4G connectivity in Australia

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In telecommunications, 4G is the fourth generation of cell phone mobile communications standards. It is a successor of the third generation (3G) standards. A 4G system provides mobile "ultra-broadband" Internet access.[1] Many Australian networks are currently rolling out 4G networks nationwide.


Operator Frequency
Band Duplex
Notes Available Spectrum Currently Operating
Optus 700 28 FDD Operating in many location including Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne, Geelong, Frankston, Mornington Peninsula, Hobart, Perth, Claremont and Cottlesloe.[2] Unknown Yes
Optus 1800 3 FDD Currently operating in Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide. up to 15 MHz Yes
Optus 2100 1 FDD Currently used in Darwin, Cairns, Hobart and the Sunshine Coast.[3] up to 20 MHz Yes
Optus 2300 40 TDD First Deployment in Canberra with possible extensions to other capital cities by reusing current Vivid Wireless frequency. up to 98 MHz Yes
Optus 2600 7 FDD As of January 2015- 13 Sites Live Sydney CBD/North Sydney, 5 Sites Live Melbourne CBD. 20 MHz Yes
Optus 3500 42 TDD Testing only at this time Unknown No
Telstra 700 28 FDD Currently used in major cities and branded as the 4GX Network. 20 MHz Yes
Telstra 900 8 FDD Refarmed 2G Bandwidth used for with the 1800 MHz network for carrier aggregation. 5 MHz Yes
Telstra 1800 3 FDD Currently operating in Australian capital cities and regional centres. 10 to 20 MHz Yes
Telstra 2100 1 FDD Operating at selected locations where Telstra has the frequency from the previous 3Telstra partnership.[4] Unknown Yes
Telstra 2600 7 FDD Expected to be used from 2016, Currently only used for testing. 40 MHz No
TPG 2600 7 FDD Possible deployment from 1 October 2014. 10 MHz No
Vodafone 850 5 FDD Rolling out to reach 95% of metro population by the end of 2014, Currently available in parts of Adelaide. 5 MHz for now, alongside WCDMA850. up to 10 MHz Yes
Vodafone 1800 3 FDD Currently operating in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and outer metro areas. up to 30 MHz Yes
Vodafone 2100 1 FDD Rolling out to Cairns in the future. TBA No
National Broadband Network Fixed Wireless 2300 40 TDD Used in regional location only to provide the Fixed Wireless service Unknown Yes
National Broadband Network Fixed Wireless 3500 42 TDD Testing only at this time Unknown No
  • after analogue T.V is switched off and digital T.V is re-stacked.[5]

Carrier Aggregation[edit]


In September 2014, Optus launched LTE Carrier Aggregation in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Optus markets LTE Carrier Aggregation as "4G Plus". Optus combines two 20 MHz channels of 2.3 GHz spectrum.[6]


At the end of September 2014, Telstra has opted not to extend combined 900 MHz and 1800 MHz Carrier Aggregation service.[7]

In November 2014, Telstra launched LTE Carrier Aggregation (marketed as 4GX) in parts of Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and ten regional centres (Albany, Ulladulla, Murray Bridge, Narrawallee, Shepparton, Bateman’s Bay, Swansea, Bunbury, Port Macquarie and Chinchilla), bringing to 26 the number of communities with the service. The operator wants to bring "4GX" to at least 50 regional centres by New Year’s Day. Telstra combines 20 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum and 20 MHz of 1.8 GHz spectrum.[8]



Telstra were the first carrier in Australia to launch VoLTE. The service is available on 6 phones (Four being iPhones and two being Samsung Galaxy's).[9] Telstra have switched on the VoLTE on every one of their 4G networks across Australia but currently the 4G small cells setup in regional Australia do not have VoLTE compatibility. The VoLTE network is said to be clearer and provide up to 5 way voice calls.


Optus have not rolled out VoLTE but instead introduced an app which allow call and messages to be placed and received over a WiFi connection instead of the existing 2G/3G networks. The app is designed to provide high quality calls to people in areas with limited to no phone reception. Optus claim that VoLTE is currently in testing.


