Optus had originally stated that it would launch its 4G services in the Newcastle region in April 2012, which it did… sort of. That was due to be followed up by capital cities in June, but that's looking shakier all the time, with the telco apparently still at the tendering stage for its 4G equipment. The Australian reports that Optus now has a shortlist of equipment suppliers for its main 4G rollout; Alcatel Lucent, Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson and Samsung. Nokia Seimens Networks is apparently out of the first stage of the tender process, although it's Optus' current equipment supplier. Huawei's currently tipped to be the winner, as it's the company responsible for the 3G to 4G upgrade in Newcastle, with Ericsson and ZTE unlikely.
The report states that Optus' national 4G network would utilise Optus' existing holdings in the 1800Mhz and 2300Mhz bands with the capability to also run on 700Mhz once that's auctioned off at the end of the year; Optus has already held trials of 4G in the the 700Mhz band space.
It's great that Optus is moving forwards with its 4G plans — if only because a little mobile competition has historically always been a good thing at the consumer-facing end — but it also looks increasingly likely that it's a field that Telstra will own for at least the short term. [The Australian]