Telstra Just Pulled 1Gbps Over Its 4G Network

Think 100Mbps over a fibre connection is cool? Try 1000Mbps (1Gbps) over a wireless 4G connection. That's what Telstra and Ericsson just hit in their new network testing.

That's right: using LTE-Advanced and carrier-aggregation tech, Ericsson and Telstra pulled down 1Gbps over 4G wireless as it gears up to build a new 5G network.

More: Here Is Telstra's Road To 5G

The two network giants smushed together 100MHz of mobile spectrum across five different frequency blocks: 700MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and two 20MHz portions of the 2600MHz band.

Of course, it'll be a long time before you ever see this sort of speed on your mobile device. The fastest 4G standard on consumer-level devices available these days is Category 11, which has a theoretical maximum speed of 600Mbps. Currently, Telstra is the only one selling a 4G modem that goes that fast, and even then it's still a "theoretical" "maximum". Those Category 11 devices will likely never even see 600Mbps on their clock.

Telstra nailed down the 1Gbps speed on a special device designed for hardcore network testing. It's called a TM500 and it's made by a company called Cobham Wireless. Translation: it's not your iPhone.

Despite the fact that you'll not be using these speeds until around 2020, it's great news that we're charging ahead into a speedy future.


Comments

    Insane to know that soon (a number of years) we'll be matching those sort of speeds over wireless frequencies. Hopefully in the next 5 to 10 years, mobile data caps will be massive or just non-existent and we can have these sort of speeds without a hardwired connection. A lot has to happen in the backhaul to these towers to offer it obviously (congestion etc aside). Still though, very cool that in the real world, we are approaching speeds where having a landline won't matter as much (at least for a consumer).

      Sadly, what you describe will not come to pass, at least not for the average user. Wireless is physically limited by the available frequencies, and RF frequencies are a strictly limited resource. More advanced technologies can reduce noise, but the Shannon-Hartley Theorem says we can't get significantly more data throughput than we're getting now without using more & higher frequencies (which have their own tradeoffs, like requiring line-of-sight).

      To get 1Gbps, this test used many times more more frequency bandwidth than an individual user in a cell would normally get allocated, across all four major bands. In actual usage, you wouldn't be able to use more than one or two bands, and that would be divided among all the users in that cell.

      That's fine for light internet usage, or perhaps the occasional burst of heavier downloading, but there simply isn't enough RF capacity to replace landlines for more than a handful of consumers, even today. Our internet data needs are increasing by 50% annually, but RF capacity for a given band is largely fixed, so landlines are the only practical solution for most of us.

        Hey! Im allowed to dream! That said, I've used a 4G connevtion at my home (approx 70mbits) for Downloading and gaming and it was faultless (used for about a week). But hey, you're right. It's going to take a lot to get wireless connections doing what we do over fixed line.

          Wireless can be awesome if you're the only one really using it :-)

    The problem is not so much backhaul from the towers but the limited bandwidth of the radio frequencies which every user shares. I think if everyone user who has a data cap used it fully during the month the cell networks would crash as they are.

      Exactly. Even with 1gb/s, that gives 100 users 10mb/s or 1000 users 1mb/s.

      Ever notice in a big city how at lunch time the mobile speed plummets? That's because everyone is out at lunch checking their Facebook and watching YouTube clips all at once and the available spectrum is full.

      Until someone figures out how to squeeze 1000 times more data in a given spectrum, wireless is not suitable for a national network.

    Ignoring backhaul bandwidth issues (as fiber has these too) How many people can actually get these speeds *at once* when they all have to share the same radio spectrum?

    These theoretical tests are fun. but to compare apples with apples, people have gotten 10,000s Gbps with fiber in theoretical tests.

      ow many people can actually get these speeds *at once* when they all have to share the same radio spectrum?

      1. That's all.

      The two network giants smushed together 100MHz of mobile spectrum across five different frequency blocks: 700MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and two 20MHz portions of the 2600MHz band.

    I'd imagine that the two devices were probably sitting within a close range of one another, or had an unobstructed path in order to achieve this too?

    * In Laboratory conditions, 3 metres from each other, with nothing else on the network.

    To bad a FTTP network with scattered local mobile wifi hotspots, that you can connect to using the same account as your home FTTP is not going to happen anytime soon.

      To bad a FTTP network with scattered local mobile wifi hotspots, that you can connect to using the same account as your home FTTP is not going to happen anytime soon.

      Apart from the FTTP part. That is exactly what the Telstra Air is.

    Sadly that the allowances for throughput are making the speed boost somewhat irrelevant. Hooray, that 5mb app now downloads in 1 second rather than 5. Pity I can't use this incredible speed to stream a 4k movie without being charged $1000+ in data rates.

    Last edited 09/11/15 2:35 pm

      Exactly what I was thinking, in 5 or 10 years we will have 6G or 7G speeds and still be stuck with like 20 or 30gb's per month by that time, can't they develop a technology where hundreds or thousands of people can be connected to a single cell tower and not overload it.

      It's actually in Telstra's interest to keep the data amounts per month low as they make tons more money that way, I just read another article about comcast in america reverting from unlimited data to 300gb's per month.

      Something has to be done, this is ridiculous. Telstra is getting 100 billion dollars over the next 20 years from the tax payer, I really hope they bloody do something about this.

      Exactly what I was thinking, in 5 or 10 years we will have 6G or 7G speeds and still be stuck with like 20 or 30gb's per month by that time, can't they develop a technology where hundreds or thousands of people can be connected to a single cell tower and not overload it.

      It's actually in Telstra's interest to keep the data amounts per month low as they make tons more money that way, I just read another article about comcast in america reverting from unlimited data to 300gb's per month.

      Something has to be done, this is ridiculous. Telstra is getting 100 billion dollars over the next 20 years from the tax payer, I really hope they bloody do something about this..

    Great now I can blow through my cap in 15 seconds.

    WOW what a bunch of whingers!
    Perhaps we should halt all technology R&D because it won't be relevant to you all in the next fortnight.

      Technology advances are great - but they're not magic. This development will be fantastic for a certain group of users, but any thought of replacing landlines for the general consumer is fantasy. Unfortunately, many people have unrealistic expectations.

    Heh... Still on ADSL 2+ and use a Nokia 1100 :P

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