Vodafone plan to release VoLTE later this year [10][non-primary source needed]


700 MHz[edit]

The 700 MHz band was previously used for analogue television and became operational with 4G in December 2014.


Optus announced trials of its 4G 700 MHz network in Darwin and Perth CBDs on July 21, 2014.[11]
The 700mhz network was made active on January 1, 2015.[12]


In July 2014 Telstra announced a trial of 4G services in the 700 MHz spectrum in Perth, Fremantle, Esperance, Mildura, Mt Isa and Griffith.[13] Service launched in November 2014.[14] This band will be the basis for the '4GX' brand.

850 MHz[edit]

The 850 MHz band is currently operated as a 3G network by Telstra and Vodafone and as a 4G network by Vodafone.

Vodafone switched the 4G 850 network on in Adelaide on 6 October 2014.[15] By the end of 2014 all other capital cities and some regional centers had access to 4G 850.

1800 MHz[edit]

The 1800 MHz band is currently operated as a 2G and 4G network by Optus, Telstra and Vodafone.


Optus has now installed their 4G networks in all the capital cities and thousands of regional areas, and markets that they currently cover 86% of the Australian population with their 4G Plus Network[16]


Telstra was the first mobile phone network to operate 4G and 2G in the same band. Their 4G network covers capital cities and some regional areas.[17]


The Vodafone 4G network was first live in selected metro areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, and the outer metro areas of Wollongong, Gold Coast, Newcastle and Geelong from June 12, 2013. The 1800 MHz network has since been expanded to include all capital cities and major outer metro areas.

2600 MHz[edit]


Optus and Telstra trialled the 2600 MHz frequency in Australia.[18][19] Service launched in October 2014.[20]


Telstra announced to use the frequency 2016 for commercial service.[21]


TPG had initially surprised some by bidding in the auction as they had no infrastructure at the time. On the 30 September 2015 TPG signed a deal with Vodafone Australia to gain access to Vodafone base stations. In return TPG will provide Dark Fibre to vodafone towers and also move their current mobile subscribers from the Optus network over to the Vodafone network.[22]

4G Sites (Base Stations)[edit]

Telstra- Telstra currently has over 3800 4G base stations in Australia [23]

Optus - Optus is estimated to have between 1000 and 1250 4G base stations [24]

Vodafone - Vodafone is estimated to have approximately 1000 4G base stations [24]


The following mobile virtual network operators offer 4G services in Australia:

Optus subsidiaries and affiliates using Optus's LTE network
Operator Launch date Notes
ACN May 2013 [25] affiliate
Amaysim March 2015 [26] affiliate
Bendigo Bank Telco (?) [27] affiliate
Commander November 2013 [28] affiliate
Exetel October 2012 [29] affiliate
iiNet October 2012 [30] affiliate
Internode July 2013 [31] affiliate
Live Connected April 2013 [32] affiliate
SpinTel April 2013 [33] affiliate
Startel (?) [34] affiliate
Vaya Mobile April 2013 [35] affiliate
Virgin Mobile Australia September 2012 [36] subsidiary
Yatango Mobile May 2014 [37]
Vodafone affiliates using Vodafone's LTE network
Operator Launch date Notes
TPG September 2015 [38] affiliate

4G Roaming[edit]


In January 2013, Telstra launched LTE-Roaming in Hong Kong. Telstra partners with csl.[39]

4G roaming from Telstra in now available in New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America


Vodafone has 4G roaming in the Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom. Both prepaid and postpaid services can use 4G in those countries overseas.[40]


Optus have 4G roaming switched on but do not publish which countries offer it.


