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From brick phones to blistering fast speeds: how we got to 4G

Devices

Posted on September 20, 2012

2 min read

Given the recent expansion announcement of our 4G network, we thought it’d be interesting to take a look at how we got to 4G speeds. Warning: gratuitous bike pants ahead.

We've come a long way

1G phones

If your first mobile phone weighed more than a heaving bag of groceries, congratulations! You had a 1G phone, and were probably also a millionaire. Telstra’s 1G mobile network launched in the 1980s, and the battery life on these bricks usually lasted a couple of hours if you were lucky.

Telecom memorably launched the 1G network with, ahem, branded orange tracksuits, some questionable bike pants and a Corey Haim lookalike. Hey, the 80s were crazy. It made sense at the time – don’t ask questions.

2G phones

The beginning of the 2G network is best measured by the advent of screeching melodic ringtones. Admit it: when you bought a 2G phone, you scrolled through the entire list of cacophonic ringtones at top volume to decide which one you liked best. Probably on public transport, too. What were we thinking? Jeez, we were rude.

Fortunately, this was also the advent of basic WAP internet sites. If you could work out how to navigate through all the menus on your phone and get online, anyway. Intuitive touchscreens were still a decade or two away…

This was also when we discovered we’d all been accidentally buttdialling our friends while we walked down the street without locking our phone.

3G phones

Colour screens! Email everywhere! Touchscreen everything! Voting off people on Big Brother with your phone! Taking posey duckfaced photos of yourself for your MySpace profile! Most people did this on their first 3G phone, when always-on mobile broadband entered the mainstream.

Innovation in new phones entered breakneck speed during this era, which brings us to…

4G broadband

What does 4G provide? The fastest mobile speeds available in relevant coverage areas in Australia, that’s what.  And with a Telstra 4G modem or phone in your pocket, you’ll experience  more than double the 4G coverage of any other network in Australia.

We reckon that as phones get faster, so should the network that supports them. Here’s a little video we put together explaining it…

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