The 4G battle lines are drawn. Optus hits fewer sites, but usually with a bigger splash of coverage, while Telstra has many more actual 4G sites. Including, as I discovered this morning, in the ocean just off Adelaide.
I’d noticed the curiosity on Telstra’s Adelaide 4G coverage maps when I’d compared 4G data speeds testing for Lifehacker a couple of months ago, but put it down to a quirk of the mapping software. An understandable quirk — there are few buildings to get in the way of the 1800Mhz signal, but that was it.
This morning, while heading out on a dolphin spotting/swimming cruise (sidenote: AWESOME!), I was out in those waters, and I pulled my phone out of my pocket — in this case, a Motorola RAZR M, which is 4G LTE equipped. I was rather surprised to discover that indeed, I could get some 4G service way out from shore.
Admittedly, it was patchy — I flicked between 4G, 3G and even EDGE coverage at times — but there’s 4G out there. Running the Speedtest.net app while in a 4G patch of water got me an average 7.88Mbps down, 1.94Mbps up and 71ms ping.
So if you did happen to find yourself bobbing out to sea off Adelaide’s coastline, it’d be feasible to send a live video feed of your position back to shore.