In mid-February 2014, Vodafone announced LTE-Roaming for New Zealand, UK and Europe.[41] In August 2014, Vodafone launched LTE-Roaming for New Zealand.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maher, William (15 September 2011). "Get ready for the 4G hype machine". PC Authority. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Optus Launches 700Mhz 4G LTE". Gizmodo. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "OPTUS BRINGS ITS 4G TO DARWIN FOR THE FIRST TIME". Optus. 2014-07-23. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  4. ^ "Australian Mobile Network Frequencies". whirlpool.net.au. Retrieved 2015-09-26. 
  5. ^ "Optus Press Release" (Press release). Optus. 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Optus launches LTE-A commercially in four cities". TeleGeography. 2014-09-22. Retrieved 2014-11-08. 
  7. ^ "Telstra to focus on deploying LTE-A using 700MHz and 1800MHz spectrum". TeleGeography. 2014-09-23. Retrieved 2014-11-08. 
  8. ^ "Telstra unveils faster 4GX service". Telecompaper. 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2014-11-08. 
  9. ^ "Telstra VoLTE". Telstra. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "Vodafone 4G Calling: Successful Start to VoLTE Trials" (pdf). Vodafone Press Release. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "OPTUS IS TURNING ON ITS FIRST COMMERCIAL 700MHZ 4G NETWORK IN DARWIN AND PERTH". Optus. 2014-07-21. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  12. ^ https://media.optus.com.au/media-releases/2015/dont-4get-australia-optus-has-you-covered/
  13. ^ "Telstra launches future of 4G in Perth, Mildura, Griffith and Mt Isa". Telstra. 2014-07-21. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  14. ^ "Telstra unveils faster 4GX service". Telecompaper. 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  15. ^ http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/telecoms-and-nbn/65614-vodafone-turns-on-4g-in-adelaide
  16. ^ "OPTUS 4G PLUS MOBILE NETWORK" (Press release). Optus. July 1, 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  17. ^ http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/coverage-networks/network-information/4g/[dead link]
  18. ^ "Optus to start 2600MHz LTE trials". itnews. 2014-01-30. Retrieved 2014-06-18. 
  19. ^ "Telstra notches download speeds of 450Mbps in LTE-A Carrier Aggregation test". TeleGeography. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2014-06-18. 
  20. ^ "Optus expands 4G service to 200 additional destinations". Telecompaper. 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  21. ^ "Mobile Update" (pdf). Telestra. 2014-05-26. p. 6. Retrieved 2014-07-08. 
  22. ^ "Vodafone, TPG forge $1bn partnership". 
  23. ^ "Larger and with more reliable speeds". Telstra. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2015-06-16. 
  24. ^ a b "Optus targets networks and data to 'take on' Telstra". Financial Review. 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2015-06-16. (subscription required (help)). 
  25. ^ "ACN's 4G Mobile Coverage". ACN. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  26. ^ "amaysim launches 4G". Amaysim. Retrieved 2015-03-25. 
  27. ^ "Network Coverage". Bendigo Bank Telco. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  28. ^ "4G Business Plans, 3 New Smartphone Offerings Revealed". Commander. 2013-11-28. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  29. ^ "Exetel launches 4G mobile plans". delimiter. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  30. ^ "iiNet 4G launch boosts customer choice". iiNet. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  31. ^ "Internode launches 4G NodeMobile plans". Internode. 2013-07-16. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  32. ^ "Live Connected reveals "sliding" 4G mobile plans". Computerworld. 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  33. ^ "Mobile Broadband". SpinTel. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  34. ^ "Coverage Information". Startel. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  35. ^ "Vaya launches 4G service". cnet. 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  36. ^ "ARE YOU READY FOR SERIOUSLY QUICK MOBILE INTERNET? VIRGIN MOBILE IS." (PDF). Virgin Mobile Australia. 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  37. ^ "4G has arrived at Yatango!". yatango. 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-09-06. 
  38. ^ "TPG Coverage". TPG. 
  39. ^ Josh Taylor (2013-01-16). "Telstra launches 4G roaming in Hong Kong". ZDNet. Retrieved 2014-09-19. 
  40. ^ "4G Roaming". Vodafone Australia. Vodafone. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  41. ^ "Vodafone unveils largest 4G international roaming network" (PDF). Vodafone. 2014-02-18. Retrieved 2014-09-19. 
  42. ^ "Vodafone gives customers travelling to New Zealand a 4G boost" (PDF). Vodafone. 2014-08-20. Retrieved 2014-09-19. 

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