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 to the third generation (3G) standards. A 4G system provides mobile "ultra-broadband" Internet access.[1] Major Australian telecommunications companies (colloquially known as "telcos"), and most resellers that use one of these major telcos, have been rolling out and continuing to upgrade 4G since 2011/2012.


Operator Frequency
Band Duplex
Notes Available Spectrum Currently Operating
Optus 700 28 FDD Currently[timeframe?] being rolled out nationwide 10 MHz 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.[2] 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 Being rolled out nationwide.[timeframe?] 20 MHz Yes
Optus 3500 42 TDD Currently being deployed nation wide as a 5G band 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[clarify] 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.[3] Unknown Yes
Telstra 2600 7 FDD Expected to be replaced by 5G [4] 40 MHz Yes
TPG 2600 7 FDD Possible deployment from 1 October 2014.[needs update] 10 MHz Yes
Vodafone 850 5 FDD Rolled out nationwide. 10 MHz in capital cities, 5 MHz in regional areas. Yes
Vodafone 1800 3 FDD Operating in metro areas and some regional areas. up to 30 MHz Yes
Vodafone 2100 1 FDD Rolled out in metro areas and some regional areas. 5 or 10 MHz Yes
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 TV is switched off and digital TV 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]

In Brisbane, Optus has up to 4CA band combination using Band 1, 3, 7, 28 and the total bandwidth is 55 MHz.


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]


Since 2015, Vodafone has offered carrier aggregation across its main 4G bands, 850 MHz and 1800 MHz.[9]



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).[10] 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 has commenced rollout of VoLTE across its 4G Plus mobile network in Australia's major capital cities on May, 2016.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge will be the first devices available with Optus VoLTE, with plans to include more devices underway. Optus postpaid consumer and SMB customers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra CBD metros areas will be among the first to see the rollout of VoLTE.[11]


Vodafone conducted VoLTE trials in early 2015.[12]


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.[13]
The 700mhz network was made active on January 1, 2015.[14]


In July 2014 Telstra announced a trial of 4G services in the 700 MHz spectrum in Perth, Fremantle, Esperance, Mildura, Mt Isa and Griffith.[15] Service launched in November 2014.[16] This band will be the basis for the '4GX' brand.


Vodafone acquired some residual spectrum on this band.[17] Their license commences on 1 April 2018.[18]

850 MHz[edit]

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

Vodafone switched on the 4G 850 network on in Adelaide on 6 October 2014.[19] By the end of 2014 all other capital cities were switched over to 4G, and in Q2 2016 all regional sites were activated on 4G on this band.

1800 MHz[edit]

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


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[20]


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.[21]


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, and a rollout has begun for some regional areas.

2100 MHz[edit]

This band is commonly used for 3G services on Telstra and Optus, with only a very limited rollout on 4G. Vodafone have begun completely refarming their 2100 MHz coverage from 3G to 4G.


Since 2015, Vodafone have offered limited coverage using 5 MHz of Band 1 (2100 MHz) spectrum in major regional cities. Starting in 2017, this coverage was increased by adding more locations with 10 MHz bandwidth in regional areas. From 2017 onwards, the 2100 MHz spectrum in metropolitan areas was refarmed to 4G.

2300 MHz[edit]


Optus use 2300 MHz TD-LTE (Band 40) in big cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra, plus selected metropolitan locations.[22]
Optus first launched its TD-LTE network in Canberra in May 2013.[23]

2600 MHz[edit]


Optus and Telstra trialled the 2600 MHz frequency in Australia.[24][25] Service launched in October 2014.[26]


In 2014 Telstra announced a plan to use the 2600 GHz frequency band from 2016 onwards for commercial service.[27][needs update]


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.[28]

4G Sites (Base Stations)[edit]

As of 8 March 2019:

  • Optus has approximately 6414 4G base stations in Australia [29]
  • Telstra has approximately 5962 4G base stations in Australia [29]
  • Vodafone has approximately 4750 4G base stations in Australia [29]
  • the NBN has approximately 1920 4G base stations in Australia [29]
  • TPG has one 4G base station in Australia (but 811 additional are "proposed") [29]


In its latest State of Mobile Networks for Australia report, mobile analytics company OpenSignal put Telstra in the lead when it comes to delivering the fastest 4G download, upload and overall speeds. Optus has Australia's most available 4G network, thanks to its LTE rollout. OpenSignal reports its users were able to find an Optus LTE signal 90.5% of the time. Vodafone had the best 4G and overall download speeds in Melbourne and had the lowest 4G latency.[30]


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

Telstra affiliates using Telstra's LTE network
Operator Launch date Notes
Aldi Mobile 21st century [31] affiliate
etc. ... ...
Optus subsidiaries and affiliates using Optus's LTE network
Operator Launch date Notes
ACN May 2013 [32] affiliate
Amaysim March 2015 [33] affiliate
Bendigo Bank Telco (?) [34] affiliate
Commander November 2013 [35] affiliate
Exetel October 2012 [36] affiliate
iiNet October 2012 [37] affiliate
Internode July 2013 [38] affiliate
Live Connected April 2013 [39] affiliate
OVO Mobile November 2015 [40] affiliate
SpinTel April 2013 [41] affiliate
Startel (?) [42] affiliate
Vaya Mobile April 2013 [43] affiliate
Virgin Mobile Australia September 2012 [44] subsidiary
Yatango Mobile May 2014 [45]
Yomojo Mobile November 2015 [46]
Circles.Life Mobile December 2019 [47] affiliate
Vodafone affiliates using Vodafone's LTE network
Operator Launch date Notes
TPG Telecom September 2015 [48] affiliate
Kogan Mobile June 2016 [49] affiliate

