed and capacity boosting technology, we carried out the world’s first over-the-air testing on a live commercial network.
The test used an advanced pre-production model of a USB mobile broadband device that is Dual Channel-enabled. Development of the commercial version of this device is nearing its final stages and we expect the modems to hit shelves later this year.
Last week’s test in a good signal environment under controlled conditions averaged download speeds of about 22Mbps, approximately double those experienced under the same conditions at the same location with a standard BigPond Elite HSPA+ rated device.
This live network test was important for more than just being the first in the world. It served to validate our expectations of the upgraded technology that we should see approximately double existing HSPA+ customer down load speeds in selected parts of the network when we bring this product to market. Typical user down load speeds will be announced closer to the launch.
HSPA continues to be the dominant mobile broadband technology in the global industry and Telstra is playing a role in the development of the technology that cannot be underestimated. For example just this week AT&T, one of the largest operators in the United States, announced new plans to extensively upgrade its network with HSPA+ technology in order to give their customers a better mobile broadband experience.
Alongside Ericsson, our network partner; Qualcomm, who design and build our HSPA+ chipsets; and Sierra Wireless, manufacturers of the devices, we have a formidable team championing the technology in Australia for the rest of the world to follow. This is certainly one of the most rewarding parts of my job as Chief Operations Officer at Telstra.