At this time of year a lot of businesses are looking to slow down for the end of year however for some of us the year continues in full flight, both rolling our new 4G coverage to 85% of the Australian population and also pushing new technology boundaries.

Overnight last night we took another opportunity to conduct a world leading technology test that will be foundational in preparing Telstra’s network for the increasing demand for wireless data.

Back in August I wrote about the possibilities of LTE- Advanced Carrier Aggregation which allows greater data download speeds by aggregating spectrum across the two spectrum bands and this morning we were able to see this in action, live on our commercial 4G network, by aggregating two channels of 20MHz spectrum to achieve download speeds of up to 300 Mbps in a trial environment.

The trial was conducted using a commercial test device and aggregating 20 MHz bandwidth within the 1800 MHz spectrum band and 20 MHz bandwidth within the 2600 MHz band.

While these trial speeds are very impressive and exciting (and we expect that actual typical customer speeds on commercial services will be lower), these trials are important for another reason as they build on our earlier LTE-Advanced work and set us up to continue to deliver a reliable network experience and more reliable speeds into the future. We have all seen around the world what happens when operators can’t keep up with customer demand. Without a strong, multi-year strategy the rapid rate of data growth would quickly swamp any new network rollout.

As we move into 2014 we will use these trials to inform the development of our network and the early launch of devices that will be ready for the combined APT700 MHz and LTE1800 spectrum bands.

Overall our customers can rest assured that Telstra is continuing our tradition of investing in and building out the best mobile network and focused on providing them with a superior service with more coverage, fewer dead spots, more reliable speeds and fewer dropouts.

And when it comes to data, no-one rivals the 4G coverage experience we provide our customers. We now offer four times the 4G coverage area of any competitor. And, we’re just a few hundred base stations shy of reaching 85 per cent of the population.

That’s important because our customers now look at their phones as much as they talk on them and with people heading to the beach for holidays they should notice the difference in many places.

We are grateful to the television broadcasters (Channel 7, Channel 9, Channel 10 and the ABC) for granting us access to suitable 2.5 GHz spectrum for the trial.