4G Roaming[edit]


In January 2013, Telstra launched LTE-Roaming in Hong Kong. Telstra partners with csl.[50]

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.[51]


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.[52] In August 2014, Vodafone launched LTE-Roaming for New Zealand.[53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maher, William (15 September 2011). "Get ready for the 4G hype machine". PC Authority. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  2. ^ "OPTUS BRINGS ITS 4G TO DARWIN FOR THE FIRST TIME". Optus. 2014-07-23. Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
  3. ^ "Australian Mobile Network Frequencies". whirlpool.net.au. Retrieved 2015-09-26.
  4. ^ "Telstra Annual Report 2018" (PDF). 16 August 2018.
  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. ^ "Vodafone 4G+ puts customers in fast lane". Media Centre | Vodafone Australia.
  10. ^ "Telstra VoLTE". Telstra. Archived from the original on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  11. ^ "OPTUS LAUNCHES VOLTE TO MAJOR AUSTRALIAN CITIES - Optus Media Releases". Archived from the original on 2017-02-16. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  12. ^ "Vodafone 4G Calling: Successful Start to VoLTE Trials" (PDF). Vodafone Press Release. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 August 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  13. ^ "OPTUS IS TURNING ON ITS FIRST COMMERCIAL 700MHgZ 4G NETWORK IN DARWIN AND PERTH". Optus. 2014-07-21. Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-02-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Telstra launches future of 4G in Perth, Mildura, Griffith and Mt Isa". Telstra. 2014-07-21. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  16. ^ "Telstra unveils faster 4GX service". Telecompaper. 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
  17. ^ http://www.vodafone.com.au/media/vha-acquires-2-x-5mhz-of-spectrum-in-the-700-mhz-band-auction/
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-03-18. Retrieved 2017-08-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/telecoms-and-nbn/65614-vodafone-turns-on-4g-in-adelaide
  20. ^ "OPTUS 4G PLUS MOBILE NETWORK" (Press release). Optus. July 1, 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  21. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120207145300/http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/coverage-networks/network-information/4g/
  22. ^ "Support answers - Optus". www.optus.com.au.
  23. ^ "Optus to roll out Australias First MULTI-BAND 4G Network". Archived from the original on 2017-03-02. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  24. ^ "Optus to start 2600MHz LTE trials". itnews. 2014-01-30. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  25. ^ "Telstra notches download speeds of 450Mbps in LTE-A Carrier Aggregation test". TeleGeography. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  26. ^ "Optus expands 4G service to 200 additional destinations". Telecompaper. 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2014-11-05.
  27. ^ "Mobile Update" (PDF). Telestra. 2014-05-26. p. 6. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  28. ^ "Vodafone, TPG forge $1bn partnership".
  29. ^ a b c d e "Mobile Tower Statistics". OzTowers.com. 2019-03-08. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  30. ^ "Australia, November 2018, State of Mobile Networks Report | Opensignal". www.opensignal.com. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  31. ^ "ALDI Mobile Plans Review". WhistleOut.
  32. ^ "ACN's 4G Mobile Coverage". ACN. Archived from the original on 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  33. ^ "amaysim launches 4G". Amaysim. Retrieved 2015-03-25.
  34. ^ "Network Coverage". Bendigo Bank Telco. Archived from the original on 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  35. ^ "4G Business Plans, 3 New Smartphone Offerings Revealed". Commander. 2013-11-28. Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  36. ^ "Exetel launches 4G mobile plans". delimiter. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  37. ^ "iiNet 4G launch boosts customer choice". iiNet. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  38. ^ "Internode launches 4G NodeMobile plans". Internode. 2013-07-16. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  39. ^ "Live Connected reveals "sliding" 4G mobile plans". Computerworld. 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2014-03-24.[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ "OVO Mobile". ovo.com.au. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  41. ^ "Mobile Broadband". SpinTel. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  42. ^ "Coverage Information". Startel. Archived from the original on 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  43. ^ "Vaya launches 4G service". cnet. 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  44. ^ "ARE YOU READY FOR SERIOUSLY QUICK MOBILE INTERNET? VIRGIN MOBILE IS" (PDF). Virgin Mobile Australia. 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
  45. ^ "4G has arrived at Yatango!". yatango. 2014-05-12. Archived from the original on 2014-09-06. Retrieved 2014-09-06.
  46. ^ "Yomojo". Yomojo. 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  47. ^ "We're focused on giving our customers an amazing telco experience". Iyer.J. 2019-12-26. Archived from the original on 2019-12-25. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  48. ^ "TPG Coverage". TPG.
  49. ^ "Kogan Mobile - 4G Announcement".
  50. ^ Josh Taylor (2013-01-16). "Telstra launches 4G roaming in Hong Kong". ZDNet. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
  51. ^ "4G Roaming". Vodafone Australia. Vodafone. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  52. ^ "Vodafone unveils largest 4G international roaming network" (PDF). Vodafone. 2014-02-18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
  53. ^ "Vodafone gives customers travelling to New Zealand a 4G boost" (PDF). Vodafone. 2014-08-20. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-24. Retrieved 2014-09-19.

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