So 4G isn’t fast enough for you? Get ready for 4GX, which Telstra touts as the next wave in mobile broadband and capable of shovelling data down the line at a meaty 600Mbps.
A supercharged personal hotspot dubbed the Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III will go on sale on September 29 at around $265, but the real cost is going to be the data you could so quickly chew through, even if the real-world speeds end up half of what Telstra promises.
The hotspot can feed 4GX to as many as 15 WiFi devices and is rated at 11 hours on a single battery charge.
4GX coverage is currently restricted to the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra CBDs and a handful of "popular holiday locations" where Telstra expects seasonal surges in data usage.
The device can of course switch between the zippy 4GX network and standard 4G and 3G technology.
The latest generation of smartphones can also tap into 4GX, which runs on the 700MHz band formerly occupied by TV stations before they switched to digital broadcasting, compared to Telstra’s existing 900MHz and 1800MHz networks.
The lower frequency provides much-needed elbow room to build out an entirely new network, compared with room for channels twice as wide as 4G so they can carry twice as much data.
Those signals also soak into buildings and basements in the city and travel further in country areas.
Telstra purchased the lion’s share of the 700MHz band for $1.3 billion in a government auction, while Optus slapped down $649 million for the remainder.
Vodafone’s strategy to bend the mobile broadband needle involves extending 4G onto the 850MHz band used for its 3G services.
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