OPTUS is now selling 4G services to business and government customers following a network upgrade in Newcastle, Perth and Sydney.
Optus is the second network operator in Australia to offer 4G services after Telstra launched its 4G network in late 2011. Optus is offering cheaper plans that include more data downloads than Telstra’s 4G plans. More capital cities will be added to the Optus 4G footprint later this year.
Optus is also moving spectrum from 2G services to its 3G network to cater for growing data demand on mobile networks and improve reception inside buildings.
The spectrum used for its 2G network is 900 megahertz (MHz), which is a low frequency that travels better through buildings than the 3G signals sent at 2100 MHz. Modern smartphones can pick up both frequencies.
Over the past year Optus technicians have replaced 2G antennas and base-station equipment with 3G equipment tuned to 900 MHz. However, it will keep the 2G network operating because a significant number of customers still own devices that do not pick up 3G signals. Optus calls the addition of 900 MHz to its 3G network ”3G Plus”.
”It is one of the biggest refarming projects in the world and it is astonishing how well it went,” managing director of Optus Networks, Guenther Ottendorfer, said at a briefing yesterday.