Telstra has today announced that it will add the 900MHz frequency band to its 4G network – which is currently running on the 1800MHz band. Basically, this means that Telstra’s 4G network is no longer as congested, but also will improve coverage in rural areas and while you are inside buildings.
Many phones already support both bands – some countries in Europe use the 900MHz spectrum to deliver their 4G standards – so it isn’t much of a hassle. If you are one of the few phones that don’t support the 900MHz band, then Telstra plans to issue a firmware to let you be able to access the new network.
“We need to cater for the extraordinary growth in demand for mobile services – today and into the future – to make sure Telstra and our customers remain at the forefront of mobile connectivity,” its Chief Operations Officer, Brendon Riley, said.
For the telco, this is part of an overall $1.2 billion investment in its mobile networks. It has also announced that it plans to trial LTE-A (LTE Advanced) so it can use it in the future. LTE-A would allow Telstra to combine both the 900MHz and the 1800MHz spectrum to form essentially one huge stream. As Luke Hopewell, from Gizmodo Australia, puts it:
When someone moves deeper into a rural area, they shift from being on the larger spectrum over to the 900MHz spectrum to ensure consistent coverage.