Wireless broadband provider, vividwireless, has flagged plans to commence the nationwide rollout of a Time Division Duplex Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) network by year’s end.
Following a recent two month trial in Sydney, during which peak speeds of 128 megabits per second (Mbps) were reached, the ISP’s chief executive, Martin Mercer, said plans for a full nationwide rollout of the technology were evolving and were “certainly expected to happen this year”.
“TD-LTE plays a definite role in our future, there are definite plans in place, the only uncertain aspect is the date at which we start building,” Mercer said. “We own spectrum in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and so our plans include full citywide networks in all of those cities.”
The ISP recently joined the Global TD-LTE initiative, which incorporates six major mobile operators including China Mobile, Vodafone, Bharti, SoftBank, eplus and Clearwire and advocates the development of the TD-LTE ecosystem.
Mercer also noted the switching on of its network expansion in Brisbane on the 14 April, with the ISP deploying seven base stations in the city.
The rollout was outlined by Seven Network director, Ryan Stokes, at last year’s Communication Alliance conference with plans for the network to hit Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart within 12 months of its March launch debut in Perth.
According to Mercer, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra were all on track to launch in January this year however Brisbane was delayed until April following recent flooding in the state which delayed Optus’ provisioning of fibre to one of the base stations.
At the recent CommsDay Summit 2011, Mercer dismissed the ability of Telstra’s announced LTE network with claims the telco’s plans to operate the network in the 1800MHz spectrum band would result in network speeds matching only that of vividwireless’ WiMax network.
Mercer said a 4G world would demand at least 10MHz channels, or ideally 20MHz channels.
“Telstra has announced they’re going to do LTE in the 1800 band which means they’re going to have to re-farm a fair bit of 1800 to allow them to potentially hold together a pair of 10MHz channels,” he said. “But that means that their 10MHz channels or their LTE network will run as fast as our WiMax network because our network uses 10MHz channels and speed really is a function of how much spectrum you’re prepared to throw at it,” Mercer said at the time.
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