Every telco has its own plans on the 4G technology, but Optus is trying out a different take on the tech, and now Samsung is partnering up to provide handsets to handle it.
Earlier in the year, Optus showed us what it was working on, setting up the first Time Division style of Long Term Evolution technology in Canberra, making it the only place in Australia to have one 4G pipe capable of handling both uploads and downloads.
While the idea essentially results in faster download speeds than the regular Frequency Division 4G that Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone normally use, it also comes with the downside of requiring different hardware to connect.
At the launch, we saw Motorola phones that were compatible with the special Optus network, but these were only compatible with TD-LTE, and not the regular 4G used around other parts in Australia.
Samsung looks to have come to the rescue, though, with an announcement this week that it will have the world’s first dual-mode devices, with special versions of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Mini on the way capable of jumping on both networks.
“Optus is pleased to partner with Samsung on this world-first with the rollout of our new superfast 4G TDD- LTE network in Australia,” said Rohan Ganeson, Managing Director of Sales at Optus.
“These new smartphones will open up access to significantly more 4G capacity, allowing Optus customers to do more on their phone in more places.”
Currently, the Optus Time Division LTE network is only available in Canberra, but a spokesperson for Optus has said that it will be “progressively rolled out across Australian metropolitan centres over the next year” with the aim to “expand coverage for both types of 4G in the coming year to reach over 70 per cent of the metro population by mid-2014.”
The good news is that dual-more Galaxy S4 will be coming to Optus in September, and the smaller brother – the S4 Mini – will be announced soon, too.