Optus announced on Monday it will deploy spectrum it acquired from Kerry Stokes vividwireless for $230 million last year to launch a second 4G band, TD-LTE, with services switched on in Canberra on Monday.
SingTel Optus has outlined its next move in the 4G arms race, detailing plans to extend superfast mobile services to 70 per cent of the population by mid-2014 and take the fight to market leader Telstra.
The number two mobile carrier announced on Monday it will deploy spectrum it acquired from Kerry Stokes' vividwireless for $230 million last year to launch a second 4G band, TD-LTE, with services switched on in Canberra on Monday.
Outgoing head of networks Gunther Ottendorfer said the expansion would leave Optus well placed to compete against Telstra, which has dominated the mobile industry over the past two years.
"We are eyeballing Telstra, this expansion should give us real opportunity to differentiate ourselves with TD-LTE and give Australians a very, very capable 4G combination," he said.
Optus will launch a third band of 4G services in 2015 using spectrum acquired in the government's recent digital spectrum auctions. The carrier spent $649 million at the auctions, to capture exactly half the spectrum obtained by Telstra, which spent $1.3 billion. Third-ranked carrier Vodafone did not participate.
As part of a $400 million investment announced last year, Telstra's 4G network will cover 66 per cent of the population by June this year. Vodafone plans to launch 4G services in June.
TD-LTE is a technology developed in China, on which the upload and download of data occurs on the same frequency, but at different times. This contrasts with FD-LTE, used on Telstra and Optus's existing 4G networks, that uses separate upload and download channels for data.
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