Optus Plans Expanded 4G Roll-Out To 118 New Regions Around Australia

The race for 4G supremacy is on, and it's running in earnest at the moment between the top two telcos Telstra and Optus. With the news that Telstra will switch on its 4GX network more broadly around Australia at the start of next year, Optus has name-checked 118 regions around the country that will benefit from its expanded 4G rollout in the next three to six months.

In a media release, Optus says it is bringing its 4G network — using both its purchased 700MHz spectrum and the equally new 2600MHz band — to "200 regional locations and holiday destinations throughout the country." The list of regions, broken down by state, lists a total of 118 localities, towns and cities including Wagga Wagga, Bunbury and the Pilbara, with a further 35 locations co-listed (Murray River is listed with the 7.6km-distant Swan Hill in Victoria, for example) — 155 in total. Where Optus gets that claim of "200 new Aussie destinations" from isn't quite clear.

Update: An Optus spokesperson has clarified the number for us: "The locations are broken down into general regional areas like the South Coast, Upper Murray, Granite Belt, Eyre Peninsula and the like. Within the each regional area, there will be several towns that make up the regional area which brings it to 200 locations, including holiday locations."

These areas (mostly) haven't had access to 4G through Optus' mobile phone network ever before, and the rollout will massively expand the reach of the existing 4G network. The imminent Optus 4G rollout of 700MHz is comparatively massive, and will provide special benefit to metropolitan areas where the issues of indoor coverage and difficult terrain have to be overcome. Optus has also already switched on next-generation LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation for its 4G Plus network, providing very fast download speeds (although no device yet supports it).

An increasing number of devices support the 700MHz and 2600MHz 4G frequency bands used by Optus for its large-scale rollout, including the 700MHz-capable Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3 and HTC One M8. 2600MHz support is similarly improving with the iPhone 5S and 6 two of several handsets that support the standard. This network is distinct from Optus' own 4G Plus network, which uses a novel (in Australia) 2300MHz frequency holding and the TD-LTE transmission standard.

Optus' coverage maps don't yet seem to show the planned rollouts for the regions listed in the company's media release just yet — looking at Wagga Wagga, for example, doesn't show any difference in the map and doesn't show any 4G network coverage of the area when selecting either the three or six-month options. We expect that'll be updated soon. [Optus]


Comments

    According to the Optus coverage page, Canberra doesn't have 4G and there are no plans for it.
    FFS Optus! Interstate politicians will never use Optus if they have to wait on 3G speeds for maps of Fyshwick.

      I think you need to select "4G Plus" to see it for Canberra as they're not getting normal 4G for some reason. However, it's still 6 months away.

        Thanks for that. I would never have found it.

          It's really counter-intuitive. It's just normal 4G, but Marketing got their hands on it.

    Really need a list of which phones are capable of this new tech. I'm thinking of swapping to optus in the next few months but I don't know if my Nexus 5 is going to work as well

      Samsung: Galaxy S5 and Note 4
      Sony: Xperia Z3
      HTC: One m8
      Alcatel: Pop S3
      Kogan: Agora 4G
      LG: G3
      Apple: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus

      Expect the Nexus 6 to support it, but not the Nexus 5.

    Optus’ coverage maps don’t yet seem to show the planned rollouts for the regions listed in the company’s media release just yet — looking at Wagga Wagga, for example, doesn’t show any difference in the map and doesn’t show any 4G network coverage of the area when selecting either the three or six-month options. We expect that’ll be updated soon.

    You have to select a compatible phone before the new coverage shows up in "future coverage"

    eg select an iphone 6 as your phone, then click 6 months next to future coverage and it will show up in bright red (as opposed to purple which is 4G)

    Using "any 4G phone" won't show 700MHz LTE.

    Last edited 07/10/14 5:11 pm

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