Optus Expands 4G Network To Sydney And Perth [Updated]

After extensive tests in Newcastle, Optus has today announced that its 4G network will go live across Sydney and Perth, and promised 4G in Melbourne once the telco's spectrum refarming operations involved in the creation of a new 3G Plus network are complete.

The Optus 4G network is available from today for small-to-medium business and corporate customers only, with consumer plans set to roll-out "shortly" according to the carrier.

Business customers can pick up a 4G data card or a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot from today with an offer of 10GB per month plan for $40 per month (full pricing coming shortly). Optus have assured that it won't be charging a premium for its 4G network at the moment.

Coverage

4G coverage in Sydney and Perth spans a 20km radius around the CBDs, while Melbourne's network — when it becomes available — will span 30 kilometres east-to-west and 16 kilometres north-to-south.

Why no Melbourne right now? Optus says that it needs to complete its 2G refarming operations for the creation of the enhanced 3G Plus network before it activates 4G in Victoria. Melbourne's 4G network is ready to go as soon as the refarming to 3G Plus is complete. That goes for all capital cities too. Brisbane's refarming operations are set to go through to the end of the year and Adelaide is scheduled to be completed by next year.

It's also worth noting that Optus' agreement with Vodafone is related to site access (infrustructure), not the network itself.

Here's the coverage map for Sydney:

And the coverage map for Perth:

4G Phones

We're not sure yet about 4G handsets set for release, or if Optus' MVNOs — like Virgin and iiNet — will get access to the telco's 4G or 3G Plus networks just yet. We'll find that out when Optus has its 4G consumer release in the next few months.

As for existing 4G phones: provided that it's an 1800MHz network compatible handset and unlocked, it should work with Optus.

Next? 4G TD-LTE Goes 220Mbps

Optus is also beta testing a new 4G TD-LTE network in St Marys, Sydney, that is capable of speeds around 220Mbps over the air. Gunther Ottendorfer, Optus' managing director of Networks told journalists today that the closed trial network, which opened last week, will be tested for capacity, speed, coverage and throughput for things like media streaming and data operations.

That TD-LTE network is the direct result of Optus' acquisition of vividwireless last year. Optus doesn't know what the TD-LTE network is for just yet. The telco says that it may even use it as a high-speed, data-only network to compliment its existing 4G LTE service.

Giz is at the Optus event; stay tuned for more details as we get them.


Comments

    More low quality for all!

      Exactly, that's why I changed to Telstra. On street coverage
      doesn't mean jack all of you can't get coverage indoors.

    Perth, really?
    i'm pleasantly surprised. Good timing with my voda/three contract coming to an end soon.

    I was hoping the 4G would make it's way out to penrith to make a
    switch to optus from telstra more viable. :( My hope was misplaced.
    looks like ill be stuck with telstra while they raise their prices
    and lower their data plans.

    "20km radius around the CBDs"? According to that map, it barely
    reaches Kingsford-Smith Airport, which I'd reckon is less than 10km
    from Sydney CBD. In fact, it is not much more than 10km by road,
    according to Bing Maps.

      It's like everything else the telcos advertise - it's *up to* 20km
      radius :P

    Well its not as if they're going to stop there... It will grow. Not
    as if they can flick a switch and the whole of Sydney will be
    covered

    Looks like good times for Optus - if they utilise the 2.3GHz
    spectrum for data only, and purchase a large portion of the analog
    TV frequency, they'll play Telstra out of the metro game
    completely. Telstra will only have regional as a differentiator.
    Changing of the guard?

    Where can I find info on their next release sites? I'll be up for a
    new phone in March and I would add it to my list of 1 provider of
    4g here.

    great news. i purchised a galaxy SII 4G from the internets and had
    it running on telstra's prepaid cap offer.. but the culling of data
    was enough to send me elsewhere. as soon as this puppy is good to
    go in rbisbane consioder me signed up as long as it si open to
    prepaid and no premium charge for it

    Cant just flick a switch and turn on everyone.... Seriously people will bitch and winge about everything to do with Optus and harp on about how great Telstra is.... Yes they have a better 3G Network, but as hard working australians we all paid for that from our tax dollars.... The NextG network was built by every working Australian. Optus on the other hand have ALWAYS charged less for their services and have had NO Government help and have still managed to roll out a pretty decent 3G mobile network. Just sit back and think about the situation in its entirety, that's a pretty good head start to Telstra. Get ready to pay more for Telstra in the coming months, they have already slashed data inclusions on their plans and Pre-paid cap encore.... While in the meantime Optus has increased in value giving you unlimited Optus to Optus calls on majority of their plans and even Pre-paid. Seriously guys we all don't live in the middle of nowhere we live in city areas that get great coverage with Optus..... Just think about that next time you think about switching. I know I will!!!

      Ash,

      It's not just "the middle of nowhere" that has poor coverage and only Telstra as the main option. Optus need to ramp up their 900MHz 3G network in a lot of regional locations to get decent building penetration so people aren't dropping back to 2G all the time. And that's not even mentioning congestion in Optus' 3G networks themselves.

      I'm by no means a Telstra fan-boy, but I still would like data when I need it. I will give Optus 4G a go however when it is available to plebs... I mean consumers. And hopefully on MVNOs.

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