Optus Releases 4G Samsung Galaxy S III, 4G Consumer Plans [Update]

Optus has announced its new 4G offering for consumer customers, including the launch of its 4G network, a 4G dongle, portable Wi-Fi modem, and the long-awaited, 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy S III. Updated with official pricing and dates.

Hands-On: Samsung Galaxy S III Optus 4G

The 4G network was first teased in late July with the help of a dancing robot.

Optus' 4G network is now live in Sydney, Newcastle and Perth, while folks in Melbourne will have to wait until September 15. As far as coverage is concerned, the network still covers the same range that was previewed back in July. Optus says that other cities would be switched on when 3G refarming operations were complete. As far as Brisbane and the Gold Coast goes, refarming operations will be complete around December with 4G to roll-out next year. Pre-paid services on Optus' 4G network will be coming "shortly".

Meanwhile, here's the coverage map for Sydney:

And the coverage map for Perth:

Update: Optus 4G services will launch in Melbourne on September 15. Here's the coverage map:

Optus used Newcastle as a trial site for 4G and issued Sierra Wireless devices to 900 businesses, individuals and home offices for testing. The company has since swapped out those test devices with 4G Wi-Fi hotspots made by Huawei, which Optus is claiming are some of the fastest in the world thanks to its "category 4" device classification.

Optus has told us that vaunted 4G Galaxy S III will be exclusive on its network at launch. Pre-orders start today and the handsets will be delivered to customers in a few weeks due to initial stock shortages. Customers will also be able to access a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot from today.

UPDATE: Pre-orders for the Galaxy S III 4G are now being taken on Optus' website and at Samsung's Experience Store in Sydney. See the charts below for Optus' pricing plans.

The Competition

As exciting as the launch of another 4G service is for consumers, Optus and Vodafone are both slightly behind the curve when it comes to 4G services.

Telstra announced consumer 4G services for major capital cities almost 12 months ago, and as recently as last week, the nation's largest telco announced that it would increase the reach of its existing 4G coverage network, meaning that it will cover 66 per cent of the network by mid-2013.

Telstra will release 10 new 4G devices onto its network in the next 10 months, compared to Optus' as yet unknown roadmap. Optus does have the enormous draw card of a 4G Samsung Galaxy S III on its network, however. Telstra will carry the device as well once Optus' exclusivity period ends.

More: Australian 4G Frequencies Explained


Comments

    Would the new 4G micro sim enable new iPad to receive 4G connection speed?

    Lol, no.
    The SIM card is the same as the 3G SIM. It's the antenna in the 2012 iPad that stops it from connecting to the 1800MHz 4G frequency in Aus. The iPad antenna is for 700MHz 4G I'm afraid, and we probably won't see any of that until 2015.

      Minor nitpick here: it's not the antenna, it's the chipset can't "speak" LTE at 1800 MHz. I'm sure the iPad's antenna works OK (at least) at 1800MHz due to GSM1800 support and the "AWS" LTE (which is 1700/2100). Oh and the 700 in Australia will be different to the various 700s used in the USA.

    If you want 4G, you're really better off just opt(us)ing for Telstra.

    @Heartnet, no that won't work, SIM's are not bound to the type of network (3G or 4G). The problem lies in the frequency used by Apple on the iPad, not compatible with Australian (and all non US) networks

    After what Apple had to go through with the new iPad not being Aussie 4G compatible (being sued and having to rename it), do you think they would make the new iPhone compatible with our networks? After all, Australia is a huge market for Apple and hopefully they learnt from earlier this year.

    Huge market? Compared to NZ maybe , but not the restof the world.

      we are a tiny market..

    We're a tiny market, but still a decent money maker for them and I believe could even be their no.1 market in terms of sales per capita.

    For such a small population, we buy a lot of shit, at inflated prices no less.

      Per capita sales might make the marketing dept happy but I don't think it matters a hoot to the company overall. I doubt Australia is more than one or two percent of Apple's global market.

      a lot of apple shi* taboot !

    Optus all the way, or you could pay twice as much for Telstra without getting any extra benefit

      Except for that small benefit of a lot more coverage.

    The Sydney map has some pretty major dead spots, like most of Balmain and Birchgrove and some biggish parts of the Eastern Suburbs. And there are way too many foreshore areas for me to have any confidence I'd be able to get a signal. Pretty poor effort, really.

    Sure, Optus and Telstra will have similar metro 4g coverage initially. But for me and many others, living and holidaying outside of the 4g range, Telstra is the only way to get decent 3g and phone coverage when outside a 4g zone.

    Interested to see how affordable the new Telstra plans will be.

    The masses won't be interested in 4G until plans larger than 2Gb come out.

    What's the point in having 4G speeds if you can blow your entire monthly allowance in 30 minutes or less?

    Wow, Winston Hills has more coverage than Parramatta???

    Heard they already have teething issues, Samsung SIII won't switch back to 4G after taking a call over 3G, you have to reboot the phone or wait an hour..... That's great!

    sign this petition to increase data allowance
    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/raise-data-allowance-telcos.html

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