The Australian operator said it will offer 2,000 LTE USB modems to its "account managed" business customers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on Aug. 29, ahead of a national service launch later this year. Initially, LTE coverage will be within five kilometers of the centers of those cities.
The devices are dual-mode 3G/4G USB modems and operate in the 1800MHz as well as the 850MHz frequency bands. They will be available with several different plans: for example, the device is free on the A$49 (US$51) per month Mobile Broadband Standard plan for 24 months with a data limit of seven gigabytes.
Telstra's LTE infrastructure supplier is Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and its device partner is Sierra Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq: SWIR; Toronto: SW), which uses Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) chipsets in these USB modems. (See MWC 2011: Telstra Sticks With Ericsson for LTE .) Why this matters
This limited service will mark Australia's first commercial LTE launch. The service launch is interesting also because it will be one of the first in the world to use 1800MHz spectrum for LTE, after Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) in Germany. (See Deutsche Telekom Takes LTE to the City.)
With Telsta's launch, the Asia/Pacific region is becoming a hotbed of LTE activity:
- Telstra Turns On LTE
- Ericsson Goes Down Under for LTE Win
- LTE Dawns in Hong Kong
- Greenpacket, P1, Sequans Team on LTE
- Korea's LTE Lift-Off
- Asia-Pacific Gets Serious About 4G/LTE
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile